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Could you give up milk?

by Vee (follow)
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Health (509)      Ethics (86)      Milk (11)      Diary (5)      Animal Welfare (2)     


milking cow
Image sourced from Wikimedia Commons


I really enjoy my full cream dairy milk, but I can’t help but be overcome with guilt when I drink it. I think of the dairy cows and their young, and somehow it doesn’t feel right that I should be consuming the milk meant to sustain their young.

I’ve thought to give up drinking dairy milk altogether, but I don’t know if I could do it. For now, I have resolved on reducing my daily intake.

Could you give up milk and do you experience the same sort of guilt?

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#Diary
#Animal Welfare
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Great question! Producing milk for my own children has had me thinking a bit more about the poor cows and all the calves who are killed in the dairy industry. I've thought about giving up milk but I find the prospect a bit overwhelming. I don't really drink milk, just put a tiny bit in my tea, so I could easily subsititute soy, but avoiding cheese and dairy products in other things like baked goods would be difficult, especially getting my family to do the same. At the moment my kids are so picky about food if they want cheese I'll let them keep eating it. It's something I would like to try some day though.
Thanks Jennifer. I know, giving up dairy would be difficult precisely because of the issues you've mentioned. If only there was a way to keep everybody, including the cows, happy.
by Vee
Nothing to give up, been there, done that a long time ago
Did you give up only milk or dairy altogether?
by Vee
A few months ago, I found out Milk was no good for me personally.
It just had to go!

In the big scheme of things, not sure if it does cause any problems to the young cows intake of milk for them.It is really first time I am hearing of that side to it.I do know cows must be milked, or they can dry up and also get sick.
In big dairy farms the calves get taken from their mothers and most of them are killed, so yeah,it is a problem for the cows and calves. It's not normal for cows to produce milk all the time any more than it would be for a human female, so they have to keep getting pregnant and we don't need that many calves, especially not the males. You don't have to just take my word for it. Have a look at what the RSPCA says.

http://kb.rspca.org.au/What-happens-to-bobby-calves_87.html

"The term ‘bobby calves’ refers to newborn calves that are less than 30 days old and not with their mothers. Essentially, they are surplus to dairy industry requirements as they are not required for the milking herd. This applies to all bull calves (males) and around three quarters of heifer calves (females). Each year, around 700,000 of these bobby calves are destined for slaughter.

Some calves will be reared for veal...Bobby calves destined for slaughter are housed together and fed colostrum, milk or milk replacer, usually only once a day. Bobby calves, because of their low value, often do not get the same standard of housing, cleanliness, care or attention as the valuable replacement heifers or the calves being reared for veal. For their health and welfare, bobby calves should be fed twice a day and be housed in sheltered, clean and dry environments with room to lie down on suitable bedding.

Transport requirements for bobby calves state that they must be at least five days old before they can be transported to the abattoir. Because they are so young, bobby calves have the following specific animal welfare issues when they are being transported to slaughter:

Like all young animals, they have underdeveloped ‘following’ behaviour, which means that they do not stay together as a group and move to where they are supposed to go. This makes moving and loading/unloading difficult and can lead to rough handling.
They are too young to handle the stress, motion and length of transport.
During transport and at calf sales, they are exposed to the elements, are not provided with bedding and often have little room to lie down.
They are too young to be without milk for extended times."

Veal calves spend most of their short lives locked in a dark box too small for them even to be able to turn around so they don't exercise their muscles which makes the meat tough.
Jennifer
'why' have been on my tail since I first started with AA.
by jonaj
I'm not on your tail, I just like to respond to people's answers if I have something to say about them. If it really bothers you I won't.
Jennifer you know and I know different.
Time to push to ''re-set button'...please. :)
by jonaj
Wow, I didn't realise the extent of it. Will be cutting down on diary or buying a cow myself. I wish the latter was possible.
by Vee
I don't drink milk, so it would be quite easy for me. However, there are a lot of foods that use milk as an ingredient, so if I had to give them up, it would be more difficult. Are you talking just about dairy milk or other types too?
Just dairy, but even that would be difficult. I suppose you could substitute other kinds of milk into recipes that require it, but I don't think soy cheese is actually a thing.
by Vee
As long as I can buy fresh, UNHOMOGONISED milk I won't be giving it up but if the day ever comes when we have no choice but to drink so called "long life" milk (don't get me started on this topic!) you won't see me drinking that "No Life" rubbish!
Oh no, what's wrong with 'long life' milk. I love the Devondale ones.
by Vee
Vee, long life milk has been severely heat treated to make it so-called "long life". This treatment kills all the goodness in the milk, leaving you with utter rubbish that has little nutritional value. It could be that sugar of some kind has been added to it to make it taste good - maybe check the label. One thing's for sure - we don't want to find ourselves with only long life milk so we need to support our dairy farmers!
Thanks Sandy, this will definitely change the way I shop for milk.
by Vee
Oh! Sandy, please advise your 'source' of information re: UHT milk. Are you a qualified Food Chemist? Thank you.........
by donjo
There are alternatives to giving it up, like sourcing it from smaller, more environmentally conscious dairy farms. Oat milk tastes good too, or almond milk with vanilla added, if you feel strongly enough about it.
I like the idea of getting it from smaller farms, though I'm not sure how to go about that and I imagine it would be expensive.
I second that.
by Vee
It is more expensive but worth that small investment in your family's health and your own! Maybe we're lucky to have a few choices of independent dairies in the areas surrounding Brisbane.
I have come to the conclusion that everything is bad for you, so a lot of it out there is pure rubbish INHO!

