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Why no to Animal milk and Milk products?

Milking The Old Cow
Jason Baker                                                                                                           

A close friend of mine is expecting her first baby, and like most new mothers, she wants to give her child the best start in life. She asked me to talk with Dr Neal Barnard, a respected physician who has spoken at India's most prestigious medical schools. His advice was simple: Be sure to breast-feed the baby. There are compelling health reasons for avoiding dairy-based formula. Upon hearing this, I was reminded that when we don't        interfere with animals, we're better off ourselves.

In earlier times, mothers never considered NOT breast-feeding. After all, breast milk comes ready-made, needs no heating and doesn't cost a dime. Then, a hundred years ago or so, European women who wanted to avoid this natural method of nurturing new-borne hired 'wet nurses' to do it for them. When nursemaids went out of fashion, enterprising businesspeople set about convincing women that formula made from cow's milk could supply all necessary nutrients. These entrepreneurs, who are more interested in profits than in healthy babies, have been particularly successful at persuading poor, uneducated women in developing countries to stop doing what's natural – even though natural is best--and feed their infants formula instead. The tragedy is that many poor women still believe this and mix a little bit of powdered formula with sewage-contaminated water, unknowingly giving their babies life-threatening diarrhea – one of the top killers in poor nations.

Now, says Dr Barnard, scientific studies prove that dairy-based formula is not the best choice. The American Journal of Nutrition last year reported a link between the consumption of dairy products and Type I insulin-dependant diabetes (also called juvenile-onset diabetes). The protein in dairy products, including infant formula, is also the number one cause of food allergies in children, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. As if that's not bad enough, dairy products have been linked to sudden infant death syndrome, leukemia, asthma, recurring chronic bronchitis and obesity.

Breast-fed babies sleep better at night because they are rarely plagued by colic, that terrible period of daily crying that can make even the calmest parents frantic. And, reports The Journal of Pediatrics, breast milk offers natural protection against ear infections. Recent studies even show that breast-fed babies may have higher IQs than babies fed dairy-based formula!

Dr Barnard advises that babies who can't be breast-fed for some reason should be given a soy-based formula, as it contains none of the milk protein that causes health problems.

As if dairy-based infant formulas weren't bad enough, many parents switch their babies to whole cow's milk at 12 months and unwittingly set them up for a lifetime of health problems. Many children raised on cholesterol- and saturated fat-laden milk, paneer, ice cream and curd are already showing symptoms of heart disease – a top killer of adults – by the time they are six years old. One epidemiological study found significant levels of cholesterol and fat in the arteries of most children under the age of five.

But even though most people have been taught that children must eat dairy products and animal flesh in order to grow up strong and healthy, the truth is that children raised as vegans, who consume no dairy products, meat or eggs, can easily derive all the nutrients essential for optimum growth from plant-based sources, i.e., legumes and pulses (which are high in protein), vegetables, grains and fruits. Most vegan children will also be protected from heart disease and certain cancers later in life, says Dr Barnard.

The proof is in the pudding. A colleague of mine is raising three vegan children. They are strong, healthy, active kids who swim and play football and tennis. They've never been plagued by ear infections, allergies or any of the conditions associated with dairy consumption.

Mother's milk is also best for baby cows, but they rarely get to taste it. Modern, 'efficient' dairies are all over India now. In them, calves are taken from their mothers when just days old so that the milk meant for them can be sold instead. Bull calves go, wide-eyed, off to slaughter immediately. Females suffer the same fate as their mothers – they are kept pregnant but never allowed to nurture their calves for more than a few days before their hearts are broken.

Yet anyone who's seen a newborn calf suckling while his mother grooms him with her rough tongue, gently, lovingly pushing him this way and that, knows that this is natural, the way it should be. Could you imagine a hungry calf suckling a giraffe? Of course not. Then why do humans insist on consuming the milk of another species?

If you know someone who's expecting a child, share this information with her. It is the best gift you could give the baby – and the baby cow.


2. Cow's Milk - What is it?

Cow's milk is a liquid secreted by the mammary glands of the adult female cow to nourish her young calf until weaned. Before the cow can produce milk, in common with other species of mammal, she must first become pregnant and give birth.

