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Is it Natural to Drink Milk?

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Is it Natural?

Many people in popular culture today are spreading the notion that drinking milk is unnatural, and are suggesting to people that humans are not meant to drink milk. In fact, P!nk, a popular pop artist in the U.S., included this very message in her music video for her song “Raise your glass.” Also, if you do a web search you can find thousands of articles on the internet from people proclaiming that milk drinking is unnatural. But is drinking milk really so unnatural? Lets look at this closer.

People have been Drinking Milk for Thousands of Years

The fact of the matter is that people have been drinking milk for thousands of years. Humans have depended on raising cows for meat and dairy products for a long time, and this is a well documented fact. In fact, Bloomberg recently published an article stating that dairy farming started 7,000 years ago according to milk residues. The article also notes that cave paintings have also been found suggesting that animal farming predated plant cultivation. So people were probably drinking milk before they were eating grains.

Granted however that dairy cows have not always been the source of milk throughout history. The kind of animal producing the milk depended largely on the climate. For example, in India and Pakistan milk is more likely to be from water buffalo, desert regions prefer camels, mountainous regions often use sheep and goats, and in northern climates elk and reindeer are the milk suppliers. So even though cows may not have been the source, people have been drinking milk for a long, long time.

Drinking milk is a product of Western culture, Right?

Not true, drinking milk is not a Western phenomenon. Many people today are taught that dairy farming is primarily a European invention, and that Asians and Africans can’t consume dairy products. Surprisingly this is factually untrue.

The same Bloomberg article as referenced above affirms that dairy farming did not start in Europe, and notes that dairy farming may have been developed in East Asia before 5,000 B.C, and from there, this technology may have been passed along west to Saharan Africa. According to the article, the researchers discovered this by using chemical analysis of milk residues that were absorbed into ancient pottery. The research is showing how Asia and Africa were instrumental in developing and spreading the dairy culture.

Suggesting that Asians and Africans can’t consume dairy products poses a very unclear statement. Asian and African are not a race, but made up of many different people and cultures. Some cultures in Asia and Africa depend very much on milk and dairy. A great example is India, noting that India has the largest dairy herd of any country in the world, and is one of the leading countries for dairy consumption. Another great example is the Masai in Africa. The Masai practically exist on milk, and depend on the cows for both their income and food source.

Drinking milk is not a product of Western culture, but in fact a shared part of human existence.

Lactose Intolerance must prove that drinking milk is unnatural

Many people may cite the fact that because a large number of people have difficulties digesting lactose, drinking milk is unnatural.

While some people may be lactose intolerant, humans are definitely meant to drink milk. Humans produce the enzyme lactase whose only function is to break down the lactose in milk. If it were unnatural for humans to drink milk, why would adults continue to produce this enzyme when they are fully grown.

An intolerance should not be a qualifier for what is natural. For example, no human produces the enzyme alpha-galactosidase which is necessary to break down certain carbohydrate in beans. I don’t think there’s anyone proclaiming that beans are unnatural because we can’t fully break them down.

If you’d like to learn more about lactose and lactose intolerance, I dedicated a whole article to it.

Humans are the only species that consume milk into adulthood

Humans may be the only specie that continues to drink milk into adulthood, but that may be because we retain the ability to digest milk.

Ruminants like cows, and sheep are born wholly dependent on milk. Eventually though, cows will lose the ability to digest milk. Their digestive system changes, allowing them to survive exclusively on grasses and grains.

However, human digestion is not designed be wholly dependent on grasses and grains, and there is no significant change in the digestive system of humans as we mature. Humans continue produce the enzyme lactase throughout adulthood, albeit in gradually lower amounts.

The fact that humans do not have a significant change in their digestive system, and that humans continue producing lactase into maturity provides a great basis for why humans are designed to consume milk even in maturity.

No other specie consumes the milk of another specie

Probably the main argument of people proclaiming drinking milk is unnatural is that no other specie consumes the milk of another specie. This is simply faulty logic.

If you take the same logic and apply it to other things, there would be a large number of things that would be unnatural. For example, we grow our own food, wear clothes, speak languages, drive cars, ect. There are a large number of things that would then be declared as unnatural.

This argument is very flawed, yet many people seem to be very attached to this reason. People need to recognize the faulty logic of this argument.

Update: Ants keep herds of aphids which they milk. Read more about this interesting story. Humans are not the only ones who consume the milk of another specie. Read More 

Naturally – Drinking Milk is Natural

So is drinking milk unnatural? I think there are a large number of facts pointing out that drinking milk is natural, and has been a natural part of our society for thousands of years. Researchers are finding a lot of evidence confirming that milk has been part of human existence since the dawn of time.

Do you agree, or disagree? I would like to hear your thoughts about this. Feel free to share in the comment section below.

100 COMMENTS

  1. This is an INCREDIBLY well written article! Amazing arguements back by scientific fact. Bravo! Thank goodness we have smart, young and passionate dairy farmers who are willing to push back to make a valid point. I love your blog and this was an excellent article to read 🙂

      • To say that animal exploitation is morally acceptable because humans have been doing it throughout history is as senseless as saying that war is morally acceptable because we’ve been doing that forever as well.

        • Human relations with cows is a symbiotic, natural relationship that has existed naturally since the dawn of time. Exploitation is your definition, and not reality..

          • ‘Symbiotic’ can mean ‘parasitic’; an interesting and possibly revealing choice of phase?
            Please enlighten me as to when the ‘dawn of time’ is exactly because as far as I was taught at school it is considerably further back than the 7,000 years you seem to allude to.
            Ah, the exploitation denier: if you deliberately breed any animal with the specific intention of confining it and using it as a resource, then discarding it (killing it) when it is no longer of value to you, I would pretty much say that is 100% nailed on ‘exploitation’ right there? Have I misinterpreted what it is you do?

          • It only depends on whether you think humans are a scourge to the earth or part of the earth. You view humans as a scourge. You can say this the same way: What are you doing when you grow a vegetable in confinement- you force feed it water, then destroy their natural homes, uprooting them then peeling and slicing their bodies into oblivion. 100% exploiter.

  2. This entire article is a lie. Even calves do not drink milk after weaning. And of the world’s people, only western European whites have a significant population nof non-lactose intolerant individuals. That lack of lactose intolerance may be part of the other mutations which created them in the first place. It is UNNATURAL for adults of any species to continue drinking milk, even from human females.

    This website is an arm of the lying Dairy Council.

    • Hi George,

      Thanks for commenting, but this article is full of facts. I only challenge you to look them up. Western civilization is not the only culture that drinks milk. There are cultures around the world that depend on milk and dairy products for food. Examples are the Massai in Africa, and the Indians in Asia. In fact, researchers have discovered that dairy was started in East Asia, and moved westward.

      Lactose intolerance is really one of the most misunderstood conditions. Its possible to overcome lactose intolerance. Read my previous post about lactose and lactose intolerance.

      I am a Ca. dairy farmer George, and am not affiliated with Dairy Council

    • Just be quiet George Do what you want but leave us Pro Dairy Folks alone. I have no ties to cows ,farming or anything else. I love drinking local organic whole non homogenized milk. At 53 I weigh the same as when I got married 124 and have lab work that rivals any 20 yrs old. I attribute that to a diet of whole organic milk, whole dairy and organic wheat the other food Demonized nowadays.

      • But George speaks the truth. Have you heard of a ‘mega dairy’? Look it up.
        Here’s a definition: “a very large-scale commercial dairy farm, typically housing thousands of cows in indoor facilities.” It’s a miserable unnatural existence for the cows.
        Did you know cows have to be repeatedly impregnated to keep them producing milk?
        Do you know what happens to all the unwanted male calves that are born?
        How about what happens to dairy cows once they are exhausted and no longer of commercially value?
        The entire dairy industry spends a fortune promoting the virtues of milk, telling us how good it is for us and to keep guzzling it by the bucket load to stay healthy. It’s a big fat despicable lie. We do not need milk in our diet, after weening, to be healthy. We just don’t and millions of cows suffer for our ignorant pleasure.

        • This is so true. The cruelty in the industry is very very bad!! This guy contradicts himself. He says that humans don’t live a natural existence, which yes is true, this is the reason we thrive and live longer then ever before but he says that cow’s milk is not unnatural because humans do lots of unnatural things. Then he says it is natural only because humans have been doing it for a long time even though humans have not been natural for a long time. That ‘reasoning’ is bizarre to say the least. First of all humans have been doing lots of things in the past that don’t justify the practice in the present, mainly because increased human knowledge has shown that it is ethical philosophically and scientifically wrong. Secondly the idea of natural has nothing to do with it; humans have for a very very long time been living unnatural lives, this is why we thrive. The idea of natural is a false idea. The only true natural humans were cave men and they did not live good lives, they didn’t live for very long and we have evolved a lot from them, we aren’t the same humans anymore. (Most can be said about humans back 7,000 years ago as well except for the natural part). Cave men are the only true natural humans because natural by definition means animals living completely in nature away from human civilization, so only then did humans completely live in nature. What matters is human knowledge which drives progression for a thriving human existence. Humans now know that animals can suffer just as much as humans and that we don’t need to take these parts of them for survival. We know now that animals deserve the basic right to not be abused for human greed because logically, rights come down to ability to suffer and preventing suffering when it is not justified for survival, rights are not based on appearance or intellect because then racism wouldn’t be wrong. So today and for quiet some time before today we have known that animals can suffer and that we don’t have to consume them or their bodily secretions for survival. This is evolution, no point trying to use the false idea of natural versus non natural to justify against logic and reasoning which drive evolution. Not to mention that if you want to use past humans as your moral compass then this is a very bad idea, humans in the past did not know what we know today, this is why one reason why people and animals have suffered for most of human existence. Morals should be based on current knowledge and wanting to stop suffering. Current knowledge is that animals can suffer and that we don’t need to abuse them in anyway for survival.Thus continuing to take milk from a sentient animal thats is also virtually defenceless, when it is not necessary for survival is morally and ethically wrong and goes against the advancement of human evolution to live in as kind, fair and just world as possible.