I am very influenced by what people say or what I read, however giving up dairy products would be a no for me.
I tried soy once for a long time till my children nagged at me how bad soy products are!

I could not give up cheese even if I could give up milk, and anyway, my parent lived past their 80's years ago eating exactly what they liked when there were no things they said were healthy or unhealthy including cream, cakes, etc every day.

So why should we give up milk or dairy products.

I wonder if you eat meat if you are worried about drinking their milk?

Why would you reduce your daily intake if it does not upset your system?
Now I AM ASKING the questions on your question Vee!! Missed this one earlier somehow...
by Finy
Finy, I have to agree that there are so many conflicting ideas out there, it's difficult to separate the truth from the rubbish.

I wouldn't give up dairy because it's "bad" for me, but I do feel for the cows and the calves that suffer because of factory farming practices.

For that reason, I have also considered becoming a vegetarian, but I enjoy meat far too much. Argh!

LOL, I am happy for you to ask questions in response to my questions. It stimulates conversation. :)
by Vee
Oh sorry Vee -took it the wrong way.
I don't agree with not eating meat because of that -I dont eat it often because of the hormones etc that is put in some.
I have gone back to chicken however and had organic meat a few nights ago!
by Finy
These animals are bred for eating and it is what it is!
some vegetarians I know HAD to go back to meat due to becoming ill and lacking things when they stopped, so as much as I love animals, i think that we need meat.
by Finy
Ok, yes, these animals are bread for food. But surely the conditions in which they are kept and the ways in which they are killed could be better. Some of the images I've seen, I can never unsee. Those poor animals suffer in ways we will never know.
by Vee
hmmm, you only see the Bad images though! There are so many good images that we dont see as it doesnt make a newsworthy article!
Besides which unless half the population is prepared not to eat meat, it wont make a difference!
I go to a place where it is direct from the farm -organic, no hormones etc etc -beautiful meat and not expensive, perhaps as there are not so many middlemen.
by Finy
Bread for food! Vee! Bred woman! Bred.
by Vee
Sure I could. As a matter of fact I rarely ever drink milk now. Milk contributes to several conditions that affect me and my kids. One is that the body odor of my sons are more intense when they drink it. I've never really been in love with milk at anytime in my life.
Wow dwatk. I envy you, in that you've never really loved it. I have. I've been in love with milk for as long as I can remember. Interesting observation about the body odour. I wonder if I can pinpoint a food that makes my BO smell pungent. Oh, that would be a problem solved!
by Vee
Simply, NO!
Ditto Donjo! It would kill me. And I don't believe the calves suffer either.
by poppy
Cheers, poppy!
I've not heard about this cows/calves situation at all, either, but I'll abstain!

I love my Full Cream Milk, icy cold, & I believe it helps against Osteoporosis. Have strong bones, thank goodness, from drinking F/C Milk all my life, IMHO!
And have a Bone Density Test results to prove it! Lol!
by donjo
These days it is Almond, Rice or Soy milk for my family.
by Gia
It would be very hard fir me, as I love milk and we use it quite a bit in our cooking. All dairy products would be even worse. I would never do it. I know so many people with osteoporosis, so giving up dairy, the best source of calcium seems stupid to me. My mother in law and her sister both have osteoporosis because they never had dairy . Nowadays there are different varieties of milk fir those who need milk bur can't stomach it. I take calcium supplements just to be sure. Osteoporosis is a terrible disease, and it is totally preventable, if you have the required intake of vitamin D and calcium. Vitamin D is essential fir calcium absorption. I don't feel any guilt. Not sure what I have to be guilty about. No cows are killed because I need my dairy and the calves don't suffer. They still get enough milk.
It would be very hard fir me, as I love milk and we use it quite a bit in our cooking. All dairy products would be even worse. I would never do it. I know so many people with osteoporosis, so giving up dairy, the best source of calcium seems stupid to me. My mother in law and her sister both have osteoporosis because they never had dairy . Nowadays there are different varieties of milk fir those who need milk bur can't stomach it. I take calcium supplements just to be sure. Osteoporosis is a terrible disease, and it is totally preventable, if you have the required intake of vitamin D and calcium. Vitamin D is essential fir calcium absorption. I don't feel any guilt. Not sure what I have to be guilty about. No cows are killed because I need my dairy and the calves don't suffer. They still get enough milk.
No - I drink a lot of full cream milk - lattes, cereal, just on its own. Usually drink about one to one and a half litres per day. As a child I was taught milk was good for me and so was encouraged to drink it - I still love it.
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