It's bizarre to me how accepting we are of such heavy dependence on the secretions of another animal species. We have a whole industry worth $13 billion dollars every year in Australia alone, solely predicated on extracting the bodily fluids of a large, genetically engineered mammal. Fluid that we then gulp down on the double, despite being specifically designed to turn a 30kg calf into a 700kg cow in under two years.
Seriously am I the only one that finds this weird? Milk makes me bloated, cheese makes me gassy. No shit it does! We all experience common symptoms of overconsumption, yet somehow the situation perseveres.
Yes, dairy obviously has some merits as a digestible whole food; high in fat, protein and calcium, good enzymes and bacteria for our gut biome, etc etc. But here's the thing - we can gain all of that elsewhere, really easily!
The bottom line is that raising cows is seriously damaging to the environment. Apart from in specific areas of organic grassland (which are pretty bloody rare), introducing cattle basically tolls a death bell for any unsuspecting ecosystem unfortunate enough to be on the receiving end.
Soil compaction leads to severe erosion and inability to sustain diverse plant life. Water tables become irreparably interfered with as runoff is redirected and polluted with effluence. Habitat for thousands of other species is razed in an instant as one-tonne imbecilic beasts simply munch their way through life itself.
And I haven't even talked about emissions! Because we already know it all, right? How toxic methane, 20 times the warming effect of carbon, is released non-stop at both ends of a cow? Enough that despite there being 200 times the amount of carbon in the atmosphere, methane accounts for 28% of its combined greenhouse potency?
Yeah, we know that methane is pretty deadly, and cattle produce a LOT of it.
There's literally no genuine reason for humans to drink milk, and every reason in the world to stop if you currently do. Worried about calcium? 200mL of milk gives you 30% of your RDI, 125g tofu will give you 50%. Vitamin D? Go and catch yourself a fish, and enjoy producing it endogenously anyway while you're out in the sun.
Seriously, you can do it!
Time to ditch the dairy.
[p.s. - in case you thought farmers sat around squeezing teats by hand, this is what an industrial dairy farm looks like! source:kapilvirenahuja]