Let me ask you. Is it true? Is cows milk bad for you?
When it comes to cows milk, there is so much controversy. Just Google it and you see what I mean. Milk is a staple for most of us. A part of our daily routine.
It never crossed my mind to question dairy products before I became interested in Veganism. After learning more about the milk industry, I could no longer look at it in the same way.
Even though it really shocked me, don’t think that it stopped me to no longer consume dairy products.
Removing meat from my diet, easy. But dairy? It is so much harder. When I think about meat, I can relate to bones and flesh and it is just gross (at least for me)!
But dairy products? They are so delicious and nothing would make me more happy than proving that all products are derived from happy laughing cows. But let’s not be ignorant and check some facts.
Do we know how milk is produced? Is milk consumption linked to health problems? Are there other facts that we should keep in mind? And are there alternatives that can be considered?
Let’s have a look into this further and see what is really behind.
This question might sound silly, but do we ever ask ourselves from where we get our precious milk?
For a cow to produce milk, she has to give birth to a calf. An average cow delivers one calf per year to keep up with the milk production for 10 months.
But what happens after the cow gave birth? Mostly, just a few hours later the calf will be removed and the milk supposed for the calf will be used for milk production instead.
Is the calf male, it is simply worthless for the dairy industry and it will be either shot or sent to a slaughterhouse for veal production.
Being weak, anxious and exhausted a calf might be only one week old when it is transported long distances to the slaughterhouse where his short life ends.
Is it a female calf, the future does not look much brighter. It will be brought up to become a dairy cow for the next few years.
After 3 months of giving birth, the mother cow will be artificially impregnated again. This circle will be repeated all over again until the cow is no longer able to produce enough milk.
You can only imagine what a stress this causes for the cows and their babies.
A cow usually can become 20 years old, giving milk for about 8-9 years.
However, under these circumstances they are usually dropping milk production by around 3-5 years.
As thank you they are shipped off to the slaughterhouse for meat making.
Most of the cows are living in horrible circumstances and many of them will never touch grass in their lives. So I am asking you, being aware of this, are you okay with it?
Milk was always considered as nutritious and especially beneficial for bones due to the high calcium share.
However, some researches show that it is actually the other way around. Rather, than preventing the disease, the risk of getting osteoporosis may be increased by milk consumption. It is also said that it might be linked to other illnesses like heart disease, diabetes, cancer etc.
If you want to learn more about health concerns in relation to milk or other animal-based foods, watch Forks over Knives. The documentary shows how diseases can be controlled or reversed by removing dairy, meat and processed foods.
Lactose intolerance in adulthood is very common. In fact up to 70% of people are lactose intolerant. Our body has problems to properly digest the lactose in milk. The most common signs are bloating, cramps, diarrhea, gas or naeseau.
Have you ever asked yourself if it might be unnatural that we are the only species who is drinking non-human, dairy milk beyond our infant age?
Luckily nowadays there are plenty of alternatives to substitute cows milk. Due to the high demand of vegan products more brands in different flavors are available than ever.
Find below some of the most known milk alternatives:
- Soy Milk – considered as the most popular non-dairy substitute. Also, nutrient benefits are most similar to cows milk.
- Almond Milk – you guess it -made from almonds and water. Has a light texture and is one of the lowest-calorie non-dairy milks.
- Cashew Milk – one of the newer variations. Made from Cashews and water. Creamy, low in calories and in protein.
- Hemp Milk – made from water and shelled hemp seeds. Bonus are added omega-3 fatty acids. However, taste might not be for everyone.
- Coconut Milk – has the lowest protein and carbohydrate content of the non-dairy milks.
- Rice Milk – has a less creamy texture and contains the highest carbohydrates from all.
- Oat Milk – made from oats and water. Is naturally sweet and mild in flavor.
There is no ideal milk for everyone. Try different tastes and brands and see what works best for you.
Most important read labels and make sure that you chose unsweetened options without added sugars.
Also, most milk alternatives are fortified with vitamins. Especially look out for calcium and vitamin b12 enrichment.
Is cows milk bad for you?
Weigh in all factors and see what makes most sense to you. Most importantly, do your research! There might be several reasons why you chose one of the non-diary substitutes over cows milk.
Maybe you are lactose intolerant. Or you have ethical reasons and health concerns?
Whatever your reason is, fortunately, there are many good alternatives available to us so that you don’t need to feel deprived of milk.
What about you? Do you drink cows milk? Are you considering removing it? Let me know about your thoughts in the comments below!