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Why You Need to Stop Drinking Cow’s Milk ASAP

We all know people that swear by having a glass of dairy milk every day, and maybe you are one of those people. I used to be one of those people too, until I learned more about cow’s milk. Now I have grown to love non-dairy milks, and the mere thought of drinking cow’s milk is not appetizing nor does it align with my morals. 

Whether it be for habitual or nutritional reasons, there’s nothing abnormal about drinking cow’s milk. But, there are some downsides that I wish I had known sooner. Lucky for you, we have the information you need right here!


It’s morality is up for debate

Due to milk being produced naturally from pregnancy, in order to make cow’s milk, companies immorally impregnate cows and take the baby calves away as soon as they are born. This happens so that the milk made for the calf is instead used for the dairy industry, while the calf is taken away to become another milk producer or meat. This cycle not only hurts the natural mother-calf bond, but also contributes to global warming. Cows are the number one contributor to global warming because of methane and deforestation. In UCLA’s Dana Hunnes’s article “The case for plant based” she describes, “If we all eliminated meat and milk from our diets and went to plant sources of these foods, we would be saving at least 50% of our water use. We would be saving untouched habitats from being destroyed to produce more livestock feed, and we would be creating less pollution in our waterways, streams, and oceans that indirectly threaten human, animal, and plant lives.” The use of cows for food purposes, especially dairy, takes a negative toll on the environment that can be easily avoided. 

It’s questionable for humans

When you think about it, humans are the only species to drink milk past infancy and to drink milk of another species. Humans are not meant to drink cow’s milk, and it’s easy to tell because many people have varying degrees of lactose intolerance. The lactose in cow’s milk can cause nausea, cramps, gas, and bloating for humans, and dairy can cause acne. Notice how water, a drink that is meant for humans, does not have these effects. In addition, because cows are immorally injected with hormones to increase milk production, excessive estrogen and other hormones are in all the cow’s milk you drink. In the New England Journal of Medicine study Milk and Health, these hormones have been proven to show negative effects closely linked to cancer in the breasts, ovaries, and prostate. These bodily consequences of cow’s milk are not worth the supposed benefits, which have also been proven to be false.  

The calcium myth

Dairy marketing has done an excellent job of implying that cow’s milk has a surplus amount of calcium to cover your recommended daily intake. But, dairy actually does not have any more calcium than your recommended vegetable consumption. This means that if you have a good diet, you will be perfectly fine without cow’s milk for your calcium. In fact, cow’s milk can actually deplete naturally produced calcium, and therefore has been linked to weaker bones. Luckily, there are so many different ways to get your calcium that don’t include the downsides of dairy. 


We totally understand the craving for milk. So, if you need milk in your life, there are many tasty substitutes to cow’s milk that are actually better nutritionally. For example, soy milk often has impressive numbers in vitamins A and D, coconut milk is soy and gluten free, and rice milk is free of soy, gluten, and nuts. Plus, these milks come in flavors like vanilla and chocolate to help you ease into the different tastes!

Switching up a small part of your eating habits, like replacing a glass of cow’s milk to a glass of vanilla soy or rice milk, is a small way that you can treat animals, our planet, and your body with more love. 


Gabriella is a second-year student at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo majoring in Graphic Communication. She is currently involved in Her Campus as the Cal Poly SLO chapter Social Media Director, Instagram Manager, and as an editorial writer. She is passionate about writing, making art, volunteering, and pursuing a career where her creativity can be at the forefront. In her free time, you can find her attempting to surf, researching astrology, and doodling anything at any given opportunity.
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