Organic dairy

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Even if you’re not vegetarian or don’t usually worry about buying organic products, Horizon Organic Dairy is worth checking out. Their milk is about twice as much as non-organic, store brand milk, but consider this:

  • Organic milk actually stays good considerably longer than non-organic milk. I buy a half-gallon and use it mainly just for cereal in the morning, and it hasn’t gone bad on me yet. I used to buy a quarter-gallon of store brand milk for cereal and it would often go bad before I even could finish it.
  • Horizon’s cows are not mistreated. This doesn’t just matter from an animal-rights POV, but from a health standpoint as well. Overworked cows that are cramped in little areas and given BGH to increase their milk production end up excreting pus and blood from lesions in their udders. To be used for Horizon milk, the cows are allowed to roam and exercise and only give milk on their natural cycle. They’re even given massages!
  • It’s been shown that organic farming is better for the environment, so Horizon farms are all certified organic (without pesticides for three years or more), meaning the cows don’t ingest any unnatural chemcials.

Food for thought the next time you’re picking out milk at the supermarket.

55 Responses to “Organic dairy”

  1. Peter

    I’ve been doing research on Horizon farms, and this is absolutely false. Here are some links
    which explain why Horizon Farms is an evil company. The only thing worse than mistreating cows is fooling yourself that you’re doing something helpful for them.

    http://www.stoplabelinglies.com/news/organicmilk.html

    http://www.cgfi.org/materials/articles/2003/june_18_03.htm

  2. Ryan

    If you had entered a real e-mail address, Peter, I could have written to thank you for the links.

    In any event, since writing this piece, I’ve become aware of the general sham that is big time organic dairy.

  3. mitze

    CGFI is a far-right anti-environmental, pro-corporate propaganda group. So, be wary of what you read from them. It is my understanding that Horizon milk, owned by Dean corporation, was responsible for getting organic standards changed so that organic dairy cows could be fed non-organic feed as calves, and treated with conventional medicine as calves, also. I am researching more on this issue. Dean also owns Alta Dena and White Wave/Silk, and a new company called The Organic Cow of Vermont. If you eat dairy, strive to eat local, organic dairy.

  4. mitze

    If organic foods are going to continue to be free from most of the synthetic chemical pesticides and herbicides, and to be grown in a more environmentally responsible way than conventional foods, I urge folks to be aware that many organic companies are now owned by huge corporations with a more keen eye on the bottom line than the health of our bodies, land, air and water.

    Heinz owns these organic companies: Hain, Walnut Acres, Shari Ann’s, Mountain Sun, Millina’s Finest, Earth’s Best, Garden of Eatein’, Health Valley, Arrowhead Mills, Imagine/Rice Dream, Soy Dream.

    Kellog owns: Kashi, Morningstar Farms/Natural Touch, Sunrise Organic.

    Pepsi owns: Tostitos Organic

    Coca-Cola owns: Odwalla.

    M&M, Mars owns: Seeds of Change.

    Tyson owns: Nature’s Farm Organic.

    Danone owns: Stonyfield Farms

    Phillip Morris Kraft owns: Boca Foods, Back to Nature.

    General Mills owns: Cascadian Farm, Muir Glen.

    Unilever owns: Ben & Jerry’s organic.

    While I think it’s great that these huge corporations are finding it lucrative to sell organic products, it is very serious to consider that if most of the organic industry is owned by industry giants, what will stop them from using underhand means to erode organic standards until there is little difference between conventional and organic?

    The answer is to support small, local organic farmers as very much as possible. Buy some things from these giants to keep them interested in organic, but support smaller, independent organic companies with all of your heart. Our wildlife, birds, and all future generations depend on the commitments we make today.

  5. tara

    Interesting thread. I view the two articles listed in the first response with suspicion. The sources seem to be highly biased. However, they do make some valid points. The most important point that has been made here, though, is that You Can Buy Local. And, when you do buy local, you can easily check out your source and hold them responsible for their actions. Further, you are supporting a local farmer and just maybe keeping his fields from turning into another ugly crop of starter mansions.

    This doesn’t mean you have to drive from your home in Manhattan to a farm in the Hudson Valley every week to buy your milk. If you go to your local co-op or health food store and find a local brand, you can research that brand once and then continue to buy it with confidence.

