Let’s imagine a parallel universe in which our species evolved in a manner that saw us consuming milk and yogurt made from almonds, soybeans and coconuts, butter-like substances from natural oils and cheese-like substances made from nuts. Now picture some clever humanoid claiming that all of these nutritious foods could be sourced from one animal. Ears would prick wouldn’t they? Do go on, they would say.
The ensuing conversation would expose a few minor drawbacks. To produce these foods, the animal in question would require ten times the resources compared the plant based source. Vast amounts of bio diverse land would need to be cleared, which together with this animals’ potent methane-loaded farts would result in the single biggest contributor to global warming. There would be a minor issue of having to torture the said animal to make it profitable. As the products from this animal would not be as nutritious as the current products in use, and most likely hazardous, it would be necessary to fabricate some health benefits and market the hell out of it so people would consume it. Oh and lastly, everyone would need to effectively breastfeed off of another mammal, even as adults. Still sound okay? Ears would cease to be pricked. Phone calls to mental asylums would be made.
I believe in making choices based on free will every day of my life. I look at how I want life, especially my own life, to be and then I do what I can to live in to that reality. I don’t necessarily use what is the norm of the day as a reference. It is a lot easier and effective to focus on creating a new Now from scratch, than the messy and cumbersome process of modifying the old.
So each day, my “Now” is faced with a similar decision to the one put forward in the parallel universe. Do I choose to eat these foods from the plant based sources or choose the animal based source with all of its massive drawbacks as outlined in the parallel universe? What do you think? All of history, and all of the reality of our actual universe aside, wouldn’t you strongly reject the animal based source?
What is it?
When I initially climbed into this subject I had the idea that the result would be some kind of hybrid cleanse, removing only the worst and leaving some of the good dairy on my plate. Once I’d finished the research however, and once I had an understanding of all the aspects and the scale of dairy’s negative impact on myself and the planet, I decided to eliminate ALL dairy, even cheese. Ouch! I have provided a soft-core option in The Cleanse section though, as I know how tough this is, but I’ll carry on in hard-core “No Dairy” mode for now.
In a nutshell, a dairy product is food produced from the milk of mammals. This includes milk itself, milk based yogurt, cheese, butter and cream. As for ice cream, if I didn’t persuade you to drop it in previous chapters, maybe I’ll get you with this one.
Why do we consume it?
Humans are the only earthly species that continues to consume milk in adulthood and the only species that does so from the ‘udder of another mammal’s mudda’. The function of cow’s milk is to feed a rapidly growing calf; to beef it up, pun unavoidable. If we are not calves and we do not need fattening up then why the heck are we drinking cows’ milk? Pretty weird if you ask me. I mean if we are going to drink milk as adults, shouldn’t it at least be human milk? I put it down to three main reasons.
- Marketing. We continue to consume milk without pause and without question largely due to the massive marketing effort that convinces us that it is beneficial and indeed necessary in our diet. Clearly, that we “need” baby cow food is utter nonsense whether there are health benefits or not. One of the world’s best ever marketing ploys tells us milk is wholesome and nutritious. Cow food has even managed to make its way in to the human ‘Food Pyramid’!! I find this amazing. We are constantly advised that milk is the basis of a healthy diet, provides essential nutrients, strengthens our bones and prevents osteoporosis. Even if this was true, which it is not, it doesn’t mean we need to drink it. Engulfing yourself for a short while in flames leaving third degree burns all over your body will indeed prevent unwanted hair growth, but this does not mean it is a satisfactory approach to hair removal.
- The Calcium Myth. One of the core truths used by the milk marketing machine is that humans need to consume calf food as the calcium in it will maintain strong bones and prevent osteoporosis. This fanciful nonsense has been drilled into us since childhood. The basis for milk’s promotion is that it contains about 300mg per cup. That is in a cup not in our bones. The fact is that we barely absorb the calcium in cow’s milk, especially if pasteurised. Worse still, and mildly ironic is that ingestion of cow’s milk actually increases calcium LOSS from bones. I’ll explain how this happens in the next section but this fact is supported by statistics that show that countries with the lowest consumption of dairy products also have the lowest fracture incidence in their population.
- Cheese is Addictive. By now you must be thinking what ISN’T addictive. Well, I hate to be the bearer of more bad news but the casein in dairy releases opiates called casomorphins which are similar to morphine. This makes a lot of sense when you consider the purpose of mother’s milk – to provide nourishment for rapidly growing infants and establish a strong connection between mother and child. Cheese, made primarily from cow’s milk, concentrates the casomorphins by about 10 times compared to milk making it quite addictive indeed! Don’t fret though, you won’t need to go to rehab or follow a 12 steps type program to quit cheese, but it’s good to be aware of why you crave it – it’s not just because it tastes awesome.
Book 1 of the Consumption Cleanse continues the story and discusses why Dairy is bad, how to cleanse Dairy from your life and gives up some useful alternatives.
60 “The China Study“, T. Colin Campbell and Thomas M. Campbell, Published December 11, 2004, BenBella Books.
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64 “Improved Lactose Digestion and Intolerance Among African-American Adolescent Girls Fed a Dairy Rich-Diet”, Bethany A. Pribila et. al., http://www.andjrnl.org/article/S0002-8223(00)00162-0/abstract?cc=y=, accessed 12/4/16
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