Many vegetarians I know avoid all forms of meat—poultry, pork, beef, eggs, water-borne animals—but do consume another form of it: Dairy.
There’s a reason why plant-based nutritionists call dairy its less-appealing moniker “liquid meat”. I’ll get to that later. First, let me tell you why I shunned taking all forms of dairy products (milk, cheese, butter, margarine, creams) in the first place.
I attempted to watch “Earthlings”, a documentary narrated by vegan Joaquin Phoenix, a few years ago. I couldn’t watch past the 10th minute. The cruelty and violence inflicted upon hapless farm animals depicted there was simply too much for me. And the film gave a global dimension to something I knew was happening in every animal farm and slaughterhouse in this meat-loving (note this word, as opposed to “pet-loving”. Speciesism is alive and kicking here!) country.
The cruelest acts humans have laid upon animals are those inflicted upon cows in dairy farms. It’s “udderly” inhumane, pun obviously intended. But you won’t be laughing at the sight of cows milked dry—their mammary glands inflamed from being unnaturally sucked by industrial machines round-the-clock. Day-old calves are separated from their mothers, and instead fed milk replacers—including cattle blood—because the milk designed and intended for them would be consumed by humans. Well, can you imagine a calf suckling from your own mother’s breasts, and you drinking your mom’s blood instead? That’s how unnaturally ridiculous this had all gone down for me, this madness of a dairy industry.
Later on, I learned more of the dirty little secrets of the dairy industry; how it used antibiotics and hormones to push cow’s milk production to the very limits. Not only was the industry cruel, it was also becoming a downright menace to public health and safety! But, of course, the PR, media and advertising campaigns for the dairy industry were well-financed, precise juggernauts rivaling any of Hitler’s blinding war blitzes. That cute ad showing a line of white liquid over celebrities mouths (was that really milk there, and not something else white?) with the tagline “Got milk?” garnered instant recall. On the local front, the “milk wars” on TV pitted a brand declaring that it was “unbeatable” (Wala pa ring tatalo sa…..” with another crooning that “You’re (the kids) my number 1.” It was legalized mass hypnosis funded with billions of pesos of milk money. And not one cow or calf got a day pass from the stifling factories as royalties for their equity of sweat, blood and tears.
The result of all this brainwashing has been a worldwide population so dependent on cow’s milk, no one among these milk addicts has ever come around to asking the most common-sense question of all: If cow’s milk were so naturally important to humans, why were they put in cows in the first place, and not in humans?
I’m not ranting here, not even close to it. My mind is as clear as a cloudless sky over the driest of deserts. Milk is murder—not only for cows, but for humans, as well. Let me show you compelling reasons why this is so:
1. In the book “The China Study”, author T. Colin Cambell, a Jacob Gould Schurman professor emeritus of nutrition biochemistry at Cornell University in New York, and co-author Thomas Campbell, MD, stated: “Animal protein increases the levels of the hormone IGF-1 which is a risk factor for cancer, and high casein (the main protein of cow’s milk) diets allow more carcinogens into cells, which allow more dangerous carcinogen products to bind to DNA. This in turn allow more mutagenic reactions that give rise to cancer cells, that then allow more rapid growth of tumors once they are initially formed.”
2. Hollywood actor Woody Harrelson, while he was starting out in New York, was able to solve his acne problem after he gave up milk and went vegan. During a 2013 interview with Telegraph UK, he said that he gave up dairy products after a random female passer-by noticed his streaming nose and acne. She diagnosed him as lactose intolerant, and after three days of ditching dairy, he was mucus-free and acne-free.
Woody’s example shows the acne-milk link. Drs Neil Nedley and David de Rose, MD, authors of “Proof Positive: How to Reliably Combat Disease and Achieve Optimal Health through Nutrition and Lifestyle,” said that although most people do not think of milk as a high-fat food, about 50 percent of the calories in whole milk come from fat 1. Many cheeses are higher than that; some, like cream cheeses, approach 90 percent of their calories from fat 2. Of note, 15 to 20 percent of the fat calories in dairy products are generally from the implicated medium chain fats of 8 to 14 carbons in chain length. Whether it is because of this fat connection or for other reasons, Dr. Frank Oski reported that acne often clears up when milk is discontinued 3.
