I was fooled completely.
No doubt anything with roasted cheese, creamy fro-yo, or salty butter will greatly magnify your anticipation for lunch. 'I can't give up dairy- I love it too much!!'. Surprisingly, you may legitimately be having a TBH moment when you say that. Turns out there's a ton of opiates- chemicals that stimulate dopamine in the brain- that get transferred to your blood when you eat dairy. Just like human breastmilk, animal milk carries these chemicals to keep their babies drugged into drinking more so they get enough nutrients to grow large fast. This is also why milk is designed to be so fatty.
"Ok, so I'm just getting doped up when I drink milk, what's so bad about that HAHA?"
Well lad, you are also addicted to;
- Pus- According to the USDA's page 18, pus cell count in your milk is only tested twice a year. Somatic (pus) cell count can not exceed 750,000 cells per ml (cow's milk) and 1,500,000 cells per ml (goat's milk). That's still a lot of pimple juice in your bowl of cereal!
- Antibiotics- click here for a table of all possible antibiotics that can end up in your daily glass, cup, tube, or plate. I want to thank the USDA for at least being somewhat open with 'recent' information on their animal vaccines-- that you will also be getting when you drink the milk.
- Hormones- you just can't get enough of 'em being a teenager with dating all the rage. Go ahead and drink that glass of extra drama!
- Blood- for you vampires reading, cows udders get sore and dry after milking several times. Know what happens to your hands in the winter when you don't use lotion? Same thing happens to the cows udders, and all of that blood gets sucked right into the holding tank of milk to be processed.
- Here's one I haven't heard before: drug residue levels (page 20). At first it looks like any amount of drug residue is prohibited but reading further shows the FDA has the final word on how much drug residue is considered 'safe' or meets 'tolerance levels'. Be reminded that the FDA also approved drugs that are so dangerous they have a 'black box' warning on them. Do you want to trust them on 'tolerance levels' of various animal drugs as well?
Dairy cows are impregnated to induce lactation; Like us, they must have a baby to produce milk. Shortly after birth, her babies are taken away so they won't drink the milk to be collected and sold. If the baby is a female, she is fed growth hormones and follows her mother's footsteps until she can't produce milk anymore, then she is slaughtered. If the calf is a male, he will be shipped off and confined in a narrow stall and fed milk or replacement formulas to keep the meat fatty and loose. They often have health issues such as diarrhea and are slaughtered within two years of the cow's natural 40 year lifespan.
Milk isn't as friendly as it seems, with more and more people diagnosed with lactose intolerance or dairy allergies annually.
- lactose intolerance & casein allergies- Middle school Biology lesson: when you were a baby, your intestines produced plenty of lactase- or the enzyme that helps digest lactose sugar found in dairy. As you grow up you produce less lactase in exchange for food-digesting enzymes because you no longer depend solely on mom (hopefully) for nutrition. So in reality, lactose intolerance just means you are more 'evolutionized' than some other people- it's completely natural but causes extreme stomach pain and long visits to the toilet. If your lactose intolerance isn't fixed with a lactase pill (Lactaid) then you might have an allergy to a milk protein called casein. the symptoms are similar to lactose intolerance but you can't really find a quick fix for it.
- Acne- Your body's reaction to excessive hormones (given to the dairy cow to produce more milk and boyfriend/girlfriend stress '<3'), antibiotics (also given to the cows), or an allergy to dairy. Just try to ease up on the dairy for two weeks and your acne might clear up- no fancy facewash needed!
- Weight gain- since milk is nature's meal replacement to fatten the little calves up to quadruple their size within a few months, it's no secret milk products can get you to pack on extra 'junk in the trunk'.
So many people are turning to dairy alternatives for weight loss and health that there is almost no excuse for not being able to avoid dairy. Pshh- even Walmart is selling organic soymilk in Texas- the land of 'you can't survive here if you're vegan'! There's almond, soy, hemp, oat, rice, cashew, an coconut milks, to name a few. Miss cheese? Use nutritional yeast flakes, soy cheese, or ground cashews- they have their own salty cheesy flavor. They have more nutrients than their dairy counterparts too; just a handful of cashews beats a glass of milk by 2 grams of protein, and has less sodium! Use sweet onion sauce, hummus, or Veganaise instead of mayo. One of my favorite parts about being vegan is dairy-free sauces and condiments don't spoil easily past the expiration date so I won't get sick like the unlucky guy with the rotten mayo sandwich. Get creative with your recipes! Add more olives, corn & black bean salsa, and guacamole to your nachos instead of queso.
**Let me know some of your recipes or favorite things to eat in lieu of dairy!**