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Vegans and LibidoWhy do vegans assume that cows milk is not intended for humans - a view contradicted by the Vedic culture of ancient India? Cows have always been considered one of our natural mothers and - unlike any other animal including humans - are emblematic of the mode of goodness. Shouldn't the focus be on protecting cows from abuse and killing - and milk from harmful additives and processing?
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Cow's milk is great food - for calves. I have great respect for the Vedic culture, but find myself questioning the way it embraces human consumption of the milk of another species that is, I believe, intended for the babies of only that species. If it is so natural, picture yourself sidling up to a cow, attaching yourself orally to her udder and sucking the milk out of her like that (which is surely how nature would have intended....?). Or, for that matter, picture yourself sidling up to a lactating woman, attaching yourself orally to her nipple and having a big drink of human milk. Human milk seems a more natural food for humans than that of cows; however, the idea of an adult sucking the milk out of a woman's breast for food might give you an understanding of what human milk is for - human babies. I have asked many humans who drink cow;s milk if they would drink human milk; most of them are confronted by the idea to the point of being offended. Go figure.
Why do you assume that cow's milk is for humans? Cow's milk is for baby cows, just like human milk is for baby humans and so on. Humans are the only species that continue to drink the milk (of another species) after babyhood. The reason vegans believe that humans should not drink cow's milk is that vegans believe that animals are not ours to use for any reason--not food, clothing, cosmetics, medicine, nothing. Hope this answers your question.
Well. If humas were intended to drink cows milk. They'd be born into this world with along with a cow. Or would be born from a cow. The reality is that no other mammal drinks milk from another specie. Even if there were no more exploitation in order to get the milk and produce dairy products we'd still have to have in mind that dairy products or eggs and such are not good for our health they help increase bad cholesterol in humans.Actually the only way humans get bad cholesterol is through meat, dairy and egg consumption, since good cholesterol is manufactured by our own bodies.
Cows milk feeds a calf to be the size of a cow who wants their baby to grow into such enormity? Which by the way is one of our American problems
I have been Vegan over 6 years. i have NEVER had a libido issue from it... Eat more Raw Fruit Nuts and Seeds....you are what you eat my friend...and cut out the Soy, or at least cut down on it. May the Schwartz be with you!
From a biological point of view, cow's milk is intended for calves, not humans - the purpose of an animal's milk is to feed its growing infant. Just as a human mother uses her milk to feed her child.
From a vegan point of view, I would argue that a vegan diet is very much focusing on protecting the cow from abuse. The abuse in this respect, would be taking away a cow's calf, so that the milk can be used by humans. It would be hard to argue that this is in the interest of the cow, but rather abusing the natural interest of the cow, which would be to care for its offspring.
You have a valid point of view. However, there is a problem. Suppose that a cow is not abused. She lives in a happy environment and is fed with organic food (no hormone and no forced eating). If she gives birth to a calf, can we have enough milk for human consumption after the calf drinks it? I highly doubt it. Unless we have to take the calf away from its mother and/or feed it with substitute food, i don't think we have abundant milk for us to consume.
Mammary glands are meant to produce milk in a mammals body when pregnant to sustain the life of a baby until the baby is old enough to consume and digest food. That is all. If we take milk from another species, it is milk that was meant for her baby, not us. The baby will either be deprived of this life sustaining liquid or the mother is forced to produce this milk for longer than needed for our palates. That is wrong. Leave milk to what it was meant for.
Cows produce milk in the same way as humans. For they're young! If you are drinking they're milk it means that they have given birth and are producing it for they're calf, who is not receiving it because you are! So what do you think happens to the calf??! And do you think it's nice for the cow to be constantly pregnant and loosing they're children in order to produce milk for humans! Apart from the horror of that, isnt it just gross to drink bodily fluids from another species!!
An interesting question, however cows are not our mothers, they are the mothers of calves and their milk is produced to provide nourishment for their offspring not for us.
Even if you do not have any moral issues with taking the calf from its mother so that you can drink the milk, there are many health hazards associated with drinking milk.
Milk contains IGF-1, it is a naturally occuring growth hormone that promotes the rapid growth of the calf and this has been implicated in over 90 well researched studies in the development of juvenile diabetes in children who consume cows milk.
"Studies have suggested that bovine serum albumin is the milk protein responsible for the onset of diabetes... Patients with insulin- dependent diabetes mellitus produce antibodies to cow milk proteins that participate in the development of islet dysfunction... Taken as a whole, our findings suggest that an active response in patients with IDDM (to the bovine protein) is a feature of the autoimmune response."
New England Journal of Medicine, July 30, 1992
"In lieu of the recent evidence that cow's milk protein may be implicated in the pathogenesis of diabetes mellitus, we believe that the Committee on Nutrition should clarify whether cow's milk is ever appropriate for children and whether or not infant formulas that are based on cow's milk protein are appropriate alternatives to breast milk."
Pediatrics, July, 1992: 89
This same growth hormone also promotes the growth of rapidly dividing cells which include cancer cells, cows milk in this sense can actually promote the growth of cancer cells through the action of the naturally occurring growth hormones.
"IGF-I is critically involved in the aberrant growth of human breast cancer cells."
M. Lippman. J. Natl. Inst. Health Res., 1991, 3.
"IGF-I is a potent growth factor for cellular proliferation in the human breast carcinoma cell line."
J.C. Chen, J-Cell-Physiol., January, 1994, 158(1)
Cows milk is high in sulfur containing amino acids which break down into sulfuric acid in the body, this requires the body to use calcium from the bones to buffer the acid to prevent damage and leads to osteoporosis.
Excess protein consumption from dairy products produces excess metabolic waste that contributes to arthritis and many other health problems including osteoporosis.
"Dietary protein increases production of acid in the blood which can be neutralized by calcium mobilized from the skeleton."
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1995; 61 (4)
"Consumption of dairy products, particularly at age 20 years, were associated with an increased risk of hip fractures...metabolism of dietary protein causes increased urinary excretion of calcium."
American Journal of Epidemiology 1994;139
If you do a search on pub med you can find studies showing that cows milk is the leading source of estrogens in the western diet and that men with the highest dairy consumption also have the highest rates of prostate cancer. "For prostate cancer, epidemiologic studies consistently show a positive association with high consumption of milk, dairy products, and meats."
Giovannucci E., Adv Exp Med Biol 1999;472:29-42
"Positive correlations between foods and cancer mortality rates were particularly strong in the case of meats and milk for breast cancer, milk for prostate and ovarian cancer, and meats for colon cancer."
Rose DP, Cancer 1986 Dec 1;58(11):2363-71
It is important to realize that cows milk is designed as natures perfect food for a growing calf, not for humans. There are many cultures that believe cows milk is the perfect food for humans, including western countries, but despite any cultural beliefs or customs that may have developed in centuries past the reality is that it is not meant for humans. However, there may have been times in history of food scarcity where drinking the milk of another species may have provided nutrition when other food was not available and this may have led to continued consumption as a taste was acquired for it, however nature provided mothers milk for each species individually and the only milk designed for humans is human mothers milk and this is only needed until weaning.
Why do vegans assume that cows milk is not intended for humans you ask. Well speaking for myself, because it's not. The specific nature of mammal milk is profoundly obvious.
~ a view contradicted by the Vedic culture of ancient India, you say... As a naturopathic physician who has worked within the sub-field of ayurvedic science for decades, I assure you that cross-species milk ingestion does not automatically get a green flag, not even close.
~ Shouldn't the focus be on protecting cows from abuse and killing - and milk from harmful additives and processing? you ask... To the first part: except for a possible handful of cows in someone's backyard, all cows who are forced to lactate on behalf of thirsty humans are abused and then killed at only a few years of age. To the second part: Cows' milk fed to humans is unavoidably loaded with harmful compounds (chemicals, hormones Etc.) which are appropriate for, and specific to ONLY the the infant of that mother on the day of expression. There is really no intelligent argument on that point. These examples are the case for the highest quality organic varieties, the problems are amplified with the commercial stuff. Cows' milk consumption by humans, especially adult humans is the grandest example of trying to force a round peg into a square hole and brings with it significant harmful effects for the consumer and the slave in every case.
The points and questions you raise demand extensive answers, but it has been suggested that replies be kept brief.
Thanks for the opportunity to respond.
Thanks for the good work you do.
For more in-depth explanations, may I refer you to a few pieces I have written on this subject over the years.
Dr. Billy Saunders
MILK MATH http://www.drbillyhealth.com/06072009/milk-math/
Hormones in Milk, and Rat's Milk for People http://www.drbillyhealth.com/04012010/hormones-in-milk-and-rats-milk-for-people/
Milk, and the many ill conditions it causes http://www.drbillyhealth.com/05152009/milk-and-the-many-ill-conditions-it-causes/
Many breastfeeding mothers in my Vegan Moms Meetup group in Valley Village, CA decided to give up animal milk because they discovered how painful and time consuming it can be just to feed one baby let alone feeding a city, state or country. The animal's nipples are pumped even though they are infected and bleeding. You have to re-examine why you decided to become vegan in the first place. Is it for philosophy, health, or the animals well being.....