    If you live in the suburbs or the country, I will bet you have tons of resources available to you – if you look just a little farther than your local Stop & Shop. I do almost all my shopping at an organic market a few miles from my home. They carry all the usual corporate brands, but also go out of their way to feature local products and to call them out prominantly on the shelf. They carry raw milk from a local biodynamic dairy. I pass the dairy to get to the market – I can see the cows in the field, and see the milking operation in the barn. I have a great deal of confidence in the quality of the milk I buy. This dairy also makes yogurt. There is another dairy within walking distance that is not organic, but I can walk through their barn and see the conditions in which the cows live. We often walk there for ice cream in the summer. Another local dairy, from whom my parents have bought milk for years, has begun an organic program.

    I don’t live in a serious hippie enclave, or even far out in the country. I live in the heart of suburbia a few miles from Philadelphia’s Main Line area. McMansion developments are popping up around me like wack-a-moles. Traffic is so heavy that I’m thinking of putting in a fence for the safety of my daughter and pets. And yet I have no problem finding these resources. Given that, why would I buy grocery store milk, organic or not, that has been transported at tremendous environmental cost from far distant states?

    If you’d like to find a local source for raw milk, check out http://www.realmilk.org.

  6. Stephanie Dibble

    hi…im stephanie and im 15 years old. i was doing research for a science fair projecy and i came across this site and it interested me, so i have decided to post my thoughts…my mother is extremely in to the whole organic/natural scene. over the years, i have done many science fair experiments involving organic vs. conventional products. in all of my experiments, i have found that the organic products are either healthier or more beneficial. i know that i am young and probably not as knowledgable as some, but i have attempted to prove my mother wrong so many times, but she always prevails in the end. so, to all of you who are bashing organic companies like Horizon, mayb you should do your own research before posting the websites of others. how can you be sure that the information you read on those sites is true? did you actually go to the farms and see how everything works? probably not. think of it like this: when election time comes, you listen to all of the candidates before making a decision. you dont just watch one candidates advertisements against the other one and then decide that everything that the first candidate says is true. if you did that, you would be making an uninformed decision. what you are deciding about Horizon is an uninformed decision.

  7. Zanazan

    Just came across your blog, will revisit in the future. Working on my organic webpage, which could be much better, but it takes so long learning the coding as I have an online course that the actual research gets the back burner.

    I know horrible. :(

    Sincerely, Zanazan (nickname)

  8. Nicole

    With regard to the comments about Horizon Dairy I thought that I’d add my two cents worth. I’m all for organic and preferrably raw dairy. The reason why Horizon and many other “organic” milks out there last as long as they do has nothing to do with the fact that they are organic. The milk is ultra-pasteurized for a longer shelf-life. When milk is heated to these extreme temperatures it is left completely denatured, becoming nothing more than dead sugar water.
    Know where your food comes from and what processes it’s put through before you eat it. Just because something says it’s organic doesn’t mean that it’s the cat’s meow.

  9. Ryan

    Indeed.

    My own opinions have changed drastically over the last 4 1/2 years with regards to organic dairy.

  10. Martha

    Does anyone know where I can buy vegan gelatin? I have a vegetarian friend whom I’d like to cook for but I don’t know where to buy this stuff.

    Thanks and happy grazing!

  11. Nav

    How do we know that the products being sld as organic are actually organic. I mean, are there any federal standards that organic products have to pass? If there are such standards, how are these standards enforced?

  12. John Brevik

    The answer to whether or not these products are actually organic or not is whether or not they have a USDA Certified organic label. There are other organic certification companies out there, but none maintain the high standards of the USDA.

    Also, to a post above, Organic Valley Family of Farms is a wholly-farmer-owned corporation which markets organic dairy. Their sister company, also wholly-farmer-owned is Organic Prairie Family of Farms which markets meats. This is the company to buy from – the only company who really benefits the small family farms, those that treat animals with respect and dignity.

    Organic Valley owners (the farmers) turned down a deal by Horizon Organic for a 1 billion dollar buyout…Three times their current annual sales. What does that tell you about this FIRST-RATE company!?

    Buy from OV and OP! http://www.organicvalley.com ; http://www.organicprairie.com

  13. Michele

    I feel the need to comment on the post written by Peter. I wonder, have you ever been on an Organic Farm? We have farmed for over 22 years, having done it the hard way, buying the farm, not inheriting it, and we happen to be a Certified Organic Dairy Farm. While I know anytime “big Business” is involved, not everything is as rosy as we would like to believe, you need to check further before you condemn Horizon, I and many other farms I know of, ship our milk to Horizon, these are local farms, where the cows do, indeed go out each day, are rotationally grazed, fed with care and treated very well. You see, we love what we do, we work 365 days a year to produce a product we feel is great. We don’t take vacations, have IRA’s, We farm, in a socially responsible way, in a way of life we love.
    As for the comments in the links listed, you need to look at practices on each farm. We have had no problems with our cows, no “shipping” sick cows because we can’t use non approved medicines.
    We take great care of our cows, and it shows.
    I know MANY many farmers, and I can honestly say
    each one treats his cows well, word gets around, you know.
    Visit a farm, organic or not and see what a Family Farm is all about. You might be surprised.
    These farmers, men and women are the backbone of our nation. I applaud them all for their hard work and dedication.

