Is Cows Milk Bad For You? Is it true?

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.

Milk production

Is cows milk bad for you?

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?

Health Concerns

Is cows milk bad for you?

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

lactose intolerant

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?


Milk alternative

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?

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!



  1. Great post.
    Good a thing there are alternatives to cow milk.
    Thanks for the information.
    Keep up the good work.

  2. I learned about the dangers of cow milk from a friend who is vegan. It was a choice her family had to make for her husband. He has Chrones and anything animal related flares his symptoms. He’s able to live almost completely symptom-free on a vegan diet.

    I started using soy milk after learning about how bad cow milk can be. Then I learned soy milk can wreak havoc on a woman’s estrogen levels. So I’ve switched to Almond Milk. I’ve never liked milk much anyways. Mostly just use it for cereal and cooking. But I love ice cream!

    • Hello Nicole, sorry to hear that he has Chrones. But amazing what a difference a diet in someones live can make! I can totally relate to your love for ice cream! Same here 😉 Luckily there are also many great vegan versions out there!

  3. I grew up on cow’s milk, so I don’t think it was bad for me then. We never got it from the supermarket because my dad had cows. Every morning, I would watch him milk the cows and oh it was the tastiest milk. These days however, I don’t drink it any more. I’ve had all of the milk alternatives you listed in this post, and I’m hoping to make my own almond milk soon.

  4. I drank cow’s milk for years…Mostly because, I grew up with it and massive advertising, said it was good for you. I eventually realized this wasn’t necessarily true. I get enough calcium from food and I get my milk fix from almonds, these days.

    Any extra cow’s milk for calcium is really overkill.

  5. Omg…you article made me sad and brought tears to my eyes :-(. I am not a meat eater, neither do I use dairy products (I was an ice cream lover once). But reading this just hones in how much I do not miss either of these things. 

    Many years ago when quit eating meat, I remember thinking about many stressed out meat eaters are. But then imagine the stress the poor animal goes through when they are slaughtered. Basically humans eat stressed out meat.

    The same can be said for mother cow who has just given and have their baby taken away from them. They feel emotions just like humans, they don’t let any other calf feed on their milk, except their own. 

    As soon as they give birth they are separated from their calf which induces a stress of its own which is most likely released into the milk. So essentially humans are drinking stressed out milk, which can’t be good for the human body. 

    Thanks for making this visible to others. Great article. 

    • Yes it is really sad 🙁 So true what you are saying about the stressed out animals. I can’t believe that this can be in any way good for humans. Thanks so much for sharing!

  6. It has been so long since we have had cow’s milk, I don’t even know when the last time was. Besides the fact that milk is naturally intended for children, infants and growing people, the fat globals in cow’s milk is much larger than the globals in human milk. That is why if you are going to drink a different type of milk, goat’s milk is much better because the fat globals are the right size and more easily digestible. 

    So, after you can get past that much, then you go on to the process of how cow’s milk is brought to the market place. Let’s just say that the injections that they use on the dairy cows causes the cowes to produce so much milk that the teat canals get infected and then pus gets into the milk because of the infection brought on by the over production of milk. Of course the milk gets homogenized and pasteurized, then you have milk with pus in it that has been pasteurized and homogenized. So, lol, yes cow’s milk is bad for you. 

  7. I did not know how they treat these animals ,makes me feel sad. Recently I started to wean myself off cows milk mainly because of health issues ,I can’t say it’s been easy but I am holding on,my alternative to cows milk has been almond milk,still learning to aquire the taste Lol,but armed with all these information I think I will stick to my decision,thank you very much for your article.

    • Hi Florence, I feel the same way like you. And yes, change is not easy. I have my fair share of struggles too 😉 Just do the best as you can and don’t stress yourself. I am happy if it helped you 🙂 Good luck in your journey!

  8. Thanks Nathalie for a informative article. In fact what i read before i understood cow’s milk is suited to the nutritional needs the calves, who have four stomachs and gain hundreds of pounds in a matter of months after consuming the mothers milk. Cow’s milk does not suit the nutritional needs of humans, so it’s no wonder that consuming it and its derivatives causes us so many problems as you have highlighted.

  9. Hi Nathalie, I and everyone else seems to have grown up on cows milk.
    Thank you especially for explaining how cruel the milk production process. I find it a real turn off how they treat cows and the calves. Do you know is cows milk acidic?
    Do you know the reasons why It is also said that it might be linked to other illnesses like heart disease, diabetes, cancer etc?
    I’ve wondered these things and appreciate you sharing any answers on these.
    Until then, I’m going with the milk alternatives 🙂

    • Hey John, yes indeed and I absolutely agree with you. Milk is acidic. I am no expert, however, I will add a link from someone who knows much more about this topic. It is explained really well and he has some other very valid and shocking points. Just click here. Hope this helps and glad that you stick to the milk alternatives.

  10. Being an animal lover I find it very sad that these cows are being mistreated along with the calf’s. I was marginally aware but did not know it was this bad. I may just switch to almond milk besides I like the taste of almond milk.

    Thanks for sharing

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