Firstly, I would like to thank any dairy lovers for reading this. I really admire an inquisitive and open mind.
So, why don’t vegans consume milk and cheese?
This is something I didn’t understand at all when I was a meat eater. I thought it was not harming the cow to milk them, they had a much longer life than beef cows and as long as they had a nice life and were organically fed then why not drink their milk and its products? Having educated myself more on this matter I now realise I couldn’t have been more wrong.
After watching a few documentaries and undercover camera programmes I am now horrified at the industry. In fact, I would go as far to say I think dairy is very harmful for us to consume and it causes some of the worst suffering we put on animals. If I had to be a farmed animal, I would be a beef cow over a dairy cow any day.
Having said this, whenever I failed at eating a plant-based diet, it is usually with cheese. I then spend days feeling both morally guilty and physically sluggish and tired too.
This probably makes no sense to you after what you just read. ‘Why would she ever eat cheese when she thinks it’s so bad?’ Well, there is a reason that I find cheese the hardest thing to give up. The reason is casein. Casein is found in all dairy products but particularly high levels are found in cheese. Casein triggers the brains opioid receptors and this is highly linked to addiction. So yes, I am literally struggling with the remains of a casein/dairy addiction.
Health implications of dairy
Let me now tell you a little more about the health implications of dairy.
There have been many, peer reviewed, scientific studies showing that dairy is linked to ovarian and prostate cancers and many other health issues such as acne. It also has an extremely high amount of saturated fat, which is linked to heart disease.
Cow’s milk is made for baby cows to help a small calf turn into a 300-pound cow in just a few months, are we therefore really surprised that it can promote growths and cancerous tumours in our bodies? It is also full of strong hormones and antibiotics.
‘But wait’, you say, ‘I have read studies saying that dairy is healthy’, and you would be right. I did too and it confused me at first … but then I looked at who sponsored these studies. You guessed it, the dairy industries. These industries, as you can imagine have a large bias towards a certain outcome and so any study done or sponsored by them is highly likely to show them in a positive light and so I believe can’t be trusted.
‘But don’t we need calcium for our bones?’, I hear you all ask. Well yes, we do need calcium, but the plant-based world is full of it. Leafy green vegetables, figs and almonds are all great sources. Also, eating dairy may actually not be such an efficient way to get calcium as studies have shown the countries with higher amounts of dairy consumption also have the highest levels of osteoporosis. Most humans are also born lactose intolerant but we ignore the small signs and continue to drink milk, eat cheese and yoghurt because we have been programmed into thinking it is healthy for us.
The human body has NO need for milk or its products after the age of three and before then it is only a mother’s milk that is needed. It is the most unnatural thing to drink and eat the secretions of a cow. It gets worse when you think about the fact that cows are so intensively milked they often get blisters, soars and infections on their udders and the suction cups don’t discriminate so all that blood and puss gets sucked into the milk that you drink. Now, it is pasteurised so it won’t harm you… but it will still be in there. So, when you say vegan cheese is disgusting, just remember when we eat cow’s cheese we are drinking and eating cow puss, 400 million sematic cells ae allowed in a Litre of milk!
I could go on forever about the health benefits of leaving dairy out of your diet but this information alone wasn’t enough to stop me going back for a cheesy slice of pizza. It was the cruelty that made me really re address my diet.
In retrospect, my own ignore is embarrassing but I had never really thought about the fact that cows had to be pregnant or have recently given birth to produce milk, as obvious as it sounds. So, in order for a dairy cow to produce milk we have to keep her pregnant and lactating. Cows are made pregnant in a few different ways but most commonly they are either repeatedly artificially inseminated or put into holding equipment (some call it a ‘rape rack’) whilst the farmer brings in a horny bull to impregnate her. Now, I understand that some animals rape each other in the wild but surely this is not something we humans should condone or enforce?
When she is impregnated she holds her baby for nine months, just as we do. During this time they also become attached to their baby, just as we do. When the baby is born they are taken from their mothers within the first few days (this is to stop the baby calf stealing the milk that we want); the mothers are almost always devastated. It is not uncommon for female cows to scream out for hours or even days for their lost baby and some even stand in the exact same spot of the field where their child was taken and cry out for over a week before accepting that their child is gone. Farmers have reported that cows have a wide range of emotions with one farmer even saying he has seen them actually cry tears when he took their babies away.
The real horror is that this will happen to her again and again until the days she dies, all just so we can have her milk.
If she has a baby boy the industry often deems it useless, as it won’t produce milk. Therefore, it is either killed at a slaughter house for veal or killed onsite and it’s little body dumped. If the baby is a girl she will have the same fate as her mother, impregnated against her will, then sucked dry of all her milk. This will happen again and again to mother and daughter until their bodies can’t deal with it anymore (dairy cows only live about a 1/ 3 of their natural lives) and then either they will collapse with fatigue or get nasty infections from the hormones and constant milking that we force on them. At this point they are pushed on to trucks and taken to a horrific death in a slaughter house to be cut up for cheap meat. The dairy industry is the meat industry. Dairy cows will be impregnated over and over until their bodies give up and then they are killed, rather than beef cows who are just raised in a field and then killed… now do you see why I would choose to be a beef cow over a dairy one?
For anyone who thinks a slaughter house can kill ‘humanely’ think again.
They have to secure the cow into a very small holding pen where she cannot move then they stun her, which often doesn’t kill her before they hang them upside down and cut their throats. All of this is happening whilst the other cows are watching as they are pushed single file down a short barrier to their inevitable death. They do not however just accept their fate. They usually scream, jump and struggle to get out. It is heart breaking to see and know that no matter how hard they fight, none will escape this horrific scene. It is worse than any horror film you have watched and it is happening every day to millions of animals. Yet we think it is acceptable just because they look different to us. They still have a heart, feel fear and want to live… it is not right.
Watch any slaughter house footage on YouTube and then decide if it’s humane. It is very easy to say that these clips only show the worst of what happened but there are millions of them and they are all terrified. There is a reason farmers don’t bring out a retaliation video of humane slaughter in abattoirs… it is because ‘humane’ slaughter doesn’t exist.
I know going vegan feels like a big transition but believe it is the right decision. I hope this has made you think about looking into plant based milk, yogurts and cheeses. There are so many to choose from. If you need some ideas or direction, I love almond milk, coconut yoghurt and Voilife’s ‘original cheese.’
Thank you for reading this blog. I think we should all be more aware of what our choices are doing to others. We all deserve to know the truth.
If you have 5 minutes watch this very quick link explaining more on the dairy industry.
I would also highly recommend the film ‘Land of Hope and Glory’ by Earthling Ed on YouTube, which is a documentary of undercover workers in farms and slaughter houses that are marked organic, free range, red tractor approved and even RSPCA approved, in the UK.
As with anything I write, I always do a lot of research on the subject first but if you believe anything I have written here to be incorrect please get in touch and let me know so I can ensure it’s always spot on and the absolute truth.