  14. Tina

    Thank you Michelle for your words.I am lacto-vegetarian, and I always thought that not every farm would treat their cows with cruelty.

    And also, (vegans, i know that you reached perfection with your lifestyle, please, no more violent sites as reply – let’s help each other,not make fanatical statements towards each other lifestyles), i want to know if you are aware of any milk – cruelty free.

    Thank you.

  15. Ryan

    There are two things to keep in mind: no matter whether it’s regular dairy or organic dairy, 1.) male calves are still taken away from their mothers at a very early stage and become veal and 2.) once they’re no longer productive, the dairy cows become hamburger.

    If I’m wrong and the calves are the ones who get their mother’s milk and the dairy cows get to retire in peaceful pastures when they’re done, please, let me know.

    I know full well about being lacto-ovo. It’s a great first step and an important one. But eventually, after examining things more closely, I realized it wasn’t truly consistent with my ethics. I suspect that’s how most vegans came to be where they are.

  16. Mateen

    I would like to know if there is any meat stuff involved in Mono- and Diglycerides?

    Appreciate any response.
    thanks
    Mateen

  17. Vinny

    I live and work on a 700 cow dairy farm. We have a freestall and parlor setup. This means are cows have free access to a mattress, water and feed. In this barn they can be more carefully monitored with what they eat. On an orgnic farm they are out on pasture eating weeds, acorns, and other uncontrollable plants. They are drinking water from a pond or a stream. If not in the pasture they are in tie-stall barn usually. These are the little red barns. The cows are tied up and kept in a stall. They may not move for a very long time. Sometimes the cows also have shockers above them to keep them from getting crazy. You tell me which youd rather have
    Organic:Water from a pond or stream, grass and weeds and the ground to lay on
    or
    Non-organic with a freestall barn:Purified water, controlled specially mixed feed and a mattress that is cleaned and bedded every day

    Also there is no test for rBGH (BST)

  18. Drew

    There are standards set by the USDA where companies must follow strict regulations in order to put the “USDA Organic” label on their products. Terms like “all-natural” are completely inaccurate however because there aren’t any standards set by the USDA in order to put this term on products.

    Organic milk is better for you because it doesn’t contain traces of rGBH. This growth hormone results in IGF-1 production in humans which has been traced to cause cancer. It is especially harmful to young children. Large companies like Hood get milk from suppliers who use this growth hormone. It is not only harmful to humans, but it is harmful to the cows themselves and it’s cruel to give them these growth hormones. Purchasing organic milk is better for you, better for the cows, and supports small family farms that are dedicated to producing quality, nutricious milk without the use of antibiotics or hormones.

  19. Vegan Sommelier

    Actually, if you really care about doing what is “better for you and better for the cows”… then stop stealing their milk altogether. Cows’ milk is for baby cows, not for humans.

  20. Danielle

    And if you trust the USDA to ensure producers adhere to organic standards, I have a bridge to sell you.

  21. Chris Henderson

    I am trying to do some research on milk and growth hormones and their effect on mood behavior and dreams. I am having many vividly violent dreams after drinking milk prior to bed. It seams to be the only food product that consistently produces such dreams. I can produce nightmares with other products, but not violent events. Does anyone know of any connection or any research on this subject. I came to this site because I am considering organic foods for my family now. If you have any information that can help, please email me at [email protected]. These dreams are very unusual for me, that is why I have taken notice. Thank you,

  22. Katie

    First off I would like to thank michelle for telling them some thing of family farms because most these people dont know whats its like on a farm. and to vinny as a family owned and operated organic crop and dairy farmer I KNOW that there are certain regelations to the organic farm that require that there should be no weeds that would change the flavor of the milk and any the way that the milk is processed naturaly though the cow destorys any bacteria that can be dangerest to us and fresh water is always to be offered to the cow and they usally drink that instead of the Pond or stream water. they always have organic feed to eat and i think they like alot better than the chemical filled and processed feed you give them. There is alway a bedded barn and a bedded stall for them to use exspecialy in the winter and a fan to cool them off in the summer. All these thing are required by the USDA and I would prefer to drink milk that way SO know your facts before you say anything. and to vegan and ryan the baby calfs can only drink milk for awhile then they must be taken of their mom they are still going to to drink milk but if we dont take them off the mom may get a infection and die and when we take them off they still produce milk and wont dry up until they get pregent again. the dairy bull calfs usally dont get sold for veal they are raised until they can breed and the old cows usally get sold because they are suffering from and injury. ok thank you guys

    Hate farmers? Don’t talk with your mouth full.

