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That’s Why I Don’t Drink Milk

Posted by at 3:17 PM | Permalink | Comments (7)


As a child, I hated almost all dairy products. I only “drank” skim milk when it was in my cereal bowl and after I’d added water to it. I picked the cheese off my pizza. I wouldn’t even touch chocolate, which meant that my mother, much to her delight, got all my chocolate Halloween candy. I used to scrunch my nose and say, “This makes my throat feel slimy!” Unfortunately, as I got older, I slowly incorporated these products into my diet, and it wasn’t until college that I began learning the awful truth about milk.

How Are Cows on Dairy Farms Abused?

I was shocked to learn that cows on dairy farms are repeatedly impregnated using artificial insemination. Their babies are torn away from them at birth, with male calves destined to become veal or beef and female calves destined to suffer the same fate as their mothers. These cows are then genetically manipulated to produce about 10 times as much milk as they would naturally, spending their lives constantly bloated and in pain. And cows on organic farms can suffer even more because when the animals’ udders become infected, many farmers will not administer medicine, as that would prevent them from labeling the cows’ milk as organic. On average, cows on dairy farms live for about four or five years, whereas under less stressful conditions, they would live for approximately 25 years! Stress and fear plague these cows on a daily basis, and it’s no wonder that at the end of their short lives, they are completely spent and often lame.

How Does Milk Consumption Jeopardize Human Health?

Ever hear anybody say that milk consumption is actually linked to osteoporosis? Because it is. In fact, dairy products have been linked to a long list of health problems, including osteoporosis, heart disease, some types of cancer, and many childhood illnesses! Trust me, I was shocked too. All at once, I found out that the dairy industry mercilessly wreaks havoc on both cows’ lives and humans’ bones. You can most effectively and healthfully maintain strong bones by exercising, eating plenty of leafy green veggies, getting your daily dose of vitamin D, limiting your salt intake, and avoiding animal protein. Talk about convenience—what’s good for you is also good for animals!

How Many Alternatives to Milk Are There?

When I first decided to cut milk from my diet, making the transition seemed daunting. As I mentioned, by the time I’d reached adulthood, I loved dairy products just as much as the next person. How could I live without milk? I thought that it would be impossible. But once I opened my mind to the idea of change, I realized that many tasty and convenient alternatives are available. If you’re thinking about making a change, just go to your local grocery store and check it out! You can drink soy, almond, rice, or hemp milk, to name a few. Many of these alternatives even come in different flavors, such as sweetened, unsweetened, vanilla, or chocolate! There are so many options, and it’s fun to taste-test a few in order to determine which one you like best.

As you can see, I’ve come full circle. My “picky” tastes as a child were simply the result of my body telling me that the consumption of dairy products is unnatural. I like to think that I was born to be a vegan but just didn’t know it at first. Fortunately, now I do know the truth about dairy products, and I don’t want to support the abuse of animals or jeopardize my own health, especially when there are so many convenient alternatives available. And that’s why I don’t drink milk.

This article was written by Keegan Baur and originally appeared on PETA.org.

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7 Comments

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    Willard Paul says...

    June 9th, 2011, 7:24 pm

    While I would agree that drinking milk as an adult is not healthful, I notice that none of your accusations about mistreatment of milk cows are substantiated. Having lived on two dairy farms and acquainted with many dairy farmers, I have seen not one instance of the abuse you accuse them of. Until I see proof, I view your accusations as nothing more than libel.

    Ann says...

    June 9th, 2011, 7:52 pm

    What a wonderful article! Since I have switched to soy milk, I no longer have frequent colds, and feel so much better and less “stuffy.”
    For substitutes, I’d recommend Vanilla Silk Soy Milk (they have light and regular), veganaise mayo, and purely decadent dairy free peanut butter zig zag ice cream (but don’t keep that around the house if you’re trying to lose weight – its irresistable!)

    Nancy C. says...

    June 10th, 2011, 10:18 am

    there are many products out there for a vegan diet. my stop & shop has ‘fake’ mozzerlla, swiss cheese, american cheese, mayo, butter, cream cheese. Silk has a delicious creamer and almond milk is wonderful in cereal. it’s very easy now to be vegan…my only vice is a bit of dark chocolate after dinner. but at some point i will do away with that too. i can’t stand what they do to these poor animals. if you don’t care about animals, one must consider the damage done to the environment too.

    Paul says...

    June 10th, 2011, 1:04 pm

    Willard,

    While your personal experiences may have been different, there have been numerous investigative reports on the dairy industry conducted by PETA, the media, and other animal organizations that document the horrible conditions for cows on dairy farms through the United States. PETA has extensive video footage of a recent investigation at a Land O’Lakes supplier that may be a good place for you to start and other similar investigations can easily be found through a web search.

    Susie Lynch says...

    June 10th, 2011, 6:32 pm

    @Paul Willard: Search the internet for Conklin Dairy Farms abuse and look at the video that you find. If you don’t feel up to searching for yourself, just watch the video in this link:
    http://www.mercyforanimals.org/ohdairy/ Sadly, there are a lot of sadistic people who go looking for jobs in industrial farming. Don’t forget that the owner of the farm, Dairy Conklin, is also featured in this video, carelessly tormenting one of the cows.

    Industrial dairy farming is an atrocious business and all the cattle are miserably abused. Male dairy calves are most often removed from their mothers and allowed to starved nearly to death (when they aren’t sadistically tortured and killed first).

    Dairy products are not healthy for any of us. My doctor, who consumes meat, recommends avoiding dairy at all costs for all of her patients, and she began her practice as a pediatrician. As her patients’ parents saw improvements in their childrens’ health, they started making appointments with her. Dairy contributes to systemic yeast overload almost more than any other food (wheat and processed sugars are numbers 2 and 3).

    I am vegan and I have never felt better, but before I gave up meat, I had already given up all dairy and eggs. Taht was when my health began to improve most dramatically.

    Robert says...

    June 10th, 2011, 7:45 pm

    Thanks for reporting on this subject. We published a fact sheet on “humanely-raised” milk and dairy recently at http://freefromharm.org/food/what-about-humanely-raised-milk-and-dairy-products/.

    Tina says...

    July 1st, 2011, 6:06 pm

    I prefer almond milk over soy milk, hate to sound like a killjoy but now the experts are claiming we should not drink soy milk. Therefore I now buy almond milk, and i really can’t tell the difference.

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