We made MILKED – help support a 25% reduction in the global dairy herd by 2025

We made MILKED – help support a 25% reduction in the global dairy herd by 2025

24 February 2022
Signatures: 12,094Next Goal: 15,000
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Why this petition matters

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TLDR: Support our campaign to reduce the United States dairy herd 25% by 2025* as part of a global effort to reduce the devastating impacts of dairy worldwide. MILKED will deliver this petition to world leaders at COP27. Together we can change this.

We are Chris Huriwai and Amy Taylor. We made MILKED to show the true cost of the dairy industry in our home of New Zealand. What we discovered was a horror story – and it’s spreading around the world as we speak.

The image of New Zealand is one of beautiful mountains and pristine rivers. Our country has given the world so much inspiration for how to enjoy and respect the earth. Growing up, dairy farming was a part of that image, a normal part of life.

But that image isn’t real. What we uncovered in MILKED is terrifying: people and cows dying for profit; rivers polluted, nature being destroyed. We also revealed that New Zealand’s largest dairy producer, Fonterra, has been massively underreporting its greenhouse gas output, creating more emissions than the whole of Sweden.

But this isn’t just about  New Zealand. This is a global problem. And the United States has a huge role to play.

The United States is the world’s second largest producer of dairy – over 100 million metric tons of milk every year from more than 10 million cows.

That’s why we’re asking President Joe Biden and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to reduce the United States dairy herd 25% by 2025, as part of a coordinated effort to reduce the devastating impacts of dairy worldwide. 

Why is this important?

Each year the global dairy herd of over 260 million cows produces around 26 million tonnes of methane (100kg per cow, per year). Methane is over 84 times more potent in warming the atmosphere than carbon dioxide over a 20-year time horizon.

Reducing methane emissions would have an immediate impact on Earth’s climate. The United States and its partners launched the Global Methane Pledge at COP26. But we need to reduce methane much sooner than 2030.

This action will protect wildlife and natural habitats, reduce emissions, and save lives.

The United States must take action

Methane from livestock is the second largest source of emissions in the U.S. and dairy cattle alone accounted for over a quarter of total methane emissions. In the U.S.: 

  • 72% of all dairy emissions are made before the milk leaves the farm.
  • Dairy farms are responsible for a quarter of all nitrogen pollution.
  • It takes 1,000 litres of water to produce only 1 litre of milk.


  • More than three quarters of our planet’s agricultural land is used to feed livestock, but this land only produces 18% of the world’s calories.
  • The number one risk factor for new zoonotic diseases like Covid 19 is the increased demand for animal protein. 
  • Humans are the only mammals to continue drinking milk throughout our lifetimes.
    About 65% to 70% of adults are lactose intolerant.

Take action now and we can reduce dairy farming’s impacts on people and planet.

Around the world dairy farmers are transitioning to plant-based milk production, led by pioneers in the United States such as Elmhurst and supported by organizations like TransFARMation. But the U.S. government must do more to aid farmers in this essential transition.

Demand for plant milks is on the rise. Oat milk uses 13 times less water, 11 times less land, and creates 3.5 times less greenhouse gas emissions than cow’s milk. 

MILKED has exposed the truth. But we can’t fix this on our own. We need action, and that’s where you come in. 

We witnessed horrific abuse, pollution, and illness caused by the dairy industry.

*Reductions through slowed breeding, not slaughter. The cows have given enough!

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Signatures: 12,094Next Goal: 15,000
Support now