  23. miki

    Chris, I definitly see your point. I put my kid off milk at sleep time. He drinks Tulsi tea now and I really see a difference in his sleep.

  24. Katarina

    “the baby calfs can only drink milk for awhile then they must be taken of their mom they are still going to to drink milk but if we dont take them off the mom may get a infection and die ”

    …are you sure? Somehow I don’t know how believable this statement is – if it were true, it means that before cows were domesticated, mother cows constantly got infected and died because their calves were not forced to wean.

  25. Monica

    Do the male baby cows from organic farms go to veal farms????
    I dont drink milk, but I know many who buy organic milk, and I think they are inadvertantly supporting the veal industry. The debate on whether to drink milk or not-organic or not-could go round in circles forever. We just have to do our best, for our health, animal welfare, and the environment- for some, organic is the best they can do, and that is great.
    This next comment is written with sincerity, tho it may seem obnoxious: Wouldn’t it make sense to drink milk from your own species? If humans are to drink milk at all, they should probably drink human milk. The thought of that is as disgusting to me as drinking milk from a cow’s udder.

  26. Jamie

    I agree fully with Monica’s statement that we have to do our best for ourselves and the environment. I am a college student @ UNC-Chapel Hill and one of my classes is currently themed: GO Green. It has really opened my eyes to all of the alternatives now available that can help save the environment, including the idea of organic dairy products. I am curious however of the quality of the taste compared to regular milk…

  27. ryan

    Forget organic dairy. Give up dairy altogether — better for the environment and much, much better for the animals.

  28. Brittany

    When I worked at Starbucks, we had organic, soy and regular milk as drink options. Personally, I enjoyed soy milk the best. It is very good for you, can be organic, and doesnt involve any torture or abuse of animals.
    Im sure alot of you who like organic products hate BIG BUSINESS Starbucks, but Im just using it as a reference for my experience. No offence intended.

  29. Anshu

    I have been drinking organic milk and organic milk only for the past few years and I really feel like my health has really improved. Regular milk used to upset my stomach and I thought I was lactose- intolerant but it turns out that I could not stomach it. I also found it alot healthier because I can drink organic skim, and not regular skim milk. I know a bunch of people who think organic stuff is a sham but I know that it has been really beneficial to my health.

  30. Joseph

    Peter, in that first link it’s not until the end when Dennis Avery goes for the Land O’Lakes company, and makes himself sound like some sort of endorsor for that company, as if he was paid to write that article. I’m not saying he was, but it just seems hard to believe him when he does not even have a legitamite source for the majority of his claims. He simply states what we are supposed to believe are facts. Please post some links that observe studies that will further prove Avery’s statement. Have some doctors or maybe a few court cases that ruled certain revealing facts about these companies, and you’ll have me bought. A good example would be how it was revealed that Kraft’s guacamole dip only contained less than 1% real avocado after they were sued for false advertising and the like. That has nothing to do with dairy, but I’m sure you understand the correlation.

  31. Jessica

    Ryan I wanted to let you know that this post and all the comments in it are responsible for me going vegan. Thank you! My blog is all about my exploration of this lifestyle. Thanks!

  32. Mike Land

    Has anyone tried Newman’s organic product line? I really don’t like his salad dressings because they have a chemical taste.

  33. John

    Holy Cow Batman! I was searching who owns Kashi, and lo and behold! If you care about what you eat, support small farmers. If you like meat, eat it. Know where it comes from. Try hunting it If you don’t. Should we just kill the cows/cattle/hogs? My goodness, life feeds on life. No way around it. What if carrots can feel pain? For the love of whomever you talk to, live your life and let those who do not see your way live theirs. I don’t like crap in my food and try to do the best I can, and I do. Lighten up and enjoy life. Nothing is perfect in this life. Now love someone.

  34. Ryan

    Wow.

    That was the most fragmented, nonsensical, poorly reasoned comment I’ve read in quite a while.

