69% Of You Think Drinking Cow’s Milk Is Unnatural; Here’s Why

On Monday, I posed a question to all of you: Is drinking cow’s milk unnatural? After doing some research on that topic, there are certainly polar opinions here. PETA activists who tell us that humans are the only species who drink milk from another species. Yet, others defend their right to drink milk, stating that it’s something that has been done for centuries and there is nothing wrong with it. But the vast majority of you agree with PETA–69% said drinking cow’s milk goes against Mother Nature and is unnatural.

Kteeb wrote:

The milk is intended for the calf, not for humans just like human milk is produced for babies. We may be the dominant species but that does not give us the right to do whatever we want. One needs to think of the original purpose for everything, before humans stepped in and destroyed it. Female cows produce milk for one specific reason, to feed their babies, not for humans.

And peppermentp added:

People would think it is disgusting for adults to drink breast milk from another human, right? But it’s fine to drink the milk of an animal intended for her babies? That does not make sense at all. Cow’s milk is produced by female cows only when she has just had a calf- just like humans. Her milk should be consumed only by her calves.

But not everyone agreed. Rosie wrote:

I understand PETA’s concerns about abuse and neglect on dairy farms. But here’s the thing – using the argument that no other species consumes the milk of another is a little bit of a stretch… No other species drives cars. Should we stop? Should we go back to being hunter/gatherers because no other species of animal has mastered agriculture (fungus-farming ants excluded)? Other species don’t cook their food – should we stop?

To which Claire responded:

…drinking cows milk DOESNT improve or lengthen our lives. And Rosie, how are animals ever going to be treated ethically when to take their milk, we have to keep them continually pregnant and take away their babies (for slaughter by the way) at a day old so we can steal the milk that they only naturally produce for their own young. The concept itself is totally unethical!

Dr. Frank Lipman, an Integrative and Functional Medicine Physician and founder of Eleven Eleven Wellness Center in New York City, also told us in an earlier post that cow’s milk is not meant for humans. And all of the hormones, antibiotics and pasteurization only contributes to health issues:

Though cow’s milk may be the perfect food for baby cows, it’s not necessarily great for adult human beings. Dairy is a pro-inflammatory for many people, and classic symptoms of dairy sensitivity are mucus production, respiratory problems, digestive symptoms (such as gas, bloating, diarrhea, or constipation), fatigue, joint pains, and skin problems that range from rashes to acne. Many people don’t have these symptoms when they drink raw milk, so maybe the problems occur because of what is done to dairy.

Personally, I stopped drinking milk two years ago after reading about the unhealthy effects of dairy. And you know what? My skin cleared up, and I had fewer digestive issues. I also had concerns about the way some cows are treated at dairy farms.

In a recent ABC News story, they reported on the animal rights group, Mercy for Animals, who worked undercover at a New York dairy farm. This is what their executive director, Nathan Runkle, had to say about that experience:

These animals are really treated as little more than milk-producing machines. The overall environment at this facility was really a culture of cruelty and neglect.

Reports like this horrify me and convinced me to ditch cow’s milk because it does seem unnatural and unnecessary. Through that, I discovered almond milk which tastes even better and is packed with more nutrients than the skim milk I used to drink, so I feel like it’s been a win-win for me–and the cows.

Tell us what you think. Will you continue drinking milk or do things like this make you want to seek out alternatives?

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    • aed939

      Yes, but a lot of what humans do is unnatural, like using smart phones, wearing clothes, and riding a bike. Just because animals don’t do something does not mean humans shouldn’t. You have to consider each food for how it’s produced and what nutrition it provides.

    • Perplexed…

      I’m confused by Claire’s comment. She says that in order to keep cows in milk production, people continually impregnate them and then take their calves away. Does a cow’s lactation process differ that greatly from a human’s? Because in order for a HUMAN to keep producing milk, all you need to do (other than stay hydrated, maintain a healthy weight, etc.) is NOT STOP breastfeeding or pumping. And if you DO get pregnant again (which Mother Nature has made difficult to do while you’re still producing milk), you stop producing milk. So, are cows completely different from humans, or is Claire just grossly uninformed?