          • While history doesn’t in itself prove that something is natural or not it does indicate that it is part of man’s nature. Humans do have a role in the ecology of this world. We are part of these biological systems and what we use for food is in the depths of our inner being or else humanity as a group would have changed. It is conceited thinking that you think that people of the past were more primitive. I think, like you say, people lived in better harmony with nature and understood our role in the world keeping the systems of nature in balance. If it were not so, there would have been countless civilizations that would have adopted a vegan lifestyle, but it didn’t happen. Even when we can see clear evidence that these same questions on food being pondered in writings as far back as the ancient Greeks, yet even they continues to see meat and dairy as important foods – In fact, even elevating dairy to the status of a superfood or natural medicine. Animal cruelty is bad, but there is no incentive for farmers to be cruel to animals. Economically the reverse is true, the better care, the better quality milk. Milking a cow is not cruel, have you milked a cow before. The cows will stand patiently while she is milked chewing her cud. Giving milk is part of her giving nature. Everything that is done on the farm has a purpose; there is a history of animal husbandry. Best practices are used because they are the best ways to keep animals healthy and content. But those practices have been improved with science and technology significantly over the past century. I would not be afraid to say that animals have the best care of any point in the history of this world. It is morally questionable to say that abandoning a domesticated animal will give them the best life, because the real reality is that mother nature is a far more punishing and cruel factor than you and I ever could be.

        • Badger, I’ve been reading some (more…) of your comments across this website.

          (Groan…) Yes humans do many unnatural things – like drinking milk- that other animals don’t do…You know what other things humans do that is “unnatural”? They use computers…

          How about you stop doing that? Yes, just stop, and of course stop posting here – or anywhere else on the internet. After all, no other animal uses electronic machinery to transmit data or comunicate. It’s UNNATURAL!!!

          And dont use cars, phones, trains, planes, bicycles or fire…they’re all “unnatural” and “no other animal” uses such things.

          • Oh dear Alvin, you’re obviously a bit confused (groan, huff, tut, sigh). So, you consider advances in technology to be unnatural which is why you compare them to systematically steeling the mammary excretions from other animals, right? Wow! Your logic is impressively bad. How about the fact that dairy production requires the confinement of innocent beings, sexual abuse, emotional cruelty (removing new-born calves from their mothers), the routine mass murder of unwanted male calves and exhausted milkers and the certainty of a very early death. Using a ‘computer’ cruelly exploits and murders who exactly?

        • Badger, as you must be well aware, one of the sassy (but dim-witted) slogans of the anti-milk crowd is “No other species consumes the milk of another species.” The conclusion of that simplistic observation being that doing something that “no other species does” is therefore “unnatural”. Am I to understand now that you *don’t* support this definition of what is and is not a “natural” activity? Because if you do… then doing *anything* that “no other species does” is therefore also “unnatural”. Like using a computer, an airplane, a bicycle, a phone… I would have thought you could grasp that point.

          Your sentence about “systematically steeling [sic] the mammary excretions from other animals”… Was all that “udderly” necessary? I mean, yeah, I am – I thought we all were – quite aware of what milk is and where it comes from. Did you feel the need to enlighten the other kids here that milk comes from a certain place on cows? Perhaps before we go any further we should make it clear to the unknowing that cows are four-legged animals – you know, in case anyone considering this whole milk-drinking issue didn’t know that.

          I have to agree with you that most cows are probably “innocent” 🙂 which is why I insist on treating all of them as humanely and compassionately as possible. I consider milk from them – and my inherited ability to digest it – as essentially a gift from Mother Nature herself and I certainly am reverent and thankful for that gift. Does a farmer “steal” the cows milk? You say yes. If farmers worldwide gave up this maintenance of cattle for meat and milk what would become of them? Well, let’s see: If set “free” the currently domesticated stock would shuffle off into “the wild”… and be eaten rather quickly by their long-denied natural predators – and also die off due to stress and exposure and simple accidents. That’s expected after millennia of domestication. Some might survive some winters and brutal summers (of being hunted, run down and torn to pieces) and return more to their previous wild state. But no doubt the overall numbers would be radically reduced by – let’s be honest – massive brutal decimation. Perhaps you’d attempt to solve or lessen this carnage by establishing “halfway houses” for cows and sheep and goats? Where they could learn how to be “wild” again before jumping right back into the struggle of survival? Yes, and how many of those ruminant “rehab” facilities would be needed? And on what acreage would they be located? And how long would it take? And who would pay for it all? And what all would the world’s population be supplementing their then denied caloric intake with while this “un-domestication” project is running its’ course? Perhaps people could adopt cows and sheep like they (attempt to) do with dogs and cats? Have you thought all this through? – or does it just make you feel better (for now) to believe yourself morally superior to the meat and dairy eaters and criticize how they manage things?

          Did you even watch “The Vegetarian Myth with Lierre Keith”?

          You may be a vegan for “moral” reasons – that is, you don’t want to take the life of an animal in order to feed yourself – or to “steel” its’ milk for similar reasons. That’s fine. I respect vegans that deny themselves animal meat because they don’t want to “take life”. But I don’t respect vegans who say they do it for “health” reasons. The evidence against the “healthiness” of veganism is overwhelming. Do you deny the importance of cholesterol in the body? Do you have an explanation why the longest-living healthiest groups on Earth (according to the WHO stats) have the highest blood cholesterol? And the reverse is true for those with the lowest cholesterol? Did Mother Nature morally “err” in permitting lactose tolerance to some? Or is it simply evolutionary adaptation, no more no less?

          I’m all in favor of attacking the mistreatment of animals everywhere. You can’t solve the daily mass killing of unwanted dogs and cats by simply demanding every shelter be “no-kill”. You have to outlaw puppy mills. You have to punish those who are caught in the abuse of animals with far more than a slap on the wrist. You have to make it difficult enough to become the possessor of a cat or dog so people don’t take it lightly and treat them as disposable gifts. You will have to enforce your borders otherwise this whole effort inside the nation will be futile because it can be circumvented by a black market answering to no one in “sanctuary” cities… Ready to do that?

          You wrote about “confinement of innocent beings, sexual abuse, emotional cruelty (removing new-born calves from their mothers), the routine mass murder of unwanted male calves and exhausted milkers…”

          “Innocent cows” I’ve addressed… “sexual abuse”? For allowing or encouraging cattle to copulate naturally, or? Using artificial means to develop the best stock (thus denying Bessie a proper coital orgasm)? What are you talking about? No, all things considered I don’t consider animal copulation or artificial means to meet the criteria for “sexual abuse”. Regarding the treatment of calves, for example, here’s what Organic Pastures Dairy (and its’ owner Mark McAfee) does (from ethicalfoods.com) :

          What Mark found was that 70% of the time cows would leave their young to be eaten by coyotes or be trampled, as their maternal instinct had long been bred out of them after generations of never having to fend for themselves, or their young.

          Mark prefers to put his calves in group pens, raise them on real milk, and then release them back into the herd once they reach seven to eight months of age. Instead of being used for veal, male calves are raised to maturity to produce Organic Pasture’s 100% grass-fed ground beef.

          “I am repulsed by veal. I absolutely will not participate in it at all and nobody here believes in it. I just think that it is horrible to kill young babies. It’s just not what I do. So we grow all of our cows to maturity where they have a full life on green pastures and at maturity the steers, which are castrated bulls, are sent to our ground beef program which is an animal welfare approved slaughter process which is humane,” explained Mark.

          So there’s that. And that is an example of the dairying that I fully support.
          You can research for yourself how the cows are treated in proper dairies like this, whether they’re “exhausted” or not.

          Do what you want, Badger. Eat what you want. But don’t ask or attempt to force the world to live on something unnatural like millions of acres of mono-cultures, soybeans, corn and wheat. All this and petrochemical fertilizer. It won’t work. That is what ultimately will wreck this biosphere. Many of us are too intelligent to go down that path and hopefully many more will learn and return to how their ancestors ate – as I have returned to what mine ate: meat and milk for the last 6 or 7 thousand years .

          • Oh my god Alvin, your post is like reading the ramblings of a child! I know people with such wildly misconceived ideas as yours exist; it’s just amusing to see it written down. Do you really believe the stuff you have written? Here’s some BS people like you like to spin and some apt ripostes…

            “If everyone stopped eating animals, they would take over the earth!”
            Apparently, you’ve never heard of supply and demand. If people stopped eating meat, farmers would stop breeding animals. It’s that simple.

            “The animals will go extinct.”
            Pretty sure species conservation isn’t dictated by our diets… Try again!

            “What about plant suffering?”
            First of all, don’t even pretend you care about plant suffering. Secondly, plants have no brain or central nervous system, which means they can’t feel anything.

