Grandpa was a dairy farmer. As a child I visited his farm every summer and got to “help out” in the barn while Grandpa milked his gentle cows with occasional squirts to the kittens. Then Grandma taught me how to churn the cream into real butter that we spread on hot home baked bread with raspberry jam. All that homemade goodness was washed down with fresh cow’s milk cooled in Grandpa’s spring house.
Those blissful childhood memories shaped my life and what I chose to eat for many years. They helped perpetuate the dairy industry myth of HAPPY COWS and STRONG BONES until I learned the hard way that MILK DOES NOT DO A BODY GOOD! In fact, cow’s milk is meant for baby calves, not humans, for rapid growth of a 60 pound calf to a 600 pound heifer in a matter of months. In addition human consumption of the saturated fat, carcinogens, hormones and antibiotics in cow’s milk wreaks havoc with human health.
Although my grandfather’s dairy cows were pasture raised, well fed and well cared for, I now know that existence for the great majority of dairy cows on large compounds is one of unspeakable cruelty. That cruelty extends to abuse of the environment as air and water pollution and destruction of land.
So what’s the grown granddaughter of a dairy farmer to do? Treasure the childhood memories, but grow up! Now I must use my grown up eyes, mind and heart to question false health claims and expose dairy industry myths, to educate my family and friends, to find ways to live in harmony with all creatures and the environment.
I now teach Plant-Based classes, write a Blog and tell everyone who will listen about the dangers of meat and dairy to human health, animal welfare and the environment. We no longer consume any dairy products but use “Plant Milk”, widely available in grocery stores, for drinking and cooking. Sometimes we make our own milks from VEGAN/Plant-Based recipes on line. The same goes for all other dairy products—cheese, yogurt, ice cream—which we replace with plant-based alternatives.
We celebrate the growing awareness of dairy’s dangers all around the globe, most recently Health Canada’s draft food guide decision to remove dairy products almost entirely from their recommendations. We see that as a hopeful sign of global dietary changes that will positively impact human, animal and environmental health.
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