What you DON'T Know about dairy

You may want to read this article before eating that pizza or drinking that milkshake.  

Our Health

People that drink milk are consuming far more than just milk. American dairy farmers have long been injecting cows with a genetically engineered bovine growth hormone called rBGH to increase milk production. This forced increase in milk production often leads to an udder infection in cows called mastitis, which is then treated with courses of antibiotics, which can make their way into your dairy products.

Dairy is one of the most inflammatory foods in our diet. It results in digestive issues such as bloating, gas, constipation, and diarrhea, as well as other symptoms. (acne, and even autistic behaviors. )

Acidity & Alkalinity

Our body likes to preserve aneutral Ph balance. This means that there should not be too much acidity in our bodies nor too much alkalinity. Milk is an acid forming food. Whenever you consume dairy, your body has to compensate for the increased acidity in order to have a neutral ph balance again.  

The way it restores its balance is by pulling from the alkaline reserves it keeps in form of calcium magnesium, and potassium that are stored in our bones. This process weakens our bones, and it can lead to fractures, osteoporosis, and any other disease linked to our bones. Research has shown that countries with higher rates of dairy consumption also have the highest rates of osteoporosis. 

Crohn’s Disease

Paratuberculosis or Johne’s disease is a contagious, chronic, and fatal infection that primarily affects the small intestine of ruminants. It is caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis. Infections normally affect mammals that have four compartments of their stomachs. 

Cows diagnosed with johne’s disease have diarrhea, and heavy fecal shedding of bacteria. The bacteria becomes cultured in milk, and is not destroyed by pasteurization. The milk-borne bacteria can begin to grow in a human host, and the results are irritable bowel syndrome and Chrohn’s Disease.

Diabetes

The protein lactalbumin, has been identified as a key factor in diabetes, and it is a major reason for not giving cows milk to infants or any person for that matter. 

Cumulative effects of dairy consumption

-Obesity

-Heart disease

-Cancer

-Allergies

-Behavioral problems

-Digestive problems

-Diabetes

-Asthma

-Constant ingestion of pesticides

Environment

The environmental footprint left in the wake of milk production is composed of three clusters of impacts.

Air quality and the atmosphere are affected by the volume of greenhouse gases (GHG) and nitrogen that are emitted relative to the volume that are sequestered in soil or otherwise captured or used.

Water quality and aquatic ecosystems are impacted as a result of soil erosion and runoff containing fertilizer nutrients, pesticides, animal drugs, and pathogens.

The soil and terrestrial ecosystems are altered as a result of land use, cropping practices, fertilizer and pesticide applications, and manure management.

A major greenhouse gas study by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the U.N. claimed that livestock accounted for as much as 18% of global greenhouse gas emissions (Steinfeld et al., 2006) Livestock are also responsible for almost two-thirds (64 percent) of anthropogenic ammonia emissions, which contribute significantly to acid rain and acidification of ecosystems.

The livestock sector is a key player in increasing water use, accounting for over 8 percent of global human water use, mostly for the irrigation of feedcrops. It is probably the largest sectoral source of water pollution, contributing to eutrophication, “dead” zones in coastal areas, degradation of coral reefs, human health problems, emergence of antibiotic resistance and many others.

The major sources of pollution are from animal wastes, antibiotics and hormones, chemicals from tanneries, fertilizers and pesticides used for feedcrops, and sediments from eroded pastures.

The growing scale and concentration of AFOs [animal feeding operations] has contributed to negative environmental and human health impacts. Pollution associated with AFOs degrades the quality of waters, threatens drinking water sources, and may harm air quality.

By definition, AFOs produce large amounts of waste in small areas. For example, a single dairy cow produces approximately 120 pounds of wet manure per day. Estimates equate the waste produced per day by one dairy cow to that of 20–40 humans per day.

An alarming amount of public lands in the US are leased by the government for grazing-300 million acres. When cattle are set loose in fragile, semi-arid environments, such as most of these public lands, they can quickly reduce it to a devastated landscape with no vegetation and unprotected topsoil waiting to be washed away with the first heavy rain. The US government allowed ranchers to virtually exterminate prairie dogs. The ranchers believed that the prairie dogs competed with their cattle for grass; so the government sponsored, and paid for, vast prairie dog poisoning programs. The current population is now only about 2% of what it once was and (according to Peter Singer, author of The Way We Eat) poisoning still continues today.

The US Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Division poisoned 2,767,152 wild animals in 2004, including badgers, beavers, bears, blackbirds, coyotes, doves, finches, foxes, geese, marmots, opossums, prairie dogs, raccoons, ravens, skunks, squirrels, starlings, and wolves. The US is not alone in allowing the cattle industry to destroy biodiversity, the Australian government issues permits for the killing of 4 or 5 million kangaroos each year as well.

Animals & Cruelty

The Cow’s production of milk occurs for the same reason as human’s production of milk, the nourishment of their babies. This means that in order to continue giving milk, factory farm operators have to impregnate(rape) them using artificial insemination every year. 

Calves are generally taken away from their mothers after a day of being born, and after the calves have been removed from their mothers. The mothers are hooked up, several times a day, to milking machines. The cows are genetically manipulated, artificially inseminated, and drugged to force their bodies to produce four, and a half times as much milk as they naturally would produce. Animals are often dosed with bovine growth hormones, which contributes to a painful inflammation of the udder known as mastitis. 

The natural lifespan of a cow is about 25 years, but cows that are used by the dairy industry are killed after 4 years. An industry study reports that by the time they are killed, nearly 40 % of dairy cows are lame because of intensive confinement, filth, and because they are constantly pregnant, giving birth and giving milk.

Dairy cow’s bodies are turned into soup, companion animal food, or low-grade hamburger meat, because their bodies are too spent to be used for anything else. 

Here are some better options