The Modern Dairy Industry

Modern dairy farming has become an intensive industry. To produce maximum milk yields, dairy cows are pushed to their physiological limits through a combination of selective breeding, high-protein feeds, and the latest technology. Along with the production of pigs, chickens and eggs, milk production has become just another factory farm operation.

Specialist breeds of dairy cow suited to local conditions have largely disappeared from our countryside. The high yielding and highly bred Holstein-Friesian, the ubiquitous black and white cow, now makes up 90% of the European's (EU) dairy herd. Herd sizes have increased as dairy production has become concentrated on fewer and fewer farms.

Milk yields have increased dramatically. In the 1940's, cows were producing an average of 3,000 litres of milk per cow per year. By 1983/84, average milk yields had increased to 4,940 litres, and by 1995, over 6,300 litres per cow per year were being achieved. The strain of higher milk yield can lead to serious welfare problems such as increased mastitis, lameness, and infertility. The average milking life of a cow has steadily decreased. A cow's natural lifespan could be 25 years. Most modern dairy cows are sent for slaughter at about 5 years old, after only three or four lactations.

As the UK Government's own welfare advisory body puts it: "Forcing a cow to produce excessively high quantities of milk and thereby causing metabolic stress which leads to early culling is also an important welfare issue."

Distress to Young Calf & Mother

The harsh reality is that to produce milk, a cow must have a calf. To maximise production, each calf is taken from its mother within 24-48 hours of birth. Calves would naturally suckle for 6-12 months.

Separation is a distressing process as mother and calf form a strong maternal bond. Dairy cow husbandry expert, Professor John Webster described the removal of the calf as the "most potentially distressing incident in the life of the dairy cow". Webster points out that "the cow will submit herself to considerable personal discomfort or risk to nourish and protect her calf".  Examples of this are cows that have escaped and travelled several miles to find their own calf after it has been sold on to another farm.

Raising the Calves

A proportion of female calves are selected as "herd replacements". Reared for the cowshed, these usually spend their first 6-8 weeks of life confined individually in narrow pens. Taken from their mother, and unable to interact meaningfully with their fellows, these calves suffer behavioural deprivation, which can affect them for life. Alternatively, calves may be reared in groups. With either method, calves are usually fed by artificial teat or bucket.

The young calf is particularly vulnerable to disease. To help boost the calve's immunity, it is essential that they receive colostrums, the mother's first milk, which contains extra nutrients and antibodies against disease. However, calves born to mothers with long, pendulous udders can have difficulty locating the udder. Each year, about 170,000 calves die within their first month of life. Scouring (diarrhea) and respiratory infections are common killers.


Calves can be subjected to a range of painful mutilations. Male calves have traditionally been castrated. In the UK, three methods are used; a rubber ring or other device is used to restrict the flow of blood to the scrotum within the first week of life; so-called "bloodless castration" by physically crushing the spermatic cords and surgical castration, both usually carried out within 2 months of birth. All three methods cause acute pain. Under these conditions, there is no legal requirement for an anesthetic to be used or a vet to be present.

Calves are often disbudded to prevent their horns growing, or are dehorned in later life. Both procedures are painful and stressful. Disbudding involves applying a heated iron to the horn buds of young calves up to about 2 months old. If carried out within the first week, the law does not require an anesthetic to be used. Dehorning involves cutting off the older animal's horns using a saw, horn shears or cutting wire, and cauterising the exposed blood vessels. Mercifully, an anesthetic is required by law.

Some female calves are born with one or more extra (supernumerary) teats, which are often removed using surgical scissors.

Unwanted Male Calves

The modern dairy cow has been bred to be so specialised for milk, rather than meat production, that male calves of the pure dairy breed are perceived by many farmers as not being worth rearing for meat. These pitiful calves were those exported from the UK to be reared in cruel veal crates on the European continent. Half a million calves about 2 weeks old were transported over long distances to be reared in a system so cruel it was banned in the UK in 1990.

The live export trade in tiny calves was stopped in the 1990's, due to BSE fears and the worldwide ban on British beef and calf exports. Instead, a Government scheme, the Calf Processing Aid Scheme, paid farmers to have these calves killed when just days old. This scheme was terminated in 1999. Male calves - the unwanted by-products of the dairy industry - continue to be treated like disposable waste rather than as sentient beings. All too often, they are likely to face an early death. Government advice for killing calves on farm is that "a free bullet or shotgun are preferred methods".


