I gave up drinking milk long, I mean long, before I ever considered being a vegan. I first discovered that I had a milk sensitivity when I was around 20 so I switched from drinking 2% to drinking skim milk. During that time, I started to learn more about nutrition and food. I studied my condition so I would have a better understanding and it was then that I realized I don’t need milk.
Now, keep in mind that I am not a registered dietician, so these are just my thoughts and what I have personally learned. I also promise that if you’re a milk drinker, I am not trying to convert you over to the almond milk side by any means… Dan drinks milk and I love him lots!
This is a question I get asked about a lot though and what better place to address it than my blog?
Reasons Why I Don’t Drink Milk
- What’s the purpose of milk? To nurse infants. It’s a fatty food that is high in calories to help support rapid growth and development during the first few months-years of life. The average baby feeds on breast milk for 12-24 months, during that time they can grow 300%! After that period, a baby stops nursing and the mother stops producing milk. In my mind if we were suppose to continue drinking milk, shouldn’t women continue producing milk?
- Here’s another thought… we are the only animal that drinks milk past infancy. Why? Because after that development slows down and animals no longer need that kind of fatty supplement.
How cute is this guy? Source
- I know you’ve heard of lactose and how it’s a protein in milk that we need to digest, if we can’t break it down then it’s referred to as lactose-intolerant. That enzyme used to break it down is called lactase, and as babies we make lots of it. However between the age of 18 months and 4 years hold we lose 90-95% of the enzyme. Another sign for me that we weren’t meant to continue drinking milk.
- We’re the only animal that drinks the milk of another animal. Have you ever seen a baby rabbit taking milk from a mother fox? Of course not, though the image would be hilarious, assuming that the fox allowed it to happen. So why should we drink milk from cows?
- Drinking milk actually shows an increased risk in cancers because the body can not digest all of the lactose (as talked about above), plus the pasterized milk is acidic in nature. These two issues can lead to increased bacteria in the gut and can increase risk of cancer formation.
- Stronger bones? We’ve been told to drink milk to create strong bones, right? First off there are tons of foods to get calcium from but here’s something interesting from Yale: researchers found that the countries with the highest rates of osteoporosis were those where the people drank the most milk, ate the most meat and other animal foods.
So there you have it, my personal reasons for not drinking milk. Again, this was a personal decision I made long ago, and I am not preaching. I would love your thoughts though!
Like I mentioned above, there are foods high in calcium. So I don’t leave you wondering: “well, what foods?” Here are a few!
Food High In Calcium
- Sesame seeds (1000 mg/100g serving)
- Chia seeds (631 mg/3.5 oz serving)
- Dark leafy greens (145 mg/100g serving)
- Flaxseeds (256 mg/100g serving)
- Quinoa (60-100 mg/1 cup)
- Oranges (72 mg/1 cup juice)
- Beans (442 mg/100g serving)
- Nuts and dried fruit (266 mg/100g serving)
- Broccoli (74 mg/100g serving)
- Dried herbs (2132 mg/100g serving)
If I don’t drink milk, what do I drink?
I love almond milk, and coconut milk! I drink it every day, plus almond milk is a great calcium source as well. When I got to a coffee shop, I normally go for soy milk because few places have almond or coconut.