Have we been milked by the dairy industry?

Milk is unhealthy, unnecessary, bad for the planet—even racist? Welcome to the new food war.

Photo Illustration by Levi Nicholson and Richard Redditt

Photo Illustration by Levi Nicholson and Richard Redditt

If you produce or market a manufactured beverage, you really don’t want to find out Alissa Hamilton has written about it. Her 2009 book Squeezed: What You Don’t Know About Orange Juice exposed the political and economic forces that paved way to processed OJ becoming a breakfast staple. It also revealed the industry that markets its product as “pure” and “natural” uses chemically engineered “flavour packs” to keep it “fresh” for years, a finding that triggered a flurry of ongoing false-advertising, class-action lawsuits in the U.S.

Now, in Got Milked: What You Don’t Know About Dairy, the Truth About Calcium, and Why You’ll Thrive Without Milk, Hamilton examines the opaque white liquid institutionalized in the North American diet—and what she sees as bovine thinking about it. The Canada Food Guide lists “milk and its alternatives” as one of four food groups and calls for two daily servings for young children and adults, more for anyone over 50. Elementary school milk programs exist on the belief that growing bodies require dairy milk.

Hamilton, who has a Ph.D. in environmental studies from Yale, disagrees. The marketing mantra that milk provides “16 essential nutrients,” foremost calcium, has resulted in “fuzzy logic” in which the beverage itself is seen as essential, she writes. Non-animal sources of calcium—leafy greens, nuts, dried basil—are both healthier and more easily absorbed, she argues. Consumers have bought into “false notions of [milk’s] goodness,” overlooking its sugar, calories and cholesterol, Hamilton writes; cow’s milk has come to be seen as the natural extension of mother’s milk, even though humans are the only species to drink the milk of another.

Not only is milk not essential, it may be doing damage, contends Hamilton, who marshalls a body of troubling research, including the “calcium paradox” recognized by the World Health Organization that nations with the highest dairy consumption have the highest rates of bone fractures. International correlational studies have also linked higher milk consumption with cancers, including breast and prostate cancer. And our relationship with milk is unhealthy in more ways than one, Hamilton argues, outlining how dairy farming is more environmentally destructive than beef farming. Milk’s “privileged position in the North American diet” is exclusionary, she writes, given government edicts to consume a food group that many ethnicities, including Asians and Aboriginals, can have trouble digesting due to lactose intolerance. Thus milk’s not just unhealthy or terrible for the environment, it’s even, in a cardinal sin of our times, racist. Welcome to the new milk war.


Hamilton’s anti-lactic manifesto is far from the first salvo across the dairy industry’s bow. Vegan and environmental activists have pilloried milk for years, notably in PETA’s infamous 2007 “Got Pus?” campaign based on “Got Milk?”—the dairy-industry campaign that painted viscous milk moustaches on celebrities from Donald Trump to Taylor Swift. The 2014 documentary Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret, lambasted environmental groups for not singling out the environmental damage done by the dairy industry, alleging that 1,000 gallons of water are required to produce one litre of milk. The “ditch dairy” movement long ago began migrating from the fringe with the mainstreaming, even fashionability, of veganism. A galvanizing force was the 2005 book The China Study by Cornell University biochemist Colin Campbell and his physician son, Thomas Campbell, that linked dairy consumption to heart disease, diabetes, autoimmune conditions and certain cancers. One of the bestselling nutrition books of all time, it’s credited with turning Bill Clinton vegan.

But Hamilton’s book arrives at a seismic moment, one that finds a receptive audience to the anti-dairy message, and great interest in evidence that milk is bad for us. Dairy milk sales dropped some 40 per cent in North America between 1970 and 2011 due to changing habits and health concerns. Sales of packaged cereals (milk’s traditional delivery system) are in decline, a casualty of low-carb diets, ever-busier schedules and a proliferation of breakfast-on-the-go options; there’s more choice of beverages, and consumers are switching to soy- and nut-based milks. The exception is chocolate milk, sales of which are on the upswing due to its central place in school milk programs and the beverage’s new identity as a sports drink. It’s as hydrating as H20, the sell goes, with more nutrients.

