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After The Rain
Jul 18th, 2004, 11:08 AM

What's Wrong with Dairy Products?
Facts about Vegetarian and Vegan Diets
Compiled from The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine

Many Americans, including some vegetarians, still consume large amounts of dairy products. Here are eight important reasons to eliminate dairy products from your diet.

1. Osteoporosis

Milk is touted for preventing osteoporosis, yet clinical research shows otherwise. The Harvard Nurses’ Health Study,1 which followed more than 75,000 women for 12 years, showed no protective effect of increased milk consumption on fracture risk. In fact, increased intake of calcium from dairy products was associated with a higher fracture risk. An Australian study2 showed the same results. Additionally, other studies3,4 have also found no protective effect of dairy calcium on bone. You can decrease your risk of osteoporosis by reducing sodium and animal protein intake in the diet,5-7 increasing intake of fruits and vegetables,8 exercising,9 and ensuring adequate calcium intake from plant foods such as leafy green vegetables and beans, as well as calcium-fortified products such as breakfast cereals and juices.

2. Cardiovascular Disease

Dairy products—including cheese, ice cream, milk, butter, and yogurt—contribute significant amounts of cholesterol and fat to the diet.10 Diets high in fat and saturated fat can increase the risk of several chronic diseases including cardiovascular disease. A low-fat vegetarian diet that eliminates dairy products, in combination with exercise, smoking cessation, and stress management, can not only prevent heart disease, but may also reverse it.11 Non-fat dairy products are available, however, they pose other health risks as noted below.

3. Cancer

Several cancers, such as ovarian cancer, have been linked to the consumption of dairy products. The milk sugar lactose is broken down in the body into another sugar, galactose. In turn, galactose is broken down further by enzymes. According to a study by Daniel Cramer, M.D., and his colleagues at Harvard,12 when dairy product consumption exceeds the enzymes’ capacity to break down galactose, it can build up in the blood and may affect a woman’s ovaries. Some women have particularly low levels of these enzymes, and when they consume dairy products on a regular basis, their risk of ovarian cancer can be triple that of other women.

Breast and prostate cancers have also been linked to consumption of dairy products, presumably related, at least in part, to increases in a compound called insulin-like growth factor (IGF-I).13-15 IGF-I is found in cow’s milk and has been shown to occur in increased levels in the blood by individuals consuming dairy products on a regular basis.16 Other nutrients that increase IGF-I are also found in cow’s milk. A recent study showed that men who had the highest levels of IGF-I had more than four times the risk of prostate cancer compared with those who had the lowest levels.14

4. Diabetes

Insulin-dependent diabetes (Type I or childhood-onset) is linked to consumption of dairy products. Epidemiological studies of various countries show a strong correlation between the use of dairy products and the incidence of insulin-dependent diabetes.17,18 Researchers in 199218 found that a specific dairy protein sparks an auto-immune reaction, which is believed to be what destroys the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas.

5. Lactose Intolerance

Lactose intolerance is common among many populations, affecting approximately 95 percent of Asian Americans, 74 percent of Native Americans, 70 percent of African Americans, 53 percent of Mexican Americans, and 15 percent of Caucasians.19 Symptoms, which include gastrointestinal distress, diarrhea, and flatulence, occur because these individuals do not have the enzymes that digest the milk sugar lactose. Additionally, along with unwanted symptoms, milk-drinkers are also putting themselves at risk for development of other chronic diseases and ailments.

6. Vitamin D Toxicity

Consumption of milk may not provide a consistent and reliable source of vitamin D in the diet. Samplings of milk have found significant variation in vitamin D content, with some samplings having had as much as 500 times the indicated level, while others had little or none at all.20,21 Too much vitamin D can be toxic and may result in excess calcium levels in the blood and urine, increased aluminum absorption in the body, and calcium deposits in soft tissue.

7. Contaminants

Synthetic hormones such as recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH) are commonly used in dairy cows to increase the production of milk.13 Because the cows are producing quantities of milk nature never intended, the end result is mastitis, or inflammation of the mammary glands. The treatment requires the use of antibiotics, and traces of these and hormones have been found in samples of milk and other dairy products. Pesticides and other drugs are also frequent contaminants of dairy products.

8. Health Concerns of Infants and Children

Milk proteins, milk sugar, fat, and saturated fat in dairy products may pose health risks for children and lead to the development of chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and formation of athersclerotic plaques that can lead to heart disease.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that infants below one year of age not be given whole cow’s milk, as iron deficiency is more likely on a dairy-rich diet. Cow’s milk products are very low in iron. If they become a major part of one’s diet, iron deficiency is more likely.10 Colic is an additional concern with milk consumption. One out of every five babies suffers from colic. Pediatricians learned long ago that cows’ milk was often the reason. We now know that breastfeeding mothers can have colicky babies if the mothers are consuming cow’s milk. The cows’ antibodies can pass through the mother’s bloodstream into her breast milk and to the baby.22 Additionally, food allergies appear to be common results of milk consumption, particularly in children. A recent study23 also linked cow’s milk consumption to chronic constipation in children. Researchers suggest that milk consumption resulted in perianal sores and severe pain on defecation, leading to constipation.

