A persons sits with a milky coffee in front of them New research suggests Generation Z want to stop drinking dairy. Credit: Adobe Stock - Media Credit: Adobe Stock

Almost Half Of Gen Z Feel Shame Around Ordering Dairy, Study Finds

Dairy giant Arla blames "cancel culture" for the widespread shift in people's diets

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2 Minutes Read

A new study suggests that almost half of Generation Z feel shame around ordering dairy products.

The research, by dairy company Arla, examined the rise of social media and its influence on people’s diets. According to the findings, more than a third of Brits make dietary choices based on information they found on social media.

It also uncovered that while 42 percent of respondents felt confused about sustainable eating, 75 percent were concerned for the future of the planet. More than a quarter felt that cutting out animal products was the best thing for the environment.

And despite the fact that the majority of Gen-Zers would “prefer” to drink dairy, more than half still intend to give it up in the next year, the research found.

The purpose of Arla’s study was to dissuade people from making “drastic decisions” around diet based on social media. It also blamed the “rise in cancel culture” for its influence on food decisions.

While social media is undeniably renowned for giving a platform to misinformation, there is credible research that suggests a move away from animal products is essential to mitigate the climate crisis.

Dairy’s environmental impact

For example, back in 2018, the biggest-ever food analysis found that ditching meat and dairy is the “single biggest way” to reduce a person’s environmental impact.

Oxford University researchers evaluated data from 40,000 farms around the world and assessed their impact on the planet, from greenhouse gasses to land use to water waste.

At the time, researcher Joseph Poore said: “[A vegan diet’s impact] is far bigger than cutting down on your flights or buying an electric car.”

The meta-analysis found that dairy milk is responsible for nearly three times the emissions of any plant-based alternative.

Arla acknowledges that animal agriculture has its problems. The dairy giant stated that its milk has “half the emissions of the global average,” and it plans on reducing these further.

“We know that farming is not without its challenges and when it comes to dairy farming and the climate crisis, we have many hills to climb to reach our target of achieving carbon net-zero by 2050,” said Graham Wilkinson, Arla’s Senior Group Agriculture Director. 

He added that Arla farmers “are taking action” and “working to drive real change.”

According to Poore’s research, oat and soy milk come out best for the planet in terms of emissions, land use, and water use.

Animal agriculture is the world’s biggest user of land and emits 14.5 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. And, according to the study, drinking one glass of dairy milk per day for a year uses the water equivalent of 703 eight-minute-long showers. 

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The Author

Charlotte Pointing

Charlotte writes about sustainable beauty, fashion, and food. She spent more than 4 years editing in leading vegan media, and has a degree in history and a postgraduate in cultural heritage.

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Robbie Lockie
Admin
3 months ago

Such interesting news!

Holger Lundstrom
Holger Lundstrom
3 months ago

It’s funny because if everybody went vegan, we would have no use for grasslands and food would have to be imported from other countries, producing even more CO2. Also the claim that “going on a vegan diet does a lot more than cutting down transportation” is complete nonsense, because it will vastly depend on the initial consumption and travel habits. If you hear a scientist make a blanket statement like that, instead of a more neutral statement like “meat consumption can contribute as much as travelling” then you know he’s not a scientist, but an ideologue. Or he’s trying to sell you something to get more funding.

Plant Based News Admin
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Plant Based News Admin
1 month ago

Thanks for your comment. We don’t have to have a ‘use’ for all of nature, letting it rewild is beneficial for our planet. Transportation emissions are a fraction of total food emissions from animal products, in fact, plant products from across the world are still significantly less detrimental emissions wise than animal products from next door.
Of course it depends on initial consumption and travel habits, but nobody is travelling as frequently as they’re eating, so making the decision to go plant-based is immediately making a difference. https://ourworldindata.org/food-choice-vs-eating-local

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