The veal crate is a narrow, solid-sided wooden box in which calves are unable even to turn around, let alone exercise, for the 4-6 month rearing period before slaughter. The UK banned narrow veal crates in 1990 and the EU has now agreed to ban this system by 31st December 2006. Under these new EU rules, calves must be housed either in groups or in individual pens that allow the animals to turn round. Minimum iron content and fiber must be given to all calves over two weeks old.

The Suffering of the Mother

A cow's milk production is caused by the birth of her calf. To maximise production, the modern dairy cow is made pregnant again whilst lactating. She will bear a calf each year until worn out and sent for slaughter. Most dairy cows are inseminated artificially. She will have her first calf when 2 years old. She will continue to be milked for 10 months - but will be made pregnant again in the third month. Only during the final few weeks of this pregnancy will she be dried out and her overworked udder given a rest. The amount of milk produced by the cow in peak lactation is more than 10 times the amount that the calf would naturally drink.

Grossly Overworked

The industry's quest for higher milk yield has imposed great stress on the dairy cow's metabolism. So great that she no longer has the natural capacity to keep up with her over-producing udder. To keep pace, the cow's natural food of grass and herbs is supplemented with high-protein concentrated feeds based on grains, Soya and fishmeal, which can result in increased gut and foot problems.

Professor John Webster, in The Welfare of Dairy Cattle, states, "The amount of work done by the cow in peak lactation is immense...To achieve a comparably high work rate a human would have to jog for about 6 hours a day, every day." The Professor sums up the situation in saying, "The modern dairy cow may be compared to a highly tuned racing car designed to run as fast as possible on very high grade fuel. As with Grand Prix cars, the results are, at best spectacular but at least unreliable and at worst catastrophic."

The price of high milk yield can be seen in the serious welfare problems in dairy cows...


Mastitis is a painful udder infection that occurs in all dairy herds. Some 35-40 incidences of mastitis are found per 100 cows. The bacterial infection causes inflammation and swelling of the udder, which can become hard and hot with an abnormal discharge. Antibiotics are injected into the teats of affected cows to treat the disease.


High-yielding dairy cows are prone to Ketosis, a condition that usually occurs in early lactation. It is brought on by the cow's metabolism having to work too hard to sustain milk production. This causes the cow to metabolise her own body fat to make milk, resulting in excessive amounts of ketone bodies in the liver. Dairy cow expert, Professor Webster states, "Humans with ketosis and liver damage feel extremely unwell and we may reasonably assume the same for cows."


Lameness is a painful and serious animal welfare issue. The rate of lameness in the UK dairy herd is believed to be 55 cases a year for every 100 cows. High-yielding cows are more vulnerable to lameness due to the metabolic strain they are under. Another important cause of lameness is the fact that cowsheds built 25-35 years ago were designed for traditional breeds. The longer-bodied Holstein-Friesian that now make up the majority of the EU dairy herd are too long for their cubicles. Their back legs are all too often standing in the dunging passage, where the soles of their feet can soften and crack, allowing infection to enter.

Bovine Somatotropin (BST)

Not content with dairy cows pushed to their physical limits, the genetic engineer has come up with the milk-boosting hormone, Bovine Somatotrophin (BST). BST is a genetically engineered version of the cow's own growth hormone. It is designed to increase milk production by a further 10-20%. Thankfully, BST has been banned for use or sale in the European Union (EU). However, the EU ban does not apply to imports of dairy products (e.g. ice cream) and meat from countries such as the USA where BST is used.

BST is administered by injection and can cause serious health and welfare problems. These include increased mastitis (a painful udder infection), tender and long-lasting swellings at the injection site, and digestive disorders.

Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) in Cattle & Humans

Intensification of the dairy industry causes great suffering to both cow and calf. Through the disastrous practice of turning natural herbivores (cattle) into carnivores by feeding them meat and bone meal, intensive farming has also precipitated Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) or "Mad cow disease". BSE is an infectious and incurable disease that attacks the brain and nervous system of cattle. The UK has the highest level of BSE in the world, with over 179,500 cases confirmed to March 2001. There is now official recognition that BSE may never be eliminated altogether from the cattle herd.

