August 22nd is World Plant Milk Day, and as consumers are increasingly turning away from cruelly produced cow’s milk and toward vegan options, dairy industry sales continue to curdle. Plant milk is delicious and nutritious, and the market is growing every day with no signs of stopping. For a little motivation, we’ve compiled a list of eight reasons dairy is scary–and why you should give plant milk a try today.
Dairy Cows are Kept in Cruel Conditions
Cows, just like dogs, thrive in social environments where they can build relationships, play, and exercise. On many factory farms, where cows are kept in filthy confined spaces, this is impossible. Compassion Over Killing investigations reveal that the life of a dairy cow is painful and short. Mother cows are bred to produce large amounts of milk and artificially inseminated each year through an invasive procedure for continuous milk production. Mothers, who are sent to slaughter when no longer able to produce milk, are often “robo-milked” by machines and can suffer incredibly painful medical issues like mastitis.
Workers on Factory Farms Aren’t Much Better Off
COK investigations have also brought to light worker safety concerns. At a dairy farm in Pennsylvania, an investigator witnessed workers handling formaldehyde throughout the facility without protective gear or masks. Plus, much of the workforce on factory farms and in meatpacking facilities (where many dairy cows will end up), is comprised of vulnerable immigrant workers who are often exploited in poor working conditions for low pay.
Veal is a By-Product of the Dairy Industry
Many people have already made the decision to stop eating veal — meat cruelly produced from malnourished calves. But what many people don’t know is that the purchase of dairy products also supports the veal, leather, and beef industries. Dairy cows have to be made continuously pregnant in order to produce milk, so male calves are considered a byproduct. In many cases they are stolen from their mothers and live their short lives in extreme confinement and are intentionally malnourished so they can be sold for veal.
Plant Milk is Better For You
Believe it or not, studies suggest that about 75% of the world’s population is lactose intolerant. Many people lose their lactase enzymes after weaning— meaning, they can no longer digest milk. Instead of providing more calcium, as people previously believed, it actually leaches calcium from the bones and encourages its passage out of the body through urine. Countries with the highest rates of cow’s milk consumption also have the highest rates of osteoporosis!
Got Propaganda? The Dairy Industry Does!
Most of us grow up believing that we need cow’s milk to grow up strong and healthy–but now we know that couldn’t be further from the truth! But the dairy industry will pull out all the stops to keep their profits flowing–including dumping huge excesses of milk, scheming to fix prices, falsely advertising “happy” cows, and attempting to block plant-based milk labeling.
Factory Farming Is Destroying the Planet
Studies continue to confirm that animal agriculture is a leading cause of environmental degradation and that by choosing plant-based foods we can vastly decrease our contribution to climate change. The lead researcher of a 2018 study stated that, “A vegan diet is probably the single biggest way to reduce your impact on planet Earth, not just greenhouse gases, but global acidification, eutrophication, land use and water use.”
Plant Milk Gives You More Options
Plant milk choices are nearly endless, so if you don’t like one kind you can try another. Whether it’s creamy cashew, almond, soy, or even oat milk, you’re bound to find one that suits your family’s style. As sales of plant-based milks continue to soar, new innovative brands are appearing on shelves. Maybe try hemp, or give pea(ce) milk a chance!
Animals Aren’t Here For Us
They’re here with us. Mother cows produce milk for one reason and one reason only: to feed their babies. When there are so many plant-based options, there’s no reason for us to continue dairy’s cold cycle of cruelty. Cow’s milk consumption isn’t good for us, the planet, or the cows, so it’s high time we wean ourselves and enjoy healthier and kinder plant-based milks!
- Visit TryVeg.com today for deliciously dairy-free recipes!
- Join us in telling Kraft Heinz, parent company of meatless brand BOCA, that we’re ready for BOCA to ditch dairy and go plant-based for good. Sign and share COK’s petition.