greenGrassI used to think that because it was possible to milk a cow without hurting it, that dairy products were cruelty free. I was wrong.

I picture the nutrients in conventional cows milk drowning…drowning in sadness.

“Cruelty free” dairy products might exist somewhere but this post isn’t about small family run dairy farms. This post is about the “product” that comes from huge factory farms and about the millions of dairy cattle in North America who endure impossibly inhumane living conditions; it is also about the brainwashing of all of us by huge industry into believing we can’t thrive without consuming their secretions, no matter what the cost.

We need to consume cows milk for health about as much as we need to consume the milk of our lactating dogs and cats. Why is it then that most of us believe we can’t live, or grow without it?

It’s because the dairy industry is powerful and has a ton of money. Influencing both Government and us the consumers every single day. It begins at a very young age. All you need to do is glance at the Ontario Food Guide to guess who the driving forces are advising on and providing content. It’s so outdated.

A celebrity who has posed with a milk mustache on their face will, I believe, in the future, probably not be placing it at the top of their ‘proud I did that list’. I can only imagine the money they get paid for those ads. What a farce. Even when I was still consuming dairy those ads made me squirm.

A dairy cow’s life expectancy is around 25 years. But most of them go to slaughter at age 4 or 5 because they are “spent”. Spent means that often they can no longer stand up because they are so calcium deficient. Spent means they are worthless to the dairy industry (but perfectly fine for hamburger which is what they mostly end up as).

If you believe the food you cook tastes better when you prepare it in a good mood (and I hope you do!) then you believe food has energy and your energy can affect your food. Tune in then for a second with that in mind to the hazards of eating the flesh of an animal that barely lived. Many believe the cells of the animal are imprinted with fear and that this fear ends up in it’s flesh and or secretions (milk), and then ultimately, in the flesh of those who eat or drink them. Hard to chew or swallow isn’t it.

This sad meat and milk idea isn’t so hard to imagine when we learn a female cow has up to four (sometimes even five) calves in her short lifetime. In order to be able to produce our milk she must be kept continuously pregnant. All her young are taken away from her, never to taste a drop of it. She carries these calves for nine months. Think about it. If it’s difficult to empathize with a calf and his or her mother then picture a brand new litter of puppies instead, being ripped away from their mother. People would go crazy.

For those of us who think animal parents don’t feel love for their young on much the same level we humans do…I have no words. It is such an arrogant concept that we could possibly corner the market on maternal and paternal love. I learned at the age of 8 the power of an animal mother when my friend Belinda and I accidently dropped her hamster cage down her basement stairs. It split apart sending Momma and at least 10 newborn babies scattering across the floor at the bottom. She went completely mad. Running frantically around picking one after another up and attempting to hide them, often in plain sight though she would mime covering them up. We watched in utter amazement.

So if calcium and getting enough of it is at the heart of why we drink milk, and most people I ask say this is the only reason (other than liking it of course), then lets dissect this a bit. Calcium is a mineral and minerals come from the ground. In order for cow’s milk to be calcium rich the animal would need to be grazing on grass. As much as we would like to believe that that is the case, there are very few dairy cattle that ever see grass let alone graze on it. In order for factory-farmed milk to be calcium rich then their feed must be supplemented. What? How did this happen? How did a cow become the “middle man” for calcium?

Cows get their calcium from eating grass…fish are so rich in Omegas because they eat algae. We don’t need to eat the animal that eats the nutrients we need. We need to eat what the animal itself eats. Plants…lots and lots of plants.

Until I learned our physiology and the physiology of most mammals actually supports why mothers wean their babies at a certain age, I am not sure the enormity of this snow job would ever have sunk in so well.

At around the age of five we all but cease producing Lactase, Lactase is the enzyme that breaks down the sugar in milk known as Lactose. Not a big stretch to connect the dots here and understand why almost everyone you know has some kind of negative reaction to consuming dairy products (whether they know it or not). I don’t know anyone who has gone off dairy and not marveled at the changes in their digestion, skin, hair and over all health and energy. You know the person with the perma cold? Dare them to go off dairy for even a week…

I can’t help but ponder now that I am teaching myself how to live without dairy products why as a mother myself, I weaned my twins off my own breast milk. Milk perfectly customized for them, to begin feeding them another perfectly designed milk…perfectly designed for baby cows.

Plant based calcium rich foods include broccoli, kale, cabbage, calcium set- tofu, tahini, almond butter and figs just to name a few and almost all of the nut milks and several brands of orange juice are fortified with it.

If some part of you is thinking you are ready to let in the atrocities inflicted on animals day in and day out so we might continue to consume them, I encourage you to watch the documentary Earthlings. From the homepage http://earthlings.com/ it’s described as…

EARTHLINGS is a powerful and informative documentary about society’s treatment of animals, narrated by Joaquin Phoenix with soundtrack by Moby.

I cried myself nearly blind watching this film. Truthfully I haven’t finished it yet. I got to the section entitled “Whaling” and gave myself a time out. If you watch it be prepared. You can’t unlearn this stuff. It certainly brings home a lot of what I am struggling to write about here.

I also recently watched Cowspiracy. It’s is a powerful documentary, mostly about the devastating effects of animal agriculture on the planet. It is also about all the people who refuse to talk about it. You won’t be sorry you watched this, particularly if you consider yourself in any way an environmentalist. Go to http://www.cowspiracy.com to either rent or buy it.

We as human beings stand alone consuming another species milk and drinking sadness has a cost. I wonder how long before we all stop paying the bill?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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