Below are some pointers I gathered from last week’s World Veg Fest ’14 @ Anna Univ on why we should avoid milk/diary products (butter, curd, ghee, cheese, ice cream, etc.) and become a Vegan.
1. Cow’s milk is optimized for calf, by nature. Not for human consumption.
2. Centralized milk production (unlike cows reared in rural homes that were almost part of the family) results in unethical treatment, and even torture, for cows.
3. Except India, no other Asian country uses milk predominantly in their diet.
4. One glass of milk contains: 300 calories, 51 mg cholesterol, 16 grams of fat.
5. Casein, found in milk is mildly toxic and is difficult to digest. It’s a carcinogen and it’s addictive.
6. Milk contains acidic protein which leaches calcium from bones. Besides, adults do not need excessive calcium from milk as their bones are fully grown. Even for kids, calcium can be obtained from plant sources.
7. Vitamin D can be obtained abundantly from sunlight in sunnier regions. No need to depend on milk for it.
8. Centralized rearing of cows results in destruction of forests to clear land to grow food for cows. A lot of water is needed over the entire life cycle of milk production: 1L of milk requires 800L of water.
9. Drugs, antibiotics, growth hormones, etc. maybe fed to cows for higher yield. These eventually reach humans as we are in the top of the food chain.
10. Soy milk, millet milk, nuts milk, rice milk, etc. are good alternatives to diary milk.
11. Vitamin B12 is the only thing that cannot be obtained from plant sources, for vegans. They can take supplements/pills for the same.
12. Vegans are leaner, have lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure.
All this is just food for thought. Avoiding/reducing milk and diary products is purely an individual’s choice and there is nothing ‘wrong’ about food habits.