  35. Becci

    John:

    Two things–first, carrots don’t have a central nervous system, so they cannot feel pain. That’s easy. If it turns out that they have an as yet completely discovered vehicle for feeling pain, then meat eaters are the first people who should be concerned. It takes 8 or 9 pounds of grain to make a pound of beef, a similar amount to produce a pound of pork, and 2.5 for a pound of chicken. Vegetarians and vegans consume far less plant-matter than meat-eaters.

    Second: I agree with your conviction that we should let people live their lives, but only if they do so without causing unnecessary and excessive suffering to the world around them. I think it’s great (seriously) that you’re supporting small farmers and eating organic meat, but most people get their meat from factory farms and don’t realize it.

  36. Karrel

    I have been veg for 18 years…I do include eggs & dairy – and have tried my best to obtain from cruelty free sources — which we are learning can be misleading. I believe that smaller local farms can produce healthy and cruelty foods – but as we know, survival can be hard for them. I think there are allot of good intentioned people out there doing the best they can in this crazy society. Sharing and education seems to help. It is getting very hard to figure out what to eat … when your body does not do well with a Vegan diet. I do believe that humans and animals CAN help each other – when done with loving care. I go to a job I hate every day – so I won’t be homeless …. and no one protects me from that. It seems all beings need to contribute in some way to survive.

    I feel torn by all these issues. If we think back further as to WHY there are Factory Farms – it seems to be a direct response to OVER POPULATION !! Lets face it, there are TOO MANY PEOPLE. People reproducing without thought or sense of responsibility… or thought of the future of the offsrping, society, enviroment, planet etc. The insane demand for SO MUCH FOOD has created a monster.

    Also, government,marketing and business encourages HUGE PORTIONS!!! With so many children and adults grossly overweight – it that not obvious that is part of the problem as well !!!

    If people ate smaller / responsible amounts of eggs & dairy to supplement their mostly vegetarian diets and used more birth control and supported small ethical farms – PEOPLE AND ANIMALS would have a better opportunity to live gracefully together on this earth.

    GREED and OVERPOPULATION need to be addressed.

  37. Karrel

    Sorry for the previous typo !!

    I believe that smaller local farms can produce healthy and cruelty FREE foods – but as we know, survival can be hard for them.

  38. Kristi

    I’m new to all of this – just went veg, working on cutting out all dairy because the thought of all the cruelty to these animals. I so want to believe that the small family owned farms are not cruel to the animals, especially growing up in WI (although not on a farm). Has anyone been to any farms in the northern CO area where they have seen people treating animals as they should? I am just really confused, I’m sure I can get myself off dairy eventually but it’s going to take some time and I don’t want to feel miserable every day I’m working on it.

  39. Sir

    I have thought the same thing as Karrel for some time now. Overpopulation is the root of all our problems. From factory farms to pollution. But us humans are too selfish to even think about that, as if it’s our divine right to spit out as many resource gobbling offspring as we possibly can. Perhaps this is why nature seems to be smacking us around lately. It’s trying to put out the wild fire of humanity before it consumes the planet and leaves it a barren ball of dust. Funny how a search on why organic milk seems to last longer ended in this. Glad to know someone shares my thoughts though!

  40. Peggy

    So only one person touched on the subject I am still trying to find an answer for…does drinking milk (even if its organic) always involve keeping the cows pregnant and then taking the calves for veal? I do not eat meat of any kind, no fish either after going on one of PETA’s sites, but I am a bit addicited to cheese of all kinds but i don’t think I can continue if I am contributing to the veal industry…please help.

  41. Ryan

    So only one person touched on the subject I am still trying to find an answer for…does drinking milk (even if its organic) always involve keeping the cows pregnant and then taking the calves for veal?

    Yes.

    As simple as that.

    The cow’s milk is meant for the baby, but in order for people to get use out of it, the baby has to be taken out of the picture. That means either using the baby for veal (if it’s male) or turning her into another dairy cow (if it’s a female).

  42. Laura

    Thanks you guys for all of the useful information. And you all are right a lot of the organic food today isn’t really it’s just a marketing ploy.
    Organic Foods

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  45. Tyler

    Wow, a lot of this is really interesting, and random…I too was searching who owned Kashi.

    Anyways, there’s no doubt about it, the dairy industry is flawed. Humans are the only mammal which even consider drinking milk as teens/adults…an odd concept to me. If you consume milk at all consider alternatives like soy, almond (though the decline of bees is a threat to the very existence of almonds), or rice milk (though its packed with carbohydrates). These are all viable alternatives if you must consume milk.

    Look into vegan ice cream if you can’t break the ice cream habit, there are MANY options and recipes often utilizing soy or rice for a creamy, cold dessert.