Chocolate milk’s transformation into the new Gatorade is just one marker of the dairy industry regrouping and rebranding for its very survival. Its Darwinian knack for reinvention is legendary; Hamilton charts how the industry cleverly engineered new products to sell to the lactose intolerant. Last year, it scrapped the “Got Milk” campaign and began marketing milk as an essential part of an active life. It has also launched the premium “super-milk” category, led by Coca-Cola’s Fairlife, a lactose-free product introduced in the U.S. last year that contains 50 per cent more protein, 30 per cent more calcium and 50 per cent less sugar than regular milk—at twice the price. It’s not available in Canada, yet. Entering the country “is definitely under consideration as an important part of our expansion,” says Anders Porter, a Fairlife spokesman. Given that dairy is a supply-managed commodity in Canada, excluded from NAFTA, that could prove challenging. Imports are limited and the domestic market is fiercely protected by Canadian dairy conglomerates.

Meanwhile, in the U.S., dairy is also targeting the fast-food market, with government assistance. In the 2014 report Whitewashed: How Governments and Industry Promote Dairy Junk Food, public health lawyer Michele Simon outlines how the U.S. government offers financial incentives to fast-food chains that feature milk and cheese. Hence the arrival of McDonald’s specialty coffees that contain up to 80 per cent milk.

The market Coca-Cola is going after with Fairlife, though—people who want their food to confer premium status and maximum health payoff—is ironically the same one with whom Got Milked’s message will resonate: a mindset in which what’s eaten is driven as much by a sense of righteousness as by science. Respected nutritionist Marion Nestle, a professor at New York University, who hasn’t read Hamilton’s book, is in agreement with her that dairy products are not a necessary source of calcium. But she has no problem with the dairy food group as a part of the daily diet: “I’m not aware of convincing evidence that dairy products cause harm in moderate amounts,” she writes in an email.

That may not matter. The fact that “dairy” is now spoken of in the same glowering tone as “gluten” is more about food fashion than nutrition. In a “detoxing” era, what one doesn’t eat is as defining as what one does eat. For that audience, Got Milked’s message will justify joining the dairy-shunning bandwagon.

Sitting in a café near her house in downtown Toronto, Alissa Hamilton insists she’s not interested in taking down an industry: “I’m not demonizing milk and dairy,” she says, a statement that should strike fear in any target she actually wants to demonize. “Sure, have it in your coffee, have it if you’re not allergic. I simply want to point out the illogical premises.”

Hamilton does have an agenda, she admits, as she sips hot water (she doesn’t drink tea or coffee): she wants dairy eliminated as a separate food guide category, re-listed under protein. “We’d be forced to know a lot more about nutrients in vegetables, particularly calcium,” she says. “Milk having special status as a calcium source makes as much sense as pumpkin seeds being a food group because they’re high in magnesium,” she says.

To get people off what she calls the “dairy calcium crutch,” she includes some 40 pages of calcium-rich recipes headlined by leafy greens, grains, nuts and tinned salmon; there’s also instruction on how to toast eggshells to make calcium powder.

Milk wasn’t a household staple when she was growing up in Toronto, the 42-year-old says. Her family wasn’t anti-dairy: she ate yogourt and enjoyed raw cow’s milk when visiting a family friend’s farm. She was inspired to write the book after a childhood friend confessed she’d never served her two-year-old dairy milk and was worried it made her an unfit mother. The friend also had been raised without milk (her mother grew up in Europe during the Second World War and didn’t see milk as essential). “My first reaction was ‘That’s crazy,’ ” says Hamilton. But she also saw how calcium had become synonymous with milk in the public’s mind. Yet calcium is everywhere, she says, handing over a label from a package of soybean sprouts: a one-cup serving provides 46 per cent of daily calcium requirements. “That’s the equivalent of a glass and a half of milk—with only 30 calories.”

Like Squeezed before it, Got Milked dissects how institutional forces dictate what we eat. North American governments have a dual mandate that can be conflicted, she says: “They’re there to provide dietary guidelines and to promote agricultural commodities—and milk is a huge money-maker.” According to Dairy Farmers Canada, the dairy sector contributed $16.2 billion annually to Canada’s GDP and employed 218,300 people in 2011. No wonder, then, that calcium requirements in North American food guides are higher than elsewhere: “Three glasses a day equates to what the government thinks our calcium recommendation should be—somewhere around 1,000 milligrams.”

(Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

(Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Hamilton cites a growing body of research that suggests too much calcium can cause health problems—from kidney stones to fractures. A Swedish study published last year in the British Medical Journal indicated drinking three glasses of milk per day coincides with an increased incidence of osteoporosis and bone fractures, and earlier mortality. Whether milk or other lifestyle factors is to blame isn’t explicit. “Correlation does not equal causation,” Hamilton says. “But epidemiological evidence is mounting.”

Isabelle Neiderer, the director of nutrition at Dairy Farmers of Canada, an industry lobby group, disagrees. “It’s a myth that countries that consume more dairy have higher fracture risk,” she says, citing other risk factors such as height, a sedentary lifestyle and smoking. Milk remains the most convenient calcium source, she says: “Plant-based calcium provides less calcium, cup for cup, and is less easily absorbed, with exceptions like kale and bok choy.” (Nestle argues there isn’t an advantage to either form: “Calcium is calcium,” she notes.) Neiderer also points to research, some of it industry-funded, that ties drinking milk to lower incidence of hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes; milk also provides protection from colorectal cancer, according to the World Cancer Research Fund. Such are milk’s benefits, says Neiderer, that even the lactose-intolerant shouldn’t avoid milk products: “Most cheeses have only trace lactose and can be well-tolerated.” People should find their level of tolerance, and try to increase it over time, she says.

As for Hamilton’s point that pediatricians are seeing anemia in toddlers who drink a lot of milk, Neiderer notes that “if young children consume excessive amounts of milk, they will likely underconsume other foods, including iron-rich foods.

School milk programs serving low-fat flavoured milks are another of Hamilton’s targets. She’s far from alone; British chef and children’s nutrition activist Jamie Oliver has also blasted them. The upshot is children drinking extra sugar to meet calcium requirements. Schools banning soda but offering low-fat chocolate milk is paradoxical, Hamilton writes: “The government is merely substituting sugar for sugar.” Neiderer disagrees: “Chocolate milk doesn’t increase risk of obesity and improves nutritional status.”

Not surprisingly, research on the topic funded by the industry bolsters Neiderer’s case. A study published this year in Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism by researchers at the University of Saskatchewan, funded by the Dairy Council of Canada, analyzed the impact of removing chocolate milk from school milk programs in Saskatoon. Their conclusion? The drink is “more cost-efficient and convenient at providing nutrients than alternative food/drink combinations.”

As Hamilton presents it, milk’s “privileged” dietary position reflects cultural privilege—a milk-white imperialism. A 2005 study out of Cornell found 61 per cent of people studied were lactose intolerant, with a range of two per cent in Denmark and 100 per cent in Zambia. Hamilton quotes African-American physician Milton Mills, a long-time opponent of dairy as a separate food group, who testified at the 2015 USDA dietary guideline advisory committee that the majority of Asian Americans, Native Americans, African Americans and Mexican Americans are lactose intolerant. “If you go to China,” says Hamiliton, “not too many people will buy the message that cows’ milk is more authentic than soy milk.” The term “lactose intolerance” itself reflects bias, Hamilton says: “We should be talking about ‘lactase persistence.’ ” (Lactase is an enzyme required to digest lactose that many humans stop producing after being weaned.) Neiderer disagrees. Incidence of “lactase non-persistence” in studies doesn’t reflect actual rates of lactose intolerance, she says: “There’s no reason people who are lactose intolerant can’t enjoy dairy.”

That theory could be put to the test, given the industry’s incursion into Asia and China, where some countries report very high rates of lactose intolerance. “Osteoporosis has become a national health priority in China,” says Neiderer. And Hamilton quotes a spokeswoman for one of China’s biggest dairy producers: “One cup of milk can strengthen a nation.” It’s a sentiment echoed in racist Second World War American propaganda aimed at increasing consumption of fluid milk by belittling non-milk-drinking cultures, she writes. Hamilton’s book reproduces a “Men Without Milk” poster with an unflattering illustration of a Japanese soldier above the copy: “The short stature of the Japanese, their bowed legs, their frequent poor eyesight are all blamed on inadequate diet—particularly lack of milk!” More than 70 years later, it’s come full circle, she says: “Drinking milk is now being promoted in Thailand as a way to become taller.”

