Milk…It Does a Body Bad!


I recently watched a re-run of the show, Frasier, where Roz is pregnant and has a meltdown after realizing that she’s run out of milk. “I’m going to be a terrible mother,” she cries to Frasier. Not knowing what’s upset her, Frasier tries to calm her down. Still aggravated, however; Roz storms to the kitchen and comes out shaking an empty milk carton saying, “See! Milk is a staple, and I ran out of it. My baby is doomed.”

As this Frasier episode shows, our society has bought into the idea that milk does a body good so much so that we believe it’s necessary for our health. When you stop to think about it, however; this is strange. Milk is produced by a mother to nurture her infant. When the baby no longer needs this rich form of nutrients, she’s weaned. End of story, except for humans, that is.

We’re the only animal that drinks milk after being weaned. What’s more, we’re the only animal that drinks another animal’s milk. Nature didn’t intend for this. Can you imagine a 20 or 30-year-old breast-feeding or suckling a cow’s tit? (Sorry for the creepy image) Yet we’ve bought into the belief that milk is good for us and that we must drink it for our health.

I used to believe this too, but now I’m convinced that drinking milk leads to disease. Many research studies and books have brought me to this conclusion. I was most moved by Colin Campbell’s, The China Study, which documents 27 years of research that culminated in Campbell’s conclusion that drinking too much milk promotes cancer growth. But don’t take my word for it, check out the research for yourself:

In addition to believing that milk is good for us, our society has bought into other milk myths as well. Here’s a few:

Milk Myths

Myth 1: You can’t get enough calcium without eating dairy.

Reality: A diverse, plant-based diet is rich in calcium. Leafy green vegetables, nuts, oranges, many beans, whole grains, lentils, broccoli and tofu, for example, are great sources of calcium.

Myth 2: You need to drink milk to prevent osteoporosis.

Reality: If you look at the worldwide incidence of osteoporosis, it’s clear that this simply isn’t true. In regions of China, for example, where people consume little dairy, osteoporosis rates are low, whereas in Western countries where diets are high in dairy and calcium, osteoporosis is much more prevalent.

Myth 3: Drinking milk will help you to lose weight.

Reality: There has been a lot of talk lately that drinking milk helps you to lose weight, but milk critic, Robert Cohen, believes this is a dairy industry marketing ploy. “Yea, of course!” Cohen says, “You drink something with a lot of calories and a lot of fat in it with growth hormones, of course you’re going to lose weight!…A weight-loss product – that’s absurd!” For more of Cohen’s argument:

Myth 4: Dairy cows live comfortable lives.

Reality: Cows only produce milk when they are nursing, so dairy cows are forced to have a calf every year, which is physically demanding. Further, a dairy cow is expected to produce 10 times more milk than she normally would. A cow cannot produce that much milk on a diet of grass, so she is given high energy feeds that lead to metabolic disorders which can be fatal or cause lameness. Because of their excessively stressful lives, dairy cows can only produce milk for a few years before they’re hung by their back legs and bled to death. For more info:

I appreciate anyone who takes the time to say hello! I love receiving your comments and questions, so please contact me. Email: celestedimilla(at)yahoo(dot)com (pardon this funky spelling…it helps prevent spam).

Image courtesy of Baby Loves to Travel.


About celestedimilla

Hey there. I’m Celeste, California girl, writer, psychotherapist and burgeoning plant-based foodie.
This entry was posted in Health, Plant-Based Diet and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

47 Responses to Milk…It Does a Body Bad!

  1. sashwilson says:

    I recently discovered this myth to after going vegan. I am pretty quick to tell people that cows milk isn’t actually all that great for you lol. I’ve been lied to my whole life!

  2. Thanks for your comment! We’ve all been lied to. The dairy industry has spent a lot of money fooling us into believing that milk is healthy. It’s easy to believe what you’re told over and over again.

  3. Ally says:

    Great piece!
    I haven’t had dairy for 17 years, so I’m probably in danger of one of my leg bones snapping at any moment! 😉
    I like to refer to cows milk as ‘expressed breast milk of a cow’ or the ‘mammary lactation fluids of a bovine species with 4 stomachs’ just to drive home the point! It really makes no sense to drink the milk of another species!
    It is heart breaking that babies are ripped from their mothers so that humans can drink a substance that is injurious to human health. 😦

