Same reasons as why to be vegetarian:
• Inhumane treatment and conditions of factory farms.
• Animal agriculture is destroying our planet.
• Dairy is unnatural and unhealthy to consume. Even fat reduced dairy products contain 25% fat calories. There is as much fat in 1 glass of low fat milk as there are in 3 slices of bacon! Each day the average American consumes the equivalent amount of cholesterol contained in 53 slices of bacon just from milk and dairy products. Cholesterol is what contributes to heart disease, the number one killer of Americans! We don't realize that cheese and butter is a concentrated form of dairy fat. All the water is removed, leaving the fat intact.
• Dairy consumption contributes and accelerates many health problems. Milk allergies are the most common food allergy we have. 70% of adults are lactose intolerant! It causes problems that are gastrointestinal, dermatological and respiratory, with symptoms that include bloating, cramping, diarrhea, constipation, acne, zits, hives, skin rashes, asthma and sinusitis. Studies have found that autism and schizophrenia in children may be linked to the body’s inability to digest casein, a milk protein; symptoms of these diseases diminished or disappeared in 80 percent of the children who switched to milk-free diets. A U.K. study showed that people who suffered from irregular heartbeats, asthma, headaches, fatigue, and digestive problems “showed marked and often complete improvements in their health after cutting milk from their diets.” Bovine (cow) proteins trigger allergies because they are foreign to our system. Ingesting dairy causes an inflammatory immune response ALWAYS! The body does not recognize it as a friendly food and the immune system works to rid the body of the foreign invader. It is known that American women consume tremendous amounts of calcium, yet their rates of osteoporosis are among the highest in the world (second only to Finland where, not surprisingly, they consume more dairy than us). Conversely, Chinese people consume half as much calcium (most of it from plant sources) and have very low incidences of the bone disease. Medical studies indicate, that rather than preventing the disease, milk may actually increase women’s risk of getting osteoporosis. A Harvard Nurses’ Study of more than 77,000 women ages 34 to 59 found that those who consumed two or more glasses of milk per day had higher risks of broken hips and arms than those who drank one glass or less per day. Excessive consumption of dairy interferes with the absorption of calcium. Also the excess of protein in dairy is a major cause of osteoporosis, as dairy accelerates its development. Our body must leech calcium out of our bones to neutralize the acid created by protein consumption.
A few extra reasons:
1. Veil is a ‘by-product’ of the dairy industry. By eating dairy you are contributing to the terrible treatment of baby cows. Veil is a baby cow prisoner.First thing to be aware of is that lactation (producing milk) is always the result of giving birth to babies. Cow lactation is no different. Dairy cows are artificially inseminated, give birth and have their babies ripped away after one day so that the milk can be used for humans. I used to think that dairy cows always produce milk naturally. Not the case. They are continuously inseminated until their milk production wavers after which, they are sent to the slaughter house. The baby calves suffer a grimmer fate. After one day, most are taken away form the mother, the female calves are either killed right away or used to replace their mothers, and the male calves become veal. Males are subjected to solitary confinement and fed a synthetic milk replacer, which causes anemia. They are forced to stand in crates with no room for exercise. This is done on purpose as well. The non-activity and malnutritive diet is what gives the veal meat it's “gourmet” tenderness. Anytime you buy dairy you are contributing to the veal industry. Veal is a co-product of the dairy industry.
2. Dairy is unnatural to consume. Babies drink the milk of their own species in order to get the necessary hormones and nutrients to become a full grown adult. Human breast milk is tailored to the unique needs of a human baby. Cow’s milk is tailored to fit the unique needs of a baby cow. A calf will gain 500 lbs in 6 months. Each sip suckled contains blood, pituitary, hypothalamic, pancreatic, thyroid, parathyroid, adrenal, gonadal and gut hormones. And that is what we ingest when we consume dairy from a cow. We are ingesting the materials to construct a cow, and that's what everyone is becoming ...fat cows!
3. Today's milk/dairy products is obtained from ill, caged, tortured, genetically engineered hormone injected, antibiotic fed cows, eating pesticide, larvicide, herbicide laced feed with scraps of other slaughtered animals. Dairy cows are milked by painful, pussy ulcer causing milking apparatuses. The milk is then demineralized and nutritionally destroyed by pasteurization. It is homogenized to lengthen shelf life and lastly bottled and shipped to the consumer. All lactating mammals excrete toxins out through their milk- these include pesticides, chemicals, hormones and antibiotics. If we ingest milk from animals with exposure to those things, then we ingest those things as well.
Through filthy, torturous living conditions, pasteurization, homogenization, genetic engineering, pesticides, antibiotic and chemical residues ...milk does a body bad!
Eggs: To put it bluntly, eggs are chicken menstruation. A very unnecessary component to the diet in this age of abundance and variety.
