Last week, I noticed one of my classmates come into class with a bottle of Nesquik.
This made me wonder, why do people still drink cow’s milk? Believe it or not, what we have been told about cow’s milk, and its supposed benefits, is not true! Cow’s milk is unhealthy in so many ways, and there are plenty of plant-based milk products on the market now that are so much better for our health.
During my public school years, I drank lots of milk. It was the only drink we had access to in school, besides water, that was free. Milk was given to us at every meal, and up until my senior year in high school, I truly believed that milk was beneficial. Meanwhile, it was causing lots of health problems for me.
Last year, the dairy industry’s sales went down 1 billion dollars! This goes to show that more people are waking up, and choosing to purchase plant-based milks instead.
So, what’s the problem with milk?
The dairy industry has long claimed that milk is the only source of calcium. However, studies have shown milk actually leeches calcium from our bones. In a Swedish medical study , women who consumed large amounts of milk daily were more likely to suffer from fractures than those who drank no milk.
Milk has also been linked to cancer. A Swedish study revealed that women who consumed four or more servings of dairy products every day were twice as likely to develop ovarian cancer, compared with those who consumed two or less servings a day. There is also evidence that suggests the consumption of milk and other dairy products leads to an increased risk of prostate cancer. Non-dairy diets have been implemented to slow the progression of prostate cancer.
Struggling with acne? Dairy has also been shown to trigger acne, including acne of the cystic kind. I can personally account for this, as I stopped drinking milk and consuming dairy products, my acne began to clear up.
Most people have some type of dairy intolerance. This is because a sugar found in milk, called lactose, can be difficult for people to digest, therefore they may develop symptoms of nausea, diarrhea, and abdominal cramping.
The Ethical Issues of Milk Consumption
If the increased risk of developing cancer, acne, calcium deficiency, and symptoms of lactose intolerance isn’t enough to stop you from drinking milk, maybe the ethical issues of milk consumption, will.
Did you know that cows are forcefully impregnated, so that they could produce milk? Cows have to give birth every year to produce milk. Once cows give birth, their baby calves are taken away from them.
Imagine being forcefully impregnated constantly, and then having the child taken away from you. Would you be able to handle that?
This is emotionally devastating for these cows. If the baby is male, he is immediately killed for veal. If the baby is female, she suffers the same fate as her mother.
Most cows are pregnant when milking, which accounts for the 35 hormones that milk contains, including estrogen, which in excess, is linked to cancer.
Cows are hooked up to machines that suck their milk dry, which leads to painful infections in their udders, such as mastitis. The pus from mastitis can also be found in milk, and they are given antibiotics which leech into the milk, and may lead to antibiotic resistance in the long term.
Cows can live to be up to 25 years old, but dairy industry cows do not live past five years old.
Fortunately, there is something you can do about this. There are many delicious dairy-free alternatives for us to choose from. Almond milk, cashew milk, coconut milk are some. If you have a nut allergy, opt for something like soy milk, rice milk, or oat milk. Oat milk is my personal favorite, and it tastes delicious with cookies, cereal, or in your latte.
Can’t give up ice cream and cheese? Well you don’t have to! There are plenty of delicious non-dairy ice creams and cheese on the market.
I hope that you choose to stop drinking milk, as there are many affordable, humane options out there now. Do it for your health, do it for the environment, and do it for the cows!