For anybody who needs the final push to go vegan, just like I did. Honestly, I was looking for ways to convince me to stop eating dairy, and if you need that, here it is!
12. Harvard says so. I’m being cheeky here, but Harvard’s new “Healthy Eating Plate” food guide has pushed dairy off the plate, based on Harvard’s assessment that high intake can increase the risk of prostate cancer and possibly ovarian cancer, and also suggesting that foods like collards, bok choy, and baked beans are safer choices than dairy for obtaining calcium.
11. Cancer Prevention. Prostate, breast, and ovarian cancers have been linked to dairy consumption. And, if you’ve read The China Study, you’re aware of the link between casein (the main protein in milk) and cancer. Think about how often children are pushed to eat milk, yogurt, and cheese. Childhood diets rich in dairy products are associated with cancer in adulthood. For more, watch this video from Dr. Colin Campbell.
10. Cheese is addictive. That’s why it’s so darn hard to stop eating the stuff. But, as you’ll learn in Julieanna’s brief video (and through this list), it’s best to kick the cheese (and dairy) habit.
9. Osteoporosis. Seems counterintuitive. We’re supposed to drink milk to protect against osteoporosis, right? So why do the countries that guzzle the most dairy have the highest osteoporosis rates? We now know that it’s not just calcium intake, but absorption and loss. When we eat diets high in animal protein (milk included), our bodies become acidic and calcium is drawn from our bones to neutralize that acidic environment - cheese is particularly acidic. Ditch the dairy (and the meat) to help maintain a more alkaline state in your body.
8. Plant-Based Calcium. Speaking of calcium sources and absorption, did you know that kale contains more calcium per calorie than milk (90 grams per serving) and is also better absorbed by the body than dairy? And that’s just ONE plant food you can eat. Other plant-foods boosting calcium include: beans, nuts like almonds and seeds like sesame, broccoli, collards, whole-grains, and tofu. (And if you think eating leafy greens is hard, start making green smoothies. It will change your leafy green intake forever!)
7. Heart Disease. All that cheese and milk (and other dairy products) pack a wallop of cholesterol and saturated fat to one’s diet. A low-fat plant-based diet has been shown not only to prevent heart disease, but also reverse it. And, before you think low-fat dairy is okay, it has been linked not only to increases in allergies, but also type 1 (childhood-onset) diabetes.
6. Constipation. Milk and cheese have no fiber. (Neither does meat.) Dairy is constipating for children. Our children have never been constipated, yet I have heard parents talk about poo problems over and over. And, grownups, if the kiddos get constipated from dairy, you will too (maybe you are right now). There’s no need for laxatives. Eat a plant-based diet (rich in whole foods), and you’ll poop easy. There, I said it.
5. It stinks. Okay, there is nothing scientifically or even ethically sound about this argument. But, have you ever just smelled milk? Put aside the fact that you’ve been drinking it since your wee years. Take a glass and smell it. It has a stink. You can say what you want about non-dairy milks, but if you had been drinking rice milk your whole life and then took up a glass of cow milk, it would be putrid to you. And, that’s before it goes sour.
4. Antibiotics and hormones. The mass production of milk requires cows being stressed to unnatural levels. This stress results in mastitis in the cows, which requires antibiotics, which make their way into the milk in our markets. As well, synthetic hormones such as recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH) are commonly used in dairy cows to increase the production of milk. Do you want to drink growth hormones and antibiotics? Do you want your children to? You may bypass this one point by choosing organic milk products - but that’s just one issue here.
3. Animal cruelty. Dairy production might be the most offensive and heinous of all animal farming. Baby calves are pulled from their mothers at birth. Mother cows will bellow and search after being separated from their young. While female calves are slaughtered or kept alive to produce milk, male calves are taken, chained in tiny stalls and raised for veal. And, since is unprofitable to keep dairy cows alive once their milk production declines, they are usually killed at 5 to 6 years of age (though their normal life span exceeds 20).
2. Lactose Intolerance. I would guess that if any of us were tested, we would be deemed ‘lactose intolerant’. It is estimated that about 75 percent of the world’s population are ‘lactose intolerant’, and those that aren’t (primarily Caucasians) tolerate milk sugar because of an inherited genetic mutation. That’s because the milk is meant for cows, not people…
1. It’s COW’s milk. Why are we all drinking milk from a cow when we wouldn’t drink the milk from our lactating dog or cat… or milk from a horse or pig?! Would you go out into a field and suckle from a cow?! Probably not! Think about that connection. Just think about it.