Why I Won’t Drink Dairy Milk

I love animals – all animals. I always have, my first word was Sam (the name of my dog at the time). This is the main reason my diet is predominantly plant based and I don’t eat animals. I haven’t drank cow’s milk now for around 8 months for a number of reasons, today I wanted to share with you the biggest reason why I gave it up, which is the cruelty fact.

I didn’t know much about dairy farming until I read about it before making some changes to my diet. I did used to enjoy drinking a cold glass of milk, but for some reason when I turned vegetarian at the age of 17 (the day I moved out of my home and got my own place) I stopped enjoying the taste – I think my pallet maybe changed with my diet. However, when drinking hot chocolates or lattes (before I gave up coffees) I never thought about opting for plant based milk, purely because I didn’t know about where dairy milk came from and what cows and calves are put through. Looking back – this was pretty uneducated. If you are going to drink or eat animal products – you should at least know where they come from in my opinion.

An average cow will live for as long as 20 years, however for a dairy cow, they are lucky if they reach 4 years. She will spend her whole life being pumped for milk for forced fed. Like humans, cows spend 9 months pregnant, and after spending only a day with her newborn, the calf is dragged away. This is extremely upsetting for both the cow and the calf, with cows being known to call for their babies for days.

Once she has given birth, she is immediately impregnated again. Her short live is a constant cycle of being forced fed, pumped for milk, being pregnant and then having to give birth and be separated from her baby.

If she gives birth to a female calf, they are force fed and then suffer the same fate as their mother. A male, will most likely be forced fed in horrible conditions and used for veal.

Usually between the age of 3 – 5, the dairy cows die. Most butchers will not take the meat as it is not ‘good enough ‘due to lack of nourishment. The meat is usually ground down to dog/pet food.

Cows are extremely intelligent animals, and are very caring and social. Families stay together their whole life, with mothers and babies remaining close for a life time. Cows always stick together with the rest of their herd (just look at a field of cows), and have been known to have best friends, just like us. I can’t imagine how heart breaking it must be for them to have their babies pulled from them 🙁

They know whats going on too – read the below from PETA.

‘’Like all animals, cows value their lives and don’t want to die. Stories abound of cows who have gone to extraordinary lengths to fight for their lives.

A cow named Suzie was about to be loaded onto a freighter bound for Venezuela when she turned around, ran back down the gangplank, and leaped into the river. Even though she was pregnant (or perhaps because she was pregnant), she managed to swim all the way across the river, eluding capture for several days. She was rescued by PETA and sent to a sanctuary.

When workers at a slaughterhouse in Massachusetts went on break, Emily the cow made a break of her own. She took a tremendous leap over a 5-foot gate and escaped into the woods, surviving for several weeks during New England’s snowiest winter in a decade, cleverly refusing to touch the hay put out to lure her back to the slaughterhouse.

When she was eventually caught by the owners of a nearby sanctuary, public outcry demanded that the slaughterhouse allow the sanctuary to buy her for one dollar. Emily lived out the rest of her life in Massachusetts until she died of cancer in 2004. Her life is a testament to the fact that eating meat means eating animals who don’t want to die.’’ – PETA

So, what do you do? There are so many plant based milks which taste great and are guilt free! You can buy soy milk, coconut milk, almond milk, hazelnut milk and even rice milk. These options can also be much healthier for you too and can be used in cereal, tea/coffee and even cooking and baking. Check out my recipes for vegan hot drinks, muffins and dishes such as risotto which I have used coconut and almond milk for here. They really are a great substitute. I will blog about these options in more detail soon.

Giving up cow’s milk isn’t hard at all. Not only do I feel much better about myself and my decisions, I can’t believe the pounds I shed. For me, after finding out the truth about dairy cow farming, it wasn’t a difficult decision for me.

I hope this inspires you to think about your dairy milk intake and encourages you to try and consider plant based milks in the future. If you eat or drink animal products and won’t look at where it comes from, it makes your pretty ignorant in my option (sorry).

To finish my post on a happier note, here are some cute pictures of cows and calves. Who would want to split these families up!?

If you have any questions about alternatives to cow’s milk, I will be happy to help. Happy hump day – every small change helps 🙂 Jess x

cow 2

cow 5


cow 6