Hamilton’s current concerns are more local. She cites the Harvard School of Public Health’s alternative to the USDA “My Plate” dietary guidelines as a template. Where “My Plate” shows the dairy category as a blue circle, representing a glass, the Harvard group reassigned dairy and replaced the blue circle with a glass of water. “Imagine, when kids start asking for water with meals, we’ll be on the way to a far more healthy nation, and world,” Hamilton says. “It would spark a revolution in eating habits.”

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to reflect the following changes: the daily recommendation for calcium is “somewhere around 1,000 milligrams,” not millilitres; milk is being marketed as a way to increase height in Thailand, not Taiwan.

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Have we been milked by the dairy industry?

  1. Foodies have too much free time on their hands.

    Humans are healthier and longer-lived than we have ever been in all of history….and yet they fuss about every nibble we take.

    • Foodies fuss about every nibble but are completely oblivious to the horrible world we have created for the animals because we can commodify their products. Milk means keeping cows pregnant (EmilyOne have you been a mother?) and taking away their babies as soon as they are born. It is misery that we are consuming for our lattes. The article talks about the questionable health benefits of milk, but not the environmental horrors or the hideous cruelty. Are we psychically absorbing this cruelty? Depression and violence are endemic in our culture because we consume it.

      • Not to be a smart-brass, but much of the latest science on plants/trees is that they have feelings too.
        I hope you wouldn’t eat or use any of their bodies for your benefit…that might also be cruel.
        What do you think…International March??

          • I do recognise something of truth in what International March is saying. I have postulated for some time that emotions are chemical. If one examines the underlying motives in kosher butchering or not running a game animal before the kill, ..i believe it even came up in the series HANNIBAL. It affects taste so why not emotion of the consumer?

            We are what we eat may make me a pussy, but plants are chemical too.
            In the ongoing work to breed the paranoia out of cannabis, the specific gene was found, isolated & propagated (somewhere in Alberta ;) ..in an Indica variety called ‘fear’.
            Apparently, one does not get high, just terrified. (a little too Jacob’s Ladder for my tastes.)
            Drug or no, angry food will make one sick.
            I break with Pantheists on their silliness of, “God & the universe, both infinite makes them indistinguishable.” The universe is clearly not infinite, it is just some multiple of collective man’s ability to measure. (punks).
            But I do hold in practice on that which they got wrong in theory; (or it might have been some Druids idunno) ..to ask the forest fairy’s permission to take a plant, vegetable or fruit, & explain why it is necessary, cannot hurt. What? Your show is on TV? You don,t have a PVR, … then go eat at McDonalds, … you are wasting your life anyway.

    • Oh my!!!

      I find myself siding with EmilyOne.

      What is the world coming to?

      International March – has “head up the assitis”

      As a person who not only owns a farm and lives on it right now – albeit beef and sheep – all the dairy neighbours I know do not create “horrible worlds” for their animals. In fact “cow comfort” is the main reason for the dairy farmer code of practice that most follow. I fully recognize there have been issues with some farmers – however even that nice neighbour next door could be a closet rapist – because after all there is a complete cross section of people who own farms. That being stated, the successful dairy farmers care for their animals in a big way – after all their business will fail if there is not a proper regime of care and comfort for the cow.

      Always remember – all those generations who grew up drinking milk – mine right out of the milk cooler in the parlour – have obviously been disease ridden and under nourished because of it.

      An education might make you technically smart of some things. It does not make you a wise person.

      I believe this “so called doctor” is about as smart as International March – meaning that they would not know what the south end of a north bound cow looks like – unless they looked in the mirror.

    • People might be living longer, but they aren’t healthier! They are masking the symptoms of their conditions like high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, heart disease etc due to the high obesity rates due to such poor eating habit! Ditching dairy would be a huge start in people getting something out of their diet that they shouldn’t be eating! Get weaned already people!!! Cow’s milk is for calves!

  2. I gave up dairy and my allergies disappeared, probably just a coincidence ; )

    I still remember being in the doctors office as a child hearing my mother say “take him off milk? well what will he drink?”

    “Water” the doctor replied.

    • You’re probably allergic to cow’s milk. You could drink other kinds of milk.