Milk and dairy products are not necessary in the diet and can, in fact, be harmful to your health. Consume a healthful diet of grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, and fortified foods including cereals and juices. These nutrient-dense foods can help you meet your calcium, potassium, riboflavin, and vitamin D requirements with ease—and without the health risks.

1. Feskanich D, Willet WC, Stampfer MJ, Colditz GA. Milk, dietary calcium, and bone fractures in women: a 12-year prospective study. Am J Public Health 1997;87:992-7.
2. Cumming RG, Klineberg RJ. Case-control study of risk factors for hip fractures in the elderly. Am J Epidemiol 1994;139:493-505.
3. Huang Z, Himes JH, McGovern PG. Nutrition and subsequent hip fracture risk among a national cohort of white women. Am J Epidemiol 1996;144:124-34.
4. Cummings SR, Nevitt MC, Browner WS, et al. Risk factors for hip fracture in white women. N Engl J Med 1995;332:767-73.
5. Finn SC. The skeleton crew: is calcium enough? J Women’s Health 1998;7(1):31-6.
6. Nordin CBE. Calcium and osteoporosis. Nutrition 1997;3(7/8):664-86.
7. Reid DM, New SA. Nutritional influences on bone mass. Proceed Nutr Soc 1997;56:977-87.
8. Tucker KL, Hannan MR, Chen H, Cupples LA, Wilson PWF, Kiel DP. Potassium, magnesium, and fruit and vegetable intakes are associated with greater bone mineral density in elderly men and women. Am J Clin Nutr 1999;69:727-36.
9. Prince R, Devine A, Dick I, et al. The effects of calcium supplementation (milk powder or tablets) and exercise on bone mineral density in postmenopausal women. J Bone Miner Res 1995;10:1068-75.
10. Pennington JAT. Bowes and Churches Food Values of Portions Commonly Used, 17th ed. New York: Lippincott, 1998.
11. Ornish D, Brown SE, Scherwitz LW, Billings JH, Armstrong WT, Ports TA. Can lifestyle changes reverse coronary heart disease? Lancet 1990;336:129-33.
12. Cramer DW, Harlow BL, Willet WC. Galactose consumption and metabolism in relation to the risk of ovarian cancer. Lancet 1989;2:66-71.
13. Outwater JL, Nicholson A, Barnard N. Dairy products and breast cancer: the IGF-1, estrogen, and bGH hypothesis. Medical Hypothesis 1997;48:453-61.
14. Chan JM, Stampfer MJ, Giovannucci E, et al. Plasma insulin-like growth factor-1 and prostate cancer risk: a prospective study. Science 1998;279:563-5.
15. World Cancer Research Fund. Food, Nutrition, and the Prevention of Cancer: A Global Perspective. American Institute of Cancer Research. Washington, D.C.: 1997.
16. Cadogan J, Eastell R, Jones N, Barker ME. Milk intake and bone mineral acquisition in adolescent girls: randomised, controlled intervention trial. BMJ 1997;315:1255-69.
17. Scott FW. Cow milk and insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus: is there a relationship? Am J Clin Nutr 1990;51:489-91.
18. Karjalainen J, Martin JM, Knip M, et al. A bovine albumin peptide as a possible trigger of insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. N Engl J Med 1992;327:302-7.
19. Bertron P, Barnard ND, Mills M. Racial bias in federal nutrition policy, part I: the public health implications of variations in lactase persistence. J Natl Med Assoc 1999;91:151-7.
20. Jacobus CH, Holick MF, Shao Q, et al. Hypervitaminosis D associated with drinking milk. N Engl J Med 1992;326(18):1173-7.
21. Holick MF. Vitamin D and bone health. J Nutr 1996;126(4suppl):1159S-64S.
22. Clyne PS, Kulczycki A. Human breast milk contains bovine IgG. Relationship to infant colic? Pediatrics 1991;87(4):439-44.
23. Iacono G, Cavataio F, Montalto G, et al. Intolerance of cow’s milk and chronic constipation in children. N Engl J Med 1998;339:110-4.