            “But our ancestors ate meat.”
            Our ancestors did a lot of things that we wouldn’t stand by today. As they say, “When you know better, you do better.”

            “At least they [farm animals]were born.”
            Which, when you’re destined to a shortened life of misery and suffering, isn’t saying much.

            “If we didn’t milk cows, they would explode.”
            Isn’t it amazing that explosive lactation isn’t a problem for any other mammal?

            “But they [farm animals]were bred to be killed.”
            So bringing animals into the world just to abuse and kill them makes it OK?

            “Lions kill animals in the wild.”
            Were you planning on chasing down a gazelle, ripping it apart with your claws, and eating it raw? Yeah, right.

            ++++++++++++

            Perhaps Alvin, you are in denial about eating meat. Is this you?

            YOU THINK ANIMALS RAISED FOR MEAT ARE TREATED WELL.
            The vast majority of farmed animals are subjected to extreme confinement, mutilations without painkillers, and ruthless slaughter. Their short lives are filled with misery and deprivation.

            YOU THINK EATING MEAT IS NECESSARY.
            No one needs to eat animal products to survive; it’s quite the opposite. In fact, there are tremendous benefits to ditching animal products for our health and the environment. Right now millions of people are thriving on a delicious and humane plant-based diet.

            YOU THINK EATING MEAT IS “NATURAL.”
            We don’t have claws and large canine teeth to catch prey. And we don’t have digestive tracts built to optimally absorb nutrients and discard toxins from animal flesh. We do, however, have a physiology friendly to plant eating, and science clearly shows many health advantages to sticking to what nature grows: plants.

            YOU THINK YOU CAN LOVE ANIMALS AND EAT THEM.
            But if we truly believe that it’s wrong to hurt animals, we must accept that there is absolutely no humane way to kill animals who do not want to die.

            YOU THINK THAT PLANTS HAVE FEELINGS TOO.
            Seriously? Plants have no brain or central nervous system, which means they can’t feel anything. It takes a reported 16 pounds of grain to produce just one pound of beef, so if you’re really concerned about plants, you should be avoiding meat anyway.

            YOU ONLY BUY “HUMANE MEAT.”
            All animals raised for meat will face the same violent and unnecessary death. You may see “cage-free,” “free-range,” and other so-called humane labels on meat, dairy, and eggs, but don’t buy the hype.

            YOU WOULD NEVER HURT YOUR DOG.
            For many of us, our dogs and cats are family members, and we make it a priority to ensure their happiness. And in the ways that matter most, farmed animals and our cats and dogs are the same. They all have unique personalities, experience joy, and feel pain.

            ++++++++++++

            As for Mark’s (who?) comments about veal: “I just think that it is horrible to kill young babies. It’s just not what I do”, does he also abstain from the following:

            Chickens raised for meat; slaughtered at 6 weeks; natural lifespan 8 years
            Turkeys; slaughtered at 8-26 weeks; natural lifespan up to 10 years
            Pigs; slaughtered at 6 months; natural lifespan 15 years
            Chickens (egg layers); 1-2 years; natural lifespan 8 years
            Dairy cows; 5 years; natural lifespan 20 years
            Lambs; slaughtered at 3-6 months; natural lifespan 12 years
            Chicks (male egg layers); 1-2 years; natural lifespan 8 years
            Beef cattle; slaughtered 1-2.5 years; natural lifespan 20 years
            Dairy cows (males); 1-2 days; natural lifespan 20 years
            Pigs (mothering sows); 3-5 years; natural lifespan 15 years
            Veal calves; 1-32 weeks; natural lifespan 20 years

            Does dopy Mark (who?) even realise almost all farmed animals are killed in infancy? Quoting dairy farmers Alvin, does absolutely nothing to support you as people like Mark clearly have a vested interest (they are in it for the money) and can therefore be discounted

        • Perhaps if an emotional child incapable of rational thought is confronted with something that contradicts their dearly-held beliefs about the world they will simply reject what they’re hearing in its’ entirety – and then make up excuses for that rejection.

          We can let anyone reading our comments here decide who is “rambling” and who is not.

          “No other species consumes the milk of another species.” is used by “vegan” activists, anti-milkers, etc and that’s why this slogan was addressed (in the original article and by me).

          Do you believe that the “naturalness” of human activity is defined by what other life-forms do or are capable of doing?

          For my part, I’ll only hold you responsible from now on for the specific claims that you yourself bring forth.

          You wrote a string of strawmen starting with: “Here’s some BS people like you like to spin and some apt ripostes…”

          1) “If everyone stopped eating animals, they would take over the earth!”….

          I never said this or anything remotely like it.

          Your “riposte” to what I did not say being: “Apparently, you’ve never heard of supply and demand. If people stopped eating meat, farmers would stop breeding animals. It’s that simple.”

          My response to your “riposte” #1:
          Yes, I have heard of “supply and demand”. And the rest of your observation about farmers breeding fewer animals if they can’t make a profit from doing so – is absolutely correct. Breeding (or continued domestication) would basically come to a stop. I notice you haven’t addressed what we should do with all the domesticated stock now on hand….. or what would happen to them if we did set them “free”.

          2) “The animals will go extinct.”

          Again, I never said this or anything remotely like it. It’s kind of funny that vegan activists might think this kind of phony “claim and riposte” will gain adherents to their group. Maybe those of lesser brain – and you’re welcome to them.

          Your “riposte” to Strawman #2 was: “Pretty sure species conservation isn’t dictated by our diets… Try again!”

          “Try again”? How can I when I didn’t say it in the first place?

          3) “What about plant suffering?”

          Again….
          Never said it…. or mentioned it in any form.

          Your “riposte” to Strawman #3:
          “First of all, don’t even pretend you care about plant suffering. Secondly, plants have no brain or central nervous system, which means they can’t feel anything.”

          Pretend? Ok, I won’t pretend. And you ought not pretend that I said these things either, OK? It seems you don’t need me – “you” could have an argument with yourself alone. But “you”‘d always win in the end, right? Good luck there, Sybil. That said, I do like flowers and I don’t willy nilly run around chopping down trees or tearing up flora (or fauna) for “jollies”. What is going on in your head?

          4) “But our ancestors ate meat.”

          Again, I never wrote these words. But I don’t disagree with the statement. It is after all, true. The basic logical reasoning here is that since humans evolved as predators hunting and eating meat for the vast majority of their existence it stands to reason as well that human physiology is geared best to a diet of… oh, need I go on? Likely you’ve already got your fingers well into your ears.

          Your “riposte” to Strawman #4: “Our ancestors did a lot of things that we wouldn’t stand by today. As they say, “When you know better, you do better.”

          Hmm. What “things” did our ancestors do that we “wouldn’t stand by today”? You mean like engage in tribal wars, enslave other peoples, act violently toward those who don’t worship the same “God”, etc? Yeah, that’s all still around, sadly. I don’t support those things: war for the sake of war, slavery or persecution on account of belief. Yet none of those things change anything about our evolutionary history or physiology, do they…

          5, 6, 7) “At least they [farm animals]were born.”
          Never said…

          “If we didn’t milk cows, they would explode.”
          Never said…but funny.

          “But they [farm animals]were bred to be killed.”
          Never said…

          “Lions kill animals in the wild.”
          Never said…. And that’s wildly incomplete… You left out tigers, bears, wolves, foxes, cats, dogs, rats, birds, lizards, spiders, whales, dolphins, stoats, raccoons, platypuses, chimpanzees and bacteria… (This is still an incomplete list of animals that naturally kill and eat other creatures but the point is made.)

          “Were you planning on chasing down a gazelle, ripping it apart with your claws, and eating it raw? Yeah, right.”

          Well, I don’t normally eat gazelle. They’re mighty rare where I live. And if I did catch one – I certainly wouldn’t eat it *rare* much less “raw”. Cooking was an important advance in human evolution that not only made food safer by killing pathogens but more digestible. There are some who still believe that “raw” is better: whether you’re talking meat or plant nutrient digestibility. I’ve studied enough on this that I’m convinced that while there may be some advantages to “raw” it isn’t wholly necessary. Raw milk and yogurt from a healthy cow is great and might really have some health benefits – but you can be healthy (enough) on pasteurized.

          Regarding humans, evolution and predation, look up “canine teeth”. Regarding molars, I’ve heard the claim by some that because we chew our meat instead of gulping it like many other carnivores we shouldn’t be eating meat at all but plants and grass like cows… Yet when I eat meat I use all my given teeth…. Tear and cut with the front teeth, grind bone and marrow mass with the molars to extract as much as is edible before swallowing and digest with my very human digestive tract. And it works pretty good. Much better than when I’ve tried to digest grains, beans, vegetables and fruits whether raw or cooked.

          In your next section announced with this flourish “+++++++++” you find ALL-CAPS to be necessary:

          (btw, I get tons of Vitamin A – RETINOL not beta carotene – from my diet and so don’t require BIG LETTERS like the myopic vegans you must be acquainted with )

          “YOU THINK ANIMALS RAISED FOR MEAT ARE TREATED WELL.”

          I would hope so and wish this to be the case. If it is not … I’m all in favor of uncompromising legislation that would ensure healthy, organically-raised, humanely-treated animals with the best living conditions.

          You wrote: “The vast majority of farmed animals are subjected to extreme confinement, mutilations without painkillers, and ruthless slaughter. Their short lives are filled with misery and deprivation.”

