Passers-by walking down Newcastle’s Northumberland Street might be taken by surprise – by a sculpture of a life-size cow.

But unveiled ahead of the 50th World Environment Day (Monday, June 5), the Newcastle bovine is part of a series of life-size cow sculptures that have appeared across the UK to raise awareness of the impact of intensive dairy production.

The herd of striking cow sculptures have been unveiled across the UK as a stark reminder of the impact of intensive dairy production on the planet. 

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The display – called ‘Herding the Planet’ - has been commissioned by Flora Plant, a plant-based alternative to dairy butter and designed by zero-waste artist Ptolemy Elrington.

There are life-size cows – in London, Aberdeen, and Newcastle - made from reclaimed and recycled materials representing fast fashion, cars and water usage which are three things Brits demonstrated in new research that they are more willing to cut back on than dairy in order to reduce their environmental impact.

The sculptures are located in Newcastle and Aberdeen, as they are the two cities which consume the most dairy butter weekly (more than 8 times a week) - and the UK capital where Londoners eat it at least once a day. 

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Zero-waste artist Ptolemy Elrington said: “23 years ago I decided that my sculptures would be exclusively made of recycled and secondhand materials, as I wanted to use art as a vehicle to get people to consider their ethical and environmental responsibilities.

“Right now, the most pressing global issue is climate change, therefore it is all of our responsibilities to make people sit up and listen to the ways they can make a difference, by using art as well as news and action.

“I am proud to team up with Flora Plant on their purpose  to create a better planet for us and the next generations to live, breathe and prosper in.”