3. Contrary to milk ads’ claim that these are loaded with calcium, Nedley said that cow’s milk results in just a low absorption of calcium by the body. Various studies have indicated that:
a. Only 25 percent of the calcium in cow’s milk is absorbed by the body;
b. Human milk, although containing less than half the calcium of cow’s milk, is a better source of calcium because of its high absorption qualities;
c. Kale, turnip greens or sesame seeds are better sources of calcium for the same reason.
4. Although milk may not be the sole cause of some body sensitivities (some common conditions may—in certain situations—be related, at least in part, to milk ingestion), however, the following information is in the medical literature: “Milk sensitivity” disorders are chronic fatigue syndrome 4, tension headaches 5, musculoskeletal pain 6, hyperactivity 7, bed wetting8, aggravation of allergies and congestion, asthma and other respiratory difficulties.
5. For some reason, dairy consumption seems related in some children to mucus production, coughs, and lung disorders. “Nelson’s Text-book Pediatrics” points out that X-ray lung abnormalities, called “pulmonary infiltrates”, have been related to cow’s milk 9. The text also lists a serious lung condition called “pulmonary hemosiderosis” as sometimes being reversed by removing dairy products from a child’s diet 10. It is interesting that some of the children with this rare lung disorder also have a chronic runny nose, recurrent ear infections, and chronically enlarged lymph tissue in their nose and throat 11.
6. Iron-deficiency anemia can also result from an intolerance to cow’s milk proteins 12, 13.Nedley explained that if you look at all US cases of severe iron deficiency in infants, as much as a third of them have blood loss due to exposure to a protein in whole cow’s milk 14. “Exposure to this protein results in sloughing off of the intestinal lining cells, causing small amounts of bleeding. When blood is lost, iron (a constituent of blood) is lost as well.
7. Childhood and juvenile diabetes and cow’s milk are being linked with a growing number of scientific papers suggesting this relationship. Cow’s milk may trigger diabetes in genetically susceptible children. Researchers have uncovered cow’s milk proteins that resemble proteins found on the surface of the beta cells of the pancreas. The technical names of the implicated milk proteins are ABBOS (a fraction of bovine serum albumin) 15, and beta casein 16. The research suggests that a genetically susceptible child may begin to make antibodies against one of these or other milk proteins. Those antibodies may then attack look-alike proteins on the beta cells of the pancreas. Beta cells are the insulin factories of the body. If the immune system destroys them, diabetes results.
8. In a literature that analyzed several studies, Campbell cited in a lecture an important point in cow’s milk: “Subsequently, researchers started to take apart cow’s milk to have a look…and indeed they found some proteins in cow’s milk that had this unique amino acid sequence that, when entering the bloodstream of a newborn infant (especially if it wasn’t being breast-fed) was inducing the production of an antibody. The original discovery involved a so-called 17 amino acid sequence. A very specific sequence of amino acids that generated production of the antibody, and once the antibody was produced and supposedly only recognized that 17 amino acid sequence, it discovered exactly the same 17 amino acid sequence on the cells of the pancreas that was producing insulin.
“That set in motion a train of events that destroyed that child’s life, in the sense that it was never again able to produce insulin. One of the more remarkable reports of this cow’s milk effect was reported in 1992, not so long ago, in the New England Journal of Medicine. In that particular study, done in Finland, 142 diabetic children were tested to see if they might have the antibody that would have been produced only if those children had been exposed to cow’s milk early in life. They were compared against 79 normal children…And sure enough, virtually all of the children who were diabetic had the antibody that was specific for one of the cow’s milk protein fractions.
“The level of those antibodies in the blood of those (diabetic) children was across-the-board higher than it was in normal children…almost clearly pointing to the idea that the diabetic children had not only been exposed to the cow’s milk early in life, but also had suffered the consequences of that protein, because that protein had been shown in more intricate studies to be able to bind to the islet cells of the pancreas that produce insulin.