      • Pix

        My understanding is that a cow could potentially produce milk for several years, like humans. However, dairy cows are typically bred every 12-14 months in order to keep the milk production rate at it’s peak.

        After the first birth, the cow will be begin producing milk. Two to three months later she’ll be impregnated again. She will then carry the calf for about 9 months and during approx. the last two months of the pregnancy she will be ‘dried off.’ Then her calf will be born and she’ll start producing milk again.

        So if I understand correctly, her year will be:
        Give birth
        2-3 months of being milked but not being pregnant
        ~ 7 months of being milked and pregnant at the same time
        ~ 2 months being pregnant while not being milked

        To be clear, I am not a dairy farmer or a cow expert. I have read the description of the process from several different sources (specifically avoiding PETA and vegan websites and looking for info provided by those in the dairy industry) and this is how I understand it.

    • Michael Whitaker

      Just to throw my 2 cents into the pot, since I have been raised on a farm, and my uncle was a dairy farmer. (This is the UK, so we have a thing called Welfare) animals are fairly well treated in the UK.

      First point to tackle: “Cow’s milk is produced by female cows only when she has just had a calf”

      This is simply a lie. It is not correct what so ever. The milk we produce for human consumption is from the cattle breed type: friesian. This particular breed is rarely used for beef, since it doesn’t taste that good. Its sole purpose is for milk production. It is a completely genetically engineered species. Completely unnatural, and without humans, it would not exist. Now in terms of when it produces milk: this breed constantly produces milk, and if left to its own devices, will become seriously ill, its teats will lactate spontaneously, become infected, and the cow will die. Essentially, if you dont milk this particular breed every 3 days, you will cause physical pain to the animal.

      Second point: “we have to keep them continually pregnant and take away their babies (for slaughter by the way) at a day old so we can steal the milk that they only naturally produce for their own young”

      Basically following on from the first point. Again, a complete lie. Friesians are not kept pregnant. They spontaneously create milk, this was the overall point to breed them. This is easy to research, and frankly, the quote shows just how stupid this person is. If you can’t do a simple google search to fact check, you shouldn’t be taken seriously. Bare in mind that if the milk is not extracted, it will harm the cow.

      Third Point: “I discovered almond milk which tastes even better and is packed with more nutrients than the skim milk I used to drink, so I feel like it’s been a win-win for me–and the cows.”

      Well good for you, but before you smugly assume its a ‘win-win’ for you and the cow, remember that the Friesian would not exist at all if no one wanted the milk. Cattle in general are not natural what so ever. Your physical interpretation of a cow, is very different to the originals which originated in Europe (Bos Taurus). The reason they were so good for genetic manipulation was because cattle can interbreed with similar species. It provides great flexibility in experimentation to find beneficial traits.
      If we decided to not use them for beef or milk etc, then they would go extinct, since their sole purpose is to produce food for humans. Do I like this? No. Would I seek change? Yes. In fact, I am looking forward to the day when agriculture dies, and all meat and vegetation is grown in indoor farms and Labs.. and thats coming from a farmer. I dont agree with creating conscious species, and slaughtering them. However, you should be aware of the facts about something as simple as milk, and you should be aware that should we decide to not pursue dairy milk, all dairy cows will die… Its that simple. So in conclusion: NO, it is not a Win, Win for the freaken Cow.

    • Bradley Ortloff sr

      PEDA is wrong youtube has videos of different animals feeding other animals. what about goats milk?

    • Joan Bittner

      I grew up on a small family farm in Indiana and when I was a kid my Dad raised dairy cows, Jersey cows, to be specific. And no, you do not need to keep them continually pregnant to keep them producing milk. And no, they not take the babies away, but you do need to keep milking them after the baby has become old enough to feed on their own. As long as they are milked they will continue to produce milk.