Artist’s Striking Cow Sculptures Illuminate Environmental Impact of Dairy Industry in the UK

Artist’s Striking Cow Sculptures Illuminate Environmental Impact of Dairy Industry in the UK

…By Alan Peterson for TDPel Media. A series of eye-catching sculptures depicting cows has emerged in various locations across the UK.


Created by artist Ptolemy Elrington, these sculptures aim to draw attention to the environmental consequences of dairy production.

Elrington utilized discarded car parts, fast fashion items, and water fixtures to construct life-size replicas of livestock.

With cattle contributing the methane equivalent of 3.1 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide annually, these installations highlight the significant impact of dairy on the planet.

Raising Awareness of Dairy’s Environmental Impact:

Ptolemy Elrington crafted the cow sculptures to shed light on the environmental ramifications of intensive dairy production.

Research indicates that individuals in the UK are more inclined to reduce driving, water usage, and clothing purchases to mitigate their environmental footprint, rather than cutting back on dairy consumption.

By using discarded materials, Elrington underscores the need to address the detrimental effects of dairy production on the environment.


Placements and Consumption Habits:

The cow sculptures have been strategically placed in cities such as London, Aberdeen, and Newcastle, which are known for their high weekly consumption of dairy butter.

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These installations serve as a reminder to the public about the impact of their dietary choices.

Surprisingly, only 13 percent of the study participants would consider replacing dairy butter with a plant-based alternative.

Despite the environmental concerns, 73 percent of those who continue to consume dairy are unwilling to switch due to their preference for the taste.

Campaign by Flora Plant:

The research and installations were commissioned by Flora Plant as part of its Skip the Cow campaign.

Flora Plant, a plant-based alternative to dairy butter, boasts 75 percent less climate impact.

Perran Harvey, senior global sustainability lead for Flora Plant, emphasizes the necessity of reducing the reliance on dairy to combat climate change.

Livestock farming alone accounts for at least 14.5 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions.


Preference for Dairy Butter:

The research reveals that butter is a significant component of the average British diet, with individuals consuming it seven times per week.

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Although 65 percent of participants express concern about the environmental impact of food production, only 35 percent would consider giving up certain foods to address this issue.

Interestingly, meat is more likely to be eliminated from diets before dairy, with beef, pork, lamb, turkey, shrimps, and prawns at risk.

One-third of respondents are already trying to reduce their meat consumption to lower their carbon footprint.

The Rise of Plant-Based Alternatives:

Plant-based alternatives, such as oat and almond milk, have gained popularity among consumers seeking dairy substitutes.

Additionally, 16 percent of respondents consume dairy-free spreads every few weeks.

Health benefits and environmental impact are the main reasons cited for choosing plant-based options.

The survey indicates that 63 percent of respondents believe that more efforts are needed to raise awareness about the environmental impact of dairy farming.


Artist’s Perspective:

Ptolemy Elrington, a zero-waste artist, explains that 23 years ago, he committed to using only recycled and second-hand materials in his sculptures to encourage ethical and environmental consciousness.

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Elrington believes that addressing climate change is currently the most pressing global issue, and through art, news, and action, he aims to inspire individuals to make a difference.

He expresses pride in collaborating with Flora Plant to create a better future for generations to come.


The installation of cow sculptures across the UK serves as a visual representation of the environmental impact of dairy production.

By using recycled materials, artist Ptolemy Elrington aims to raise awareness about the need to reduce reliance on dairy.

The campaign by Flora Plant further emphasizes the urgency of addressing this issue, as livestock farming significantly contributes to greenhouse gas emissions.

As consumer preferences shift towards plant-based alternatives, more efforts are needed to educate the public about the environmental consequences of dairy consumption.

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