Hi everyone!

I'm ovo-lacto-vegetarian for 5 years now. Lately I've started wondering if I should stop drinking milk as I realized that we separated cows from their babies during the milking process. But I've read that cows have to be milked, otherwise their teats begin to swell and it hurts them.
So, what do you think? If we don't milk them it hurts too? Or did I read something wrong?

Thanks for your answers :)

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Please watch this very inspiring video, paying attention to the part about milking cows which really goes to the heart of your question.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NfR7VNvCWzQ

It's my understanding that the cows are artificially inseminated to induce pregnancy and milk production. Our governments actually allow a rectain percentage of Puss and Blood in the milk. How does this happen? Their udders are so engorged with milk and also because they're milked so often they become sore and infected. Infection = pus and blood.

Not to mention that antibiodics are used to increase milk production and fight infection which makes it's way to the milk.

Milk also contains casen which ihas been shown to be carcinogenic (cancer causing). Another interesting fact is that milk contains something that prevents our bodies from absorbing the calcium, only 2% of it is absorbed.

Dairy cows are forced to become pregnant in most cases, which doesn't sound quite so nice, does it?

A lot of cows are treated with rBST. At the very least, this cripples over half of them, along with giving them other health issues on top of that. Dairy treated with rBST is almost negligibly different nutrition- and health-wise from non-rBST dairy products though. Personally, as I cannot go vegan at the moment, I try to get non-rBST dairy products when possible.

Organic, grass-fed dairy may be pricey, but tends to taste better, goes into natural products (like, no crazy, unidentifiable additives involved), and doesn't hurt the cows as much (but it can).

Good on you for even asking yourself this question :)

Yes cows need to release milk if their udders are full but that's not the real problem.

Humans force the mothers to constantly lactate by impregnating them and ripping the calves away so that humans can have the milk.

The same thing would happen if you did that to a human. Imagine how sore your nipples would be and how drained your body would be of nutrients if you constantly had to produce milk which takes a lot of resources. Especially if you were feed a poor diet like in factory farms. Then when you're around 3 or 4 years old your milk production slows down a little so you are shipped of to the slaughter house to be eaten.

These days milk is so unhealthy for you. It's full of hormones and antibiotics (that are fed to cows), pus cells and to top it off, it's pasteurized so that any nutrients that were in there are now severely diminished.

Hope this helps you make a decision about milk.

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