This has been a probing topic for me, and as I sit here, exploding from the fabulous grilled veggis/tempeh I just feverishly consumed (sorry no picture, however I really need to start documenting my food!) I ponder this dairy conundrum.
People tend to think that cows milk is a human right, we are suppose to drink it, I mean, after all, why else would cows produce it? But wait a second, why do humans produce milk? To feed new borns, that is why women are not constantly lactating, but rather they only lactate after pregnancy. Humans arn't cows, but we are both animals, and cows, similar to humans, only produce milk to feed their young. Thus to keep those cows producing the milk they have to be impreganted, and then their caves are taken away from them when they are only a few days old.
I know this may all sound a little extremist, but really, I'm not being extremist, even wikipedia talks about it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dairy_cattle. There you can learn about the hormones that are used too!
Wait, but isn't milk needed for calcium? Again, lets evaluate this concept. Calcium doesn't appear from no where, cows get it somewhere, and that SOMEWHERE is grass and green leafy vegetables. However, with factory farms, most cows don't get to eat such yummy green things, thus the diet of the cows are fortified with calcium. So, really, as long as we eat those green leafy veggis then we are getting what we need.
Whats more, drinking cows milk can actually, potentially reduce our calcium in our bones rather then increase it. Now this surly must be a lie right? I mean, we get plummet with all those "Drink Milk" ads all the time, however...no its not a lie! Cows milk has a large amount of amino acids (acidic-ness) that your body needs to neutralize. Since calcium is a base, your body often draws calcium out of your bones to neutralize these amino acids. Plus, your bones need a lot more then just calcium, check out the msn health article http://health.msn.com/health-topics/cholesterol/articlepage.aspx?cp-documentid=100153762! No she's not some radical vegan!
Well, I think I will end here...so next time, think twice before reaching for that cows milk and opt for soymilk, almond milk, or even oats milk instead. It helps you, the cows, and the environment!
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