You’ve probably heard your whole life that cow milk makes strong bones; we see countless ads every day from cute animated cows to athletes and celebrities with milk mustaches. Companies put so much money into advertising their products as happy and healthy for you and for the cows, but this is far from the truth.
Cow milk makes strong bones right? Wrong, it doesn’t. In fact the animal protein in milk depletes your body of calcium causing your bones to be weaker. The countries with the highest rates of osteoporosis, a medical condition in which bones become brittle and fragile, are the ones where people drink the most milk and have the most calcium in their diets. The connection between calcium consumption and bone health is actually very weak, and the connection between dairy consumption and bone health is almost nonexistent (Amy Lanou Ph.D director for the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine in Washington, D.C).
Milk has also been linked to these:
- Breast cancer
- Kidney stones
- Heart disease
- Multiples sclerosis
- And more
Specifically breast cancer has a lot of evidence that links it consuming milk products. In a study done in California on 1,500 women who had been diagnosed with breast cancer, it was found that “Women who reported eating one or more servings per day of full-fat dairy products had a 64% higher risk of dying from any cause and a 49% higher risk of dying from breast cancer compared to women who ate fewer servings per day of full-fat dairy products or women who ate low-fat dairy products.” Many scientists believe that this is due to the high estrogen levels in pregnant cows, which produce the milk. Estrogen stimulates breast cells and over stimulation can cause breast cancer. It is a misconception that we need to milk cows, female cows only lactate when they are pregnant causing farmers to artificially impregnate them and take their babies away directly after birth. The baby cows are either slaughtered for veal or the females will go on to the same fate as their mothers.
No other animal in the world drinks milk into adulthood, so why do humans, especially with evidence of adverse health effects? There are healthier alternatives to milk that aren’t linked to cancer and don’t cause suffering to animals. Unlike dairy milk, which is high in saturated fat and cholesterol, soymilk fat is mostly unsaturated with zero cholesterol. Soymilk also is a rich source of phytoestrogen, a unique plant hormone that can inhibit the production of testosterone in men. Reduced testosterone levels can significantly cut the risk of prostate cancer, reduce testosterone in women, help ease PMS symptoms and hormonal acne. There are many different options for dairy free milk so, go vegan and cut out milk products from your life. You are helping yourself and you are helping your fellow earthlings. If it’s not your mom, then it’s not your milk.