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What's Wrong with Milk?

You get the moral issues around meat, but what is the big deal with milk?

· animal agriculture,vegan,nutrition

What's Wrong with Milk?

Milk, cheese, ice cream, (most) chocolate, cakes, puddings, caramel, whipped cream.... oh, I could go on. Why would you 'give it all up?'

As someone who has made the conversion allow me to explain a few things. Let's base this discussion on stating 'facts' and debunking them as myths. Yes, why not. Let's go.

1. But it tastes so good? Why should I give it up? This is subjective. Once you retrain your tastebuds off dairy it doesn't taste so good anymore. It  is actually quite sickening. But you still have to want to get off diary - so read on.

2. We need the calcium and protein. It is natural and good for us. Really? It is 'normal' for an adult human to run around a field suckling off an female cow? The fact that someone else does the milking and puts it in a plastic bottle may 'sanitise' the concept.... but this, at the most basic level what we are doing. There are whole nations that evolved without the consumption of any dairy products (eg Japan, China and other Asian regions) so needing dairy is a myth. (Who tells you that you need dairy? Usually advertisements for diary products - they want your money, they don't care about your health)

3. A cow gives milk - what is the big deal to milk her when she produces milk anyway. Yes a cow produces milk - but just like a human mum she only produces milk after she has had a baby. Dairy cows are manually impregnated by the dairy  farmer for the sole purpose of getting her to produce milk. The calf that is born is nothing but a byproduct of this process. The calf is taken from the mother, usually immediately, so no milk gets 'wasted' on the baby. The cow is then milked dry twice a day for a year - at which point the whole thing is repeated: She is impregnated and produces another calf to ensure optimal milk production. Again it is taken from her immediately. What happens to the babies? The females are usually kept to live the same life as the mother and the male calfs are sent to slaughter either at birth or a few weeks later. (Because dairy cattle are bred to be milkers, not meat, so the male dairy calves have 'no purpose')

4. New born calves are used for veal - and there skin sells at a premium - so they are not wasted. Really? You are not even my friend anymore go away. (I'm sorry but if you think this justifies taking a baby from it's mother and sending it to slaughter then I officially give up with you)

5. But it's hard to give up milk. It's everywhere! Yes it is. But across the board dairy is in 'treat' products. So ultimately you are saying you are willing to support, morally and financially the above practices because you won't 'give up' cakes and ice cream and milk shakes? First world problem honey. And besides - I am vegan and I eat all of these things and more. You can buy vegan cheese and milk and ice cream You can go to vegan restaurants and bakeries You can become a label basher and find everyday products that don't have dairy in them in all aisles of the supermarket - it is not hard, it is a matter of making a commitment to look for alternatives. Consider this fun, and a challenge and also - by all means feel smug as hell about it, knowing that - although the dairy industry thrives for now - you are not supporting it.

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