Why dairy free? Why have I chosen a dairy free life style? Why are more people going dairy free? Why should you go dairy free?
First let’s look at the Dairy Industry.
Cows are kind of like humans – but we walk on two legs & we don’t have that super cool black & white spotty pattern. Cows produce milk for their young, like women do for their children. Therefore cows are often forced to give milk… How? Through artificial insemination. Within days of being born calves are then taken away from their mothers. Males have two horrible destinies. They either have an extremely short life & end up as veal or they are fattened for beef. They are kept in poor conditions, dark, small & dirty areas – with no room to move & so their flesh stays tender… It just gets worse. To keep the flesh white they are fed a liquid diet low in iron & small nutritious value. This poor diet makes the male calves ill leading to diarrhoea & pneumonia. After this terrible experience they are shipped to a slaughterhouse & killed – inhumanly.
Just as unfortunate females are sentenced to the same way of life as their mothers. When the female cows are ready for milking they are attached to a milking machine. This can go on for hours & can happen several times a day. Mothers are genetically manipulated & drugged to force them to produce milk for this long amount of time – much more than a cow would naturally give to their young. Let’s get even more nitty gritty – cows are pumped with BGH which leads the udders to be inflamed this causes the mother a lot of pain & a condition called mastitis. As a result cows lives are shortened dramatically to around five years. Naturally healthy cows live until their mid 20s. The shocking statics also show that by the time cows reach 5 years of age they have become lame – this then makes them ‘useless’ in the dairy industry. Their lives end & their bodies are either turned into food for their companions – who will soon suffer the same fate or used in low grade-meat sold for human consumption. Gross…
Now let’s think about the ‘health’ benefits of milk.
First of all lets think about some of the foods we love that contain dairy – the most obvious are milk, cheese, butter, chocolate, cream, yogurt, ice cream. However there are also a lot of foods that contain dairy that you wouldn’t even realise unless you read the teeny tiny writing on the back of the packet. Such as breakfast cereals, ready meals, breads, baked good, crisps, condiments, a lot of food items contain milk or forms of dried milk. The thing that annoys me the most – for example the supermarket Asda have their own bread. This bread does not contain milk, however their Gluten-Free bread does. This seems to be a case with a lot of Gluten-Free foods. Compared to their Gluten companions they contain milk. That massively sucks for me & others trying to live a Gluten-Free Vegan lifestyle.
What to look out for – on that teeny tiny writing. First of all – milk. If it says contains milk then guess what it’s not dairy free. However their are also some hidden names for dairy products. Pop on your Sherlock cap kids & get snooping! If the ingredients contain whey, casein, caseinate or lactose it means it’s not dairy free! So always read the labels & stay clear of these little naughties!
There you have it – that has kind of covered off the basics of dairy. Let us dig a little deeper. The average human consumes a high amount of dairy products. Dairy product contain a high amount of fat – so much so I would consider milk unhealthy – did you know that 2% milk actually contains 35% fat per recommended serving. It gets worse – most butters contain 100% fat which is higher than cheese which is usually around 75%. That is a lot of fat – I personally don’t want that much fat entering my body – especially when it’s at an animals expense. Recent studies have shown people who consume a high amount of dairy products are more prone to cardiovascular disease & gallstones. In fact dairy products don’t really have any health benefits & to really kick you in the goolies it also lacks in iron – which is important for a healthy diet. Is it starting to make sense why a dairy free lifestyle is healthier? The nutrients that milk contains are Vitamin A & D & guess what? These vitamins are not natural to dairy products – they are added so that the suppliers can claim they are higher in nutritional value & it’s a recruitment of the law. Oh my fudge! Is it just me that things this is crazy. Dairy products – especially milk is forced into our faces from an early age as being so health & needed. When really it’s old fashioned & completely the opposite. The world, the food industry, consumers need to wise up.
However it’s not all doom & gloom & full of craziness. Did you know that our bodies do not require the nutrition that comes from cows milk. In fact there are many plant-based sources for nutrients such as calcium that are better for our bodies. They are healthier, lower in fat, calories & cloistral. Next time you’re out shopping go for nut milks – almond milk, hazelnut milk taste great & are full of good stuff. Rice milk & coconut milk are also so natural & taste amazing. Try soy cheese & reduce the amount of fat you intake. Coconut yogurts have got to be one of the tastiest alternatives I’ve tried since I have turned vegan. Experiment – go wild – don’t be scared to try new things & work out what is good for you. At the end of all of this – if you are still worried about a lack of calcium add more spinach & broccoli to your diet. Turns out these two green veggies are packed with calcium.
With these little changes to your diet you will be picking nutrient foods that are low in cholesterol & high in vitamins. Taking away dairy products & replacing them with healthier substitutes it the way forward for a healthier lifestyle.