Up to this day, dairy is still one of the most controversial topics in nutrition out there. I decided stir a little in the soup of confusion and arguments as well and share my story about why I broke up with dairy years ago…
I haven’t intended to write this post to convince or transform anyone to anything.
Rather,I have intended to speak about it for those who are interested in this topic; for those who look for truths and infromation and are willing to look at the topic from another point of view.
My goal is to inspire people to take care of their health and the environment around them. So let’s get started…
While for most of us milk, cheese, yoghurt, ice cream, chocolate … were big parts of our childhood day to day life, more and more people around the world decide to “give it all up”. But why? What about the strong bones and the healthy teeth? The calming honey-milk that puts you right to sleep? Milk being a super-food? All the calcium? … and the list goes on.
Well sad truth: most of those stories that we heard since our childhood, are lies – or at least stories that try to cover the horrible reality. But what’s so horrible about the white liquid, I hear you ask. Won’t cows feel pain if we don’t milk them?
Let’s start in the beginning – with the cow. While I don’t want to get too much into detail in this post (there are tons of scary– ass youtube videos out there documenting exactly what is happening to dairy cows on a daily basis, if you want to learn more), most of us are unaware of how the milk actually gets in the bottled containers in the store.
To get milk, a cow must be pregnant or recently been given a baby. Sadly, nothing in this industry happens naturally, so the female cow gets forcefully impregnated. Right after she gave birth, mom and baby get seperated, as humans want the milk that otherwise the baby would drink.
These days cows are producing more milk than ever. A cow on a modern farm produces more than 20,000 pounds of milk. Per year!
The cycle of constant artificial fertilization, stealing their babies, milking till their udders bleed and ulcerate, only stops when their production decreases
due to exhaustion and they get slaughtered. Putting it in a other words: Cows are killed for dairy.
Let’s talk health for a second. Because that’s what we all want right? Health is our biggest wealth, and without it we have nothing. Something like that..
We’ve been told that calcium is an essential nutrient. Which is true. But we’ve also been told that only dairy has calcium and therefore we need to drink more of it. Meeeh, here’s the first mistake. While it’s true that calcium is an essential nutrient, it’s not true that only cows milk will deliver it. Plant based foods, such as beans, broccoli, green vegetables, tofu… are great (and sufficient) sources of Calcium.
In fact, the less dairy, the better the bones. Crazy right? But studies show countries with the lowest rates of dairy intake, have the lowest rates of osteporosis (fragile bones).
To grow a baby cow rapidly into a dairy cow and keep her as healthy as possible, those cows are fed hormones and antibiotics. As they get absorbed by her body, those substances will also be found in the milk she produces.
Remember how I mentioned earlier that cows get milked so much their udders become infected. Pus and other juices drop right into the bucket of milk. Per litre of milk a certain amount of pus is tolerated and okay to be sold.
The other day I read: “Dairy is nature’s perfect food – but only if you’re a calf.” Years and years the dairy industry tried to tell us that milk and all its products are some kind of superfood and needed in our daily diet.
Yet I wonder, why is it only us humans that we still drink breast milk after we’re long grown up already? No other mammal continues to drink breast milk after they turned into an adult!
Let alone, the milk of another species. Every time I think about this, I can’t wrap my head around, how someone years ago decided that cows milk is acceptable to drink, while dog milk, camel milk, pig milk, … and even human milk are viewed as disgusting for an adult to drink.
It logically makes no sense to drink the liquid that’s supposed to turn a baby of another species into a full grown animal so very different than a human. Cow milk is designed to turn a calf into a cow – why do we want to become a cow?
This might explain why genetically 75% of the world’s population is unable to properly digest dairy, also known as lactose intolerance. Not everyone can stomach dairy – many even without knowing.
One last fact about milk and its other dairy products before we move on: they are one of the top sources of artery-clogging saturated fats. While people try to get healthy, so much of saturated fats could be eliminated by cutting out dairy.
Milk badly affecting the environment? How? Well, sadly in many ways…
Dairy farming is one of the biggest causes of water pollution. As the farms grow and grow, and the number of animals there get bigger, the amount of waste rises. Often times it just seeps into the ground water. Or merges into rivers and lakes.
An argument against veganism I hear very often is that with all the soy that is produced for us vegetarians and vegans, forests have to be cleared for new agriculture land.
However, more soy is used for the dairy industry, than to make soy milk.
With all the produce we grow on this planet, we could end world hunger many times over. Sadly, we choose to feed livestock rather than hungry human mouths all over the world.
Like I mentioned before, I am not here to tell you what to do or not do, but it’s necessary to educate yourself. Listen to both sides, gather information to make an educated choice. The choice will always be yours, but it’s worth to become aware that dairy is NOT an essential part of the human diet and actually does more harm than good.
While it is your journey and you can walk it as fast or slow as possible, every meal is a choice. I suggest people to just try – try alternative products, try reducing it, replacing it or cutting it down. You don’t have to go cold turkey, like an all or nothing thing, gentle and gradual choices will often work best.
I understand that it may seem hard at first. We are so used to it being part of our daily diet and like all changes, it may take time. But I can guarantee you, that once you made the shift, a dairy free life isn’t actually that hard 🙂
Remember the reasons you do it for and that you do it because YOU want to. If you ever need any help, support or guidance, feel free to reach out to me at any time. I’m more than happy to help.
For this reason, I also created a 30 day vegan starter kit. In my ebook you will find 90+ delicious recipes, layed out over your first 30 days on a plant-based diet, so there is no need to worry about what and how to cook. I hope this will help you.
All the best,
THE VEGANNING – 30 day vegan starter kit: