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Got Milk?

How does milk really affect you? 
(Photo courtesy of http://lifestyle.howstuffworks.com/)

How does milk really affect you? (Photo courtesy of http://lifestyle.howstuffworks.com/)

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“Drink your milk so you can have strong bones!” This is one of the many things everyone has been told since childhood. Although there are plenty of healthy humans not drinking milk, America has been brainwashed into thinking that milk is the best thing to drink to be healthy. This claim is false and there are 3 three reasons why.

Firstly, milk isn’t the best source of calcium and the human body doesn’t need nearly as much calcium as the milk industry claims. Many large Harvard studies show that drinking milk doesn’t prevent bone diseases. Dark leafy greens are a much better source of calcium than milk. If someone is lactose intolerant, where do they get calcium? By eating it, not drinking it. Milk also has a high saturated fat content which is bad for the heart, but nonfat and lowfat are alternate options. Not only is milk bad for your heart, but it’s also bad for your reproductive organs. Milk has been shown to increase the risk of ovarian and prostate cancer. Women with a higher amount of lactose in their bodies had a higher risk of ovarian cancer. Men who drink two glasses of milk a day are more likely to develop prostate cancer.

Secondly, it is pretty obvious that the milk industry is bad for cows. If you are unaware of the lactation process, female mammals produce breast milk to feed their young for a varied amount of time. After a certain amount of time, females stop lactating because their young is grown and able to eat solid food. The dairy industry follows a cycle of artificially inseminating cows, birth, lactating, and then start the cycle over again. The calf is removed from the mother so she can lactate. This cycle for a cow lasts around 4 to 5 years as the harsh conditions and diseases that are rampant in this industry cause them to be sent to the slaughterhouse. This lifespan is drastically different from the natural lifespan of twenty years.

Thirdly, large dairy farms are extremely harmful to the environment. Cows produce 150 pounds of greenhouses gases on average per year. This is more than a car. Some scientists say that livestock make up for about twenty percent of global methane emissions. Although vehicles are the main reason for greenhouses gases, cattle still contribute to the overall effect. Another pollution the dairy industry is contributing to is water pollution. Cows produce manure and this manure has to go somewhere. In an ideal situation, the manure would seep into the ground and fertilize the soil. However, the dairy farms often have thousands of cows and so the manure has to travel farther to absorb into the soil. This means groundwater can become contaminated. In a time period where many states in America are experiencing droughts, it is thought that the nation would be trying to conserve water. However, the dairy industry does not seem to be eager to help the environment.

The dairy industry has used years of marketing to increase sales at the expense of human health, cow health, and the environment’s health. There are many alternate options for milk, butter, and cheese. The human population just has to realize that the dairy industry is doing more harm than good, and then choose nondairy options. In the end, it is about willpower and the courage to speak up against a billion dollar industry.

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Brashier Middle College Charter High School News....written and created by students, for students
Got Milk?