Jul 30th, 2004, 10:14 PM


more heart attacks in milk drinkers

Briggs, R. "Myocardial Infarction in Patients Treated with
Sippy and other high Milk Diets,", Circulation, 21:538, 1960

Hartroft, W. "The Incidence of Coronary Heart Disease in
Patients Treated with the Sippy Diet" American Journal of
Clinical Nutrition, 15:205, 1964

2. DIABETES, AUTISM, SCHIZOPHRENIA milk antibodies in blood
of diabetic children

Dosch, Hans-Michael, "The Possible Link Between Insulin
Dependent (Juvenile) Diabetes Mellitus and Dietary Cow Milk"
Clin Biochem, Vol 26 pp 307-308 August 1993

Sun, ZJ, Cade JR, et al "Beta-casomorphin induces Fos-like
immunoreactivity in discrete brain regions relevant to
schizophrenia and autism" Autism March 1999 vol 3(1) 67-83

Sun, ZJ, Cade JR "A peptide found in schizophrenia and
autism causes behavioral changes in rats" Autism 1999 vol
3(1) 85-95

3. CANCER breast, ovarian, prostate, lung cancer all dairy

Westin, Jerome B. "Carcinogens in Israeli Milk: A Study in
Regulatory Failure" International Journal of Health
Services, Vol 23 No 3 pp. 497-517 1993 Baywood Publishing
Co. Inc.

4. ANTIBIOTIC RESIDUES 30 to 80 different antibiotics cause
chronic resistant infections

5. PESTICIDE RESIDUES linked to cancer, chronic fatigue,

6. HORMONE RESIDUES menstrual problems, osteoporosis

Baldini, M, Coni, E. et.al. "Presence and Assessment of
Xenobiotic Substances in Milk and Dairy Products" Ann. Ist.
Super. Sanita Vol. 26, N. 2 (1990) pp 167-176

Mepham, TB Public health implication of bovine somatotrophin
use in dairying: Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine,
Vol 85 Dec1992 pp. 736-739

7. OSTEOPOROSIS National Dairy Council study shows bone loss
caused by milk drinking

Lovendale, M. " The Impact of Dairy Products on Human
Health, the Environment, and the National Budget" Advanced
Health Journal March 1993 No. 4, Advanced Health Center,
Monarch Beach, CA 92629

8. LEUKEMIA VIRUSES 20% of all cows carry leukemia viruses
that can infect humans

Ferrer, J. Milk of dairy cows frequently contains a
leukemogenic virus Science 213:1014 1981


Gerard J.W. Mackenzie J.W.A. Goluboff N. et.al. Cows Milk
Allergy: Prevalence and Manifestation in an Unselected
Series of Newborns Acta Paediatr Scand. Supplement 234 1973

and antibiotic residues

Info courtesy of M. M. Van Benschoten, OMD, CA

Jul 31st, 2004, 05:41 AM

I would add---->The Milk Letter:
A Message to My Patients
By Robert M. Kradjian, MD


Aug 1st, 2004, 10:01 PM
From http://www.pcrm.org/health/veginfo/milk.html:

"Shouldn't I drink milk?

Download the factsheet (http://www.pcrm.org/health/PDFs/faq_milk.pdf)

Milk: No Longer Recommended or Required

A substantial body of scientific evidence raises concerns about health risks from cowÍs milk products. These problems relate to the proteins, sugar, fat, and contaminants in dairy products, and the inadequacy of whole cowÍs milk for infant nutrition.

Health risks from milk consumption are greatest for infants less than one year of age, in whom whole cowÍs milk can contribute to deficiencies in several nutrients, including iron, essential fatty acids, and vitamin E. The American Academy of Pediatrics1 recommends that infants under one year of age not receive whole cowÍs milk.

CowÍs milk products are very low in iron,2 containing only about one-tenth of a milligram (mg) per eight-ounce serving. To get the U.S. Recommended Daily Allowance of 15 mg of iron, an infant would have to drink more than 31 quarts of milk per day. Milk can also cause blood loss from the intestinal tract, which, over time, reduces the bodyÍs iron stores. Researchers speculate that the blood loss may be a reaction to proteins present in milk.3 Pasteurization does not eliminate the problem. Researchers from the University of Iowa recently wrote in the Journal of Pediatrics that ñin a large proportion of infants, the feeding of cow milk causes a substantial increase of hemoglobin loss. Some infants are exquisitely sensitive to cow milk and can lose large quantities of blood.î3

Although concerns are greatest for children in the first year of life, there are also health concerns related to milk use among older children and some problems associated with cowÍs milk formulas.

Milk Proteins and Diabetes

Several reports link insulin-dependent diabetes to a specific protein in dairy products. This form of diabetes usually begins in childhood. It is a leading cause of blindness and contributes to heart disease, kidney damage, and amputations due to poor circulation.