BSE belongs to a family of prion diseases, several of which can affect humans. The most commonly known disease in this group among humans is Creutzfeldt - Jakob disease (CJD), a rare and fatal form of dementia. In 1996, scientists discovered a new strain of CJD that occurs predominantly in younger people, known as variant CJD or vCJD. The most likely origin of vCJD is believed to be human exposure to the BSE agent, for example, through eating infected beef. As of March 2001, 95 cases of vCJD had been discovered in the UK. Like BSE in cattle, vCJD in people is always fatal.

Dairy Farming & Meat Production - the Link

It is a prerequisite for milk production that cows are kept pregnant. To fully maximise profits, farmers use dairy cows as breeding machines to produce calves for the beef industry and to replace the dairy herd itself. And at the end of her short life, the worn out dairy cow is sent for slaughter. Under measures designed to control BSE, her body will be destroyed. Clearly, the belief that animals are not killed so that humans can drink cow's milk is a myth.

Transportation & Slaughter

The business of killing farm animals has become concentrated into fewer and larger slaughterhouses. This means that animals are transported over long distances on their final journey. These unnecessarily long journeys are implicated in the dramatic spread of the latest outbreak of Foot & Mouth Disease.

At the slaughterhouse, cattle are held in a stunning pen where they are stunned using a captive bolt pistol. They are then shackled by the leg, and their throats slit. After the blood has drained away, the animal's body is dismembered.

Other Systems - Organic Dairy Farming

Some of the basic principles of modern dairying are also found in organic milk production: continual pregnancies, unwanted offspring and slaughter.


Turnstone Campaigns
13th April 2001



It is widely accepted that saturated fats raise cholesterol and increase risk of heart disease. Official dietary guidelines across the world recommend that no more than 10% of calories should come from saturated fats. In the UK, dairy foods contribute about 20% of total fat intake and over a third of saturated fat; in the USA, dairy foods contribute about 15% of total fat and 30% of saturated fat. Saturated fat from dairy foods alone amounts to 5% of total calories - about half the recommended maximum intake.

The message to cut dairy fat to promote good health is clear, but rather than accepting and working with that recommendation the dairy industry has chosen to put profit above health and keep on pushing dairy fat into the food supply. When consumers voted with their wallets against milk fat by switching to lower-fat milks, the dairy industry responded by recycling the fat back into them by other routes (cheese, cream, ice-cream and convenience foods) and charging them twice for the privilege. The success of the dairy industry in recycling its unwanted fat is shown by fact that the amount of fat and protein supplied by dairy products other than butter has remained remarkably constant in both the UK and USA for the last four decades despite whole milk sales plummeting.

Based on a study of 80,000 women over a period of 14 years, Professor Walter Willett observes that "replacing 5% of calories from saturated fat with unsaturated fats would reduce the risk of heart attack or death from heart disease by 40%." In other words, if the 5% of total calories currently coming from dairy products as saturated fat were replaced by largely unsaturated fats such as olive oil and nuts and seeds, a very substantial decrease in heart disease would be expected.

The UK Dairy Council, however, makes a concerted attempt to undermine this health message with claims such as:

"There is a growing body of evidence ... that milk itself does not raise blood cholesterol."

"Compelling new research has confirmed that regular milk drinkers do not increase their risk of heart disease."

These claims are echoed by the US National Dairy Council Handbook of Dairy Foods and Nutrition (2000) which goes so far as to claim:

"Findings to date do not support blanket recommendations to preferentially decrease intake of animal fats such as milk fat to reduce the risk of heart disease or other major chronic diseases. Rather moderation in total fat intake, from both animal and vegetable sources, is recommended."

It is tempting to dismiss the dairy industry claims as mere wishful thinking, but in the interests of clarity as to the health implications of a dairy-free diet we have chosen to challenge these claims head-on. The Vegan Society, of course, would like to see the dairy industry disappear for animal welfare and environmental reasons as well as for health reasons, so in that sense we are not unbiased either. However, in the interests of exposing the truth about dairy foods and health we are offering the UK Dairy Council, and indeed its US counterpart, a right of reply on our website and in a future issue of our magazine. We will give them every opportunity to engage in an open debate - if they dare.

