Dec 26, 2011

Fact Sheet: Dairy Milk

Dairy milk.  We are told that we must have it or our bones will break; that there is no other good source of calcium; that it is the only 'real' milk.  It is the default substance that is put in our coffees, cereals and biscuits.  There are, in fact, many sources of calcium that do not require cows to be milked and their calves killed.

'Got milk?' by Mark J P

Like every female animal, female cows only produce milk for their babies, not for any other reason or any other species.  In order for them to continue to lactate, they are 'forcibly inseminated' to make them pregnant.  Once they have their calf, it is removed from them within 12-24 hours and kept to either become veal or another dairy cow.  Cows normally bond with their calves for up to 8 months700, 000 calves are sent off to slaughter each year in Australia.  They are legally allowed to be starved for up to 48 hours before being killed, in Australia.

'Calves on slatted floor' by Compassion in World Farming

19-50 year old men and women only require 1,000mg each day.  Two glasses of fortified soy milk can provide you with 750mg and two glasses of dairy milk can provide you with 600mg.  Obviously this changes with brands (and also between soy, rice, almond and oat milk), so check labels.  Not only this, but animal protein can cause the blood to become acidic and leach calcium from the bones.  It's a good thing then that calcium is not only found in dairy milk.  In order to absorb the calcium, you need to ensure you get vitamin D.

Other sources of calcium include:
  • green leafy vegetables
  • tofu
  • soya mince
  • white/brown bread
  • orange juice
  • tahini
  • baked beans
  • broccoli
There are a lot of alternate sources of calcium.  If you are interested in using some dairy free alternatives, there are lots of chocolates, icecreams, yoghurts, milks, butters and cheeses that are dairy free.

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