          Since I don’t support with my cash or my vote “the vast majority” of agriculture that (according to you) engages in “extreme confinement, mutilations without painkillers, and ruthless slaughter” …how does your complaint apply to me? It doesn’t. Go after those farms and agri-business that mistreat in this way – I’ll support you. Film them, put it on the news, take them to court, protest outside their facilities and head offices if they engage in the treatment you’re talking about – I’ll support you and your friends.

          But the moment you start bitching about the farmer who gives his animals carefree comfortable lives comparable but much less stressful to what they’d have in the wild and in return for this milks them and ultimately spares them a much more brutal death of being eaten alive – we’re done. You’ve then lost your credibility and my support. Make a choice.

          “YOU THINK EATING MEAT IS NECESSARY.”
          “No one needs to eat animal products to survive; it’s quite the opposite. In fact, there are tremendous benefits to ditching animal products for our health and the environment. Right now millions of people are thriving on a delicious and humane plant-based diet.”

          This is somewhat true. You can live on milk alone. I’ve done it on both raw and pasteurized milk for months at a time, by choice. It isn’t optimal, there are nutrients – or levels of nutrients- that can only be had from meat. But a long life – 60,70, 80 years can be had on milk alone. Don’t believe me? Don’t have to. It’s your right and your choice. “Right now millions of people are thriving on a delicious and humane plant-based diet.” That’s funny. You sound like an infomercial for the latest fad. And no – not buying it for a second. I asked you once before and got no answer: “Do you deny the importance of cholesterol in the body?”

          Will you fail to answer that question yet again?

          “YOU THINK EATING MEAT IS “NATURAL.”
          Yes. See something called “evolution”.

          “YOU THINK YOU CAN LOVE ANIMALS AND EAT THEM.”
          Uh, No. I don’t “love” cows, sheep, goats, etc. You are confusing the compassion and care that a good farmer provides his animals with the love like that of a mother for her child. Are you not mature enough to understand this? If so, it means you cannot understand the difference between compassion, parental love and romantic love as well. Have you got baggage from childhood you haven’t gotten past?

          “YOU THINK THAT PLANTS HAVE FEELINGS TOO.”
          “Seriously? Plants have no brain or central nervous system, which means they can’t feel anything. It takes a reported 16 pounds of grain to produce just one pound of beef, so if you’re really concerned about plants, you should be avoiding meat anyway.”

          No, not “seriously”. Especially since I never mentioned any “plant-feelings” issue to begin with. Are you high? “16 pounds of grain”? Wow. Since all my milk and all my meat comes from GRASS-fed animals… this amount of GRAIN consumption is applicable to me how? I myself have been totally GRAIN-FREE for a decade. If the grain supply is being “stressed” it isn’t my fault. Nothing I eat – directly or indirectly – involves grains or plants other than GRASS. You?

          “YOU ONLY BUY HUMANE MEAT.”
          Been through this.

          You know Badger, at this point it looks like you copy-and-pasted a lot off vegan websites… In fact I just googled the mass of stuff you posted here. Sure enough, it comes up here for example:

          http://www.mercyforanimals.org/here-are-7-signs-youre-in-denial-about-eating

          I don’t suppose you are “Sarah Von Alt”? It’s OK if you are. I actually don’t care. It’s just I thought I was having a conversation with someone – not a competition in copy-and-paste. I don’t want to wade through a blizzard of activist political BS under the guise of having a one on one talk.

          No, I wouldn’t “HURT MY DOG”.

          Wrapping it up, now… Feeling a bit betrayed by all your copy-paste shenanigans…

          “Mark” is Mark McAfee. Somewhat well known in Raw milk farming. His last name and outfit “ORGANIC PASTURES” – and where I got his quote from on the web – is right there in my post. That is what you were asking, right? When you wrote “Mark who?” And being that he’s a DAIRY farmer (that means milk from ruminants ) he doesn’t do a lot – if anything – with chickens or turkeys you know. Although maybe his family has some running around for eggs in the morning. Should I check? So it makes me wonder why you follow up with the chicken and turkey questions. I eat no veal, no pork and chicken or turkey only one meal out of an entire year and then again when/if I do…. it’s organic and free-range – for the health of the birds and myself. So your chicken scratch, pig and veal stats don’t apply to me.

          “Does dopy Mark (who?) [McAfee, see source above] even realise almost all farmed animals are killed in infancy? Quoting dairy farmers Alvin, does absolutely nothing to support you as people like Mark clearly have a vested interest (they are in it for the money) and can therefore be discounted”

          I’m not a farmer but I would raise and milk cows and/or goats if no one else did. I’d have to. I’m “in it” for the meat and milk and what’s best for my body. That’s my “vested interest”.

          Can I discount nutjobs like you who deny physiology and evolutionary fact?

  3. Ants herd and “milk” aphids for a sugary nectar. So we’re not the only species to do so but even if we were then we are also the only species to travel to the moon and fly around in aluminum tubes, etc.

  4. Thanks for this article! I am writing a paper on this subject questioning if cow’s milk is naturally consumable and why we drink it unlike other mammals even during adulthood. (My paper is questioning the claim that, “Milk is good for everyone.”, obviously excluding those with an allergy or an intolerance.) This is with the assumption that it is unnatural. This acts as a wonderful rebuttal to other sources. Do you happen to have any primary sources that you wrote this with that I could pull from?

  5. Some cultures probably wouldn’t exist if not for being able to sustain themselves on milk. Talking mostly of the Bedouin that drank camel milk traveling in the desert.

  6. Good argument and it’s backed up with history facts. Still doesn’t illiminate what it scientifically does. But I’ll still drink it

  7. Really well written,but the only true fact is that we do not decide what is “natural”. We evolved to be able to drink milk into adulthood(Ladies and Gentelmen: Selective advatage.). It is not a trait that we as a species were born with. Yes,we may have been doing it for thousands of years,but that does not make it “natural”. Now,that being said, milk is an incredible source of nutrition be it natural or not and it has served us well from toddler to teen and onto life. In short: humans drank milk for so long our DNA changed to cope with our habits. How? By having our body produce lactase post-infancy. Tell things how they are, it IS “unnatural” to drink milk,but so what? No other animal drinks milk…more milk for us i guess, since we evolved this capacity we SHOULD take advantage…lets face it never eating pizza would be horrible.

  8. Hi, As an vegan, I enjoyed reading your article. I believe in hearing both sides of argument and critical thinking. Good to hear some facts. No, I am not convinced to drink dairy again, because other reasons, but at least now I know more than I did when I typed “Does milk really have puss in it?” into google.
    Thank you.

  9. Our body is made up of 70% of water and it still need it for proper functioning. Lack of water in body can make you dehydrated and can keep your organs unfit. Milk provides proteins and calcium needed for the healthy living but too much of milk or only milk will do harm. Excess of calcium is attached to various bones related diseases and so does excess of proteins and other minerals found in milk will do. The milk can be substituted with other products that have the same servings but keeping your body hydrated with water is a must to attain good health

    • I disagree – Milk is usually 86.5% water so would be very hydrating, and other beverages don’t provide the same nutrition as milk. While they might have similar amounts of Calcium, that calcium is usually at the bottom of the carton because it is unnatural and added artificially. The calcium in milk is natural and in solution. Milk also has magnesium which is necessary for proper calcium absorption. You only have a problem getting too much calcium, when your getting enough magnesium. Interesting there is a natural balance of calcium and magnesium in milk (not the fake milks).

  10. I love milk and cheese, but as a biologist, I must disagree. Drinking milk as adults (lactase persistence) is an adaptation peculiar to humans. And the genes that code for our ability to digest lactose as adults are the result of at least two independent mutations arising from human cultures which subsisted largely on animal husbandry (and yes, one of those are certain Indo-European cultures). It was retained and magnified because of the obvious advantages of the trait (i.e. positive selection).

    In simpler terms: we evolved it. Recently.

    All other mammals are naturally “weaned” when they lose the ability to digest milk (lactase malabsorption). And the vast majority of humans still retain this trait. That is diminishing though, because of globalization. Intermarriages pass on lactase persistence readily, since the default condition (lactose intolerance) is recessive.

    However, “natural” and “unnatural” are subjective qualifiers so I won’t use them. Drinking milk products as adults is very much natural in humans. It is genetic after all. But it is not the default.

  11. It’s unnatural to drink another species milk let alone drinking milk from somebody’s else mother.

    Not many people would allow someone else to breast feed their baby unless they were unable to do it themselves. And even then most mums would not want someone else giving their kids milk.
    It’s in the diary farms interest to make people think that drinking milk ( especially animal milk is good but reality tells us different)

    If we were meant to drink milk into adulthood mothers would still produce milk for their children ( even if their children are adults)
    but they don’t.
    We live in a world where everything is unnatural and people make it seem like it’s okay to take things that Don t belong to them.

    If it’s so good do it to humans. Don’t give all the excuses as to why you can’t do it to humans.
    The truth is, if you done it to humans there would be an up roar and it would be called slavery.