Studies of various countries show a strong correlation between the use of dairy products and the incidence of diabetes.4 A recent report in the New England Journal of Medicine5 adds substantial support to the long-standing theory that cowÍs milk proteins stimulate the production of the antibodies6 which, in turn, destroy the insulin-producing pancreatic cells.7 In the new report, researchers from Canada and Finland found high levels of antibodies to a specific portion of a cowÍs milk protein, called bovine serum albumin, in 100 percent of the 142 diabetic children they studied at the time the disease was diagnosed. Non-diabetic children may have such antibodies, but only at much lower levels. Evidence suggests that the combination of a genetic predisposition and cowÍs milk exposure is the major cause of the childhood form of diabetes, although there is no way of determining which children are genetically predisposed. Antibodies can apparently form in response to even small quantities of milk products, including infant formulas.

Pancreatic cell destruction occurs gradually, especially after infections, which cause the cellular proteins to be exposed to the damage of antibodies. Diabetes becomes evident when 80 to 90 percent of the insulin-producing beta cells are destroyed.

Milk proteins are also among the most common causes of food allergies. Often, the cause of the symptoms is not recognized for substantial periods of time.

Milk Sugar and Health Problems

Many people, particularly those of Asian and African ancestry, are unable to digest the milk sugar, lactose. The result is diarrhea and gas. For those who can digest lactose, its breakdown products are two simple sugars: glucose and galactose. Galactose has been implicated in ovarian cancer8 and cataracts.9,10 Nursing children have active enzymes that break down galactose. As we age, many of us lose much of this capacity.

Fat Content

Whole milk, cheese, cream, butter, ice cream, sour cream, and all other dairy products aside from skim and non-fat products contain significant amounts of saturated fat, as well as cholesterol, contributing to cardiovascular diseases and certain forms of cancer. The early changes of heart disease have been documented in American teenagers. While children do need a certain amount of fat in their diets, there is no nutritional requirement for cowÍs milk fat. On the contrary, cowÍs milk is high in saturated fats, but low in the essential fatty acid linoleic acid.


Milk contains frequent contaminants, from pesticides to drugs. About one-third of milk products have been shown to be contaminated with antibiotic traces. The vitamin D content of milk has been poorly regulated. Recent testing of 42 milk samples found only 12 percent within the expected range of vitamin D content. Testing of ten samples of infant formula revealed seven with more than twice the vitamin D content reported on the label, one of which had more than four times the label amount.11 Vitamin D is toxic in overdose.12


Dairy products offer a false sense of security to those concerned about osteoporosis. In countries where dairy products are not generally consumed, there is actually less osteoporosis than in the United States. Studies have shown little effect of dairy products on osteoporosis.13 The Harvard NursesÍ Health followed 78,000 women for a 12-year period and found that milk did not protect against bone fractures. Indeed, those who drank three glasses of milk per day had more fractures than those who rarely drank milk.14

There are many good sources of calcium. Kale, broccoli, and other green leafy vegetables contain calcium that is readily absorbed by the body. A recent report in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that calcium absorbability was actually higher for kale than for milk, and concluded that ñgreens such as kale can be considered to be at least as good as milk in terms of their calcium absorbability.î15 Beans are also rich in calcium. Fortified orange juice supplies large amounts of calcium in a palatable form.16

Calcium is only one of many factors that affect the bone. Other factors include hormones, phosphorus, boron, exercise, smoking, alcohol, and drugs.17-20 Protein is also important in calcium balance. Diets that are rich in protein, particularly animal proteins, encourage calcium loss.21-23


There is no nutritional requirement for dairy products, and there are serious problems that can result from the proteins, sugar, fat, and contaminants in milk products. Therefore, the following recommendations are offered:

Breast-feeding is the preferred method of infant feeding. As recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics, whole cow's milk should not be given to infants under one year of age.
Parents should be alerted to the potential risks to their children from cow's milk use.
Cow's milk should not be required or recommended in government guidelines.
Government programs, such as school lunch programs and the WIC program, should be consistent with these recommendations.