Claim No. 1: Dairy products are necessary to provide enough calcium to prevent osteoporosis, regardless of adverse effects.

Calcium is a very good thing, but increasing calcium intake from 500 mg per day to 1500 mg per day will add less than 90 mg per day to the calcium retained by most adults, and less than 50 mg per day for the 10% of adults with the lowest calcium absorption, who are at particular risk of osteoporosis.

Other aspects of diet are equally significant. 10 g of salt per day will subtract about 70 mg per day from retained calcium by increasing calcium losses in urine whereas 4000 mg of extra potassium from a diet rich in vegetables, fruits and other unrefined plant foods will add 60 mg per day to retained calcium by reducing calcium losses.

Vitamin K is especially important in promoting healthy bones and reducing calcium losses, particularly in postmenopausal women.

In other words, relying on calcium alone to prevent osteoporosis is like fielding a football team with only strikers and no defenders.

Dairy products are not the best source of calcium as they cause calcium losses at the same time as providing calcium. A third of the calcium absorbed from milk and more than two thirds of the calcium absorbed from cheese is wasted in this way. In contrast, green leafy vegetables such as kale and spring greens provide plenty of well absorbed calcium while at the same time reducing calcium losses.

Our prehistoric ancestors obtained abundant calcium from plant foods while dairy products are a recent and unnecessary innovation. A diet based on Vegan Society recommendations will have abundant amounts of calcium and potassium along with plenty of vitamin K - a key nutrient for bone health which is notably missing from milk but plentiful in green leafy vegetables.

A comprehensive review of relevant research can be found at

Dairy products are an exceptional source of calcium, but relative to recommended intakes they are an equally exceptional source of saturated fat. The recommended maximum daily saturated fat consumption on a 2000 kcal diet (typical for many women) is 22g. 1000 mg of calcium from dairy products comes with 17g of saturated fat somewhere in the food supply while a 1000 mg of calcium from cheddar cheese comes with a stunning 30 g of saturated fat. The dairy industry charges as much for reduced-fat milk as for any other milk creating a cheap source of unwanted and unhealthy fat which is pumped back into the food supply, thus negating any benefit to the population as a whole.

Claim No. 2: Dairy products are beneficial for heart health despite raising cholesterol.

The "compelling new research" indicating that "regular milk drinkers do not increase their risk of heart disease" refers to the study by Andy Ness and others published last year entitled "Milk, coronary heart disease and mortality." Like the study by Willett cited earlier, this study measured some aspects of diet and lifestyle and observed subsequent mortality but it involved less than a tenth of the number of people in Willett's study.

The authors observed a statistically significant reduction in deaths from heart disease with increased consumption of milk as a drink (11% for the medium milk group and 32% for the high milk group) before adjustment for risk factors, other than age. This relationship remained largely unchanged after adjustment for other risk factors, but was found to have a 1 in 10 chance of being a random observation - in other words it ceased to be statistically significant.

On the other hand, in Hu and Willett's study of US nurses, the fully adjusted risk of heart disease in those consuming two glasses of whole milk per day was 67% higher than for those consuming no whole milk, with less than a 1 in 10,000 chance that the increased risk was a random observation. This study observed no significant effect from skimmed milk.

Both studies are subject to the criticism that it is difficult to adjust for all related characteristics of individuals freely choosing their own diet and lifestyle. It is even more difficult to persuade people to make long-term changes to their diet according to specific instructions, so observational studies such as those cited are often the best evidence available. However, this is not the case for milk and heart disease.

There was a common but misguided belief in the 1950s that high dairy ("Sippy") diets were good for ulcers. Some doctors assigned most of their ulcer patients to high dairy diets while others made little use of such diets. Thus a unique experiment on the effect of assigning individuals to high dairy consumption was created.

A 1960 study on the Sippy diet compared mortality in ulcer patients in the UK and USA depending on whether they had been assigned to the "Sippy" diet or not. Ulcer patients on the Sippy diet were compared both with ulcer patients on other diets and with other patients in terms of the percentage showing heart attacks (myocardial infarction) on autopsy. The results were striking:

Ulcer patients on Sippy diet

Ulcer patients on other diets

Patients without ulcers









In the UK the chance of the differences between the Sippy groups and each of the other groups being a random finding was less than 1 in 20 and in the USA it was less than 1 in 100. The study thus provides uniquely strong evidence that high dairy intake substantially increases risk of dying from a heart attack.