Actually, according to Vedic scriptures it's Krsna the cow herd boy who loves milk. If you follow Vedic scriptures and try to emulate Krsna there is a problem. One should love and respect Krsna and follow his word, but this doesn't mean we should try to be Krsna as that is sacrilegious. Krsna kills demons and has many wives, are you saying humans should do that too? According to Prabhupada we should live in communities, have cows, allow them to live out their lives and take modest amounts of milk for offering to the Lord. Offering to the Lord is NOT eating it yourself. There are many foods one can eat as a Vaishnava. Krsna says "If one offers Me with love and devotion a leaf, a flower, fruit or water, I will accept it." (Bg. 9.26) Prabhupada, "The Matchless Gift": It is not that Krsna is hungry and is begging food from us. The purpose of this offering is to create a loving transaction. Krsna wants this transaction: "You love Me, and I'll love you." As God, Krsna's energy creates and sustains everything, so why should he beg a leaf, a fruit and a little water from us? NO where does it mention offering Krsna milk or cheese. This is simply an excuse to allow mass murder, rape and disease for people and animals.
If dairy cattle were treated right and not put into feed lots by the mega-corporations. Shot full of growth hormone, antibiotics, and who knows what. If they were allowed to graze on grass, and not be forced to eat corn, etc, to increase their milk output. If the milk that they gave was not homogenized, pasteurized, or sanforized (wink, wink). I may consider drinking milk or eating cheese made from all natural, organic, milk. But since the industry is lobbying to squash any grassroots movement for good clean, unpasteurized, unhomogenized, bGH-free, and antibiotic free, I don't think I will be doing so anytime soon.
"Why do vegans assume that cows milk is not intended for humans - a view contradicted by the Vedic culture of ancient India?"
~The definition of vegan doesn't require us to assume that cows' milk isn't for us; it just means that we do not support the exploitation of any animal in any way. That said, anyone can safely assume - regardless of views by any culture - that cows' milk isn't meant for humans because in the wild, you'd never see a human suckle a cow's teat. You see calves suckle their mother's teat, just as you see baby humans suckle *their* mother's teat. You do NOT see calves & baby humans suckle each *other's* mother's teats.
"Cows have always been considered one of our natural mothers and - unlike any other animal including humans - are emblematic of the mode of goodness."
~I'm sorry, but that makes no sense to me at all. Our natural mothers are, by definition, our natural HUMAN mothers. Emblematic of the mode of goodness? What does that mean? And what does that have to do with not exploiting cows?
"Shouldn't the focus be on protecting cows from abuse and killing..."
~Indeed!! And since any use of an animal is abuse, we shouldn't be drinking cows' milk.
"...and milk from harmful additives and processing?"
~If the cows were left alone to provide milk for their calves, there wouldn't be any additives & processing, since the calf would be getting the milk directly from his/her mother.
Cows, and all animals, should be left alone, unmolested, to live their happy, healthy natural lives.
Who first thought of taking another animal's milk it makes to provide food for it's young and drinking it? Isn't the whole purpose of cow's milk (before we industrilized harvesting it) to grow a calf? In essence, if you're drinking it, you're drinking what was the intended Mommy Milk for another mammal. That to me is weird. No one has industrilized the consumption of human milk. What's really better for our bodies since it's made by us. Yet we think it's ok to do the sane thing to another living creature. I'm for not drinking cow's milk.
"Why do vegans assume that cows milk is not intended for humans - a view contradicted by the Vedic culture of ancient India? Cows have always been considered one of our natural mothers and - unlike any other animal including humans - are emblematic of the mode of goodness. Shouldn't the focus be on protecting cows from abuse and killing - and milk from harmful additives and processing? " In India, where high temperatures, no refrigeration, poverty, and starvation are normal life for hundreds of thousands of people, fresh cow's milk would certainly be a boon. In the US, where we are privileged to have access to a huge variety of high quality food, raw (unpasteurized) cow's or goat's milk is considered by many to be a good food in moderation, but not widely available and really not needed. My question is 'why would a non vegan assume that milk produced for a baby cow, would be a good choice for a human?' A cow's milk is designed grow bones that will support 300 pounds and a pretty small brain. Cow's milk is possibly useful in extreme cases where no other nourishment is available to a human being, but it has been shown to contribute to illness on many level's (read The China Study).
