For years, people around the world have been told about the importance of drinking milk. Between federal funded “got milk?” ads and doctors reminding patients to drink their daily glass of milk — people all over the world are being brainwashed into the idea that milk is essential for their life.
But the shocking truth is: we shouldn’t be drinking milk
Doctors and ads claim that milk is essential to any diet as it’s fortified vitamin D, calcium, and potassium, as well as 8 grams of protein per glass. But the fact is there are so many other ways to get these different vitamins and minerals that don’t involve hurting a cow, or damaging your body in the process.
The best option for vitamin D is to simply go out into the sun, as just consuming foods with Vitamin D isn’t sufficient for the body (although this source is only sufficient in certain locations in certain times of the year). As for calcium, seeds, almonds, beans, and leafy greens like spinach and kale are a great source and are very accessible. As well, spinach, and sunflower seeds, along with bananas, avocados, and watermelon, offer plenty of potassium.
All health benefits on humans aside, think about the effects on cows. Almost every source that discourages drinking milk mentions the fact that female cows are abused almost everyday, from living in terrible conditions or being impregnated for milk production.
Cows are also injected with a genetically modified growth hormone called rBGH, which according to the American Nutrition Association, contains cancer risks for humans. This hormone is banned in Europe and other countries like Japan, Australia, and Japan for health risks.
The one positive is the hormone is only used in a few brands such as Lucerne, Sorrento, and Parmalat. Plus milk cartons that don’t include rBGH state on the package that the product is “free of growth hormones”.
Everyone knows that almost all mammals produce milk, but did you know we are the only species in the world (or only mammal) that drinks other mammals’ milk? It doesn’t make sense that an animal would steal another’s milk when they have their own; but that’s what humans do. We also know that it’s unnatural to drink our own mother’s milk past a young age.
Beyond infancy, drinking milk is unnatural. Our bodies begin to produce something that fights against lactose and can no longer break it down in the same way we do with our mother’s milks — but we continue to drink it. Cows are 90+ pounds heavier than humans are at birth and cow’s milk is very different to the composition of human’s milk — but we continue to drink it.
While some people may not believe they are lactose intolerant, everyone is — on different levels. In some cases, lactose may simply cause inflammation in joints, instead of the usual stomachache.
According to Genetics Home Reference, 65% of the world’s population is lactose intolerant. That’s around 5 BILLION people worldwide. And that’s simply the recorded people; there could be hundreds of thousands of people in the world you have a slight intolerance, but not enough to go to the doctors.
Sure there are plenty of brands offering “lactose free” milk, but many people switch to plant-based milks (or mylks) instead for both the health and ethical benefits. If there’s a nut out there, there’s most likely a milk for it; the most popular being almond, coconut, rice, soy, and oat — but even pistachios and hazelnuts can be made into milks, ice cream, and creamers.
The reality is, our bodies are not made to drink milk — we are physically unable to digest lactose — but push through it out of convenience. Others may not be able to financially afford it, but so many more stores, not just Whole Foods, have begun to carry dairy-free options at a more affordable price
You can also make your own dairy-free delights — there are plenty of recipes only to make simple and delicious dairy-free alternatives to everyday items.
While the switch from cow’s milk to non-dairy milk seems to be an ongoing fight, non-dairy milk sales has increased an impressive 61% from 2012 to 2017. But sales for flavored cow’s milk has increased 18% from 2012 to 2017, which delivers not only lactose but a heaping dose of sugar.
The good news is that people over the world are moving towards non-dairy milk over cow’s milk, but not fast enough. Not enough people are educated about the effects of cow’s milk on the cows, the environment, and our body’s. And in order to educate, we as a people need to be more open minded when it comes to alternatives to our daily glass of delicious milk.