The dairy industry also advances two indirect arguments for milk being protective due to non-fat components, namely calcium and B12.

There is good evidence that increases in calcium intake work with increases in potassium and decreases in sodium to reduce blood pressure and reduce risk of stroke and heart disease. As noted above, a healthy vegan diet provides ample calcium without the dangerous saturated fat that goes with it in dairy products.

Milk is also a source of B12 and adequate B12 is essential to avoid elevated levels of homocysteine - a major risk factor for heart disease and overall mortality. Most nonhuman primates get enough B12 from plant foods contaminated with soil and insects. Modern vegans spare the insects and avoid the potential ill effects of contaminated soil and are therefore advised to get at least three micrograms of B12 from fortified foods or supplements daily. This, along with plentiful folate and B6 from green leafy vegetables and other plant foods, is sufficient to minimise homocysteine levels.

Once again, a diet following Vegan Society guidelines provides everything humans need for health. Adding dairy products with their accompanying saturated fat offers only disadvantages in terms of health.

Claim No. 3: Dairy products don't actually raise cholesterol anyway.

The first two claims were flimsy and unsubstantiated but this claim moves even further into the realms of fantasy. The US Dairy Council Handbook provides 178 references in the chapter on "Dairy Foods and Cardiovascular Health" and highlights a 1977 study by Howard and Marks suggesting that milk consumption causes a significant drop in cholesterol. It also includes several other studies carried out around that time. Unsurprisingly, it completely ignores a later paper by Howard and Marks which states:
Roberts et al. report that they can find no evidence that milk contains a cholesterol-lowering factor as previously proposed by us. After reviewing their evidence, our other published work, and more recent unpublished results, we agree that such is indeed the case.
The handbook also fails to mention the paper by Roberts et al. which shows a 9% increase in cholesterol with one litre of whole milk per day: to lose one key reference could be considered an accident; to lose two is (at best) carelessness.


The addition of dairy products to a diet based on Vegan Society recommendations will significantly undermine health. The dairy industry is indulging in wishful thinking and selective citation and should either

  • stop recycling fat from low fat dairy products back into the food supply, or
  • stop promoting dairy foods as healthy, or
  • Show that we have got it completely wrong.

We welcome a debate to make the truth evident to all.   animalmilk.pdf

Exactly,Animal Milk is not made for human being.It is made by Nature for their babies( like calf etc.)

Why Animal Milk is cruel ( it is not question of Non Vegetarian or Vegetarianism of MILK) :-

1. Animals are kept in confinement.
2. Animals are tied with ropes/chain 20 hours a day atleast.
3. Animals are subjected to Artificial insemination for pregnancy, thus excessive pregnancy leads to shorter life, which ends at Slaughter houses.
4. Animals are fed with "unnatural and processed foods" for getting excessive milk.
5.They are not allowed to roam around on the feild for eating their natural diet.
6.If animals are not provided with Bata and other oil cakes/cattle feed( often adultered with meat meal/fish meal)
7.Babies are not allowed to drink milk of their mother.
8.Babies are just allowed to touch udders of their mothers.
9.Babies are fed with unnatural foods and grass infact they need mother's milk.
10.Male calves are put to starvation or sold to slaughter house.
11. Animal milk now days is taken out with the help of compressor machines.
12. Human being is the only specie who used to drink milk of other specie.
13. Animal milk is not made for human body.
14. Animals are subjected to Hormonal injections/medicines to obtain milk instantly from their udders. So no need of babies even.
15. Antibiotics,Puss,Blood Cells always do transmitted into animal milk while milking them.
16. excessive milking/feeding/pregancy make animals weaker.So when they become uneconomical they are sold out for slaughterring.

Lot of reasons for not drinking animal bovine, it is simply a liquid meat.


Alternatives to animal milk – Soya Milk, Almond Milk, Rice Milk, Tofu ( for Paneer), Coconut Milk( casein free) .