A Saudi Arabian producer of camel’s milk for human consumption was worried that potential consumers might say “Yuck!” to the idea of drinking a fluid that comes from a camel. So the man and his mother thought up the name “Camelicious” to market his product.
In fact, camel’s milk is the perfect food for a baby camel—just as cow’s milk has exactly the right elements (saturated fat, milk fat and proteins, milk sugar, and growth hormones) for a calf. Nature never intended for humans to ingest the mammary secretions of other animals. Dairy-product consumption is simply not good for human beings.
The Iowa Women’s Health Study found that people who drank more than one glass of milk per day had a 73 percent greater chance of developing ovarian cancer than those who drank less. Cancers of the breast and prostate also are associated with high levels of dairy consumption. In children, dairy products are also implicated in Type 1 diabetes, chronic constipation, and obesity, among other illnesses.
While the consumption of dairy products is bad for people, animals used in dairy production have it even worse. PETA’s undercover investigation of a dairy factory farm last year documented cows lying in, and struggling to wade through, accumulated feces and mud; animals with painful infections going for weeks without veterinary care; and workers kicking, shocking, and stabbing animals to force them to stand and walk. Like the camels in Saudi Arabia, the cows videotaped in this investigation were milked by machines, a painful but common practice.
There’s another hidden hitch to dairy production. As a good friend of mine says, “There’s a little piece of veal in every glass of milk.” On most dairy factory farms, male calves are literally dragged, kicking and screaming, away from their mothers just hours after birth—just so that the milk intended for the calves can be sold on grocery store shelves. Each calf is taken from the heaven of his mother’s side to the hell of a veal crate, where he will spend the rest of his short life.
In order to produce milk, cows—and camels—have to be impregnated and give birth to babies who will be torn away from them. Bearing in mind that fact, it seems like a more appropriate name for camel’s milk would be “Camelvicious.”
This guest blog was written by Christine Jackson. Christine is fortunate to have lived with animals all her life. She shares her Washington, D.C., home with the two best cats in the world.