The Doctor (Not the Prime Minister) Really Does Know Best
Following up on the government’s decision to back off a proposal to axe free cow’s milk for schoolchildren (a decision based on Prime Minister David Cameron’s fear of negative publicity rather than concern for public health), I wanted to draw your attention to an excellent article in the London Evening Standard by Dr Christian Jessen, who is best known for shows such as Channel 4’s Embarrassing Bodies.
The doctor tells it like it is. “Cows’ milk is just that: for cows”, he writes. “Man is the only animal that drinks milk into adulthood. Cows’ milk is higher in sugar than humans need, and although high in calcium, only 30 per cent of it is available for use by the body, compared to 60-70 per cent for fruits, grains, nuts, roots, seeds and vegetables.” He goes on to point out that countries with the highest rates of osteoporosis also have the highest milk and dairy consumption, and he discusses the link between milk protein and diabetes. You can read the full article here.
Not only is the consumption of dairy products linked to everything from allergies and obesity to prostate and ovarian cancer, it also leads to the suffering of cows on dairy farms. Even though cows have a life expectancy of 21 years or more, most cows on dairy farms are killed when they’re between 4 and 7 years old, and they’re often pregnant when they die. Cows on dairy farms are repeatedly impregnated, and their calves are taken away from them within a day or two of birth. Female calves are condemned to the same pitiful life as their mothers, and the male calves are either shot at birth or sold to the veal industry. Considering the current battle over “super dairies” in the UK, there has never been a better time to reject this unnecessary cruelty and check out the amazing dairy-free (and cruelty-free) alternatives that are widely available in supermarkets and health food stores.