    Many of you have gotten off on all sorts of tangents, my comment to some of you in regards to organic farming, buy locally for sure. Corporations are evil, its as simple as that. They only feed the human tendency to pollute ourselves with greed and meaningless things; they drive an unethical approach to consumerism, which is merely obsessed with growth..MORE.

    Anyways, if you do buy locally, another way to supplement your efforts, and an often cheaper way is consider growing your own produce, whether potted, in a backyard garden, or a community garden, its a very realistic alternative. To boost your efforts try composting, an activity that will greatly contribute to cutting down the amount of trash you spit out every week.

    Back to corporations, not to spout pointlessly blind youthful idealism, some corporations are ethical and making conscious efforts to promote morality, but do your research…know where companies stand.

    Peace.

  46. Lauren

    organic valley is defiantly the best organic milk to buy, that’s if you drink milk…i drink soy :)

  47. Shannon

    I was waiting – for a long time – for SOMEONE to mention the veal industry! In order to get the massive amount of milk required to sustain this ridiculous business, the males are totally useless and would only consume the “product”, so are either killed right after birth or sold to veal farms within a day or two. I don’t think I have to mention the incredible cruelty – beyond what people think they know. It’s not just that they are forced into a crate that is so small they can only lie down – cramped. They cannot stretch their legs, their backs become permanently (for their short lives) hunched up because that’s the way they are growing. They are chained so that they cannot move. The lie in their own excrement, and are fed a liquid anemic diet. No movement makes muscles soft, and anemia keep them white. Wow, what a luxury veal is. I would say 9 of 10 people do not eat veal because it’s “cruel”. But they think nothing of loading up on dairy which is directly responsible for veal. Not to mention dairy is unnatural. Milk is for INFANTS and should be their OWN SPECIES. Ask someone if they would drink human milk and they would probably feel nauseated. Or hey, milk from a dog! Or a horse, or a pig, they’re all farm animals! Who the hell thought up milk for adult humans? Also, milk is full of pus that comes from the machines constantly attached to their udders and causing infections to the nipple. Pasteurization doesn’t remove that. Most dairy is loaded with fat or it wouldn’t “taste as good”. Skim butter? Skim cream cheese? Skim cheese? Dairy is a leading cause of obesity – it’s in everything! Soy products are just as good, but very little, if any FAT OR CHOLESTEROL!. If any of you dairy consumers every tried the many flavors of soy milk, soy cream cheese, soy ice cream, soy butter, soy sour cream, you would be amazed at how very similar or even identical in taste they are. Soy products have come a very long way since more and more people are going vegan for the animals’ sake and their own health, not to mention the reduction in factory farming (i.e. methane, the leading cause of global warming) – check the U.N. study from November 2007. Dairy is perhaps the most evil of all farming production. And don’t tell me ANY farmers of dairy sit down on a bucket while they manually milk all the cows when they come in from grazing in a pasture. Cows don’t sleep on mattresses in a shed. They eat GRASS, not grain. Grain is fed to farm animals because there isn’t room to pasture all those animals to eat grass, which is the natural diet for them; grain is cheap. Dairy is also very harmful to health, period. Check out PCRM.org, an organization of scientists and MDs that study this for a living, and know much more than people’s opinions here. I am a member and know the senior researcher personally. They are a wealth of the truth behind meat and dairy. If it were so good for us, why would it be a cause of high blood pressure, heart attacks, colon, prostate and breast cancers, all the number one and two reasons of death? Vegans don’t consume ANY cholesterol (which is the root cause of all cardiac problems, blood pressure and strokes), because only ANIMALS contain cholesterol and that includes dairy and eggs. So, we have cruelty to the cows (ending up in slaughter and deprived of natural needs), their calves (veal or more dairy cattle), obesity, death to humans and global warming. Did I leave anything out? There is NO reason to consume dairy except that people like the taste. Or meat, which is much worse, but that’s another blog altogether. Like the above link about tradition stated: Just because it’s been done for years or decades or even hundreds of years doesn’t make it right. Remember those ads the Dairy Council ran that if you drank three eight ounce servings of milk a day you would lose weight? WRONG! PCRM.org gave their correct reports to the USDA and the FDA and they did have to pull them. Now they are stating the same serving will help you “maintain” your weight. I suppose that’s true if you’re already fat.

  48. Alison

    Ok, so I found this website because I was looking for some answers but it seems to me like most of the comments here are a bit biased and based on paranoia and constant references on what the media says about this and that. So even though my post might be another quite extensive one I am hoping to hear some of your experiences, from people that are familiar to vegan or vegetarianism.

