Updated: Jun 26, 2020
This is another one of those misguided beliefs that has been so ingrained into us, that we reject any possibility that it's a lie.
The 3 stages of truth was first observed by Arthur Schopenhauer when he said “All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.”
"But a cow's job is to provide milk. That's what cows do, because they are cows."
It is quite surprising that so many people actually believe the above statement to be true. I am not mocking anyone. The truth has been hidden from the public and the lies have been spun for so long, that it's hard to believe anything else.
So why do cows produce milk? Think about it logically. How do humans or any other mammal produce milk? When they are pregnant and give birth!
Cows do not produce milk when they have not had a calf.
How is it they can keep producing so much milk? They are artificially inseminated on a contraption called the 'rape rack'. Dairy cows are forced to be pregnant, year in year out, till they are spent. after 4-5 years, then they are sent to slaughter and sold for cheap meat, even if they are pregnant. Their babies are taken away from them within 36 hours of being born, most of the time it is much earlier. The connection between the mother and her calf is strong from birth and this separation causes them much anguish. The male calves are of no monetary value to the industry. Some are kept for veal and the rest are killed.
Now, let's go back to dairy milk. Why do we believe that we need it? We need to look back in history.
Milk has been around for several thousands of years. An "official" version states that it happened around 10,000 years ago. As nomadic tribes settled down and turned to agriculture and inevitably animal domestication. Although it may have begun much earlier than this.
Ancient Egyptians also used milk, though it was reserved for royalty, the very wealthy and priests.
In Western Europe, sheep and cows were milked by 5th century AD. Cow's milk became more popular by the 14th century. Though it was not drunk as a beverage. With water being unsafe to drink, beer, cider, ale, whiskey and wine were common beverages of choice at the time.
The widespread drinking of milk, didn't happen till the 19th century in the U.S & Europe. Although the main consumers of fresh milk were babies. Unlike butter and cheese, they have a longer history. These primarily came about as a way to preserve milk for longer. Just like meat was salted, vegetables were pickled and jams were made from fruit. All these processes were the only way to preserve food trough the winter months and times of bad harvest, at the time.
We have come a long way since then and we have the benefit of refrigeration now.
However infant mortality started to rise, as the production of milk was moving further away from the actual source.
Humans being what they are, profit came first, and the milk was often mixed with chalk. And also contamination from bacteria was an issue. Until pasteurisation machines were introduced in 1895.
It was also around this time that temperance groups were trying to encourage people to stop drinking alcohol and there was a growing interest in health. Hence the idea that milk was the purest form of nutrition. Especially for the sick.
In the 1920's the farming & the medical communities, together with government, jointly promoted the nutritional benefits of milk. A lot of money was to be made from this industry.
That is a very brief history of milk. We know today, that milk is far from the perfect food for humans. After the age of weaning, we lose the ability to breakdown lactose (the sugar found in milk).
Dairy consumption does not build strong bones. The truth is, dairy is highly acidic for our bodies. Our bodies counteract this acidity, by drawing calcium (as it is alkaline) from our bones to neutralise the acidity. This means that our bones become more brittle through this process.
A study published in March 2012, in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, revealed that milk DID NOT help to strengthen the bones of almost 80,000 people involved in the study over a 18 year period. Milk has always been sold to the public as being a key factor in strong bones yet there is no evidence to show this to be true, but plenty of evidence to show how powerful corporate lobbying can be in shaping public opinion.
Dairy also accounts for the rise of osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, inflammation, several cancers, heart disease, acne, eczema, psoriasis, just to name a few.
Cholesterol from animal products is the biggest contributor to heart disease, as it destroys the inner lining of arteries. This stops arteries from releasing a gas that is produced when trying to break down cholesterol. When this builds up, it will eventually lead to a heart attack.
75% of the world's population, don't have the genetic ability to break down lactose (lactose intolerance). This creates digestive issues like cramping, indigestion, cramping, diarrhea, etc.
Raw milk is better, however, it is still not healthy. We don't need it. Exception may be made if you are stuck in the wild somewhere and need to survive. However, most of us are not in that situation.
We do need calcium and there are plenty of plant sources of calcium, that are beneficial for us, plus the calcium will be in a bio-available form that the body will recognise. Foods like kale, spinach, sesame seeds, quinoa, etc. Doing a search for plant sources of calcium, will reveal a diverse list.