  3. “Hamilton does have an agenda, she admits, as she sips hot water (she doesn’t drink tea or coffee)”
    Says it all for me; another PhD from Yale…’environmental studies’ no less commenting on a food source that has fed billions with tremendous results actually maybe too good.
    Of course comes the anti-lactose, anti-gluten, anti-this and that.
    Please; paranoia reigns supreme in this never ending story of what is bad for you!!!!.
    And MacLean’s; within the last year, major articles such as Wheat, Sugar and now Milk have stained your pages and added to this paranoia…you gotta take some of the blame.
    What’s next…salt is bad for everyone?? Oh ya media; go for it!

    • Yes, this is the culmination of too much navel gazing and attention to correlative “studies”. Actually, I drink milk every day and the sun comes up every day with a correlation of .99 (some days I miss my glass of milk and I don’t know how but the sun still come up on that day!)

      Why are we besieged by such crap as this? Eat a reasonably balanced diet without stuffing yourself and what do you know, it seems healthy.

      I have more concern for the unreasonably high price of dairy products because of the supply management practices of certain provinces. (I don’t know which provinces but they call it lait.

    • What is really driving it is cows are not efficient at food, but do provide protein be it milk or meat. You can grass/grain feed more humans without the cow in between. Trouble is humans need protein to be healthy and with the spaceship earth having a finite food production capability and human population growth out of control, there is a brutal collision with reality coming.

      From a world perspective, we are doomed to have many billions die of starvation, wars for resources, diseases from malnutrition and while it can be avoided, our UN, world leaders and governments around the globe are just too illogical, self serving, culturally backwards, religious crap, stupidity abound…that for practical purposes, disaster is inevitable.

      World needs mass and arbitrary birth control. If we do not do it nicely, nature will do it for us via starvation, wars for resources and diseases from malnutrition.

  4. We are the only animal species that consume another species milk ! We are perverts !

    • Yvan–perverts??
      Maybe parasites, but then again aren’t all animals/plants that feed off other animal/plants parasites?

    • We are also the only animal species that doesn’t eat hay.


  5. i love milk: almond milk, cashew milk…and yes, even good ole’ cow’s milk.

    • http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/legislation/pol/sprouts_pol_pousses-eng.php

      Ms. Hamilton should be more careful in recommending calcium rich substitutes for dairy. Sprouts are notorious for carrying e-coli and causing outbreaks. Canadian dairy cows are not given hormones or antibiotics (unless sick and then the milk is destroyed). As for her claims about toddlers and anemia…that is due to a lack of education. The moms aren’t giving the babes enough solid food with iron added.

  6. We consume dairy because it tastes great. For me, life without milk, cream, yogurt, butter — and especially cheese — just isn’t worth living!

  7. I’ve been drinking a glass or two of white milk a day since I was a child. It is tasty, filling and healthy, and I consider myself lucky not to be lactose-intolerant. Some of our ancestors started to drink cattle milk when it was more prudent in times of travel or need rather than just slaughter the whole animal for its meat. Is drinking milk any more unnatural than prying open a mussel? Mincing together a blood sausage? Adding burning-hot habanero peppers to spice up a sauce? Alissa Hamilton should also realize that for a lot of North Americans, milk is a more economical option than eating salmon and nuts everyday. Three one-liter bags of milk generally costs less than two small cans of salmon. And how many working families have the time to crush up eggshells to make calcium powder? There is nothing wrong with offering up alternatives for those who cannot drink milk due to digestive issues or those who simply do not like the taste, but it is rather irritating to have their agendas shoved down our faces with the expectation that none of us should be drinking milk at all.

  8. Milk seems to be a substantial contributor to the medical industry. Not that that industry needs any more work.
    Otitis media, lactose intolerance, inflammatory bowel disease, acne, breast cancer, prostate cancer and a host of other problems, including obesity, overweight pre-term babies leading to C-sections, type 2 diabetes, etc, etc.
    Point out to your 17 year old with acne that if Mother Nature intended him to be drinking milk at his age he would have a closer relationship with his maternal parent. Take a look at http://www.acnemilk.com

  9. There are a group of people who categorically refuse to think for them selves. They are the CD-RW’s of the education system, (both pre & post graduation).
    They are the human equivalent of the creatures warehoused in factory farms. Nothing can be done to save them from their accepted fates. They are doing what they were bred to do :(

    In the same way as regulations for production of dog-food, require that ingredients not kill the animal (specifically) in 6 months, the keepers of the human work-force must keep it functional right up to just before retirement. (Cost effective analysis is on going.)