    Paint it how you want but the reality of it, is animal slavery and taking things that are not yours. Without the animals concent it is unnatural to take things that do not belong to us. Can’t

    • You’re sounding a bit confused. It all depends on how you want to define natural. Is human existence natural? With your logic, eating any food would be unnatural. lettuce plants don’t magically grow in a field, but you would probably call your salad natural. And people aren’t biologically designed to exist on a fibrous, “grass” diet eating salads. With your definition everything is unnatural. I could get more philosophical here, but hopefully that is enough 😉

    • Look Pamela I am vegan too but saying drinking milk is unnatural is not valid argument. Broccoli and most of the fruits are man made. Take an apple for example, unnatural?
      Although I agree with you that we should not drink milk because of mainly ethical reasons, and people can be very well on starch based diets, or even on more grassy diet 🙂

  12. Would you let your kids suckle from your pet dog, or your neighbour. If not, why is the milk from a lactating cow or goat ok? Not natural IMO.

    • You bring up a good point – The Roman Empire was founded by 2 boys suckling milk from a wolf. Milk founded an empire

  13. So it must be natural because we have been doing it for thousands if years? Thats your base argument? We have been abusing and torturing and raping cows and other earthlings for thousands of years so lets just continue on? We have been taking calves from their mothers for generations so its business as usual? If everyone were to stop, we would all still live healthy lives with one big difference– So would the other creatures we share the planet with! Cleansed body, cleansed soul. If you could eat well and be healthy and strong without another being getting killed or abused, doesnt that just sound … Better? Lets try to have the humans several thousands years from now ( if they exist) look back and see what WE did for that long period of time. 💚

    • I think that something done for thousands of years can be called natural. While I admire your noble intentions, your train of thought doesn’t dig deep enough. You’re saying that if humans stopped eating animals, the world would be a perfect place, but that’s overly simplifying the world we live in. Everything is connected and deserving of respect. That includes nature, plants, and the other elements. Every animal has a purpose, every plant has a purpose, so perhaps humans also serve a purpose. The main question is how to balance our effect on the world

  14. Good arguments for those annoying vegans that use the same old argument “Humans are the only species to consume the ‘secretions’ of another species”.

    • Humans are the only animals ever to:
      Selectively bread another mammal to unnatural proportions to maximise milk production,
      Constantly artificially inseminate another mammal against their will specifically to keep them producing milk for our consumption,
      Actively promote and encourage the increased consumption of another mammal’s milk, even when other nutritional food options are available,
      Consume the milk of another mammal on an industrial scale.
      How is this natural and not exploitation?

      • I think if you continue to frame life like this Nick, you will come to the conclusion that humans are evil people who do not deserve to exist in this world.. Take your logic – Humans are the only mammal to pave roads and build cities. You can look at it as terrible – because it is – you are paving soil and eliminating local ecosystems, or you can look at it as good because it is allowing for the fostering of life of humanity. Basically you should ask, does humanity have a role in this world. Were we created with a purpose or a role in natural order of the world like other animals, or are we an invasive species that should be eliminated. You can choose the outlook, but your outlook is depressingly dark.

        • I think you’ve got me all wrong Dairy Guy. Just because I don’t believe humans should have the right to treat animals as objects, to do with as they please, does not mean I do not like humans or recognise where we sit within the animal kingdom. On the contrary, I think it is our evolved intelligence which separates us from other animals and should therefore enable us to recognise the difference between right and wrong when it comes to animal cruelty, suffering and exploitation. It really is that simple. This is not an anti-human “evil” stance as you would have people believe, but rather one of evolved sensibility and reason.

          Just to correct you, my outlook is one where humans overcome their entrenched belief that exploiting animals is a ‘right’ and learn a more compassionate humane way to coexist. Your rather depressing vision involves the continued and deliberate mass-breeding of animals, keeping them against their will for human exploitation which unquestionably involves cruelty, and ultimately killing them when they are of no further use. I am afraid it is your vision which sounds rather dark and depressing, particularly for those beings who continue to suffer.

          • Nick, Yes, I understand. We are standing at two different vantage points looking at things from different angles. You are advocating that you are for a more compassionate humane way to coexist (which is a noble goal), but I am pointing out that veganism is not a means to this goal… It is because veganism is narrow-minded when it comes to viewing the big picture. When one views the entirety of life on earth, you begin to notice that all species possess life. Researchers are now showing us that plants have emotions, feelings, and are even capable of remembering things. This of course has significant meaning because it means that these other life forms are just as deserving of love as animals and humans. Why should a plant not be treated as a human or an animal just because it doesn’t have the same features as mammals or animals? Does not having a localized brain, face, eyes, or ears merit them as lower species, should they not be treated with the same respect as humans.. That is where vegan logic begins to fall apart because you cannot logically follow the tenets of the religion to its end. Interestingly, this knowledge about plants is not a new discovery, but is what civilizations and generations before us knew and taught. Yet, we in our modern world often view the people of the past as ignorant or having a lower form of intelligence being less evolved. Yet perhaps it is we that have forgotten and are out of touch with nature and the real world around us. Perhaps those people before us existed in a more harmonious way with nature..

          • Ok, here’s a few things to clear this out a bit. You cannot deny that meat-eaters are more biased in their arguments than vegans, I mean why would anyone become a vegan in the first place, not just for fun. Vegans are people who actually want to know the truth; no one gives up on animal products because they don’t like the taste of them or something. It is the arguments from meat-eaters that are usually faulty. First, meat eating started with homo erectus who learned how to use fire. (You might have noticed that humans don’t eat raw meat, though we eat raw vegetables). Initially, people were hunting for their prey like true predators do, for their skins, furs, and meat.There is nothing morally wrong with that perhaps. But today we exploit animals, we keep them caged throughout their whole lives and do not let them live free like they are supposed to. And exploiting cows for milk is even more horrific than using them for their meat because we take the milk from the babies, because we rape the cows, keep them in terrible conditions, stuff them with antibiotics (here’s exactly why cows suffer from diseases, so you cannot tell me it is natural that they do just like humans). And no, no species has the right to consume the milk of other species. If so, then any species has the right to consume human milk. ANd if we still want to consume milk then we should milk apes cause their physiology is similar to ours, not a cow’s milk that has as little in common with a human being as an elephant does. As a vegetarian for five years and a vegan for less than a month, it is hard to believe that eating meat is even more humane and more biologically correct than eating dairy. Also, what you’re saying about plants is the most childish argument a meat-eater can tell a vegan, you are not the first one to say that, and people say that just to defend themselves, not because they genuinely care about the feelings of any being but their own. Plants do not have a nervous system so they do not feel pain, at least not as animals do, or we CANNOT KNOW what they feel. But we know what animals feel because we are an animal species and we all feel about the same way. So, perhaps the rule “don’t do to others what you wouldn’t want to be done to you” should extend to all animals and not only other human beings.The difference is: (ethical) vegans face the truth no matter how horrible and the rest tell themesleves beautiful lies to justify their actions or close their eyes to the suffering of other beings. There deffinitely is some bias in our arguments as well cause once you become a vegan you want to deffend what you believe in but it takes a lot of courage, research, and nagging of conscience to make the step in the first place. The bottom line is we are supposed to be stewards on this planet, not torturers and exploiters.

          • Kate, we can all be blinded by our own biases and beliefs that is true, so we should be vigilant is our search for truth and evaluate all perspectives. Saying that plants do not experience emotions, feelings, memory is simply living in denial. Plants are alive, but in different physical forms and arrangements. Science is proving this with current research! Just because they are not in similar forms to us doesn’t mean they are less valuable to this planet. By focusing all your efforts on sparing animals from pain, you forget about the rest of the rest of the species on this planet. If you don’t want to torture or exploit this world- by your rules- you should stop eating everything. If you do not you are still torturing, inflicting pain, and exploiting this world.

          • Yes, thank you, in a perfect world we would be autotrophs feeding on sunlight. However, we are an animal species of the Animal Kingdom, this is our nature. As every animal we have certain foods allotted to us for nutrition. Herbivores feed on grass; carnivores feed on other animals; omnivores eat both. If we are omnivorous species, and since we have been consuming meat for thousands of years, we probably are at this point, even though we were herbivores at the beginning, then for food we should be eating plants and animals. In a perfect world, where there would be living barely a billion of people and not 7 billion, where most of the forests would be intact and nature still in its prime, we would be berry and fruit pickers and we would be hunting for the meat, no one would be tortured, we would simply live according to natural laws. However, this world is not perfect. Hunting is not a possibility cause there’s barely any forests left, so we imprison animals, stuff them with antibiotics so we can get as much from them as possible, and other horrible things that we do. Same thing with plants perhaps, we grow them in limited spaces, stuff them with pesticides and whatever. However, following your line of thought, veganism is simply choosing the lesser between two evils. You’re probably familiar with the statistics that say that per 1 kg of meat we grow 10 or more/less (depending on the type of meat) kg of crops. The rest 9 become manure and gas that polute the soil, the water, and the air. Your animals consume much more plants than humans would if they were vegan. You torture not just animals, you torture plants, and ten times more than you would if you were simply a vegan. Meat is animal torture AND plant torture tenfold. Veganism is an environmentally friendly lifestyle and a more ethical way of living. And just looking at this picture, I don’t see how dairy fits anywhere. I don’t think there could be a biological explanation as to why we needed to consume milk in the first place; my guess is we just started consuming it for no reason, so it’s not necessary for health. (Scientists hypothesize now that eating meat was necessary for us to grow a big brain cause it helped us get more protein and calories, but milk does not fit in this scenario). But, as I said about meat, I’ll say the same about dairy. Our bodies have gotten used to meat and milk over thousands of years in certain ways so abstaining from these products is not 100% healthy, if we’re talking about health here, but there are more benefits than losses from abstaining from these products. But that’s a different topic. I hope this helps.

