The power we hold over others.
Lately I have been doing a lot of research regarding dairy and dairy products and the impact on our health. Before I get into that I must fully disclose that I am not a certified nutritionist and I am not offering nutritional advice. The purpose of this post is to provide information I have gathered and for you to hopefully also do your own research and maybe start questioning why it is we drink and consume milk and milk products.
So what is the purpose of milk? Think about it, what is the purpose of milk in this world? Just like humans, cows produce milk to nurse their babies so they will get the best nutrients available so their babies will grow big and healthy. That’s it! No different than a mom breast feeding her baby. For that calf to grow big and healthy the cow’s milk is high in the hormone estrogen. Another reason why cow’s milk is also high in estrogen is because not long after the cow has given birth, it is artificially inseminated to become pregnant again. Not sure if you knew this, but cows are kept pregnant as long as possible to keep producing milk. Also, when a cow has a baby, the baby is taken away (boy cows are killed and made into veal) otherwise all that good milk the baby drinks won’t be available to see to consumers.
Funny, people are concerned about eating soy raising their estrogen levels but have no issue consuming dairy and dairy products. Hmm.
But wait a minute, dairy is good for us, right? High in calcium, vitamin D and look at all those athletes with milk moustaches telling us how awesome milk is, right? Doctor’s recommend milk for a growing body. Prevent osteoporosis, grow strong bones. Do you know doctors used to smoke and prescribe smoking for health reasons? Yep, they did. We believe everything a doctor tells us which most of us feel we should because they are doctors yet we forget that they are doctors, trained to treat illnesses with drugs and very little training with respect to nutrition.
We believe these things because we have been told them over and over and over. Milk in schools, marketing campaigns, the food triangle, our parents, our friends. Did you know that the dairy industry in the U.S. has the government work on their behalf to increase sales? Wendy’s didn’t come up with the chedder lover’s bacon cheeseburger, the U.S. government did. And it resulted in selling an additional 2.25 million pounds of cheese just during the promotion alone. Same with Subway, Burger King, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, etc. Taco Bell stopped saying ‘Welcome to Taco Bell’ replacing it with ‘Would you like to try a Cascadia today?’
The number 1 addictive food is pizza. Right, because who cannot resist those olives, or onions, or mushrooms. No, it’s the cheese! It’s addictive, isn’t it. I’ll get into that later.
Let’s look at the impact dairy has to our bodies. It’s not pretty. Read this at your own peril, it may change the way you look at dairy, I hope.
- Endometriosis: A very painful condition causing severe abdominal pain and in most cases infertility. Katherine was diagnosed with Endometriosis and told she would never be able to have children. A heart breaking diagnosis. Her doctor told her there was no way to treat it other than a hysterectomy. She asked if it was her diet because lately she was consuming a lot of fast food (loaded with cheese). A friend suggested she try a plant based diet. Katherine did and now is the mother of 2 kids. The doctor claimed it a ‘miracle’. Katherine asked could it be the switch to a plant based diet. No, it’s a miracle the doctor exclaimed.
- Diabetes – We need glucose to power our body. Glucose enters the blood stream and tries to go into the cells to be stored as glycogen for use as fuel later. Insulin is needed to do this. But what if the cells suffer from fat build up? The signaling doesn’t work to get the glucose into the cells. It is believed that dairy and dairy products being high in cholesterol and saturated fat is what is causing diabetes. Can eating a plant based diet help? Yep.
- Asthma – The National Asthma Council of Australia says there is no link between consuming dairy products and asthma. Hmm, not sure if I believe them since their sponsors are Dairy Australia and various pharmaceutical companies. One organization to keep your asthma going and the others to make money off of treating it. Can a plant based diet take care of your asthma? Read for yourself.
- Prostrate Cancer – Countries with highest dairy consumption has highest rates of prostrate cancer.
And there’s more. Skin conditions, migraines, arthritis, cancer, Alzheimer’s. The last two you are probably looking at and are thinking I’ve been misinformed. Cancer. If I’m not a smoker it must be because I have the gene for cancer. You might have the gene but until the gene starts expressing you won’t have cancer. There are cases where only one of the twins develops cancer, or another disease, whereas the other doesn’t. Why is that? The thinking used to be you are born with the genes you have and nothing will change that. But through studying identical twins like the above we are realizing that genes can be turned off and on. So does eating dairy turn that gene on, cause that gene to express? People are thinking it does.
Remember, we are not told things such as ‘Dairy For Strong Bodies and For Strong Minds’ for the benefit of our health. It’s for the benefit of selling more dairy.
I’m going to go back a bit. I want to talk about why is it we crave dairy, especially cheese. I said I was going to touch on this, didn’t I. I think for those choosing to go vegan cheese is the hardest thing to give up. Why is that? Chemistry!
Casein protein. The protein of milk. When protein is broken down the amino acids enter our blood stream. Casomorphins are formed as milk protein is digested. The amino acids then enter our blood stream and, here it comes, pass the blood brain barrier and attach themselves to same brain receptors that heroine does. Why? It goes back to what I wrote earlier. If you are feeding your baby calf milk to make it grow big and healthy there better be a way for that new born to crave that milk so it keeps feeding. You want it to come back for more, just like the song, my milkshake brings all the boys to the yard.
I talked about the impact to your health. Now I want to talk about other impacts consuming dairy causes.
Environment – Did you know it takes almost 700 gallons of water to produce 1 gallon of milk? Part of this is due to feed grown specifically for livestock, not humans. Cows and other livestock are the largest contributors to climate change. The methane produced, the land cleared to raise livestock, the land raised to grow food only livestock can consume. The water consumed to do all this. Hey, if you are concerned with climate change and the impact it has and will have that alone should be reason enough to eliminate dairy and any animal product from your diet. Can one person make a difference? I don’t know, did Rosa Parks make a difference?
Ethically – Please read the following. I wouldn’t be doing you a favour if I ignored the ethical side of eating dairy.
If you are a male cow, your life is determined to be of no use. Born a male you are carted off in a wheel barrow to be taken away to be processed into veal. You will never produce milk so you are of no value other than to be turned into meat for someone to consume. Born a female cow your life isn’t any better. Separated from your mom, right after you have been born. Alone, scared, your mom cannot be found. You hear her screaming for you. Screaming loudly. Distressed, all you want is your mom, to be with her. But it will never happen. You have been put into a small enclosure fed corn instead of drinking your mom’s milk, the milk that is meant for you so you can grow up strong and healthy. These young calves will never get to experience the bond between a mom and her baby.
So, the cycle goes on. A baby is born and shortly after the cow is impregnated again, artificially. Keep the cow pregnant to keep the milk flowing. And when the milk no longer flows? Just like in those adverts the cow lives happily grazing the fields. No. If you are someone who enjoys hamburgers than you are consuming that cow. When a cow stops producing milk she is sold off to be killed and ground into burger meat.
All this for something that is not needed.
I’m like you
It wasn’t until I really started to question why we eat and drink the things we do when there are alternatives that I became vegan. Hopefully be reading this post you’ll question it too.
There isn’t any need to consume dairy.
It’s weird how we rationalize things. We wouldn’t eat our pet because they live with us and we love them. Farm animals are not any different than our pets. They feel, they play, they do all those things our cats and dogs do.
Yours in health,
Plant based diet? Where do I get my protein from? Stay tuned…