1. American Academy of Pediatrics, Committee on Nutrition. The use of whole cow?s milk in infancy. Pediatrics 1992;89:1105-9.
2. Pennington JAT, Church HN. Food values of portions commonly used. New York, Harper and Row, 1989.
3. Ziegler EE, Fomon SJ, Nelson SE, et al. Cow milk feeding in infancy: further observations on blood loss from the gastrointestinal tract. J Pediatr 1990;116:11-8.
4. Scott FW. Cow milk and insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus: is there a relationship? Am J CLin Nutr 1990;51:489-91.
5. Karjalainen J, Martin JM, Knip M, et al. A bovine albumin peptide as a possible trigger of insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. N Engl J Med 1992;327:302-7.
6. Roberton DM, Paganelli R, Dinwiddie R, Levinsky RJ. Milk antigen absorption in the preterm and term neonate. Arch Dis Child 1982;57:369-72.
7. Bruining GJ, Molenaar J, Tuk CW, Lindeman J, Bruining HA, Marner B. Clinical time-course and characteristics of islet cell cytoplasmatic antibodies in childhood diabetes. Diabetologia 1984;26:24-29.
8. Cramer DW, Willett WC, Bell DA, et al. Galactose consumption and metabolism in relation to the risk of ovarian cancer. Lancet 1989;2:66-71.
9. Simoons FJ. A geographic approach to senile cataracts: possible links with milk consumption, lactase activity, and galactose metabolism. Digestive Diseases and Sciences 1982;27:257-64.
10. Couet C, Jan P, Debry G. Lactose and cataract in humans: a review. J Am Coll Nutr 1991;10:79-86.
11. Holick MF, Shao Q, Liu WW, Chen TC. The vitamin D content of fortified milk and infant formula. New Engl J Med 1992;326:1178-81.
12. Jacobus CH, Holick MF, Shao Q, et al. Hypervitaminosis D associated with drinking milk. New Engl J Med 1992;326:1173-7.
13. Riggs BL, Wahner HW, Melton J, Richelson LS, Judd HL, O?Fallon M. Dietary calcium intake and rates on bone loss in women. J Clin Invest 1987;80:979-82.
14. Feskanich D, Willett WC, Stampfer MJ, Colditz GA. Milk, dietary calcium, and bone fractures in women: a 12-year prospective study. Am J Publ Health 1997;87:992-7.
15. Heaney RP, Weaver CM. Calcium absorption from kale. Am J Clin Nutr 1990;51:656-7.
16. Nicar MJ, Pak CYC. Calcium bioavailability from calcium carbonate and calcium citrate. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 1985;61:391-3.
17. Dawson-Hughes B. Calcium supplementation and bone loss: a review of controlled clinical trials. Am J Clin Nutr 1991;54:274S-80S.
18. Mazess RB, Barden HS. Bone density in premenopausal women: effects of age, dietary intake, physical activity, smoking, and birth control pills. Am J Clin Nutr 1991;53:132-42.
19. Nelson ME, Fisher EC, Dilmanian FA, Dallal GE, Evans WJ. A 1-y walking program and increased dietary calcium in postmenopausal women: efect on bone. Am J Clin Nutr 1991;53:1304-11.
20. Nielsen FH, Hunt CD, Mullen LM, Hunt JR. Effect of dietary boron on mineral, estrogen, and testosterone metabolism in postmenopausal women. FASEB J 1987;1:394-7.
21. Zemel MB. Role of the sulfur-containing amino acids in protein-induced hypercalciuria in men. J Nutr 1981;111:545.
22. Hegsted M. Urinary calcium and calcium balance in young men as affected by level of protein and phosphorus intake. J Nutr 1981;111:553.
23. Marsh AG, Sanchez TV, Mickelsen O, Keiser J, Mayor G. Cortical bone density of adult lacto-ovo-vegetarian and omnivorous women. J Am Dietetic Asso 1980;76:148-51.

The site does not provide medical or legal advice.
This Web site is for information purposes only. Full Disclaimer

Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine
5100 Wisconsin Ave., N.W., Ste. 400, Washington, DC 20016

Phone: 202-686-2210
Email: pcrm@pcrm.org "

Aug 16th, 2004, 03:43 AM
hey all, new here...
i was just thinking about the dairy industry. i mean, there is the puss and antibiotics and genetically altered growth hormones as a reason not to eat dairy, but those are HEALTH issues, not MORAL ones, you know? Morality wise... well, the veal industry is dependent on the milk industry... but what are some other moral reasons not to consume dairy? i am a vegan but i'm looking for snappy comebacks :) thanks!

Atlanta Newbie
Aug 16th, 2004, 04:21 AM
Well, I'm no expert, but here are the reasons I recently gave up my (sizeable) skim milk habit in favor of a (just as sizeable) soy milk habit. First is the veal issue, which you already mentioned. Second is the fact that calves are denied the milk they need to grow properly so that humans can drink it instead. Third, dairy cows are constantly kept pregnant and lactating, which is obviously stressful on their systems. Fourth, dairy cows are considered disposable when their production slows. That's plenty enough reason for me... please let me know if I've missed (or mistated!) anything. Thanks!

Aug 16th, 2004, 05:47 AM
Well first of all the cow is raped by a human and impregnated against her will every year. Her calf is taken away and she is attached to a milking machine 2 or 3 times a day, 10 months out of the year, seven days a week. When not being milked the cow is in a narrow concrete stall. When the cow no longer profitably produces milk (at about age 5 out of a 25 year lifespan) she is sent to slaughter.

