Updated: Sep 27, 2018
by David Hewitt
In northern Ohio, a local dairy has been running a local billboard campaign that shows a cartoon image of a teenager’s over-sized foot in a trainer, while the caption reads that their particular milk “grows giants.”
That this image looks more freakish than it does enticing is quite ironic. For decades now, especially so in the West, the dairy industry has been constantly pushing the myth that milk is good for health, helps kids grow, strengthens bones and is intrinsically a common-good thing.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Dairy milk is neither good for human health and its production is morally repugnant. The on-going fixation that so many humans have with it, driven by the dairy industry is, well, freakish.
Note: For the purpose of the article, I will be focusing on cow’s milk, but for the record, the same also applies to the consumption of any other animal’s milk. It’s just that the sheer enormity of cow’s milk production and consumption that warrants the focus of this article.
The fact that we are the only species that looks to use the milk of other mammals the way we do, is bizarre. And why cows? Why not dogs? Or rats? Centuries of social conditioning and more recent multi-million pound advertising campaigns have conditioned large swathes of us to accept that consuming cow’s milk is entirely natural when it is actually the diametric opposite.
So, first up, let’s break down the illusion of cow’s milk being healthy for us.
The primary purpose of cow’s milk is to very quickly turn a small calf into a near ton cow in about a year. That alone should set off alarm bells. Similarly, you wouldn’t put jet fuel in a moped. It simply just doesn’t belong there.
Further, it is a lie perpetuated by the dairy industry that dairy milk is a good way to ingest calcium. Sure, there is calcium in dairy milk. However, the pasteurization process applied to milk removes the enzymes that allow human to digest the calcium – it’s there, it just can’t be digested. A fact the dairy industry is in no rush to broadcast any time soon.
The steady emergence of a procession of diseases and illnesses attributable to dairy milk consumption makes worrying reading. Laced with cholesterol and saturated fat, dairy milk is a bad deal when it comes to problems like weight gain, diabetes, coronary heart disease and even aggravating acne. Evidence is also starting to emerge of milk posing a threat by way of increasing the risk of prostrate cancer in men and ovarian cancer in women. Source
Unfortunately, the bad health news for dairy milk doesn’t stop there either. Mass produced milk is very likely to contain the delights of both antibiotics and hormones. The antibiotics are given to the cows to try and stop them getting sick because of the squalid conditions they produce milk in, while hormones are added to boost production and reduce fear in the cows (funny how that has to be a consideration for such an animal friendly industry…) Antibiotics and hormones are not used sparingly on the cows and consequently end up in their milk. Yum.
While the health problems caused by milk should be of concern enough, the morality of exploiting cows for their milk is equally as troubling.
The dairy industry has for years peddled the myth that the production of milk is somehow harmless to the cows. This is profoundly not so and is as utterly invidious. Dairy cows are not only kept in cramped stalls with no chance for exercise, they are also kept in a perpetual state of lactation. And to do that, they are forcibly impregnated so as to stay pregnant so as to produce milk. Source
This is how far the dairy industry has allowed the bulk of public consciousness to almost subconsciously accept that cows are simply perpetual milk production machines. Further, almost laughably if it wasn’t so saddening, that by milking them, we are somehow doing the cow a favour.
Note to believers of that: not repeatedly forcibly impregnating the cows in the first instance is a way bigger favour.
The same cow that has just given birth is shortly thereafter impregnated again and the whole sorry, miserable process starts up all over again and over again. That is until such time as the continually pregnant cow becomes exhausted by the whole ghoulish milk producing merry-go-round, is unable to breed and / or lactate any further, and is then slaughtered as she has become useless.
Fun (sorry, I meant “utterly harrowing”) fact: the natural life expectancy of a cow is 20-25 years. Unless it’s a dairy production cow. Then it’s four to five.
To add to that moral repugnancy and the enormous fabric of deceit that the dairy industry weaves its lies into, the impregnated cows ultimately give birth. If the calf is male, it cannot produce milk and is possibly disposed of as it is of no economic value. Source
Or, if the male calf is equally unlucky, it’s used for to become veal. A “veal crate” is something straight out of a mediaeval torturer’s handbook. Designed to keep the calf “tender” and away from the horrors of natural sunlight, veal crates horrifically imprison new born calves, in appallingly cramped conditions, before killing them at about 15 weeks.
In summary, going back to the northern Ohio advert for dairy milk, it produces giants of a kind.
Giant amounts of cruelty, giant health problems and giant moral failures.
Best to give it a miss completely and go vegan.
Still need convincing? Watch this video but be warned ... the truth is graphic