Posted by: conradvisionquest | May 21, 2010

Why Not Dairy?

I read alot of vegetarian and vegan blogs.  You could say I am a bit of a stalker.  I love reading about other people’s opinions and journeys concerning moving towards a more compassionate diet.   In reading all these words and ideas, I wanted to address the issue of dairy.  It seems to be a widely believed concept that no one dies to provide milk and cheese, and that it doesn’t breach a compassionate diet.  I used to think so, too, until I started investigating.

When thinking of dairy cows one might conjure up an image of happy cows grazing pasture land with their calves.  We think about the milk maid that comes to their spacious stall in the morning with her bucket, stool, and two hands to milk the willing cow.  We think this is where our milk comes from.  We are wrong.

Dairy cows are usually housed on top of each other, some never feel the grass under their feet.  They are forceably impregnated continuously so they can produce a steady flow of milk.  Their babies are taken from them right after being born.  The males are sold for veal and the females are put back into the dairy industry.  I’ve read accounts from some dairy workers who say that the mother cows cry for their calves for days but “eventually they stop.”  After 5-6 years (a cow’s natural life span is about 20 years) the dairy cows are slaughtered for cheap hamburger meat.  So I discovered that saying the dairy industry does not involve the death of animals is unfortunately untrue.

You can read more about dairy cows, the lives they have , and why milk is not healthy for us in the following articles:

Truth or Dairy

Dairy Cows

Dangers of Milk and Dairy Products

6 Reasons to Avoid Dairy

I’m not writing this because I think people who drink milk are bad.  I am writing this because I was pretty angry to find all this stuff out.  Angry about being lied to by the dairy industry with their pictures of happy cows on the milk carton and their “Got Milk” ad campaign.  Angry because the truth is being kept from us so that people can make money. Angry that all this crap is going on right under our noses, then painted over to look like a beautiful happy picture, and sold to us for profit. Angry at myself because I didn’t come to the truth until now.

That’s why I write this. Because I think too many people are misled to believe that there is nothing cruel about the dairy industry, and that we need milk for good health.  And it’s the dairy industry that is doing the misleading. All for money. Ugh. Lauren at The Good Life says it best:  “I’m not trying to change you – I’m trying to give you information that just might make you want to change yourself.”

It’s all about thinking… about where our food comes from and how it gets from the source to the grocery store.  Making these connections brings us closer to making informed decisions about what we put into our bodies.  Most people do more research when buying a car!  It’s time to start researching what we consume.

Believe me, I am not perfect.  I have accidentally and intentionally consumed milk products since changing my diet.  I can’t dwell on that.  I have better things to do.  Like put on my tu-tu and clean the house.  Like play fetch with my girls.  Like watch re-runs of the Golden Girls.  Speaking of which, excuse me while I pop is Season 5, disc 2.



  1. This is a wonderful piece – thank you for sharing this with everyone!

    Cows have become the animal I am quickest to protect when I get into discussions with people. The bottom line is, the milk that a cow produces for its child is the exact same kind of milk our moms provided for us when we were babies. There is no difference. I don’t get how someone a long while back decided it would be better and profitable to steal milk from a baby, but that has been the fate of dairy cows all these years. And it’s no wonder that so many people have digestive problems after consuming milk – it was designed by nature for a baby cow with four stomachs!

    We need people like you to share this information, and please don’t ever stop. Thank you so much for doing this today, and I look forward to many more posts like this!

    – Lindsay,

    • thank you so much, lindsay! it’s weird how something so logical, that cow’s milk is for calves, has been so perverted to make a buck.

  2. […] May 24, 2010 I wanted to post a link to this wonderful piece on the consumption of dairy from The Vision Quest of Life called, very simply, ‘Why Not Dairy?’ […]

  3. great summary of the dairy industry! hopefully you will have opened some minds.

    • thanks, Elisha!

  4. That’s a pretty good take on the dairy industry. With your small non-commercial farms (at least in this area) I do tend to see what is displayed on commercials or the milk cartons but they are definitely in the minority.

    Regarding cheese…
    Rennet is still one of the most popular ways to start cheese. Rennet comes from an enzyme in a young calfs stomach. A young calf has to be killed for its rennet.

    I remember reading that when I was about eight years old. Laura Ingalls Wilder talked about the cheese making process in Little House on the Big Woods.

    • What a great memory about Little House! Thanks for the comment, Momma!


  5. […] those looking for veggie friendly BBQ ideas. While you’re there, you might want to read her Why not Dairy post […]

  6. […] Another great post from Wendy’s blog about why the dairy industry is just as cruel as the meat industry (thanks Wendy!) […]

  7. […] those looking for veggie friendly BBQ ideas. While you’re there, you might want to read her Why not Dairy post […]

  8. […] those looking for veggie friendly BBQ ideas. While you’re there, you might want to read her Why not Dairy post […]

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