By: Ellen Fisher
My sister took this beautiful picture of a wild and free mother cow with her calf while hiking here in Maui. By far, the hardest food for most people to release from their diet is cheese. I cannot count how many times someone has come to me in desperation for advice on how to rid themselves of their addiction to cheese. Yes, you read that right; I said addiction.
Humans are the only species on the planet who drinks milk after they are weaned off their mothers. We, humans, are also the only species on the planet to drink milk from another species. You will never see a monkey drinking milk from a giraffe and you will never see a pig drinking milk from a tiger. It just does not happen in nature. We have been conditioned by the media and the dairy industry, with big help from our “honorable” government, to believe that we need milk to survive, thrive and be healthy. When quite the opposite is true. I have had a number of well-meaning mothers come to me with real concerns over the health and well-being of my child simply because I am not feeding him the breast milk from a cow. I have also had many mothers come to me for advice on what to use as a substitute for cows milk for their child who is allergic to dairy- as if cows milk somehow has these essential nutrients that we cannot get anywhere else.
If I handed you a glass of pig’s milk would you drink it? No, what’s that you say? That’s disgusting and absurd? I couldn’t agree with you more. What about a glass of dog’s milk? Horse milk? Still no? Then why on earth do we think it is normal and delicious to drink cow’s milk? I know why. It’s because we have been duped. We have been brainwashed and spoon fed lies.
The dairy industry’s major selling point is that milk drinking prevents osteoporosis. Yet staggering statistics show otherwise. The countries that consume the highest amounts of dairy (such as the United States, England, and Sweden) are also are the countries who have the highest rates of osteoporosis! This is because all animal protein is highly acidic. So when animal foods are ingested the human body often leaches calcium from our bones to balance the acidity in the body, leading to its excretion in the urine. So we actually are promoting osteoporosis by drinking cows milk. These findings are not widely known to the public for one big reason: MONEY. The dairy industry is doing everything they can to convince you that you need to consume the breast milk from a cow to be healthy. Corporate news cannot properly bring you accurate reports because they are funded by their advertisers. For more detailed information on how hard it is to get truthful nutritional information to the broader public, read the book “Whole”, by Nutritional Biochemist Scientist, T. Colin Campbell. It is a wonderful read and one of my favorite informative books.
It is estimated that 75% of humans across the world are lactose intolerant. That means three out of every four people on this planet, when they drink milk, experience one or more of the following: diarrhea, stomach ache, gassiness, bloating, ear infection, and excess mucus. This should be a sure sign that maybe, just maybe, we are not physiologically designed to thrive on the breast milk of another mammal, just as every other species in the world is not either. Your body is trying to tell you to stop drinking cows milk!
All mammals are born with an enzyme known as lactase. That enzyme breaks down the sugar known as lactose. As we mature we loose that enzyme. So it is normal to be lactose intolerant as an adult. But of course, the dairy industry then creates a new product known as “Lactaid, where they inject the enzyme into it, which is obviously not normal and not natural at all. The dairy industry tries to tell us that they know better than we know our own bodies. But they don’t. Your body knows best.
Most people do not actually know the process that takes place in order for their dairy products to get to the table. A glass of milk has just as much cruelty, if not more, than a piece of steak. A female cow only starts producing milk once she becomes pregnant. Contrary to popular imagination, dairy cows do not produce milk just to produce milk. They specifically produce milk for their babies. These factory farmed cows only become pregnant by artificial insemination. There is no sex on the farm. A bare hand or long steel device is shoved into their vaginas to inject them with bull semen.
So now the cow is pregnant. Usually, within hours of birth, calves are stolen from their mothers. Their babies can become so distressed from the separation that they become sick, lose weight from not eating, and cry so much that their throats become raw. The male calves have little value on the dairy farm. So they are sold at auction and are either raised for beef or go to the veal industry, where they are put in small crates, fed an insufficient diet, deprived of mother’s milk, cannot turn around in their crates and never see the light of day. The veal industry only exists because of the dairy industry. The female calves are also taken from their mothers because we want the milk for our own consumption.
How would you feel if you had your baby torn away from you?
I will emphasize again, the reason babies are stolen from their mothers is to prevent the calves from sucking up the milk they want to sell to the public. We vote with our dollars. By drinking a glass of milk, eating cheese at restaurants, and putting cream cheese on your bagel, you are voting that you want baby calves to be stolen from their mothers.
Some people have this idea that animals do not have feelings and cannot think and use their brain. Animals use their legs to walk, bowels to defecate, mouths to chew, and eyes to see. All of their body parts work as it is supposed to. Why would we not think they can use their brains to think and feel as well?
“The worst scream I have ever heard, and let me tell you, I have heard them all first hand. When I started finding out about this stuff, a little over 15 years ago, I was like everybody else. I didn’t believe it was that bad. I thought everybody was exaggerating. But unlike everybody else who just blows it aside, brushes it off, I actually went to go see what was going on. I spent six weeks at Thorn Apple Pig Valley Slaughter House in Detroit in 1993. I broke into animal research laboratories, I broke into fur farms. I went behind the scenes at every circus and every rodeo that came through Michigan. But the worst scream I have ever heard was a mother cow on a dairy farm. As she screams and bellows her lungs out day after day for her stolen baby to be given back to her. And I can only imagine the same scream every woman in this room would make, if somebody held you down after birth and stole your newborn baby from you. ” -Gary Yourofsky
My aunt once told me of how farm life was for her growing up in Indiana which painted a very different picture. She spoke of her experience milking dairy cows where the calves generally were allowed to drink some of his/her mother’s milk and grazed on pasture. She could not possibly believe the things I am describing to you now to be true and strongly resisted this information. Her imagination still wants to believe that the milk and cheese she now buys from the grocery store comes from that same picture. But it definitely does not. Over 95% of animal foods consumed in America today comes from factory farms. All these billions of livestock animals produced each year live concentrated together indoors in terrible unimaginable conditions.
