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Milk Myths


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So I just saw this come across my facebook feed and one of my old classmates who is a dairy farmer pretty much deconstructed it point by point. I've known for a while that the anti-milk campaigns were pretty much bullshit but, not being a dairy farmer myself, didn't quite have the information to debunk it. So here we go.


Myth 1 – You Need Cow’s Milk to Get Calcium



Like it or not, milk is not the best source of calcium. It may be hard to believe but the calcium contained in cow’s milk is barely absorbable to the human body.

Thankfully, a milk-free diet won’t leave you deprived of calcium. The most calcium-rich foods on the planet comes from plants, especially leafy greens such as kale, spinach, and broccoli.


Nobody ever claimed cow's milk was the ONLY source of calcium, however this article lies blatantly by claiming that kale and spinach are the richest sources. Accounting for absorbability, low fat mozzarella cheese has 95% of your daily value in 100 grams, whereas the best green (watercress) has 12% daily value in 100 grams. Important to note that 100 grams of greens is more than a cup. Tofu is actually a decent source because it is fortified to have 35% daily value.


Myth 2 – Cow’s Milk Will Give You Strong Bones



Much along the same lines as we need cow’s milk to get calcium, we are also told that cow’s milk is how we get nice, strong, and healthy bones. Unfortunately, this couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, this ridiculous myth is so dangerous that I can’t believe marketers are allowed to get away with it.

Research has proven that milk actually depletes calcium from our bones and increases fracture risk, which is why the countries with the highest rate of osteoporosis are the ones where people drink the most milk!


Lie again. The reason countries that have the most osteoporosis are also those with the highest rates of osteoporosis is due to RACE. OOOH, playin' the race card...No really, Caucausians and Asians have the highest rate of fracture due to osteoporosis. Race, having a small frame, smoking, and being female all put you at higher risk of fracture.


Myth 3 – Cow’s Milk Isn’t Cruel


No amount of cute celebrities sporting milk moustaches can hide from the ugly side of the dairy industry. Calves are taken away from their mothers within hours of being born where they are fed milk substitutes and often sold as veal calves after spending months chained at the neck unable to walk, stretch their legs, and even turn around.

Mother cows are also forced to endure needless suffering and cruelty. The stress caused by poor conditions on factory farms leads to lameness, disease, and reproductive problems rendering them useless at just 4-5 years old (their natural lifespan is 25 years) at which time they are sent to slaughter.


The natural lifespan of a dairy cow is not 25 years. A Brahma (note- NOT a dairy breed) can live 25 years in rangeland conditions. A Holstein is a genetically designed milk machine. At the most she's going to make it 10 years. Most beef cows only make it to 12-15 years. Also, if ALL dairy calves go to veal, how do they get any more dairy cows? Also, what about all those Holstein calves I've been feeding on the bottle? Holstein beef (from a 24 month old steer) is a growing sector of cattle feeding as the American public divides into those who demand (and can afford) whole beef cuts and those who desire ground beef. Veal is an extremely small part of the industry.


Myth 4 – Cows Need to be Milked


For some reason, the whole world is walking around under the illusion that cows need to be milked otherwise their udders will explode, in other words by milking them we are actually doing them a favor. This myth is a downright lie.

Cows only produce milk to feed their young. If they don’t have babies, they don’t make milk. Simple. To keep cows lactating, farmers impregnate them through artificial insemination once a year. This traumatic process is carried out by constraining cows in what is known by the industry as a “rape rack.”


Okay, I'ma step in on this one for a minute. I have very deep doubts that it's called a "Rape Rack" by anybody who's not writing sensationalist tripe like this. The author is anthropomorphizing big time and using the very charged word "rape" to gain sympathy for her cause, it's awful. Also it's not any more traumatic than the process of performing a pregnancy check, an insemination wand is about 2 feet long and a little bigger around than a pencil, a cow's vagina is large enough to pass an animal the size of a large dog through it. They don't exactly go cry in the shower afterwards, in fact you might say they go and eat and continue to give no fucks about anything in general.


I don't know who these people talked to, but there is no designated "rape rack" or area specifically to inseminate cows. We have chutes (for providing vaccinations, treating sick animals or where we inseminate beef cattle), the milking parlor, and modified stanchions where dairy cattle eat. In the dairy industry, insemination usually occurs at these modified stanchions, where cows stand side-by-side.


Myth 5 – Cow’s Milk is for Humans


No one can dispute that cow’s milk is an excellent food source…for calves. This incredible food is essential to baby calves in their first few months of life, but once weaned they will never drink milk again, and that’s the same for every mammalian species on the planet. Which is why it makes no sense for us humans to be drinking it.

As if that’s not reason enough, cow’s milk contains an average of three times the amount of protein than human milk, contributing to a variety of illness and disease. That might be the incentive you need to help you ditch the dairy.


Me again. Another side-note, what she says is true, no other NATURALLY OCCURRING species on the planet drinks milk after adulthood, however if you're of white European (as well as certain other areas where its cold and there's lots of yaks, buffalo, cattle) descent then you do because your people have pretty much evolved for it so this is a nonsensical point that the anti-dairy lobby leans on pretty heavily. Other fun factoids: Did you know that no other species on Earth builds airplanes or drinks Coca Cola or listens to Enya?


Humans are NOT the only adult animals that drink milk. Some cows exhibit self-sucking or will suck herdmates when they are fresh. In addition, calves that are not weaned by man-made intervention (if you'll recall, we domesticated these creatures, i.e. we made them so stupid they don't function properly without us) will continue to suck their dams for as long as the cow has milk. The oldest calf I've seen was a two-year old, along with his yearling brother. The cow then dropped a new calf that died due to starvation. It couldn't compete with the others.
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Those both are half-truths and fabrications. I'll pick out the relevant articles later but this blog written by a dairy farmer addresses pretty much every myth about the dairy industry based on people who have "infiltrated" for a few months and then released bombshells on it with little or no understanding of cattle or context.

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I remember getting very angry watching the movie 'Deep Blue Sea' where LL Cool J plays a chef. As he's about to die, he decides to make a video as his final gift to the world. He looks to the camera and says: "How to make the perfect omelette. Some people add milk to create fluffiness and texture. This is a mistake!" And then the scene cuts away and I never found out how to make that omelette without the milk.


Anyway, Myth #6: You need milk to make the perfect omelette. Let's see your friend debunk that one!

Edited by Jumbie
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