“Man is the only creature that consumes without producing. He does not give milk, he does not lay eggs, he is too weak to pull the plough, and he cannot run fast enough to catch rabbits. Yet he is lord of all the animals.”
– George Orwell
Maneka Gandhi, the daughter in law of the late Indian Prime minister, Mrs. Indira Gandhi, an India’s famous animal rights activist, stirred a hornet’s nest by speaking out against the consumption of cow’s milk. Her beliefs deeply irritated the sentiments of several hardcore veggies in India.
The real truth about milk:
Human bodies are not designed to drink the milk from other animal species. Dr. Benjamin Spock, America’s leading authority on childcare was one of the first to warn the world against the dangers of consuming cow’s milk.
Consider these cold facts.
- Diary products contain no fiber or complex carbohydrates
- Milk is saturated with fat and cholesterol
- Milk is contaminated with cow’s blood, pus, pesticides, and hormones
- Dairy is linked with allergies, constipation, obesity, heart disease and cancer
- Cow’s milk can cause anemia in children
- Dairy can result in insulin-dependent diabetes in the later years of life
- Diary products actually cause osteoporosis. Chinese women who consume calcium from plant sources have lesser incidents of bone fractures in old age
- Milk has no iron, however it also blocks its absorption
- Milk has less protein than most vegetables
- Milk does not cure peptic ulcer disease. It only offers temporary relief of pain. In the long run milk causes acidity and further destroys the stomach lining
- Milk is carcinogenic. It contains a factor called as IGF-1. All cancer studies show that when IGF-1 rises in the body one gets cancer.
The cows pay a heavy price:
- Cows live for about 25 years and produce milk for about nine years. The stress of the factory farm leads to disease, lameness and reproductive problems and most cows die or are sent to the slaughterhouse in four years.
- In the farm, the cows are hooked by their udders to electronic machines and cows are subject to constant electric shocks. This leads to mastitis.
- They spend their entire lives standing on concrete floors and living conditions are abysmal.
- Cows are genetically manipulated given antibiotics and hormones so that their milk yield increases.
- To see that cows produce milk, they are impregnated. Female calves are either slaughtered or added to the diary herd. The male calves are killed for veal, which is considered to be a meat delicacy.
We need not be slavishly dependent on milk:
There are so many vegan alternatives to dairy products and they are available in all health food stores and supermarkets. There are milk substitutes like Soy, almond and rice milk that are equally tasty and nutritious. There are frozen desserts like Soy Delicious, Tofutti, Rice Dream and fruit sorbets.
References and links:
- Plant Foods and Dairy Products, Am J Clin Nutr 61, suppl 6 (Jun 1995): 1407 S—1415S.
- M. Nestle, Food Lobbies, the Food Pyramid, and U.S. Nutrition Policy, Int J Health Serv 23, no. 3 (1993): 483-96.
- W. C. Willett, Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health, in the Boston Globe, June 8, 1999.