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Day 29 - Milk, does it do a body good?

America is big on milk. We've been brought up from birth with the belief that you need milk to grow "big and strong" and continue that practice throughout our life. I mean, we are mammals right? Mammals drink milk, so we need milk to live.

Well... not quite.

It is true that humans are mammals. We do drink milk when we are born, which is provided by our (human) mothers. It is nutritious and calorically-dense, which is exactly what you need when you are a tiny little baby that needs to get bigger fast.

There is a catch though. If you look at the animal kingdom, there aren't very many other mammals who drink milk after they are weaned. In fact, there aren't ANY mammals that require milk after they stop drinking it from their mothers. Yeah, cats drink milk, but that's because we provide it for them. My dog eats anything left on the ground for more then 5 seconds... that doesn't mean he SHOULD.

An example of what my dog eats:

After being weaned from their mothers, the ability of mammals to absorb lactose (the main sugar in milk) decreases constantly. Essentially the older you get, the less you are able to digest milk. I'm sure you've heard of lactose-intolerance, which is what happens when you finally realize that milk makes you feel crappy. Everyone is essentially lactose-intolerant when they grow up, but a lot of people drink it so often, they don't realize how it makes them feel.

Maybe part of the reason is that we drink cow's milk. Doesn't it seem weird that we drink milk that isn't meant for us? Cow's milk is made for.... well, cows. They are a lot bigger than us, and a heck of a lot fatter. Their milk contains almost 4% fat while ours is right around 1%. Throw in the lactose aspect, and suddenly cow's milk doesn't look like the best option for people to drink.

You can also look at milk in a different way than health. Cows only produce milk after they have given birth, just like every other mammal. This means that in order to get milk from them, they have to be impregnated, give birth, then separated from the calf and milked daily. They are also given hormones and antibiotics regularly to help them reach maturity quickly and keep producing milk. Seems a little mean doesn't it? You also have the whole factory-farm atmosphere of bad living conditions, dangerous crowding and machinery, and general mistreatment by workers.

Not exactly a great life to be a dairy cow...

Yes, milk does have vitamins and calcium in it. These are important for overall health and wellness. Unlike you might be led to believe, milk is NOT the only way to get vitamins and calcium. Almost every plant-based milk is fortified with nutrients that make it equal to, or better than, regular cow milk. You also are spared the lactose, hormones, and bad karma that comes with factory-farming practices. All that advertising about milk "doing a body good" comes from the dairy industry. It says right there in the advertisement.

You can bet that before cigarette companies were forced to put warnings on their advertisements, they made their product seem like a good thing, maybe even healthy...

You have to check this site out. Seems pretty insane these days, but people do believe a lot of what they read and see without questioning it.

Now I'm not saying milk causes cancer... but it's always good to take things you read and see with a grain of salt. Be informed, figure things out rather than have a billboard tell you what to believe. The internet makes it SO EASY to get real information, there's no excuse to not be informed.

Alright, enough of the heavy stuff! Here's a bad vegan joke to cheer you up...

A guy has a steak sticking out of one ear, a hotdog out of the other, and a chicken wing up his nose.
He goes to the doctor and asks him what's wrong.
The doctor tells him, "Well, for one thing, you're not eating right."

Be Healthy (and tell better jokes than me),


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