          • Kate, I agree with many of your beginning statements, animals should be treated with respect and natural law should be followed. Farmers today try hard to make life better for the farm animals and it is fact that animals today are treated better than any other time in history.. The bits about how animals destroy the environment more than plants is nonsensical because animals are a natural part of the world’s ecosystem. They contribute positively to the world also which is often not taken into account. Manure is a food source for plants- very sustainable and natural. The ecosystem is an interesting balance. My point is though that veganism is not the lesser of two evils, it is still just as evil. What vegans forget is that something had to die, for you to live. Just because a plant doesn’t have a similar body to humans, it still had to die in order to give you nutrition. It to possesses life force and consciousness. So we are faced with a dilemma or an unsolvable puzzle. All we can do is respect all our food sources

          • To be clear, Veganism is not a more ethical lifestyle, but that is a reason why so many people accept it. It makes people feel better about themselves -pride is a great motivator. It can give people a false sense of altruism. It is narrow-minded in it’s approach to viewing the world though. The whole ecosystem/planet is often forgotten. Thank you for sharing your perspective btw

        • I appear to have run out of replies, so I will reply here, not to this post but your last post Dairy Guy…

          Now that is a rather silly argument!! As far as I know no reputable study has ever shown that plants can “feel pain”. They lack the nervous system and brain necessary for this to happen. A plant can respond to stimuli, for example by turning towards the light or closing over a fly, but that is not the same thing. Your erroneous comparison demonstrates a lack of scientific understanding in the way plants and animals work and differ. Many plants produce fruits or nuts which have evolved specifically to be eaten. Plants totally 100% irrefutably rely on animals to eat these to spread their seeds. If not, they would die out. Plants have EVOLVED to be eaten, animals have not, but I suspect Dairy Guy, that you already know this.
          You appear to be scratching around for excuses as you have not actually addressed or tried to refute any of the points I have made regarding animal welfare or how humans systematically take milk from cows against their will.
          Your lack of understanding of what motivates veganism is clear.

          • Things usually sound silly when we don’t have a full understanding. You will start to realize (if you continue searching for truth) that there is so much about this universe that we don’t understand. Things as simple as water or even milk are treasure troves of undiscovered scientific discovery’s. The main factor holding people back is just what they decide to believe. If you don’t want to believe that plants are alive, you are just ignoring the truth and denying discovery’s that other people are making. How pompous a statement to say that plants have evolved to be eaten. Fruit is literally plant babies. Vegan motivations are pretty clear, what I’m pointing out is that the fundamental premise of veganism is not being followed completely though.

      • To counter some of your thoughts, mating animals for certain characteristics is not unnatural because the animals inherently possesses all the genes that would be expressed so it is perfectly natural and could happen in nature. Cows are not constantly inseminated, but in nature would be. A bull in nature has no discrimination, but breeds anything he can. He does not ask for permission so you’re saying nature is full of rapists and that nature is unnatural. Humans do not exploit animals, we live in relationship with them. We care for their needs and they produce milk in return. How is it any different than keeping a cat. They give love and you care for them.

        • Selective breeding is unnatural, no question. It is something humans have learnt to do for the sole purpose of exploitation. This is not the way evolution in the wild works. Mutations only become common within a species if there is a survival advantage. I am surprised you don’t know this. There are literally thousands of examples of this FACT in nature, from a giraffe’s long neck or a zebra’s stripes, to a straight orange carrot or a frost resistant tomato. There is lots of educational information online to help you learn about this. No, ‘selective breeding’ is most definitely a man-made phenomenon, unless you can quote me another species that does this? Not sure why you think a dairy cow with an udder the size of a space-hopper, way bigger than is actually needed to feed its babies, in fact so large it is virtually disabled and struggles to walk, is natural? That’s just not the way evolution works, but hey, they produce lots more milk for humans that way so let’s not worry about the cow suffering.

        • Cows, like all mammals, do not produce milk unless they are pregnant or have had a calf. Humans artificially inseminate dairy cows, against their will, to keep the flow of milk going. I hate to hit you with more scientific FACT, but when cows mate in the wild it is a perfectly natural process which ensures the continuation of their species. Cows have an evolved instinct, like all animals, to procreate, to breed and dairy farmers exploit this. If a cow does not want to mate with a bull in the wild, they will walk away and the bull will choose another more willing partner (note the use of the word ‘partner’). A dairy farmer inseminates a cow by force, pinning her into a metal cage and violating her against her will. Glad you brought the word “rapist” up. Perhaps others can decide who this appropriate term applies to.

        • Your claim that “humans do not exploit animals” is laughable as it is of course blatantly untrue. You say: “We care for their needs and they produce milk in return” like it’s some sort of cosy mutual agreement between you and the cow. The cow has absolutely no say in what happens to it. You, Dairy Guy, make the choice to bring a cow into this world, grow it, inseminate it and then steel its milk, not through love or kindness but exploitation. I assume you earn a living doing this. Cows do not produce milk for humans naturally; they produce milk, like all mammals, for their babies – another scientific FACT. As for your pet analogy; I assume you do not inseminate your cat by hand to get her pregnant and milk producing before hooking her up to a milking machine on a daily basis and then send her off to be slaughtered when her milk dries up, or do you? Drawing a comparison between a pet and farm animal is revealing and says a lot about how you see this behaviour.

          • Has anyone ever had to give a cat a bath?

            Imagine trying to milk one…

            Probably one of the reasons farmers pretty much settled on cows, sheep and goats: All herbivores, all ruminants, all herd animals…generally docile…no fangs or claws…reasonable distance from udder to bucket…
            Just a thought.

            Hey I did find a video about the best way to milk a cat:

  15. The fact that we produce the enzyme is because our bodies have become adopted to lactoze over the hunderds of years that we have been consuming milk not because it is natural for us to drink milk. Every change in anatomy is a response to something; we started drinking milk first and then we started producing the enzyme. But there are other problems associated with milk besides lactoze intolerance. Nature is designed in a way that the milk of every mamal belongs to its offspring. People have nothing to do with cow’s milk; it biologically belongs to the calf. Another thing, while humans are the only species that consume the milk of other species and that consume it in adulthood, we are also the only species that suffer from a whole bunch of diseases. No animal has any digestive problems, suffers from obesity or diabetes or whatever. This should be enough to make us realize that we are the only species that eats not what it is biologically designed to.

    • Kate – Milk only differs in composition not components – meaning that there are different nutrient levels of protein, fat, ect, but milk has all the same ingredients. Being that different species have different growth rates, it makes sense that some species have higher protein, for example, in their milk than others. It does not mean that another species can’t consume this milk. Basically, all mammals can drink and consume the milk of other species. To say that humans are the only ones who experience disease, deal with obesity, or suffers from digestive problems is not true. Working with cows, I can tell you they are no different than people experiencing illnesses, obesity, and digestive problems. Cows stomachs are very delicate and require a nutritionally balanced diet. But that is life, about balancing extremes

  16. Dairy Guy, in reply to your post: Jun 22, 2016 at 10:55 pm

    Please substantiate your claims Dairy Guy, because you are making little sense. I can tell you with certainty that saying ‘plants feel pain’ and ‘fruits are babies’ has absolutely no scientific basis whatsoever. Forgive me, but such claims sound ridiculous. Please quote me something accepted as science to justify what you are saying? I’m afraid that without this your opinion has no credibility. Your opinion is one thing, which you are of course entitled to, but scientific FACT has to be accepted or scientifically challenged. Just saying stuff doesn’t make it right or factually correct.

    If it is not evolution at work, then please explain why many fruits are brightly coloured, smell and taste sweet, contain the mother plant’s seeds, are edible and nutritious and the animal that eats them usually poops out the seeds a distance away from where they ate them, conveniently within their own pile of fertiliser. I know this might seem like magic to you; evolution often does, but this is a scientifically proven process which ensures the survival of that plant species and that’s why it evolved that way – to survive!

    FYI – vegans do not eat meat, fish, or poultry or use other animal products and by-products. No mention of plants??? Plants and animals are completely different things biologically. If you continue to ignore this FACT you are in denial. Trying to somehow use this twisted and unsubstantiated logic to justify the continued exploitation of animals and the well documented cruelty within the dairy industry is questionable.

    • I want to add to Nick’s comment. Plants and animals evolved separately, from a common ancestor though, but separately. I do not see how we should compare animals and plants. They are different biological entities. We cannot study plants from an animal’s perspective, we will only get a distorted picture. And I really do not see how it does not bother you that the animals that you eat eat plants, so you’re torturing both plants and animals instead of just one, as I’ve already explained in my other comment.

      • I am bringing up plants because it shows an important point – to avoid eating meat does not cause less suffering in the world.

        • I see. You will not listen to reason and will keep on distorting the picture to your advantage nor will all people who are avid consumers of animal products and even more so farmers, but that’s only because milk and meat consumption is so deepy rooted in our culture, in our education, in our upbringing. Not many people will have the courage to set aside their biases and think logically. In your free time please watch this video, perhaps you’ll understand that you’re simply brainwashed like all others (including me a month ago) by our precious government.