-Eggs are not all they cracked up to be, nutritionally. Everyone thinks that eggs are nutritious. This is propaganda disguised as nutritional advice! Eggs are, in fact, the food with the highest cholesterol! We know that blood cholesterol levels determine our risk for heart disease. The higher your cholesterol, the higher your risk for heart disease. The cholesterol and saturated fat from eggs will cause atherosclerosis and that leads to heart attacks and strokes. Scientists wanted to see the effects that eggs had on diet. They did a blind study where they gave 2 groups a desert. One group had an egg disguised in theirs the other group was egg free. After 3 weeks the group who consumed the egg had a 12% rise in their blood cholesterol. That means they have a 24% rise in their risk of having a heart attack. The other egg free group had no change!
(Courtesy of HFA)-In factory farms, chickens are nothing except egg machines, and that is how they are treated. Their environment is designed by humans to maximize profits. Any natural existence is stolen away from them and no concern is given to their natural instincts, sanity, health or comfort.
More than 285 million hens are raised for eggs in the U.S., and nearly all of them spend their lives in battery cages, stacked tier upon tier in huge warehouses. Confined seven or eight to a cage, these birds don’t have enough room to turn around or even spread one wing. In the egg industry, little chicks never get to know their mother. “Each year, millions of day-old male chicks are killed—usually in high-speed grinders called “macerators,” which shred them alive—because they are worthless to the egg industry. Male chicks represent half of all chicks born but are useless because they can not lay eggs and cannot compete with the genetically bred broiler chickens which have been bred to have high muscle mass. The ones who are shredded alive are at least killed quickly. Sometimes the little male chicks are just thrown in a garbage bag to suffocate to death.
Karen Davis put it so eloquently in her book "Poisoned Chicken, Poisoned Egg" by saying, “Disease and suffering are inherent features of the battery system in which the individual hen is obscured by gloom and by thousands of other hens in an environment deliberately designed to discourage perception, labor and care. Forcing a physically active bird to assume a cramped and stationary position for life on wire mesh produces diseases that are complicated by abnormal reproductive demands, muscle degeneration, poor blood circulation, accumulation of flaccid fat, oviducts clogged with masses of bits of eggs that can't be expelled, osteoporosis and foot and leg deformities. The very filth of the debeaking machines, vaccine equipment and overall living conditions has generated an incurable disease in laying hens known as swollen head syndrome.” These chickens suffer from fatty liver syndrome and salmonella, which used to be traced back to dirty or cracked eggs contaminated with chicken droppings on the outside; but now salmonella can be found inside egg shells that are completely intact. Eggs with salmonella pose a threat to one out of every 50 people each year. Layer hens also suffer from caged layer syndrome, a kind of osteoporosis. “Symptoms are a bird’s inability to stand, fragile bones, paralysis and fractured bones upon cage removal. Or they get disuse osteoporosis, which is caused by a lack of exercise and made worse by the demineralization of their bones from constant eggshell production.” When you eat chicken or eggs, you are eating products that come from a very sick individual. The diseases these animals have are exactly the ones millions of American's suffer from today...see a parallel?
More than 100 million “spent” hens are killed in slaughterhouses each year. The disposal of these “spent” hens is equally disturbing. They are not fed because it is a waste of feed. They are put in cages to travel, they are given no food or water and travel hundreds of miles that way, heat or frost. These birds are often limbless, missing wings, toes and whatever is left behind after being ripped from the cage. At slaughter, spent hens are a mass of broken bones, oozing abscessed, bright red bruises, internal hemorrhaging and malignant tumors. If you are a vegetarian because you don't want to inflict pain and kill animals, then morally it should make sense to stop eating dairy and eggs as well. The pain and suffering endured by the animals who supply eggs and dairy is identical to the pain endured by animals raised for flesh. Yes, when you eat their by-product you are not killing them directly but you are condemning them to be there. Dairy cows and laying hens spend countless agonizing days producing products for your consumption. Which is worse: a short life of torture and then slaughter or a long life of torture and then slaughter after you are spent from excessive production demands? If you abstain from meat for ethical reasons, dairy and eggs should be avoided as well, otherwise you are being hypocritical.
John Robbins puts it so perfectly in his book Diet for a New America. He asks, “What are the consequences of eating the products of such a system? Could it be that when we take their flesh or eggs into our own bodies, we take in as well something of the kinds of lives they have been forced to endure?” He believes so and I do as well.
Where do I get my calcium from?
Dairy DOES NOT contain exclusive nutritional components. Any perceived positive nutrition gained from milk/dairy consumption can be found in a variety of places in the plant world. Calcium, especially, can easily be found in abundance from plant sources. There are LOTS of natural raw foods that are calcium rich including almonds, beans, Brazil nuts, broccoli, figs, hazel nuts, leafy green vegetables, oats, seaweeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds and fruit just to name a few.
What are good dairy substitutes?
Use rice or soy alternatives. Salted avocado got me through a lot of tough times when I was in the early transition to veganism. You can also make delicious “cheese” by blending your favorite kind of nut with water. There are all kinds of healthy raw nut "cheese" recipes at goneraw.com. or Peta has cooked vegan recipes here http://www.vegcooking.com/veganMenus-1.asp.