    In the harvesting of human labour to the benefit of the knowing, directives to the treadmill plodders must be kept elementary, (something akin to primary colours). They confound easily. (..this causes mishaps & werk-place injuries.)

    ~my dog lost interest in Activia strawberry yoghurt when he reached a certain age, & I have seen photographs from south America in which a snake is hanging from a cow’s udder drinking. Cross species adoption is common.
    The “we are the only species who…” argument has been used to wobble the weak minded on many topics.
    -’Homosexuality’ ~ my dog is a little ‘metro’ (love the one you’re with) & we don’t judge. I usually go with the altruism, “If my dog is not welcome in your heaven anyway, why should he abide by your morality?”
    -‘Kill for sport’ ..right so you have never owned a cat.
    ..and the list goes on.

    Of these human cattle majority; remember to take your helmet off when going to bed & not put it on again until you get out of the shower in the morning. If you accidentally go to the wrong job in the morning or home to the wrong house at night, people may call you by a different name. Don,t worry, just try to fit in and go along with whatever is happening. The problem may or may not be resolved before you retire. Just remember, stay productive & try to fit in.

  10. Oh my!!!

    I find myself siding with EmilyOne.

    What is the world coming to?

    International March – has “head up the assitis”

    As a person who not only owns a farm and lives on it right now – albeit beef and sheep – all the dairy neighbours I know do not create “horrible worlds” for their animals. In fact “cow comfort” is the main reason for the dairy farmer code of practice that most follow. I fully recognize there have been issues with some farmers – however even that nice neighbour next door could be a closet rapist – because after all there is a complete cross section of people who own farms. That being stated, the successful dairy farmers care for their animals in a big way – after all their business will fail if there is not a proper regime of care and comfort for the cow.

    Always remember – all those generations who grew up drinking milk – mine right out of the milk cooler in the parlour – have obviously been disease ridden and under nourished because of it.

    An education might make you technically smart of some things. It does not make you a wise person.

    I believe this “so called doctor” is about as smart as International March – meaning that they would not know what the south end of a north bound cow looks like – unless they looked in the mirror.

  11. All I can say is ‘what a lot of nonsense.’ One of the most unscientific methods used by so-called correlative studies (and implying cause and effect) is the reasoning in this piece.
    I drink milk almost every day and I have noticed that the sun comes up every day with a correlation of 0.99 I don’t know if the sun missed a day or I missed a day with a glass of milk.

    Ms Hamilton’s position tell more about herself than about milk and humans. And lactose intolerance has nothing to do with racism but is a biological fact. The proper question may be ‘how did the rest of us develop lactose tolerance?

    This another case where I agree with Emily.

    • Lactose tolerance became common in northern Europeans who had very low vitamin D levels. Only those who were lactose tolerant could get enough calcium intake to be able to have proper bone structure to allow births. Thus only those with lactose tolerance were selected and eventually formed the entire population. More southerly populations who remain lactose intolerant did not need to drink milk to get enough calcium. They had high enough vitamin D levels to allow sufficient calcium from vegetables to be absorbed.

  12. Sorry, it looked like it didn’t take first time so I redid. Mea Culpa, mea cukpa mea maxima culpa!

  13. Sorry, it looked like it didn’t take first time so I redid. Mea Culpa, mea cukpa mea maxima culpa!

    • ~yeh, one wonders if after posting something ..uh racey/gamey if the mod is in a chucklesom mood.
      ..i usually give it 15-20 minutes for affairs to settle before collapsing into a crumpled fetal clutch of ambivalent rejectedness.

      • Thank you Oh wise one! I was also so informed (and reassured) by the Cray at the centre.

  14. I’m no expert but I have two comments.
    My uncle was a dairy farmer. He would sell the cream to the Industry and feed the milk to his calves for veal which he also sold. He and my aunt never drank milk (although they would whip up some cream on special occasions) and REFUSED to feed it to my two cousins from the day they were born. My cousins have never drank milk in their lives and are now both in their seventies, healthy, fit and look like be around in their nineties, like my aunt and uncle when they passed away.
    My second comment is simply this:
    I have never understood why humans would eat the body fluids of another animal.

