8 Reasons to go dairy free
I’ve been vegan for 7 years now and I’ve never felt, looked or performed better in my life. You can read more about my personal story here, but for now, I’ve listed 8 reasons you absolutely must cut dairy out of your diet and life. Check out my 8 reasons to go dairy free below this video.
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1. Cow’s milk is intended for baby cows.
We’re the only species (other than those we are domesticating) that drinks milk after infancy. And, we’re definitely the only ones drinking the milk of a different species.
2. Dairy contains hormones
Naturally-present hormones in cow’s milk stronger than human hormones. Moreover, cows are routinely given steroids and other hormones to plump them up and increase milk production. These hormones can negatively impact humans’ delicate hormonal balance. The reasons to go dairy free are not just ethical, but also health-related.
3. Cows are fed nasty food
Commercial feed for cows contains all sorts of ingredients that include: genetically-modified (GM) corn, GM soy, animal products, chicken manure, cottonseed, pesticides, and antibiotics.
4. Dairy products are acidic.
Our bodies are constantly striving for biochemical balance to keep our blood at 7.365 pH.
Eating excessive acid-forming products can cause our bodies to overuse some of its acid-balancing mechanisms, one of which is the bones. Alkaline calcium is stored in the bones and released to combat excessive acidity in the body. Over time, bones can become fragile. That is why the countries with the highest consumption of dairy products also have the highest rates of osteoporosis.
5. Ethics & Animal Cruelty
Most dairy cows live in confined, inhumane conditions, never seeing the pastures of green grass they were intended to eat. Here are some of the ethical/animal rights related reasons to go dairy free
- Due to extensive biological manipulation, today’s dairy cows produce up to 12 times more milk than they would naturally produce to feed a calf
- Trapped in a cycle of forced impregnation, perpetual lactation and near constant confinement, most dairy cows’ overworked bodies begin producing less milk at around 4 to 5 years of age, at which point they are slaughtered. In natural conditions, cows can live 20 to 25 years
- Of the 9 million dairy cows in the U.S., 3 million are slaughtered each year at only a fraction of their natural lifespan. (8) Their worn out bodies become ground beef and restaurant hamburgers.
- 97% of newborn dairy calves are forcibly removed from their mothers within the first 24 hours
- On so-called humane dairy farms, cows are often taken within the first hour of birth as separation of mother and calf is considered less stressful when they have not been allowed to bond
- Over 90% of U.S. dairy cows are confined in primarily indoor operations, with more than 60% tethered by the neck inside barren stalls, unable to perform the most basic behaviors essential to their well-being
- To keep them lactating at maximum yields, cows are artificially and repeatedly and forcibly impregnated year after year. The constant cycle of forced pregnancy and birth creates a huge surplus of calves.
- Some female calves will join the milking herd. They typically spend the first 2 to 3 months of life confined in lonely hutches, fed a diet of milk replacer while humans drink the milk intended for them
- The males will be sold for veal.
Most people don’t make the connection between veal and reasons to go dairy free, but the truth is, the veal industry would not exist without the dairy industry
Whether on factory farms, “family” farms, or small, humane-certified farms, male calves and surplus females are sold to be slaughtered for veal or cheap beef. Male calves born of dairy cows are ..
“Cruelty Free or Humane” myth
The following “high welfare” slaughter of “humanely-raised, pastured” dairy calves was openly filmed for public television.
7. Cow’s don’t actually “need to be milked”
People often reason that “cows need to be milked” as a reason not to go vegan.
When a human mother gives birth to a child… does she explode if she’s unable to breastfeed? Is the world filled with combustible women ready to burst from the breast outwards? No! In fact, the use of wet nurses has been a common practice for centuries around the world.
While new mothers may experience discomfort when they first stop breastfeeding, their milk eventually dries up, explosion-free. And they go on with their lives. Humans and cows are both mammals, along with many others who breastfeed their newborns. Does a fox explode when we don’t milk them? How about a dog?
Like any species, it is usually the job of the offspring to do the milking, not a third party syndicate waiting to sell your bodily fluids to fully-grown beings.
8. The amount of money the government spends to promote the dairy industry
I don’t know about you, but any time I see huge amounts of money poured into lobbying, I can’t help but feel a little suspicious. At least enough to do further research.
Think about how many nation-wide and state-sponsored campaigns we saw growing up that told us that milk made our bones strong. Milk is one of the foods given away at schools as part of free lunch programs. And if you think that the government is genuinely interested in providing milk to students for any positive benefits, note the picture on the left.
PS, The Trump administration is scaling back school meal nutritional requirements set by the Obama White House in 2012. It essentially allows them to provide higher sodium, more processed and less healthy food.
Ever wonder why school lunches are pushing sweetened milk? Or why fast-food restaurants suddenly offer concoctions like pizza with “40 percent more cheese”? You can thank the dairy checkoff, a USDA-supervised system under which dairy producers pay into a kitty to promote their industry. The checkoff’s marketing arm, Dairy Management Inc., runs “programs aimed at promoting dairy consumption and protecting the good image of dairy farmers, dairy products and the dairy industry.”
Additionally, check out this article about the school lunch program in India. It is the largest such program in the world. Students are served nutritious vegetarian meals of rice, vegetables, legumes and fresh breads. The free meal is the reason why many impoverished parents take extra effort to send their children to school, even in the most difficult circumstances.
Moreover, the USDA-managed programs spend $550 million annually on pushing animal products. Each dollar spent boosts sales by an average of $8, for an annual total of $4.6 billion in government-backed sales of meat, dairy, and eggs.
The U.S. government also spends more than $30 billion in subsidies for animal products. The number spent on fruit and vegetables pales.
In the 2013-14 school year, more than $20 million taxpayer dollars were spent directly by USDA on dairy product subsidies that went into child nutrition programs—including school lunches—but that doesn’t include reimbursements which would be much more. And in the upcoming the Child Nutrition Reauthorization Act, the groups want to ensure that milk is required with each meal.
Luckily, it has never been easier to go dairy-free!
I hope these reasons to go dairy free resonated with you. With an abundance of plant milks to choose from there’s really no excuse. My favorites are almond, cashew, organic soy, coconut, rice and oat milk. If you can choose an option that is cruelty free and does not permit the exploitation of animals, why wouldn’t you?
Watch my video on how to make coconut cream from scratch. Or, maybe you’d like to try a recipe for raw vegan coffee-caramel ice cream. No sugar, no additives, nothing but raw, plant foods!
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GIVEAWAY: Raw vegan Ice cream sandwiches
I’ve teamed up with Freedom Pizza in Dubai to giveaway 20x vouchers for Coco Yogo Raw vegan ice cream sandwiches. Check out my taste test and review video here.
To enter the competition, visit the giveaway post on my Instagram here.