    I have (or had) been a vegan for 4 years, felt great, love it.
    Recently I started having liver and kidney problems, after going through many tests and doctors, because it just seemed very strange to me since not only was I following a vegan diet, but also I was eating mostly raw and natural home cooked food, no refined foods or things that contained preservatives.
    I am told, and had also noticed myself, that I need to avoid soy products at least for a while and after that not consume them much because they have caused a hormonal imbalance amongst other things, which after doing research I have found out it has been proven that soy can cause some problems and it’s not as good as it is sold out to be. I for one love soy, soy cheese, ice cream and fake chicken, BUT I think that we shall at least give it the benefit of the doubt, since we are doing the same with products labeled as organic.

    So I didn’t think it would be so much of a problem and I have actually seen improvement since I stopped eating soy products, but now I am really getting tired from getting my protein from beans and lentils, and since I live in Mexico city where people are not as familiar with veganism, somewhat vegetarianism but in the unhealthy side of it, meaning they cook vegetables to the point where they have probably no nutricional value, or put too much cream, salt or cheese on dishes so they taste better for people. It has come to the point of total annoyance and difficulty to get to eat something other than salads with no dressing when I eat out because of work or whatever, also I was told to eat mostly organic vegetables, since the pesticides in non organic ones are as bad or worse than eating refined foods or colorings, etc that make the liver work harder, needless to say in most restaurants they don’t have organic vegetables.

    So there are many thoughts going through my mind, for one thing I feel bad even thinking about eating animal products, now it seems like a weird concept to eat something dead, but (I guess because I am not getting a lot of protein since they cut down of soy) my body craves eggs, I have bought organic ones and either way I feel weird. My doctor says there is a reason why the body craves things and I should maybe listen a bit more to it.
    Also I like cereal a lot, the organic ones that also help wild life…I can’t remember the name, are really good and I also love oatmeal, but now that I can’t have soy milk (and there is no almond milk here, which either way I remember buying it in the US and it said it had some type of soy aspect in it) my diet has become extremely boring and let’s just say that oatmeal with water is no good.
    I bought some local organic skim milk, it tastes so sweet, I didn’t remember the taste of milk, it took a while to get used to, although I did not get an upset stomach as I thought I would.
    This had been going for about 3 weeks, now I am craving cheese, is so weird since I never had a craving in the 4 years I was vegan, so I bought Organic Valley cheese, it seems okay, just a bit heavy, but no stomachache. I am still worried about the animals and if organic dairy is better, I don’t know if to believe all that is said here or said anywhere, period. Since for example, organizations like PETA are extremely biased and I used to work for them and got quite disappointed to see that even if they were shown facts about anything, they would not listen. Which to me that said a lot about their intelligence.

    I love animals and believe it’s worth to go the extra mile, whether money or effort, to help them and at the same time help ourselves, the earth and our health.
    But I also believe life is to be enjoyed and I sure don’t enjoy it when I am out with friends or just by myself and I eat something I don’t quite enjoy or go without eating because there is nothing TOTALLY vegan, and I don’t enjoy being sick either.

    My boyfriend eats meat, drinks milk (a lot of it) and doesn’t think much about what he puts in his mouth, and is actually healthy, not only thin, because that can be age or whatever, he is totally healthy.
    Not that I think his way of life is the best, I don’t think I could eat meat or other non organic animal products, even if I were starving to death. So I would like not to discuss who is right or wrong but to hear if any of you has had this issues and if you could tell me the companies that I SHOULD buy from (I don’t care to hear about the bad ones) or maybe other substitutes for milk or if anyone can tell me if whole or skim is better, organic of course.
    Anything that you think might help.

    Let’s unite and give ourselves options, rather than fight about who is right and who is believing lies, is an idiot or whatever…

    Much love and thank you.

  49. Alison

    Oh I forgot to mention!
    I also wanted to see if any of you had seen that show on KERA about soy…they were showing that since the demand for soy is growing they were now having large fields of it in places like the Amazon…yeah, quite upsetting since that pretty much controls the temperature in the whole world, and that well, all this soy craze wasn’t that good. Not that this concerns vegs only, since A LOT of products contain soy, whether vegan, vegetarian or not.
    Anyway, at number 36, I think is definitely true that it isn’t only about lifestyle diets but also about people being greedy and over population. Since I turned vegan I never gave a speech about EVERYONE having to be vegetarian, I am not a doctor, so I can only speak for myself and how my body feels, but I don’t know if that would go for every body out there.
    Well I have gone about for long enough…Peace.