These are just bare-bones facts. Cows also suffer greatly from injury and disease. Methods vary somewhat around the world but they all involve cruelty.

Aug 16th, 2004, 09:29 AM
Hello dirtysole, have a read of the Scary Dairy tales here. (http://www.milksucks.com/scarytale.html)

Aug 17th, 2004, 12:19 AM
um... gert, the link is not working... :(

Aug 17th, 2004, 01:52 AM
I am not a primarily AR vegan.

I have heard AR people refer to milk as being as good as "liquid meat" morally, as well as nutrtionally.

Dairy cows can live 25 years. They live 5 years in dairy farms. Once they cannot produce they are turned into meat. In other words, if you buy milk you are contributing to killing a cow anyway.

Sep 12th, 2004, 08:52 PM
Hi everyone~
My dad told me that his grandpa worked on a dairy farm and that there are dairy cows, that have to give milk or else they get sick. (Or hurt--can't remember exactly what he said). He said they don't necessarily (spelled right?) have to have calves to give milk. Is this true? And if it is, how can I fight against this "excuse"? Thanks!

Sep 12th, 2004, 08:59 PM
veggie4life139, cows only produce milk just as a human mother produces milk only after giving birth. Sick, well having been manipulated over the years to produce more milk than is required their udders may scrape along the ground, producing painful mastitis, lameness and laminitis, likened to slamming your finger tips in a door and then standing on your hands.

Sep 12th, 2004, 09:00 PM
Almost all the UK's two million plus dairy cows have their calves taken from them shortly after birth. No one refers to it and a veil is quietly drawn over the cruelty because this is what dairy farming is about. Professor John Webster, head of the UK's leading Department of Animal Husbandry, spells it out: 'The most potentially distressing incident in the life of a dairy cow is the removal of her calf. But no one is listening!

The supposedly idyllic scene portrayed by grazing dairy cows is a charade - a deceit. Humans have taken the magical process of creation and despoiled it. As a consequence, dairy cows lead a short and extremely painful life, phiysically and emotionally. The irony is that the product of this suffering - milk - is linked to a range of human diseases and a product promoted as pure and essential for good health is anything but

Ignorance of the dairy industry is profound. The belief that to produce milk, all a cow has to do is graze is widespread. Not so! Just as a human mother produces milk only after giving birth, so does a cow but while a human baby is adored and nurtured, many calves have a shotgun placed to their heads within 48 hours of being born and their brains are blown out. These little male calves are the unwanted by-product of dairy farming - too scrawny to make 'good' beef and unable to produce milk.

Some would say they are the lucky ones. Before the imposition of export restrictions because of mad cow disease (BSE), 450,000 were shipped abroad every year instead of being shot, to spend their short lives chained in narrow veal crates, unable even to turn around. Fed a liquid, low-iron diet to make their flesh white, they were so diseased with anaemia - purposely so - that few would be capable of surviving much beyond their allotted six months.

A cow is a highly intelligent animal and fiercely protective of her young so you don't need much imagination to comprehend the dreadful anguish she feels at this sudden and brutal separation. Nine months of gestation followed by just 24 or 48 hours in which to cherish and comfort her little one before he or she is taken away. Even those calves who aren't immediately disposed of struggle to survive. Denied the immunity-giving colostrum from their mothers, 170,000 die every year from severe diarrhoea.

Calves deemed bulky enough to make 'good beef cattle face a series of highly-painful mutilations - castration, dehorning and, in the case of female calves kept to replenish the herd, the unbelievable barbarity of slicing off of excess teats where there are more than four - a surprisingly common event. Many of these mutilations are carried out without a vet, anaesthetics or pain killers.

On top of their appalling emotional stress, dairy cows face a life of acute physical pain. Evolved to live for 20 years or more, they are exhausted at about five years old after just two or three lactations - the equivalent of a girl in her early teens being utterly worn out.

Human demands are such that that just three months after giving birth, a dairy cow is made pregnant again, forcing her to carry the double burden of pregnancy and milking for seven months each year. This unnatural manipulation of cow's maternal instincts has led to a doubling in her milk yield since the 1940s to 6,000 litres annually and in some cases quadrupling to 12,000 litres. Udders designed to carry two kilograms of milk routinely contain 20 kilograms.

And it is this which destroys her, sometimes distending her udder so it scrapes along the ground, producing painful mastitis, lameness and laminitis, likened by Professor Webster to slamming your finger tips in a door and then standing on your hands. Look at any dairy herd, particularly the high-yielding, black and white Friesian/Holsteins, and you'll see swollen udders, difficulty in walking and the loss of body tissue which turns a dairy cow's rear end into little more than a bag of bones.

