A Project for Better Journalism chapter
Editorials and Profiles

Is Dairy Milk Cancelled?

 Recently, you may have noticed the several dairy milk substitutes hitting the shelves in your local grocery store. Milk substitutes such as almond, soy, rice, cashew, coconut, hemp, and oat milk have been on the rage not only for vegans, but omnivores as well. These plant-based substitutes have been very popular in lattes, smoothies, and several other recipes. With the increasing popularity of these liquids, cow’s milk has been on the decline. Agweek Editorial Board states, “From 2017 to 2018 alone, 6.5 percent of U.S. dairy farms went out of business, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture Statistics.” So, what is the reason for the steady downfall of dairy milk?

There are multiple factors that contribute to the decline of cow’s milk. The most profound reason that our nation’s consumers have been avoiding dairy is because of the several vegan and animal cruelty documentaries that have been hitting the screens. The Netflix documentary, What the Health has been stunning citizens all around the country.

This film focuses on how the dairy industry treats their cows and how milk is not good for your body. Millions of cows in the dairy industry are abused daily. An article from www.farmsanctuary.org  says, “Cows used by the dairy industry are intensively confined, continually impregnated, and bred for high milk production with little concern for their well-being.” All animals do not deserve to be treated the way they do by us humans. You may or may not have heard the quote, “Not your mom, not your milk.” That quote is referring to us humans robbing poor innocent mother cows of their milk that is meant for their baby calves. When we are infants, we breast feed from our mothers and calves should have the right to feed from their mothers.

The milk we purchase is not healthy for several reasons. For one, a statistic from author Eric Adams of www.citylimits.org states, “Approximately 65 percent of the population is lactose intolerant.” Being lactose intolerant essentially means that you are allergic to milk and your body is not supposed to consume it. Dairy milk also can cause skin conditions like acne, allergies, bone fractures, cancers, and many more devastating side effects.

You may be wondering, “Doesn’t milk have some health benefits?” Yes, it does. Milk is a great source of protein, calcium, and potassium. However, the milk we buy at stores is full of added hormones and chemicals that can negatively damage your health. On the contrary, plant-based milks actually have all the normal health benefits cow’s milk would give you and more. 

With that said, it is not necessary to completely cut out all dairy from your diet. Make sure to be mindful of which cow’s milk you buy. Stick to purchasing organic and non-GMO milk. Maybe one day, our whole world would switch to a plant-based diet, but for now, it is crucial to educate others.