“As time passed, there were other studies at the same time that started to show the same thing,” said Campbell.
9. Infants and children are not the only ones susceptible to dairy-linked diseases. Nedley’s“Proof Positive” has cited major adult health concerns related to using cow’s milk. Some of these are coronary artery disease, cancer, neurologic diseases, allergies, digestive problems and infectious diseases.
10. Oxidation of cholesterol from milk is even more worrisome for adults when it comes to heart disease and atherosclerosis. One of the worst proteins that raises blood cholesterol levels is casein, a common milk protein 17. All levels of cow’s milk, including skimmed and one-percent milk, contain both casein and cholesterol. Two-percent and whole milk are worse, because they have more cholesterol and are higher in saturated fat, which increases blood cholesterol.
Nedley mentioned of a Norman Mayo, 61, from Seattle, who made headlines when he wanted to take the dairy industry to court for not putting warning signs on milk informing the consumer about the increased risk of heart disease and stroke.
“Mayo stated that he drank whole milk his entire life because he believed it was a healthy practice. Now he has clogged arteries and has already suffered a stroke. After he knew about his artery blockages, he learned about the artery-damaging effects of dairy products from his health advisors.”
11. “Dr. David DeRose and colleagues at the American Health Foundation examined the international death rates from a variety of cancers 18. They found that the more milk and meat eaten in a country, the greater the risk of breast cancer. Prostate and ovarian cancer risks were also associated with milk use,” quipped Nedley.
Nedley added that La Vecchia and coworkers in Italy have shown that prostate cancer risk increases in a “dose response” fashion with milk drinking. Thus, the more milk a person takes, the greater the risk of contracting the cancer. Specifically, those who drank up to two glasses of milk per day increased their risk by 20 percent. However, when milk intake exceeded two glasses per day, prostate cancer risk jumped 400 percent 19.
A study in Spain added another type of cancer to the list of dairy-related malignancies. Researchers there found that milk products tended to triple the risk of cancer of the rectum 20.
The link between dairy and cancer reminds me of scientist Jane Plant, a cancer survivor and author of “The No-Dairy Breast Cancer Prevention Program (How one scientist’s discovery helped her defeat her cancer)” when she said: “If you want to reduce your risk of breast (or prostate) cancer, become a vegan, but on no account become a dairy-eating vegetarian. If any anticancer diet includes any kind of dairy products, ignore it.”
“Undoubtedly, the best anticancer diet would be completely vegan (a diet that foregoes animal protein entirely: no poultry, beef, pork, seafood, egg, cow’s milk or cheese). I was living on a completely vegan diet at the time my cancer disappeared and for about eight months afterward. If you can become a vegan, so much the better, but you must ensure that you don’t become deficient in essential nutrients such as zinc and selenium and vitamins such as D andB12,” said Plant.
Plant added that one should not confuse being vegan and becoming a vegetarian. Vegetarians, she said, sometimes consume far more dairy products (to replace meat) than other members of society, and some processed, prepackaged vegetarian foods can have particularly high contents of dairy products.
12. Other diseases linked to cow’s milk are Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and Multiple Sclerosis (MS). ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s Disease, after the famous baseball player who contracted the illness, tends to cause progressive paralysis. On the average, the victim dies within three years of the diagnosis 21, while MS strikes the myelin tissue that insulates nerve cells in the brain, eye nerves and spinal cord.
There is some concern from population studies that some cases of ALS may be caused from an infectious agent transmitted through dairy products 22. One study reported in the prestigious British medical journal Lancet suggested that MS might have a relationship to dairy consumption 23.
Other diseases that are linked to cow’s milk are allergies and digestive problems as well as salmonella in dairy ice cream. Another issue is antibiotics commonly found in milk. So, if you ask experts like Nedley and De Rose what comes with milk for breakfast, his reply would be the cow’s lunch fare yesterday: bacteria, viruses, prions, antibiotics, hormones and organic pesticides.
It sure sounds like the cow’s got the last laugh when you drink “all the way down!”
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