    • That’s because it’s hard to eat rock.

  15. I’m sure the single parent trying to make ends meet is going to be shovelling dried basil in suitable quantities into his or her kids.
    I also assume that Ms Henderson is aware that the almonds needed for her much praised almond milk and almond flour, are the most environmentaly destructive crop grown in terms of water consumption.
    I listened to her interview on CBC’s the Current and got the impression of over-privileged urban entitlement generalising from an N of One. Most offensive was her claim that somehow by feeding one’s child milk, one was therefore depriving =said child of fruits and vegetables. The dried basil claim was just the cherry on top if the overheated anti-milk sundae.

  16. Hamilton writes; cow’s milk has come to be seen as the natural extension of mother’s milk, even though humans are the only species to drink the milk of another.
    Typical (city slicker arrogance); I can see Ms Hamilton never slopped pigs or directed milk towards a cat.
    Fact is, any mammal for the most part would love to get a dish of milk or any other way.
    Think about it; from raccoons to weasel,bears to mice…they all drink cow’s milk if given an opportunity.

    Milk is good food if you don’t have an intolerance to it.

    • Well 75% of the world is lactose intolerant! Humans stop producing lactase around age 4 which is when we should be weaned by. Cow’s are mammals just like humans, cats, dogs etc and produce milk to be fed to their young. Makes no sense to wean your child from human milk onto cow’s milk. I would bet that most that think cow’s milk is healthy for humans didn’t breast feed their babies but instead fed them a formula made from cow’s milk!
      Just cause other animals would drink cow’s milk if given to them doesn’t mean it’s good for them, just that they like the taste! People that give cow’s milk to their cats don’t know anything about cat nutrition either, it is a very bad thing to give them!

  17. First they wanted us to stop drinking whole milk … too much fat!…and introduced 2% milk.

    Years later, it was 1% and then Skim mik that was pushed.

    Now no milk is good! They want you to drink water….but not bottled water! Oh heavens no!…it must be tap water.

    Milk is no good because of lactose-intolerant people. Drink Soy instead…except for those who can’t tolerate Soy. They should drink Almond Milk…no one has nut allergies…right?

    I think I will continue to enjoy milk, and give my children milk. And to hell with these busybodies.

    • When I was a kid we weren’t supposed to eat butter, only margarine. Later it was eggs. We kinda whipped through the wheat mania, and now we’re on to milk.

      And like I said…in spite of all these fads ….we are the healthiest, longest lived people in history.

      Wait’ll foodies realize vegans and vegetarians are consuming GMOs by the ton. Then they’ll have nothing left to eat.

      • We are far from the healthiest! Obesity rates are much higher than they were many years ago! Over medicated and overweight, that is today’s adult society! And why do you think vegans are consuming GMO’s by the ton? Nope I’d say all those meat/dairy SAD eaters are the ones consuming all the GMO foods, most vegans care about what they eat and are eating organic!

  18. Thank you MacLean’s, for helping close the awareness gap about this topic.

    “Recent analyses have shown that it is unlikely global temperature rises can be kept below two degrees Celsius without a shift in global meat and dairy consumption.”

    “Compared with other sectors, recognition of the livestock sector as a significant contributor to climate change is markedly low.”

    “A number of factors, not least fear of backlash, have made governments and environmental groups reluctant to pursue policies or campaigns to shift consumer behaviour.”

    “Consumers with a higher level of awareness were more likely to indicate willingness to reduce their meat and dairy consumption for climate objectives. Closing the awareness gap is therefore likely to be an important precondition for behaviour change.”

    The full report is here:


    For those unaware, the United Nations since 2006 has been trying to get us to consume less animal products for sustainability reasons. We cannot feed a population of 7 billion+ animal products sustainably. We are the first generation to live with this population size, so we can’t think that old living styles and choices are still acceptable in modern contexts. Animal agriculture is the causing widespread environmental degradation. For more info, I suggest this summary:


    Bad name, but based in science.

    If we are going to have a good retirement for ourselves and future for our children and grand children, we need to take a long look at what we do 3 – 5 times a day: eat.

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