Eating dairy is weird, dude. Like think about it. I know, I know, most of us grew up eating dairy and seeing those “Got Milk” ads all over, so it’s hard to undue that way of thinking. But let’s question the status quo and challenge what we’ve all been taught (or not taught) about the dairy industry.
If you’re looking to ditch dairy or you’re just curious to see what it’s all about, keep reading for 6 reasons why you should stop eating dairy for your health, the animals, and for our planet.
You are not a baby cow
This one’s pretty straight forward. A cow’s milk is for calves, a cat’s milk is for kittens, and a human’s milk is for human babies. You wouldn’t see a baby lion trying to nurse from a giraffe, right? Also, you’re 25 years old, you don’t need to be drinking breast milk anyway. Especially breast milk from a different species. Which leads me to my next point..
Related: 10 Reasons to Go Cruelty-Free
Adult humans were not made to digest milk
I’m super into science, particularly evolution, and I was pleased to see that every single evolution book I’ve ever read has talked about the oddities of eating dairy and the horrors of modern animal agriculture.
Human adults were not meant to drink milk. Milk contains a sugar called lactose. And babies produce a special enzyme called lactase to digest the lactose in the mother’s milk. After children are weaned off of milk, most stop producing this enzyme making us unable to digest milk.
Drinking milk started around 7,500 years ago in central Europe. They basically persevered through their bodies normal milk intolerance which resulted in a genetic change that allowed for “lactase persistence”, aka now being able to digest milk well into adulthood. Which is why certain parts of the world have higher rates of lactose intolerance than others.
The inhumane treatment of dairy cows
I will never forget when someone once told me that cows liked being milked and that it was good for them. This is an unfortunate misconception that people tell themselves to help put distance between the milk in their glass and the abuse these cows face.
Female cows spend their short 5 years of life, (their natural lifespan being 20), being impregnated with a “rape rack”, having their calves taken away the second that they’re born, and the breastmilk used for human consumption rather than food for her babies. And the process repeats until she is sent off to be slaughtered.
It has what in it?
This is what actually turned me from vegetarian to vegan when I found out about this. Hormones, pus, you name it, it’s in that tall glass of milk you just drank.
You can get calcium from different sources
One cup of milk has 300 milligrams of calcium. Some easy dairy-free swaps you can make include:
- Calcium fortified almond milk | 450mg per 1 cup
- Calcium fortified soy milk | 300mg per 1 cup
- Tofu | 434mg per 1/2 cup
- Spinach | 245mg per 1 cup cooked
So many other dairy-free options
So many non-dairy options have sprung up these past couple of years. Why still eat dairy when there are shelves full of better alternatives?
My favorite cheese alternatives include
- Violife for blocks and shredded
- Myokos for “fancy” cheese
- Kite Hill for cream cheese
- Follow Your Heart for parmesan
My favorite milk alternatives include
My favorite ice cream alternatives include
A final note..
So what are you waiting for? With dairy-free living becoming more and more mainstream, now is the time to make the switch. The animals, your health, and the planet will surely thank you.
Continue Reading: 10 Things You Should Know Before Going Vegan