Approximately 40% of dairy cows are lame by the time they reach the slaughterhouse. They are pumped full of antibiotics and hormones so they can produce more milk which enlarges their utters to extremely painful dimensions. It is estimated that 70% of all the antibiotics sold in the US are being fed to animals on factory farms. Mastitis (inflammation of the mammary gland and udder tissue) is common amongst dairy cows. Any nursing mother who has experienced mastitis knows just how painful this is. Machines are hooked up to the udders of cows several times a day to suck them dry. Infections and pus form inside and outside of the udder and the pus is then sucked out of the milk! Pasteurization only sanitizes the pus, it does not eliminate it. Each glass of milk, by USDA standards, is allowed up to one eye-dropper full of pus. Organic cows milk actually has more pus than non-organic milk because when cows get infections, which is quite common on dairy farms, medicines aren’t used to treat the ailment. When cows no longer produce massive amounts of milk after 5-7 years, they are sent straight to the slaughter house. When given a chance, cows can live up to 18-25 years.
“The human body has no more need for cow’s milk than it does for dog’s milk, horse’s milk, or giraffe’s milk.” – Michael Klaper, MD
Really quick I want to touch on the subject of babies who are fed formula and not fed breast milk. In the world we live in today, there is not near enough emphasis on the importance of breastfeeding. So often, women are not properly encouraged and supported to fully understand their bodies, their babies’ signals, and the importance of a healthy diet for nursing, which can lead to problems down the road on their breastfeeding journey. There is so much I could say when it comes to the subject of breastfeeding, so I plan on doing a whole post on this subject. Stay tuned for this one.
So do you know why it is so dang hard to give up dairy products such as cheese, and why it truly can become an addiction? It’s called casomorphins- protein fragments, derived from the digestion of the milk protein, casein. The distinguishing characteristic of casomorphins is that they have an opioid effect. Mother cows, before birth, produce this substance in their milk to make sure that their calf stays close. Actually, all female mammals do this too, including humans. It is not morphine, but it sure is a version of morphine under a not so disguised name of casomorphins. The casomorphins are stored in the fat of milk. This is why higher fat dairy products in particular, such as cheese, butter, and cream can be the hardest food for people to cut out of their diet. Knowing this, it makes perfect sense how this component plays a huge role in the mother/baby (and toddler) nursing relationship. Milk is addicting in every way, shape, and form.
So now what? How do you get rid of this extremely unhealthy addiction? Kick it to the curb and cut it out like a drug, because quite frankly the human body treats it like a drug. When an alcoholic makes a life changing decision and goes to a treatment center to get help, does the counselor give him/her “cheat days” to drink a beer on the weekends? Does the counselor say, “Once a month or so should be fine, and feel free to drink a little bit on a special occasion”? No, of course not. The best course of action to get rid of an addiction is to cut it out completely. The longer you go without it, the easier it will be to rid yourself of even the thought and desire to touch such a product.
If you are looking for a “substitute” for milk, stop right there. Let’s called it what it really is. It is an “alternative” to satisfy your desire for milk. When people use the word “substitute” for replacing milk in their diet it sounds as if cows milk is the standard of what we humans should be eating, when it clearly should not be. Today I’ve chosen two different recipes which are big hits here at the Fisher house!
Fresh Coconut Milk
the meat of one young coconut
the water of one young coconut
2-3 cups water
1/4 a vanilla bean, scraped
optional: for a sweet “milk” add 2-3 dates
Blend all ingredients on high until smooth. Kid’s love this creamy smooth milk.
Creamy Cinnamon Milkshake
4 frozen bananas
1-2 fresh young coconut waters
5 Medjool dates, pitted
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Blend all ingredients on high until smooth. Add more coconut water if you want a thinner consistency, add less coconut water if you desire a thicker consistency. I’m not even kidding you guys, this milkshake is so creamy, sweet and satisfying! And it isn’t filled with pus, hormones, processed sugars, and a baby cow’s breast milk. Make sure your bananas are ripe before freezing them: no green tip with lots of brown spots! Drink the whole thing for breakfast for a sweet and satisfying start to your day. Of course, make a larger batch if you desire more.
Cheers to health everyone! Let’s leave the cow’s milk for baby cows and human milk for baby humans, shall we?
In Love and health
–Mango Island Mamma, Ellen Fisher
Ellen Fisher is a passionate advocate for breastfeeding, veganism, home birthing, gentle parenting and an all around eco-conscious way of living. She shares her passions through her social media outlets on Instagram (@ellenfisher) and YouTube (channel name: Ellen Fisher). She also has two vegan recipe ebooks out on her website at ellenfisher.com. Ellen became vegan over 10 years ago which helped heal her ailments of anorexia, poor digestion, and acne. She has had two fully vegan pregnancies and Ellen and Andrew’s children have been raised on a healthy vegan diet since birth.