When they are finally despatched to slaughter, at least 150,000 cows every year are pregnant - 40,000 in the last trimester and carrying fully-developed calves. There is no mercy.

And all for a 'wonder' product that is anything but. Laden with cholesterol and unhealthy, saturated fats, it is linked to heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and some cancers. It contains lactose which most humans cannot digest because we have evolved not to drink milk - and certainly not that of another species - after weaning. As a consequence, the number of children suffering from allergies and eczema goes on increasing. Even the calcium it provides is readily obtainable from plant sources.

Milk also contains animal proteins which overwork the kidneys and can lead to kidney failure. Just like meat, dairy is high in sulphur-containing amino acids which can leach calcium from the bones and lead to osteoporosis - the very disease it is supposed to protect against. People are beginning to realise that meat eating and good health don't go together.

This is from The Vegetarian & Vegan Foundation ,sister group of Viva!

Sep 14th, 2004, 10:34 AM
I like this thread coz sometimes I get this rediculous urge to eat yoghurt- although I never do (I did once and I cried). Every time that happens from now on, I am going to read this thread.

Sep 14th, 2004, 11:06 AM
He said they don't necessarily (spelled right?) have to have calves to give milk. Is this true?

If you have a hunt on the web you will find lots of advice for farmers which will clarify how the dairy "industry" works. This page, for instance:


- which says (among other things)

"The goal of an efficient breeding program should be to breed each cow so that she produces a calf every year. After giving birth, the cow should be rebred within the next 2 - 3 months to ensure she will calve again with only a short break (2 months) during which she will not be producing milk. This break between when the cow is "dried off" (stops milking) and when she calves again is important because it gives the cow a chance to regain weight she lost during her lactation and for the growth and development of her calf."


Sep 18th, 2004, 08:18 PM
Watch John McDougall MD perils of dairy streaming video at www.vegsource.com on the right hand side.

Sep 18th, 2004, 09:15 PM
The dairy industry is so sick, because it is the dirty secret of the Meat Industry.
Humans wouldn't even drink human breast milk as adults, so why Cows' milk?
I shudder to think of what I once consumed/contributed to.

Oct 31st, 2004, 11:06 PM
Taken from this weekend's You magazine:

"Too grown-up for milk?"

"A new survey this week suggests that milk may affect your health. The Institute for Optimum Nutrition surveyed more than 37,000 patients over the past two years and found that the more dairy products people consumed the more likely they were to have problems with their digestion, hormones, immunity and cardiovascular system.

"'Consuming dairy products after weaning is unnatural in evolutionary terms,' says Jeff Holly, professor of clinical sciences at Bristol University. 'Milk is designed to be full of nutrients to support your tissues through a very fast-growing period, and there's no reason you should drink it after weaning.' In fact, 70 per cent of people stop producing lactase, the enzyme that enables us to digest milk sugar (lactose) after weaning, which suggests that it's not an ideal food.

"Although we're led to believe that milk is vital to provide calcium for our bones and prevent osteoporosis, experts point out that in countries such as China, where traditionally little dairy is consumed, incidences of osteoporosis are few. To get your calcium without the milk, boost your diet with seeds, mung beans and alfalfa, nuts, crunchy vegetables including kale and cabbage, tinned sardines and salmon. [ :mad: ] Even better, all these foods contain magnesium, which aids the body's absorption of calcium. Alternatives to cow's milk include oat, rice and soya milks, available at health food stores and supermarkets. For more details visit www.patrickholford.com ."


Oct 31st, 2004, 11:33 PM
"'Consuming dairy products after weaning is unnatural in evolutionary terms,' says Jeff Holly

What it failed to mention is that dairy is designed for BABY CALVES not humans :)

Nov 2nd, 2004, 12:21 PM
Something for non vegans to take note.

Vegetarian doctor urges diet free of beef, dairy products

By MARY VUONG, Nov. 1, 2004, www.chron.com (http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/headline/features/2878528)

Be honest, he says. Cheese smells like old socks.

So why do people love cheese?

Dr. Neal Barnard, psychiatrist and nutrition researcher, tackles the must-have-now nature of chocolate, cheese, meat and sugar in his book Breaking the Food Seduction: The Hidden Reasons Behind Food Cravings -- and 7 Steps to End Them Naturally (St. Martin's Press, $14.95 in paperback; $24.95 in hardcover).

Barnard, founder and president of the Washington-based nonprofit Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, was in Houston recently to promote the paperback release of his book.

He's not a nutritional guru, the food police or your conscience, Barnard said in an interview. He's a vegetarian who considers a diet free of meat and dairy crucial to good health, and he wants you to try it.

Start small. In three weeks, "something happens," he says. "Tastes change."

It's up to you to decide if those changes become permanent.

