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Drink all of your milk is a phrase many people grew up hearing. Yet evidence increasingly suggests that milk is not as healthy as it has been believed to be. Health conscious people are giving up milk and turning to alternatives. Here are 7 reasons why all of us can consider avoiding cow’s milk:
1) Milk doesn’t keep our bones healthy, preventing fractures and osteoporosis. In fact, according the Nurse’s Health Study, dairy may actually increase the risk of fractures rather than protecting our bones. Countries such as those in Africa and Asia who don’t consume large amounts of dairy actually have the lowest rates of osteoporosis.
2) Milk is not the great source of calcium that most people believe it is. First of all, pasteurizing milk kills all of the nutrients, including calcium. Second, spinach, tahini, kale and other green leafy vegetables are the best sources of calcium on the planet.
3) Milk is has been linked with acne by at least three large-scale studies reported in the American Journal of Dermatology. Research shows that there is up to 44% more chance of developing acne in those who drink milk.
4) Dairy may raise cancer risk. Research has revealed that a higher intake of dairy products may increase a man’s risk of prostate cancer by 30 to 50 percent. In addition, the body’s insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), which is a known cancer promoter is increased by drinking milk.
5) Approximately 75 percent of the world’s population is lactose intolerant, which means that they are unable to fully digest dairy. Lactase is the enzyme needed to digest lactose, and most people stop producing it around the age of 5.
6) Dairy is full of saturated fat and is linked to heart disease. Like cancer, countries such as Japan have a very low level of heart disease, and research commissioned by the New Zealand company A2 shows that there could be a link between a protein in milk.
7) People with many different healthy complaints notice a significant improvement when they avoid dairy. Health complaints associated with dairy intolerance include irritable bowel syndrome, allergies, sinus problems, and ear infections.
So what is the first step in giving up milk? *Get loads of sunshine to ensure plenty of vitamin D. *Start eating masses of green leafy vegetables so you can ensure you are getting your calcium. *Try substituting milk with nut milk. *Many studies show that raw milk (unpasteurized) is far better because the nutrients have not been destroyed. Raw goat’s milk and raw sheep’s milk are both increasingly popular. *Avocado is a wonderful butter substitute. It offers a creaminess that is people who have given up milk miss. Many vegans and raw foodists find that avocado is one of the most essential transition foods. *Coconut butter is another buttery, creamy substitute for those that want to give up milk. Coconut butter is the healthiest oil in cooking. It can also replace butter as a spread and cream in healthy cakes and desserts.
AND NOW FOR THE BEST REASON TO GIVE IT UP Cows produce milk for the same reason that humans do: to nourish their young. In order to force the animals to continue giving milk, factory farm operators typically impregnate them using artificial insemination every year. Calves are generally taken from their mothers within a day of being born—males are destined for veal crates or barren lots where they will be fattened for beef, and females are sentenced to the same fate as their mothers.
After their calves are taken away from them, mother cows are hooked up, several times a day, to milking machines. These cows are genetically manipulated, artificially inseminated, and often drugged to force them to produce about four and a half times as much milk as they naturally would.
Cows Used for Their Milk
Cows produce milk for the same reason that humans do: to nourish their young. In order to force the animals to continue giving milk, factory farm operators typically impregnate them using artificial insemination every year. Calves are generally taken from their mothers within a day of being born—males are destined for veal crates or barren lots where they will be fattened for beef, and females are sentenced to the same fate as their mothers.
After their calves are taken away from them, mother cows are hooked up, several times a day, to milking machines. These cows are genetically manipulated, artificially inseminated, and often drugged to force them to produce about four and a half times as much milk as they naturally would to feed their calves.
Animals are often dosed with bovine growth hormone (BGH), which contributes to a painful inflammation of the udder known as “mastitis.” (BGH is used widely in the U.S. but has been banned in Europe and Canada because of concerns over human health and animal welfare.) According to the industry’s own figures, between 30 and 50 percent of dairy cows suffer from mastitis, an extremely painful condition.
A cow’s natural lifespan is about 25 years, but cows used by the dairy industry are killed after only four or five years. An industry study reports that by the time they are killed, nearly 40 percent of dairy cows are lame because of the intensive confinement, the filth, and the strain of being almost constantly pregnant and giving milk. Dairy cows’ bodies are turned into soup, companion animal food, or low-grade hamburger meat because their bodies are too “spent” to be used for anything else. Veal Calves
Male calves—”byproducts” of the dairy industry—are generally taken from their mothers when they are less than 1 day old. Many are shipped off to barren, filthy feedlots to await slaughter. Others are kept in dark, tiny crates where they are kept almost completely immobilized so that their flesh stays tender. In order to make their flesh white, the calves are fed a liquid diet that is low in iron and has little nutritive value. This heinous treatment makes the calves ill, and they frequently suffer from anemia, diarrhea, and pneumonia.
Frightened, sick, and alone, these calves are killed after only a few months of life so that their flesh can be sold as veal. All adult and baby cows, whether raised for their flesh or their milk, are eventually shipped to a slaughterhouse and killed, mainly for fast food chains and pet food.