  50. Chris

    I’m with comment #21, USDA ‘standards’ are as reliable as cheesecloth for a roof. Just spend a night on you tube and watch how they ‘watch’.
    I would like to think there is cruelty free milk out there somewhere. I enjoy dairy products. Not enjoying them now knowing the ‘necessary’ evils it inflicts daily. 5-10 years is a long time to be a cooped up baby machine. Looking for a line of products that can produce without the horrors.

  51. Heather

    No, not all male calves go to the veal industry, and not all veal calves are shut up in tiny crates. I have been on dairy farms, worked on dairy farms and even owned dairy cattle for my entire life and have never been on a farm where male calves are sold for veal. A number of dairies do support the veal industry, but not all of them. Also, I have a co-worker whose husband sells calves for veal. These calves are raised by their mothers on green pastures and have plenty of room to roam.
    To answer the question of whether cows are always kept pregnant, yes, cows are expected to have calves every year, as do most other animals in nature. Many farms have bulls with their cows that do what cows and bulls do naturally, and the cow has a calf every year.
    Does the dairy industry “steal” milk from the calves? All calves are fed some sort of milk until their digestive systems are developed– just like a baby on breast milk or formula. Many farms do feed their calves milk from their mothers, they just do it in a clean and controlled enviroment so they can assure that the calves are getting the nutrients that they need. (And yes, I have seen some calves who are being raised by their mothers sicken because a) their mother doesn’t take care of them, b) their mother doesn’t produce enough milk to feed the calf or c) because their mother is sick and has “bad” milk) By hand-raising calves, we can make sure they are on a well-balanced diet and that they thrive.
    If you don’t believe me, actually visit a dairy farm and see where your food is coming from. Don’t listen to some stranger on the internet. (Including me… really…go see for yourself!!)

  52. Dominique

    Alison – Im also living in the d.f., just fyi there´s a veggie product -falafel – sold in many major stores, i.e. both the superama and the big soriana in Polanco (the Soriana is on the Ejercito Nacional and Moliere, and the Superama is by Metro polanco near Horacio). I just learned, however, that Superamas are owned by evil evil Walmart….rock soup anyone??

  53. Lawrence

    If you care about what you eat, support small farmers. If you like meat, eat it. Know where it comes from. Try hunting it If you don’t. Should we just kill the cows/cattle/hogs? My goodness, life feeds on life. No way around it. What if carrots can feel pain? For the love of whomever you talk to, live your life and let those who do not see your way live theirs. I don’t like crap in my food and try to do the best I can, and I do. Lighten up and enjoy life. Nothing is perfect in this life.

  54. KALA

    in my experience at my office there are three people who are pregnant the same time, and around the same age,
    one is an vegan, and the other two are complete meat eaters.in the other two one is a mexican and the other is american.

    My observations are the vegan girl could be active till the last day of her pregnancy without taking any offs, but the meat eaters were tired all the time, could not climb the steps to the second floor, always were taking offs.
    so in real vegans are stronger.tested.

  55. SUMA

    FOR ALL OF YOU WHO THINK ITS HARD TO FIND VEGETARIAN/VEGAN FOOD,
    TRY BURGER KING VEGGIE BURGER WITHOUT THE MAYO,
    OR FRENCH FRIES IN ANY ONE OF THE RESTAURANTS.
    THE BEST VEGETARIAN FOOD ON THIS PLANET IS AVAILABLE AT AN INDIAN RESTAURANT, SO DO MAKE SURE TO TRY OUT THESE OPTIONS,
    EAT LOT OF LENTILS AND ALL VEGETABLES AND FRUITS.TRY TO BUY LITTLE QUANTITY OF ALL VARIETIES TO GET BALANCED NUTRITION.

    GET GOYA BRAND 16 BEAN LENTILS PACKET.
    SOME OF THE VEGETARIAN DISHES I KNO ARE DOSA, IDLI, PONGAL, SHAVIGE UPPITU,
    AVALAKKI BATH,
    RASAM AND RICE, SAMBHAR AND RICE,
    VEGETABLE MIX PALYA,
    EAT FENUGREEK SEEDS AS A POWDER IN CREPES,CHAPATHI, ALOO PARATHA.
    NOT ALL VEGAN MEANS SOYA BEAN.
    JUST TRY INDIAN FOOD ONCE, YOU WILL KNOW.
    ALSO I HAVE SEEN SOME OF THE STRONGEST WORKERS ARE OF INDIAN ORIGIN AND THE BUILDINGS THERE ARE MADE OF STONE.

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