Barnard's grandfather was a cattle rancher, and his relatives continue to run the family business in Illinois. "They're good, decent folks," he says, but "frankly, I wish they had been rice farmers."

He explains why in his book: "More life-threatening illnesses have been linked to meat-based diets than to just about any other factor in our lifestyle or environment."

He says upon contact with the tongue, meat prompts a release of opiates in your brain, serving as a reward that leads you to eat it habitually. Meat also triggers insulin, he adds, which sparks dopamine, the "ultimate feel-good chemical."

Writing about cheese in a chapter titled "Opiates on a Cracker," Barnard cites studies that detected morphine in milk from cows and humans, and also a protein named casein that releases numerous opiates.

Sugar stimulates opiates, as well, he notes, the same way exercise releases endorphins to make you feel better. Sugar on the tongue prompts nerves to alert your pleasure center.

Then there's chocolate. The word alone can trigger cravings, never mind its aroma and taste. Barnard writes: "It targets the same spot on your brain as heroin or morphine," and contains chemicals whose effects compares to caffeine, amphetamine and marijuana. He calls chocolate "the whole drugstore."

Growing up, Barnard ate roast beef, baked potatoes and corn. While working as an autopsy assistant, he came across a heart-attack victim whose removed ribs showed a frightening amount of artery blockage. A pathologist told him he saw similar blockage in about 75 percent of people by 23 years old, Barnard's age then.

Barnard became a vegetarian. Although his book includes dietitian-approved recipes, he calls himself "useless in the kitchen" and depends on ethnic restaurants, from Ethiopian to Vietnamese.

He advocates four food groups: four or more servings of vegetables, three servings of legumes, four servings of whole-grain products and three or more servings of fruits.

Barnard conducted a pilot study on the effects of a vegan diet on type 2 diabetes patients and found that after 12 weeks, two-thirds of the vegan eaters reduced or erased their medication use. Now he is comparing vegan and American Diabetes Association diets, also on adult-onset diabetics, in a 22-week study.

He wants to explore the extent to which diet affects such illnesses as cancer, and how to keep vegetarians on track -- some who do well for six months to a year become tempted to reintroduce meat and dairy.

Barnard does not discount the everything-in-moderation advice that dietitians generally dispense, but he says simply switching from red meat to chicken is not enough.

People cheat on diets, so the higher you set the standards, the more healthful they will aim to be, he reasons.

But cutting meat and dairy overnight can be too extreme, even if only for the three weeks that Barnard suggests as the trial period. So before you go vegan, test recipes and taste products such as soy bologna and nutritional yeast. If you normally eat beef tacos, consider the bean burrito.

"But don't stay there," Barnard warns. Confront food addictions the same way you treat alcoholism -- head on.

"We have addictions that we don't think of being addictions," Barnard says. "Don't stick your toe in the swimming pool. Jump in."

Nov 3rd, 2004, 01:41 AM
The dairy industry is so sick, because it is the dirty secret of the Meat Industry.
Humans wouldn't even drink human breast milk as adults, so why Cows' milk?
I shudder to think of what I once consumed/contributed to.

yes. it makes me sick. once i went vegan a couple of months ago my mom told me "ya know, when you were a baby you wouldn't even drink milk. you were on soy milk the whole time."

hmmm, i wonder why. maybe because milk is sick! maybe if i would have known that i would've gone vegan earlier. is it possible children recognize things we as adults don't? i think so. we're so jaded.:(

Dec 2nd, 2004, 08:51 PM

For the Horrors of Dairy, go to this website (you will find alot there):



Dec 6th, 2004, 03:46 AM
KJ4 I first visited notmilk.com in 1999, and it is till the best website on scary dairy truths. CASOMORPHINE - now that's scary!

Dec 7th, 2004, 07:45 PM
Hi everyone~
My dad told me that his grandpa worked on a dairy farm and that there are dairy cows, that have to give milk or else they get sick. (Or hurt--can't remember exactly what he said). He said they don't necessarily (spelled right?) have to have calves to give milk. Is this true? And if it is, how can I fight against this "excuse"? Thanks!

Cows have to be pregnant to give milk, just like humans. As soon as they aren't pregnant anymore, their milk eventually dries up, just like humans. They're impregnated often so that they can keep giving milk. Their calves are taken away from them when they're less than two days old, and thrown into a veal cage, and the process starts all over again. As someone else said, a cow's life span is about 25 years. Some dairy cows are lucky if they make it to their fourth birthday.

Dec 8th, 2004, 05:06 AM
Actually... this is kind of an irrelevant point, but I don't think their milk would dry up if they did not get pregnant again... human milk does not dry up as long as suckling continues, which is what allows for "wet nurses," or nannies who suckle their charges. I think the insemination in cows occurs only to strengthen the milk production, and reinforce it.