Letter writer: Raw-milk debate misses point: Why drink cow’s milk anyway?

Graphic by Lori Deaton

The two articles on raw milk in the April 8-14 issue [“Raw Deal: Asheville’s Taste for Unpasteurized Milk” and “The Raw Milk Debate: An Interview with Food Activist David Gumpert” Xpress] neglect a critical question: Why are humans drinking cow’s milk in the first place? The idea that people should drink cow’s milk has gone the way of Donna Reed and TV dinners. Today, the only proponents of drinking cow’s milk are the American dairy trade associations, the dairy producers they represent and small producers who seek to profit from cows.

We know better now: Consumption of dairy products has a strong link to breast and other cancers, heart disease, Crohn’s disease and obesity. Moreover, dairy products cause our blood to become acidic. The blood actually leaches calcium from our bones to restore alkalinity. Calcium is best absorbed when obtained through plant sources. Cow’s milk contains a large amount of pus cells resulting from the stressed cow’s udders developing an infection called mastitis. The USDA allows 750 ppm pus cells per liter of milk, and pasteurization heats the pus but doesn’t clear it.

Mammals drink their mother’s milk until they are weaned and able to transition to solid foods. Humans are weaned by the age of 3 at the latest; after that, they have no need for anyone’s milk. Cow’s milk is designed for baby calves only. Dogs and cats, too, should never be given cow’s milk as it causes diarrhea and other intestinal problems. Unweaned puppies and kittens should be given milk-replacer formulas specifically designed for them. Were cow’s milk suited for consumption by nonbovines, it wouldn’t need to be pasteurized in the first place.

Regardless of the size of the operation, the use of land and water for milk production is an unsustainable practice. A cow produces an average of 120 pounds of waste daily. Cows are repeatedly impregnated and their calves taken away until the milk cow cannot produce anymore and is slaughtered. Do we really want to support this?

Let’s everyone grow up, give up the teat and switch to soy, almond, coconut or hemp milk!

— Robbie Coleman
Asheville

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7 thoughts on “Letter writer: Raw-milk debate misses point: Why drink cow’s milk anyway?

  1. Dionysis

    The very point I’ve made in recent posts. It is indeed odd that a community that espouses healthy living, including organic foods, would engage in a debate on the taste of a substance that is not designed for human consumption, as science has conclusively shown.

    • aed939

      Nothing we eat (e.g. spinach) is designed specifically for human consumption except for human milk from a female human’s breast. Soy/almond/hemp/coconut milk are imitation processed concoctions with lots of additives.

      • Dionysis

        And if science shows the degree of negative effects that cow’s milk has on humans with other comestibles, we’d be better off knowing about it. With regard to soy/almond, etc., you are right. That’s why I stick with water, whole fruit or vegetable juices and an occasional beer (maybe 3x per year).

    • john lomax

      Listen. At one time, all people were lactose intolerant. In the last seven thousand or so years, we have developed a gene that allows us to digest cow’s milk. So, …. it is in our genetic code to consume it as our ancestors began to adapt in Europe to the advent of agriculture. your anti cow’s milk rant is highly uninformed.

  2. Zia Terhune

    Dairy milk is stolen from calves so it can be used for humans. I have heard mother cows crying for their babies that were taken away from them right after birth. It is a mournful sound that I will never forget.

  3. Kayla Worden

    Stealing the mammary secretions designed for another species is unethical, unhealthy and exploitative. We have no right to do so and are bringing great harm to the animals, the planet and our own bodies as a result. Please live VEGAN instead. And check out http://www.Facebook.com/TheTrueFaceofDairy

    • aed939

      One could argue any animal that kills another animal or eats a plant is being exploitative. Is it unethical for a blue jay to take a robin’s egg? Is it unhealthy and unethical for the robin to eat an earthworm because the earthworm was not designed specifically for consumption by robins? Should wolves go vegan?

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