The truth about the dairy industry and why we must boycott it as best as we can.
Calcium claims (& other false health promises).
Contrary to what we were taught to believe, dairy is not the #1 source of calcium. To put things in perspective, 100g of cow milk has 125mg of calcium while 100g of tofu has 350mg of calcium. Even leafy greens have higher calcium than cow's milk.
False advertisement is nothing new, every industry does it. The beauty industry constantly boasts a "miracle serum" clinically proven to eliminate wrinkles etc. It's one thing if it's not effective, it’s annoying and a waste of money at most; but if it starts to rot your face—that's another thing & a very serious one at that.
The deal with cow’s milk is that—while it’s not the #1 source for calcium, It’s been linked to increased risk of cancer and premature death. So it's time we look for calcium sources from healthier alternatives.
Cow's milk is for baby cows.
Cow's milk is for baby cows. it's one of those things that's very obvious but tend to fly over our heads. Humans are the only species who drink milk of another species. When you put it like that—it's wild!
In that sense, it's very unnatural, unnecessary & even harmful to drink cow's milk. After all, it is baby cow's growth food—intended by nature to grow a 30kg baby calf into a 300kg adult cows in just one year. We don't need to grow to this level nor at this speed.
It's also why 75% of the population is lactose intolerant (our intolerance level varies). In order to digest lactose, we need the enzyme "lactase"—which our bodies don't naturally produce because it's not intended for us. For those who can digest lactose, it is due to genetic mutations where our bodies adapt overtime but just because you can digest it, doesn't mean it's good for you.
Got Milk? Campaign.
As w i l d as the plot-twist is—how they managed to mislead us all these years is even more w i l d ! Was it just really good marketing? Well, partly yes. In the 90s, they launched the iconic Got Milk? campaign featuring various big celebrities and sport stars endorsing cow's milk—always with the iconic "milk mustache" on their faces. The campaign proves successful in encouraging milk consumption because when David Beckham says "protein in milks help build lean muscles", one does not question it.
Lobbying (Food pyramid).
Milk was not only endorsed by celebrities, they were and continue to be heavily endorsed by the government. This practice is known as "lobbying"—where lobbyists are hired to influence legislation that is favorable for the industry and this means making the aforementioned false health claims.
A perfect example is in the Food Pyramid. Unfortunately, If there is anything we learn from the "Food Pyramid"—it's that the power of lobbying > science. The reasons why milk & cheese were included in our food pyramid was not due to scientific findings that they're good for us BUT because of the industry's effort in lobbying that result in children as young as XX learning about the necessary daily dairy intake. If your textbooks and doctors say you need milk for strong bones—how much more credibility do you need? you're practically all set!
Welfare (& the truth).
The images of cows being "happily" milked IS A LIE. The truth about the dairy industry is devastating. a bit of biology lesson—we only produce milk when we are nursing. It's the same for cows—they start to produce milk because they have recently just given birth and the milk is intended for their baby. Because cows only produce milk when they're nursing, they are forcibly impregnated (essentially raped) constantly to ensure milk production.
When the business model is based on efficiency and profit maxmization, welfare then becomes an obstacle. So you cram as many cows as you can in a space, feed them growth hormones (rBGH) to maximize milk production, feed them antibiotics and other drugs daily because they're so sick on the diet that they wouldn't otherwise survive - & we then drink the milk and eat the meat resulting in all the illnesses that we see today. All this and we haven't even touched on the environmental impacts yet.
What prompted me to write this post first and foremost is because I want to share the truth.
I see a lot of similarities in the dairy industry and the tobacco industry—tobacco was endorsed by doctors in the 30s and 40s as healthy, only to be proved years later that it's not. There are still people who choose to smoke, but they do so not under the allure that smoking is healthy. I think it should be the same for dairy products.
Dairy products won't just disappear anytime soon, although it is declining at an unprecedented rate; but if the public is choosing to consume dairy, they deserve to know the true implications.
Sometimes countries like Cambodia tend to get the short end of the stick, meaning that as the industry realizes and accepts its decline in the west, they will move to capitalize here instead. It's already happening, so I feel it's important to share.