There are so many important reasons to go dairy free, whether you are vegan or not. First off, human beings are the only species to continue drinking milk into adulthood, and we are the only species to drink the milk of another species. That may not seem like such a big deal (I mean, we need calcium, right?), but there are health risks associated with dairy. For example, cows are often given hormones which seep into their milk. When we drink the milk, those hormones get into our systems just like medicines get into the systems of nursing babies. In addition, cows are also fed genetically modified corn, so even if you choose to avoid GMO foods, if you don’t buy organic dairy products, you could still get the poison in your body. And we don’t just get hormones and screwed up genetic information in our bodies through dairy products; we also get pesticides, because the corn fed to cows often have pesticides genetically engineered to be inside of the plant itself, plus they are sprayed with tons of chemicals since the concept of having the pesticides within the plant failed. Furthermore, dairy products are acid forming. Our bodies must have a balanced pH level, and one of the ways our bodies balance this is through our bones. If we intake lots of dairy, then we are putting too much acid in our bodies, which can cause our bones to become brittle and fragile overtime. In fact, research shows that countries with the most dairy usage have higher rates of osteoporosis. And isn’t that the most common reason given for why we need milk? That’s because the dairy industry is lying to us. Milk is NOT the best source of calcium, and research proves that milk intake does not prevent or lower our risk for osteoporosis. I’ve also heard from several people that once they went dairy free, they no longer suffered seasonal allergies, because dairy products are mucus forming (Cook, 11 Reasons to Stop Eating Dairy).
Those are the reasons dairy is bad for our health, but what about the ethics behind the dairy industry? As vegans will tell you, dairy farms are nothing like what you see in cartoons or commercials. The industry wants you to picture a pristine little farm with a big red barn and a field full of cows grazing on grass. That is NOTHING like the dairy farms of today. Today, dairy cows are kept inside, never to see the sunlight.
They are continuously impregnated through insemination, because cows, just like humans, do not produce milk unless they are pregnant. So what happens to their baby calves? They are taken from their mothers shortly after birth and locked in stalls. The female calves are kept alive and inside away from sunlight just as their mothers, because as soon as they are old enough, they will be inseminated and used for their milk as well. And the males… Well, they are isolated and kept alive only for a few months so they can be sold as veal. Those that die before then are used to make ground beef.
Maybe you’re thinking this is all a part of life for cows (although I’d argue that’s never what God intended for us to do to animals when He put them in our care), but what about the way farmers treat these animals? The cows are beaten, dragged by their legs, injected with hormones to make their muscles abnormally large so they produce more meat, etc. Do a little research for yourself. Watch documentaries, such as Vegucated or Food, Inc., on Netflix. Watch youtube videos about the dairy industry. Maybe try visiting a dairy farm yourself. I really think it will open your eyes to a cruelty you never realized was a part of getting that gallon of milk or that package of cheese.
Videos to Watch