I am of the belief that cow's milk is for baby cows, and human milk is for baby humans. I don't believe that cows are put here to give us meat or milk. I know the entire world is not going to stop drinking milk anytime soon, so I think if we can get farmers to stop using hormones, antibiotics, and factory farms, for the sake of the cows and those who drink dairy, it would be a good start.
They do things to cows to make them give milk, nothing about it is natural, they take there calfs away. I think they live the one of the worst lifes in farm animals. Cow milk isn't good for you.
No other species consumes milk as an adult. No other species consumes another species milk.
I do not drink milk or consume any dairy products b/c the only milk humans need is their mothers' breastmilk, and they only need while they are yet young. Cows have been domesticated against their will. They didn't seek us, unlike the dog and cat who trained the human species to tend to their needs in exchange for love and loyalty. Cows should be allowed to evolve into their own destiny.
I follow a Vedic veg diet as well- I eat no meat, fish, poultry, or eggs, but I do drink organic milk and consume rennet-free cheese. I also eat vegan cheese and milk substitues; I especially like hemp milk (THC free!) and almond milk, which I use in my cereal. I'm in complete agreement, that as long as we respect cows in the Vedic tradition as mothers, their milk is wonderful nourishment. It's my understanding that a primary reason for abstaining from milk and milk products is the treatment milk cows receive in agribusiness farming practices. The traditional Vedic model of free-range cows enjoying a peaceful life out in the pasture, nurturing their young as well as the people who tend them, seems to be an ideal way to honor our mother the cow.
I do think there is some good support out there for the idea that cow's milk is not intended for humans. Most of it has to do with the level of natural hormones that mimic human hormones and may be linked to cancer. However, for me, I think that if cow's milk was the same as it was even just a hundred years ago, we would have a lot less trouble with it. If I had access to a local farmer and knew for certain what he fed his cows, how he treated his cows, the type of veterinarian care the cows received, ect., then I would be more willing to have cow's milk in my diet. Even if you are not planning o including cow's milk in your diet, isn't it still a good thing to support better dairy practices anyway?
Your question is a good one. I will start by saying that I am a Vaisnava. Vaisnava's serve Govinda ( a name for Krsna (God) who gives pleasure to the cow, the earth, the senses and all the earth's inhabitance). The Vedas refer to the cow as one of our seven mothers who is worshipable. The cow should always be protected (go-raksha) and treated with the love and respect that one would give their biological mother. Shastra tells us that just as our birth mothers milk is nourishing and healthful so is mother cows, not just for calves ,but for humans too. This is a point many vegans will disagree with. Now comes the reality of Kali yuga, the present age we live in. Vedic scripture (shastra) says this age is full of quarrel and hypocracy. Our mother cow is being beaten, branded, her young calves are stolen she is being abused by many. The scenario is far from the beautiful pastimes in Srimad-Bhagavatam. Some Vaisnavas are able to practice cow protection on a small scale protecting both the cows and her young (male and female). This takes a lot of land and a lifetime of commitment. Many pranamas to those who can do this nicely. On a small scale this is feasable if the family or those involved are willing to keep it to a very small amount of milk a day and ensuring after the mother is milked her young gets to suckle her(just like a human mother, the cow will let down milk again for her young out of love , but not necessarily for a human hands). The cow should always have access to fresh air, pasture and loving touch from humans. For those of us that live in the city and are unable to practice cow protection we can abstain from dairy products. This may seem radical to many Vaisnavas but I have often wondered since Krsna is called Gopal (protecter of the cows), would he want milk that comes from beaten abused cows? Some have told me that even though the cow is abused , we should offer her milk because it allows her to do some service for the Lord. Although I understand this I also feel that by buying unprotected cows milk we are contributing to her abuse. I have opted to be vegan and encourage others to abstain from dairy products or minimize their intake. This may raise some eyebrows , but I wonder if aside from the deity worship one does ,if cows milk is necessary at this time given the above facts. The prescribed duty for this age is Hari-Nama sankirtan (congregational chanting of the Holy name), not deity worship. I feel that being vegan during this time in history is the best cow protection I can offer. I hope this is helpful.
Well, as vegan, I don't think that is fair for those little calves to miss on lactating from mommy cow, just to fed another specie. Is not ours to take and those cows should let run free and live in peace, like God intended it. When it comes to nutrition, I don't think that the main food that is created to make a baby cow turn into a 1000lb animal can be the "perfect" food for humans. I don't know how cows are treated in India exactly, but we all know how are treated here in US, and the last word I would use to describe milk is 'natural".