Today, August 22nd is World Plant Milk Day – a day to celebrate the wide array of plant-based milk on the market, highlight their many benefits – for people’s health, for animals and for the planet – and to encourage people to make the switch.

“There has never been a better time to go dairy-free,” said Zephie Begolo, Head of Campaigns for ProVeg UK. “There are now so many different plant milk on the market, more readily available than ever. We are seeing one of the biggest global dietary shifts of recent times towards the dairy-free industry, which is well and truly booming.”

It is thought that the dairy alternatives industry is set to top $34 billion by 2024, up from $8.2 billion in 2014. Meanwhile, there are now fewer than 9,500 dairy farms in the UK compared with 13,000 a decade ago. It is predicted that there will only be around 5,000 by 2025.

Brands, cafes and restaurants across the UK including Kellogg’s, Bella Italia, Handmade Burger Co, Pret a Manger and Starbucks are set to join this year’s campaign with special promotions on their dairy-free food and beverages on or around World Plant Milk Day.

ProVeg UK, who founded World Plant Milk Day together with Plant Based News last year, recently launched its 7-Day Dairy-Free Challenge, which is calling on people to give up dairy for a week.

“We want people to see just how easy it is to go dairy-free, so we set up the challenge in which we offer daily support, taste test videos, recipes and all the top tips for starting out without dairy. Nowadays there is a dairy-free alternative to everything you could want, from ice cream to pizza. Going dairy-free doesn’t mean going without your favourite foods,” Zephie said.

One of the main concerns when switching from dairy to plant milk is nutrition, but this is not something people need to be worried about, according to ProVeg UK.

“In terms of nutrition, everything you get from cows’ milk, you can get from more humane, plant-based sources. Plant milk has zero cholesterol, almost no fat, and they contain fibre, protein, calcium and are often fortified with vitamins and minerals such as vitamin D and B12,” Zephie added.

Going dairy-free is also one of the most effective dietary changes people can make to save the planet since plant milk are more sustainable than their dairy counterparts in terms of both greenhouse gas emissions and water consumption. For example, it takes 1,020 litres of water to produce one litre of cow’s milk whereas it takes only 297 litres of water to produce the same amount of soya milk, and even less for other crops such as oats.

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