          • I’ve pointed out the logical inconsistancies of veganism to you and now you’re calling me inconsistent.. lol

    • I’m guessing all the greats (Einstein, Edison, Newton, ect.) all sounded crazy when they started talking to people about different ideas. It is because our perspective often get very limited by our beliefs and sense of reality. In fact, that’s why everyone wants you to think outside the box my friend.. Let us look at some facts we know about plants- firstly, plants have cells, DNA, even blood. Also plants breath and respirate. Plants have been shown to exhibit all 5 senses humans have – smell, taste, touch, hear, see. Plants emit chemicals when being attacked. They communicate with other plants when danger is nearby. Must I go on. It is only how you want to define things. Many people like yourself will want to deny that plants are a living species bcause of the implications. But your belief doesn’t make things not so. So you sir sound like the person in denial. It was actually Darwin studying plant intelligence in his later years because he recognized plants as being alive.

      • I see what you’re doing here Dairy Guy – you stand accused of being part of an industry which is cruel to animals. Everything about your website aims to justify what you do whether it makes sense, is factually correct or morally justifiable. Shifting the debate onto areas where you believe you stand a better chance of success is a well know diversionary tactic and I recognise it. Your attempts to avoid the question are not lost on me. However, the accusations still stand and remain unanswered. I will gladly restate what I believe goes on in the dairy industry if you like, if it helps.
        It’s going to be very difficult to continue a sensible debate with someone who dodges questions and makes stuff up…

        • You know, you actually do sound like someone who’d be paid by the government to brainwash people.I mean, the government does earn a lot from the dairy industry and to make people buy milk it pays people like you to spread false information about its health benefits. It makes sense then why you so inexpertly dodge our arguments. And if you think it’s people’s personal choice whether to use animal products or not, you’re absolutely wrong. There are too many beings involved in this including the animals you use and abuse and those animals that go extinct because of the massive deforestation process for which animal industry is the most responsible; you’re also forgetting the people that suffer from malnutrition and starvation because the planet cannot support 7 billion people because 70% of the arable land belongs to animal industry because animals eat a lot; also, you’re clearly not thinking about the future generations which will face severe environmental problems because animal industry is number one pollutant on earth, which is something even environmentalists choose not to talk about because of how this information could affect our habits. This is not about individual beings anymore and persuasion is not a way to go; clearly, people like you would never be persuaded; this planet needs regulations, laws, restrictions on using animal products, if only the government were not so corrupted. And no, people like you would not become jobless. Other products will come to substitute meat and dairy and other job positions will be open.

          • Kate, many people think the dairy industry is a corporate industry, but 99% of the dairies in California are family owned and operated.. It’s one of the last privately held industries. The government makes no money from dairy. The industry has been attacked by corporations promoting alternatives and substitutes from dairies. If you think about it, veganism actually promotes the corporate agenda because all vegan substitutes have to be manufactured. Many times they are converting foods into eatable substitutes. Take soy for example, its literally poisonous if not manufactured.. It is those products being pushed by corporations. The animal industry is not the number one pollutant on the earth. That’s like saying the large herds of antelope, buffalo, or other wild animals were destroying the environment in generations past. No animals are part of nature, their “waste” is not waste, it refuels the plant life in this world. Animals are a valuable part of this world. When you say they eat alot, that is true, but they are converting plants that we humans cannot eat. They make use of land and plants that humans cant eat. Humans cannot eat grass, but cows convert it to milk, a product rich in nutrients. This is not wasteful, but a truly an efficient way to feed people. I hope I’ve given you some new things to think about.

          • Ok then, But there’s a huge problem with your argument that animals are part of the ecological cycle on earth. They do not breed naturally so they rather disrupt the cycles than contribute to the ecological well-being of the planet. I don’t understand how you could think of such an illogical argument in the first place. We also breed cats (or started breeding them in the past) by the thousands and now they are listed as number one pests on the planet because they destroy whole species of birds; they have brought 30 species of birds to extinction in the US only. That’s just an example (maybe not the best one) for you how whenever we mess with nature, it is fraught with consequences. And look, perhaps we humans cannot eat grass but we eat other plant foods that contain calcium and protein and vitamins and so on. The same way that a cow does not eat nuts or whatever, humans do not eat grass. The word herbivore does not assume eating everything that’s plants so we can get all the necessary nutrients from certain vegetables, fruits, etc. the same way that a cow gets them from grass. The fact that you waste like 10 kilos of grass to get one kilo of meat or milk rather suggests that this is a very poor conversion of energy, while you could eat perhaps 2 kilos of plants to supply your body with all the energy it needs. And think about all the people on earth that suffer from lactose intolerance, how on earth do they get all the calcium they need? About 80% of Asian population suffer from lactose intolerance and yet they live long and Japan for instance has the lowest rates of obesity on Earth. Also, how does the lion, the elephant, the dog get their calcium and their protein without milk? How did people get their calcium before they started consuming milk? ANd just think about it, we were herbivores before we learned how to make fire, so how were people getting their calcium when their diets were still plant-based only. And yes, cows do contribute hugely to the problem of climate change cause they fart a lot and emit a lot of methane gases into the atmosphere. I’ve written a scientific project on this so believe me I’m very knowledgeable about what I am saying here. Transportation does not contribute as much as animal industry. Do not tell me about buffalos and other wild animals that breed naturally and in biologically acceptable numbers. I see there is no point arguing with you anymore. Your arguments are awfully twisted and make no sense if you turn on logic. I’ll do my best to spread awareness about what animal industry does to the planet, to the animals, and to our bodies. There will always be people like you who will twist everything I say just so they wouldn’t have to radically change their lifestyles but I have hope that at least the young generation will understand because their minds are not yet corrupted by culture.

          • Funny how we both think each other illogical lol. You’re just missing the big picture and in my opinion getting stuck in a narrow viewpoint.. Indeed, like you mention, the ecological cycle of the earth requires balance. Extremes do cause the ecological systems of the earth to become unbalanced. But saying cows are not a necessary part of this world is that sort of extremism that will cause unbalance to the earth’s systems because cows do fulfill a necessary role on this planet and contribute to the overall balance of the environment. The nutrient conversion is actually better than you would think because animal products are not just calories, they are nutrient dense foods. Plants are not wasted by animal consumption, but are bio-converted into higher quality foods. To get all the nutrients in animal products in plants, it would require a very large quantity of vegetables and fruits. Plus you would have to refine many plants to concentrate and manufacture the nutrient equivalent. Your example is really an apples to oranges comparison and is far more complex than you’re setting it up to be.. Transportation is by far a greater contributor to global pollution, the U.N. stating that conclusion even admitted they were wrong. You should know this though since you did some research. It is often much easier to redirect blame to others rather than recognize our own contributions to these global problems. I’m sorry you think my thoughts are twisted, just because I have a different viewpoint

          • Look, I recognize my contributions every single day, and believe me I’m trying my best to elmininate all possible negative effect that my daily life has on the environment. It’s much bigger than animal industry, it is transportation, it is fuel, it is waste disposal, and others. Animal industry is just one of those evils but is also the biggest one. There is scientific evidence, statistics, numbers, and there’s a person’s–a farmer’s–personal opinion. I’m afraid you’re losing the point of this conversation. It is not about who is right, you or I, but about what is right, and clearly you’re just denying the facts because it is not convenient to you. Trust me, being a vegan is not liberating or simply fun as some might think, it is very and very oppressing because you become aware of all the wrongs that animal industry does to nature, and you can’t keep quiet about this. And from everything that you’ve written so far I’ve been given the impression that you’re just making up those arguments to justify your choice of lifestyle while you couldn’t care less about the impact your life has on the planet, I’m not just talking about animals, but also things that you’ve mentioned like transportation. Besides, you don’t need science to tell you what is right. Common sense would be enough. But evidently, people just don’t want to think about others, animals, future generations. Modern culture lays more and more emphasis on the individual today. What relates to health, this shouldn’t concern me what you do with your body, so whatever, if you think you’re getting the best stuff from meat and milk, so be it, I won’t argue with you on that point anymore cause it’s not even important on the global scale, but I’d encourage you to think not just about your own health but about the well-being of others as well. As I’ve said, I’ll do my best to spread awareness. But there’s no more sense in arguing with you.

          • Why don’t you put things in the proper perspective. You are trying to reduce your negative impact on the world (noble goal) and that’s why you’re vegan. But you are not affecting the world any less negatively because you are still breathing, eating food, using plants, and using the world’s resources. Eating no meat, but more plants doesn’t change your impact it only further distorts balance to nature.. The only way you will have a zero impact is to stop breathing.. Veganism does nothing to solve this problem for humanity except give you a false sense of moral superiority. And that’s why everyone else’s views don’t matter, even those lowly uneducated farmers.

          • And how is this not twisting arguments? Yes, I understand that my life impacts the world negatively no matter what, which is why I’m intent on not having children. It would be selfish to bring more people into the world where there’s 7 billion of us and barely enough resources and besides what future will my children have. What I’m saying is the best thing to do is to never have been born if you want me to put it that way, I understand that, and yet here I am, and the best I can do is to simply minimize the impact.

