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Piperita's avatar

I love cow's milk, but how do I live without it now that I have learned about its production?

Asked by Piperita (18points) July 11th, 2018

I love milk. I love it with tea, coffee, hot chocolate or just simply milk. I need it for baking and cooking too, but now that I’ve learned about its production and how cows were treated I don’t feel like drinking milk anymore.

I know that there are animals that are meant to be eaten and it is a part of life, but these cows are impregnated yearly just for milk, and now I am aware that I’m drinking milk off of abused cows and it makes me feel really bad.

(While the thought of slaughtered animals hurts my heart, I cannot simply quit eating meat, but it’s moderated. I have a soft heart for cows so I don’t really eat beef unless it’s the only thing left.)

Are there any of you who gave up on drinking cow’s milk? I kind of feel like giving up on drinking them but they’re a part of me. I could drink alternatives (like almond) but it’s not a good source of calcium which I really need because I have bad bones. Is it even possible to quit drinking milk? Are there any alternatives with proper amounts of calcium?

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21 Answers

KNOWITALL's avatar

Why don’t you just buy from a farmers market or local dairy farm? You don’t have to give it up to not be part of abusing them.

I did give up milk for quite some time and never really got back to drinking it much. I have tried almond milk and other alternatives, which I don’t really love, but my blood levels are all fine, so I have more yogurt and cheese instead.

zenvelo's avatar

I have cut way back on my dairy, I don’t drink cow’s milk, but drink almond milk.

You don’t need milk for calcium, there are plenty of alternatives:

Other foods that are high in calcium include:
White beans.
Some fish, like sardines, salmon, perch, and rainbow trout.

And there are “humane” dairies that you can go to. Choose certified humane.

janbb's avatar

Organic or certified humane milk should be available to you.

Kardamom's avatar

There are lots of delicious vegan alternatives to milk. I know, because I have been a vegetarian for 30 plus years.

Many of the vegan milk alternatives already contain calcium, and others are fortified with calcium. You can always use more than one type too. Here is a list of many different types of vegan milk alternatives and their nutritional profiles:

There are lots of other foods that are high in calcium, so you can add more of them into your diet. Like I’ve said on this site many times, before I became a vegetarian, I had a pretty limited diet, and did not realize how much delicious, and healthy, food was available, until I started doing my own research, and was introduced to all sorts of things by other vegetarian friends.

Here is some info about alternative sources of calcium, and how much calcium you need:

canidmajor's avatar

It seems that there are enough humane alternatives to factory farmed milk that you would not have to give it up or substitute non-dairy alternatives.

Do check out the link @zenvelo posted.

janbb's avatar

The OP has stated that she loves milk so humane milk would seem to be the best solution. She did not say she is looking for sources of calcium.

Kardamom's avatar

@janbb, if you read all the details, the OP does mention the idea of needing calcium.

The OP said, “I could drink alternatives (like almond) but it’s not a good source of calcium which I really need because I have bad bones.”

I don’t think they knew that there are lots of different dairy-free milk alternatives that do indeed contain calcium. I provided a list.

janbb's avatar

^^ You’re right. Sorry.

2davidc8's avatar

There are brands of almond and cashew milk that have added calcium.

tinyfaery's avatar

What’s more important, the well-being and life of a sentient creatures or what you put in your gob? There is no such thing as humane dairy.

johnpowell's avatar

@tinyfaery :: What would satisfy you? Say I had a few dairy cows on five acres and they had all they could eat of fresh organic grass. And then I wanked the tits for a bit to make some hot chocolate or a grilled cheese. Is that raping the cow?

Wait.. Vegans don’t eat eggs. So totally not worth having this convo.

Kardamom's avatar

Calm down folks. The OP has not said they were a vegetarian or a vegan. They are trying to make their way. Let’s help them, gently, make their way.

JLeslie's avatar

It really depends on how extreme you are going to look at it. Humane milk the cows are still being tugged on, and the more tugging the more they produce milk, unless I’m misunderstanding thecidea behind it. At the same time, sometimes it’s a relief to have the milk expressed probably?

I was dairy free for anoutv4 years at one point. I cheated very very rarely. I felt better, and was thinner. I do think it partly was from giving up dairy. I cut way back last month, and I’ve lost 8 pounds. I cut back on dairy and meat also.

I remember years ago writing that impregnating cows with AI is basically rape, and a few jellies freaked out on me.

What you might try is leaning in a little. I eat my cereal with ½ skim milk ¼ almond milk and ¼ water. You could use wile milk if that’s what you’re used to. I find the almond milk needs to be thinned out a little in cereal so that’s why I add the water. I’ve tried several Almond milks, and take it from someone who still drinks milk and eats dairy, and still knows that taste, Almond Breeze Unsweetened Original is the one to try in my opinion. A lot of people like the vanilla flavor, but to me it tastes off.

Over time you might get used to eat and be fine with the almond milk alone.

I wouldn’t worry about the calcium at all. Tons of people don’t drink or eat dairy. Many foods have calcium, you can take calcium supplements too. Most important is vitamin D to make the calcium go to the right spot—your bones. Too much calcium in the blood is really bad for you, clogs and hardens arteries and other soft tissues. Do you actually have low calcium or osteoporosis? I’m not giving medical advice, but I would suggest reading up about it. I’m not saying take in more or less if calcium or D, but you might want to see blood test results for yourself next time you go to the doctor. Just know calcium blood levels do not tell you how dense your bones are.

Also, milk reduces calcium absorption, because it reduces stomach acid, compared to other things that have natural calcium or fortified with calcium.

The Dairy Council in America, or whatever it’s called, has spent a lot of money convincing Americans over the years they need milk for healthy bones. They’ve done a great marketing job. Moreover, in the middle of the country drinking milk was supporting local industry and neighbors, plus people who immigrated there often came from very high milk consumption countries.

So, are you’re giving up all milk products? No more cheese pizza?

KNOWITALL's avatar

@johnpowell Abused? Not at the farms around me. Treated like queens more like! Too many youtube videos I guess.

Dutchess_III's avatar

How is impregnating a cow every year “abusive”? And don’t they just need to get pregnant once, and as long as they’re being milked, don’t they continue to lactate?

KNOWITALL's avatar

The production of milk requires that the cow be in lactation, which is a result of the cow having given birth to a calf. The cycle of insemination, pregnancy, parturition, and lactation is followed by a “dry” period of about two months before calving, which allows udder tissue to regenerate.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I understand that. But what i’m asking is, if you just keep milking the cow after she’s given birth, won’t she just keep lactating in response? It’s like a human mother. The more the demand of the milk, the more milk is produced.

kruger_d's avatar

Typically cows are dry for about two months before they calve. Goats, too, and I’m guessing most mammals have a similar cycle. I know it’s not your only concern, but yearly pregnancies are naturally for lots of mammals. BTW, goat milk is delicious, and odds are their is a local producer near you.

Piperita's avatar

Thank you everyone for the suggestions and answering my question.

tinyfaery's avatar

Forced pregnancy. Constant pregnancy. Calves taken away from their mothers at birth. Cows are very attentive to their young. The bond will last a lifetime given the chance. Separating mother and calf is cruel. And if you are drinking tit juice that is for calves, what are the calves drinking? Infections. Antibiotics. Blood and puss in milk.

There is no such thing as humane dairy. Or dairy that isn’t fucking disgusting.

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