I definitely do not “Got Milk?”. I have been lactose intolerant since a young child and for years I suffered through the pain and discomfort that dairy caused me. I wasn’t ready to give up ice cream, chocolate milk or creamy yogurt. Finally, I decided it just wasn’t worth it and I was going to attempt to quit dairy. This got me doing some investigative work as to why my body cannot handle dairy and led me to discover gallons of appalling information about the dairy industry itself. If I wasn’t ready to give it up for me, what I learned finally sealed the deal. It wasn’t only about me anymore.
I have collected facts from multiple sources and condensed them into this top ten list of reasons why I do not “Got Milk?”. I find it to be very compelling and educational. There is so much that the dairy industry doesn’t want you to know and I am going to enlighten you today. Consider it my little gift of awareness to you.
10 reasons why I do not “Got Milk?”
1. Lactose intolerance. Studies have shown that 1 in 3 (roughly 100 million) Americans are lactose intolerant. What does this mean? We weren’t meant to drink milk from another animal. Many of us lack the enzyme lactase which is found in the microvilli of our small intestines and used to break down the sugars in milk (lactose). By drinking milk and having milk based products such as cheese, yogurt and whey, people who are lactose intolerant suffer from severe abdominal cramping and possibly the runs when they consume dairy. Talk about ruining a night out!
2. The calcium hype. You can find a lot of calcium in other plant based products such as chia seed, legumes, kale, soy milk, rice milk, orange juice, coconut milk and almond milk. Yes it is fortified, but so is the milk you drink. The “Got Milk?” campaign is a good one with millions of dollars behind it.
3. Veal. Veal or baby male calf’s are a by-product of the dairy industry. If your reason for becoming a vegetarian has anything to do with the welfare of animals, then you may want to consider eliminating dairy from your diet. The pretty picture of the dairy cattle grazing on the fields is a myth 99% of the time. Heifers (female cows) are constantly artificially inseminated so that they can produce milk. What do you think happens when Heifers give birth to baby boys? They are yanked from their mothers and sold for veal and live a short life stuck in a veal crate. Guess what else? They are denied their own mothers milk so that we can drink it. Not such a pretty picture, eh?
4. Cancer. There is a strong link between consuming dairy products or drinking milk to various forms of cancer such as prostate, breast and ovarian cancer. Cow’s milk contains a very powerful growth hormone, insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF- I). IGF-I is identical in humans and cows, and this hormone has been identified as a key factor in tumor growth. Poor absorption of lactose more then doubles the risk of ovarian cancer in women. There is a lot of scientific research out there, just Google it.
5. Got Pus? The USDA’s limit for pus cells in 1 liter of milk is 750 million pus cells. GROSS! Every wonder why so many people have stank breath and excess mucus? This could be a reason. Between the pus and bacteria and the fact that most of us cannot properly digest milk, it makes sense.
6. Hormones. Many people have argued that young ladies are developing quicker due to growth hormones found in our food, specifically meat and dairy products. Bovine growth hormone (rBGH) is used to stimulate a much higher than normal milk production in heifers. Not only could this be related to premature development of young women, this also causes severe stress on heifers that results in mastitis, an infection of the udders of sick and stressed cows.
7. Antibiotics. What do you think they use to cure mastitis? You guessed it, antibiotics. No wonder many of us are immune to a lot of antibiotics prescribed to us. This doesn’t sound natural at all.
8. Greenhouse Gasses. Drinking milk also adds to greenhouse gases, which increase the temperature of the Earth. Cows emit significant amounts of methane when they fart. Methane is a greenhouse gas that is about twenty times more potent than carbon. One of the best ways to cut your greenhouse gas emissions is by going plant-based & dairy-free. That’s right. I said cow farts.
9. Heart Disease. Guess what the number one form of heart disease is? Coronary artery disease. This is due to LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) build up in your arteries that turns to plaque. Your body gains extra cholesterol from the foods you eat, especially meat, eggs and dairy products. Milk isn’t sounding that good right now.
10. Animal welfare. A cow’s natural lifespan is about 25 years, but cows used by the dairy industry are killed after only four or five years. An industry study reports that by the time they are killed, nearly 40 percent of dairy cows are lame because of the intensive confinement, the filth, and the strain of being almost constantly pregnant and giving milk. Dairy cows’ bodies are turned into soup, companion animal food, or low-grade hamburger meat because their bodies are too “spent” to be used for anything else. This is just sad.
Animals do not have a voice. It is our responsibility to have one for them.
“I am in favor of animal rights as well as human rights. That is the way of a whole human being.” -Abraham Lincoln
Great news!! Going dairy-free couldn’t be easier! There are so many great dairy substitutes today that actually taste great! For cheese products and pizza I recommend Daiya, for non-dairy milk, ice creams and yogurts you can’t go wrong with Silk or So Delicious.
Funny bit of information. The Got Milk? Campaign is no more as of this year- there is a new one in the works. Check out how much it costs here.
Will you try going dairy-free? Drop me a line I’d like to hear your take on this!
2 American Journal of Epidemiology, 1999;150