Humans were taught early to make the shift to drinking milk, cow’s milk that is, as a healthy habit from the time they are weaned. There was never a reason to doubt the wisdom behind that ‘healthy practice.’ The belief that cow’s milk and all things dairy are healthful for humans was even reinforced by USDA’s 2005 dietary guidelines that recommended increasing the number of servings from two to three cups per day.
To say otherwise so that people will stop taking dairy is a challenge, but there are good reasons why the word must be shared. To say the least, consuming dairy is not healthy for humans, it is a nightmare for the cows and it is an unsustainable practice for the environment.
Why is it not healthy for humans? There is no doubt that nature made the cow’s milk as a perfect food for the calf, but not for humans. Conversely, humans are not nature-designed to consume cow’s milk nor the dairy products derived from it – cheese, sour cream, ice cream and yogurt. Do you know that cow’s milk and human milk has very different chemical make-up? With regards the calcium, it is still best sourced from plants because calcium from cow’s milk can make the blood acidic. To balance the blood pH, calcium is leached from the bones increasing the risk for osteoporosis. Further, with the current biotech methods, humans are getting cow’s milk that is heavily laden with bio-engineered drugs such as hormones, antibiotics, and pesticides.
Why is dairy industry a nightmare for cows? If cows can speak, they will express disdain with the way they are abused just to produce more milk. For the cattle to be stimulated to lactate they are repeatedly impregnated, their calves are taken somewhere else so that humans can harvest and consume the milk. Once their bodies grew weary of the vicious cycle, they are slaughtered and ground to yet serve one last purpose, as hamburger to satiate human craving.
Why is raising cow for milk or beef an environmental threat? Cows produce horrendous excreta daily; something like 120 pounds a day that is nearly equivalent to wastes of 24 humans. The total population of cows in the planet intended to produce dairy and beef account to about 18% of the planet’s CO2. Thus, cow exploitation is a staggering source of greenhouse gases that’s even higher than the CO2 emissions from all forms of transportation in the globe combined.
It is time for people to ask themselves why the environment has to be sacrificed for cow’s milk and dairy products that are not even good for humans. That is why it is imperative that information about dairy is shared. Hopefully, such sharing will motivate people to live healthier, more ecologically sound, dairy-free lives.