          • This is where the vegan belief system leads – to a grim, depressing, nihilistic, view of the world. You’re saying you will terminate yourself and future progeny because of your beliefs. The alternative is to view the world as an abundantly diverse ecosystem that is alive and self-correcting. Humanity is part of the ecosystems of the world and do play a role in keeping it healthy. But we can be the solution, not the problem. People need to recognize that they have a choice. Veganism demotivates and disempowers humanity from working towards this goal

          • In reply to Nick’s latest comment, I agree with you on every point except on the one that says that it’s people’s personal choice. It’s not anymore. I’m afraid it’s affecting too many beings around the globe, including people that suffer from malnutrition and thirst because animal industry is the largest consumer of water today and the largest land owner. Yes, many people do not know the truth, so using animal products does not make them evil or something. It is people like farmers who know the truth but deny it for profit that are the evil force on this planet.

        • Honestly, I’m just a dairy farmer who wants to share my perspective about dairy, cows, and life. I know it’s hard to believe that some people would counter the claims of radicals, vegans, ect. but reality is much different place that those people say. Put it this way, you can make anything sound a certain way and use scary words to make people afraid, but if it’s not true, it’s slanderous and offensive. If someone was trying to make you out to be evil (and it wasn’t true) you would want to set the record straight too right..

          • Humans have proved throughout history that they are capable of conceiving and carrying out the most horrific large-scale torture and death and justifying it to themselves. Whether it is war crimes, mass murders, genocides or slavery, man has proved time and again that he can put his caring instincts to the back of his mind while carrying out atrocities and violence against others. This is not about you personally Dairy Guy, but you are part of the lie and deception that torturing and murdering animals on an almost unimaginable scale (over 55 BILLION a year!) is not only okay to do, but is in some way a good thing to do. Apart from the undeniable and completely unnecessary suffering animals endure to become food, there is the well documented impact factory farming has on our environment and the scientifically proven health benefits of eating a balanced vegan diet, to consider. We do not need to harm animals in the name of survival anymore; that reality ended some time ago. Our need to hunt to eat to survive, to wear animal skins for warms, to use animal sinew to make weapons and tools, no longer exists. It therefore becomes a question of choice. People are of course free to choose to consume animal products if they want to and I would defend their right to, but I strongly object to people like you who make things up, deny the truth of suffering and deliberately try to hide it from others. I believe more people would turn away from consuming animal products if they knew and faced the truth.

  17. Realistically, it’s going to be hard Kate to use the law to control the farming of animals on a global scale. People are free to make choices but I am a firm believer that the best way to make lasting social change is through education, so not only are people prepared to change their habits but also teach their children why. If you think about using less petrol or recycling or even smoking, they have all been impacted by people better understanding the consequences of their actions and taking responsibility. I am hopeful there is a wind of change and that more and more people are learning about the consequences and the unsustainability of intensive meat and dairy production. The other thing which has great impact on consumerism is of course price. This is where governments have a greater part to play.

    • The way you and Kate are talking I can see you have little respect for humanity and that you are the only one who knows what is right or wrong. You want to exert and control other people because you are right. This is the very trap of veganism. It appeals to our egos.

      • No, dairy guy, I’m sorry if my (and Nick’s perhaps) arguments made you think that way. The thing is that when you learn the whole story you simply can’t keep quiet and go on with your life knowing that so much is happening around you even if you’re no longer a part of the picture. You want other people to learn it too because of how many animals could be saved from suffering; that’s at least my main reason. I however see no substantial reason behind your argument except for perhaps defending your personal worldview or advertising dairy products for your own gain.

        • See you did not learn the whole story because you are openly rejecting the other perspective that I am sharing. You have taken a viewpoint that has affected you at an emotional level and have become consumed by it, fully convinced that it is truth. The reality is that you have left no room for learning what reality really is…

        • Kate had written:
          “Trust me, being a vegan is not liberating or simply fun as some might think, it is very oppressing”

          …and…

          “What I’m saying is the best thing to do is to never have been born if you want me to put it that way, I understand that, and yet here I am, and the best I can do is to simply minimize the impact.”

          Oh my, Katie. Oh my. This was many months ago. I hope you are feeling better now. You really should see this:

          • I thought you did not allow links Dairy Guy? I have loads of links I would love to post here to prove the cruelty and suffering which routinely goes on in the dairy industry, but you would not allow it. Double standards? Bias perhaps?

          • Dearest Badger,
            I wanted not only you but anyone and everyone else to see and consider for themselves the Lierre Keith video. Rather than posting the easily clickable link, I could, as I have done before just say “look up the Lierre Keith video”, would that be OK with you? I have no problem with dairy guy removing this link now as long as a reference to the video is allowed. I also have no problem with you posting either references or links to any videos about mistreatment of animals – I want that abuse stopped as much as you do. What do you think – is that fair?

          • I hadn’t seen that interview before- Lierre Keith had some great points and i thought badger really needed to see it so I allowed. Thanks for sharing. I will follow her work

      • Is it not humane to care for others, for other ‘beings’ that have feelings and emotions? Sentient beings with instincts and urges who recognise pain and fear? You talk about humanity like it only involves the welfare of humans. That is incorrect by definition which I think is where you are going so wrong. Of course it involves the welfare of humans but it means much more.
        “Humane”: having or showing compassion or benevolence; intended to have a civilizing effect on people.
        You interpret the definition of ‘humane’ very differently either because you don’t understand its true meaning or because you think it helps with your story. Either way, you are wrong about the use of the word. It does not mean ‘in the interest of humans’ which is what I think you think it means. Strange??
        It is also interesting you think veganism is driven by ego.

        • Veganism is mainly driven by ego. Ever meet a vegan who didn’t share that they were vegan within 10 minutes of meeting them. Yes, its rare. Veganism appeals to our pride and gives us a feeling of moral superiority to others. Its why you’re talking about “re-educating” people and leveraging government to control the decisions of others.

      • Watch out dairy dude… Sounds like Nick and Katie are gettin’ ready to round up all you cow-herdin’, milk-collectin’, cheese-pushin’, butter-churnin’, ice-cream-enabling banditos!!!

        Just remember kids: If milk is outlawed – Only outlaws will have milk.

        And ice cream.
        Yeah. Let that sink in.

    • Yes, it does make more sense; education is the most efficient way to create change. Perhaps it is late to reeducate grown-ups though but there is hope for the younger generation. Environmental science should be part of the school curriculum. I was educated about these issues in high school, if it weren’t for that, I would perhaps live in complete ignorance of what is happening. As to the government, unfortunately, it makes a lot of profit with the industries, so it wouldn’t mess with the prices.

    • 4th of July, 2016: And there it is: Godwin’s Law…

      Nick wrote: “Whether it is war crimes, mass murders, genocides or slavery, man has proved time and again that he can put his caring instincts to the back of his mind while carrying out atrocities and violence against others.”

      Of all places. On a blog about drinking milk…
      Well, You brought it up, Nick.
      What “war crime, mass murder and genocide” are you talking about?

      • Ok Alvin, I made a fairly simple point about how humans have proved throughout history that they are more than capable of conceiving and carrying out the most horrific large-scale torture and death and justifying it to themselves. I didn’t think this would be a point of contention as it is so clear and blatant and obvious. Are you seriously incapable of thinking of any examples of war crimes, mass murders, genocides or slavery throughout history?? I’m not being funny Alvin but this is basic.

        As for your ‘Godwin’s Law’ jibe Alvin, where you are obviously attempting to be bit smart, let’s not mention he who begins with ‘H’ and instead quote Yugoslavia for war crimes, Cambodia for mass murder, Rwanda for genocide and Africa for Slavery. You may have heard of some of these or you may need to look them up. These are all examples where thousands of people were complicit in committing horrific acts of cruelty and slaughter, somehow believing what they were doing was justified. Get it now Alvin?

        • What am I supposed to “get”? That people have done violent things under mistaken beliefs? Right, got it. That still doesn’t change evolutionary physiology. You can’t live on grass like a cow… you have one stomach. Condemning the people of the Middle Ages for burning “witches” won’t change how many stomachs homo sapiens has or that he is not a ruminant. Get it now Badger?

          I’m familiar with the idea of war, Badger. I’ve studied history… My father was drafted in ’42 and shipped to Europe in ’44. I also wore a uniform under Reagan, Bush (senior) and a smidge into the Clinton era, first as enlisted and then as an officer.

          You’ve named a few of history’s tragedies all of which I’m quite familiar with. The point of the Godwin jibe is that it never fails… if someone isn’t getting enough traction in the strength of their argument alone they bring up “H”, as you put it. That is the sad infallibility of the “Law”. It’s so prevalent. If all else fails compare your adversary to “H” or bring up the “N”-word from World War 2.
          Very topical, isn’t it… We have a White House press chief right now under fire with the press and some in congress because he foolishly invoked dear-old Godwin’s Law. I merely pointed this out regarding what Nick wrote last July. And to Nick I wanted him to clarify if indeed it was Godwin-applicable, since he may actually have been referring to another “war crime, mass murder or genocide” other than the one Spicey got in trouble for. What do you think?

          Personally, I’m entertained by those who invoke Godwin – that is, use “H” to demonize their adversary. It’s usually the last resort of a tired mind. And more often than not it’s usually those who themselves don’t actually know a thing about history. Or – they mistakenly believe they do…

  18. I love how ignorant people are, they clearly only ever read biased reports and have probably never stepped foot on a good farm and witnessed what happens (I accept there are many undesirable places and disgusting people). I think there is a big divide between those that are educated and choose not to consume dairy for whatever reason and those who just want the moral high ground. I would proudly teach young children where milk comes from and teach them to milk myself!

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