    • Good for you for going non-dairy — how inspiring! Please don’t undermine yourself with your humorous comment about your leg bones snapping. 🙂 You can feel really confident in the face of the research that shows the countries that consume the MOST dairy have the HIGHEST osteoporosis rates. Spread the good news that a diverse diet rich in leafy greens, all veggies, fruits, nuts, seeds — in other words, a whole foods, plant-based diet — gives abundant calcium, protein, and everything else needed for strong bones and wonderful everything else. When WE communicate mixed messages, is it any wonder that our friends, family members, and the general public are confused?
      You sacrifice NOTHING by being dairy free, or animal-product free. You have gained your health in multiple dimensions. That is something to be proud of, truly. I wish you the very best with your sassy, fabulous, STRONG bones! 🙂

      • Thanks for stopping by and leaving such a wonderful comment! I absolutely agree with you – you sacrifice NOTHING by giving up dairy (except for maybe cancer!!). Have a wonderful weekend! Celeste 🙂

  4. Hi Ally! Thanks so much for your thoughtful comment! I love the way you describe milk drinking, I might just start telling people the same thing. So you lost your milk mustache 17 years ago – wow! You’ve got 16 years on me.

  5. Flo says:

    Very informative. Thanks!

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  10. Reblogged this on Honk If You're Vegan and commented:

    One of my good blogger buddies, Deep End of a Puddle, recently shared with me that she didn’t realize that you could get enough calcium without eating dairy. I’m guessing that she also doesn’t know about the research that shows that dairy contributes to a host of diseases like cancer. I know she is not alone (I certainly used to be unaware too!). I think most people believe that milk is good for them. And why wouldn’t we think that since even the government tells us we’re supposed to drink it. This, however; is not what research tells us. If you’re not familiar with the research, then I hope you’ll read this post.

  11. natarunmore says:

    I loved this post thank you so much. I love that I feel a buzz on the internet about milk these days, the myths about it that is. I hope the word spreads. I think a lot of people just don’t know, some don’t care.. but for those who don’t know (like me previously) I really could have used this information a long time ago. Thank you for sharing!! 🙂 I also just posted about milk and it actually feels great to get all that off my chest.

    • Thank you for your thoughtful comment! I just read your two posts on why you don’t do dairy, and they’re awesome!! We’re getting the word out girlfriend – I only hope that we make an impact. Celeste 🙂

  12. Veggiewitch says:

    Reblogged this on veggiewitch and commented:
    I love everything about this post! It’s never too late to ditch dairy AND quit eating corpses! Vegan FTW! :0)

  13. Reblogged this on Sherlockian's Blog and commented:
    The truth about animal farming.

  14. deliciouslynell says:

    It’s like mytbusters, but for your food! ^__^ This is a great informative article. ^_^

  15. HeartBound says:

    Great post Celeste! You really capture the absurdity of humans (especially adult humans) drinking cow’s milk. Ask a person if they’d be willing to consume milk in its natural state (i.e. suckle it directly from a cow, or even ‘worse’ drink human milk (God forbid :-)), and they squirm. They reject even the NOTION of drinking real milk…personally I think this speaks volumes about the natural necessity of ‘dairy’. 🙂

    • I still remember the day I recognized how absurd it is for adult humans to drink cows milk. Once I had this realization, I couldn’t comprehend how come I never questioned it before. But it’s hard to question things that you’ve always done and that everyone else is doing. I’m so glad that I was presented with info that made me question and I only hope that I can encourage others to question as well. I really appreciate your support!! Celeste 🙂

  16. eatpraybake says:

    So true, great post! I read a book called “White Wash-The Distrubing Truth About Cow’s Milk & Your Health” by Joseph Keon and it goes into depth about the scientific evidence. It’s also hard for people to accept the truth about milk, especially because we have grown up with these myths.

    • Thanks for telling me about this book – I’ll have to check it out. And boy do I remember how hard it was for me to accept that milk wasn’t good for me. I fought that truth for a long time. I just didn’t want to cut the cheese (haha – cut the cheese – I made a funny!). Celeste 🙂

  17. TheFreshFresher says:

    I hear what you’re saying about the condition that dairy cows are kept in – it is not nice and few people are aware of it. However, so many things have been proven to cause cancer it is probably not going to make life any better trying to eliminate them all – you could also avoid all sunlight, for instance. I’m all for healthy food and eating less dairy but I have never been sure why sustainable and ethical dairy products should be elimated.

    • Hi Amy! Thanks so much for your thoughtful comment. And you’re right, a lot of things have been proven to cause cancer and it’s impossible to eliminate them all (not to mention that it would make life no fun!!). My attitude, however; is to reduce or eliminate “the biggies” that lead to disease. So, for one, I don’t smoke. I know that smoking is clearly linked to disease so why do it? And from the research that I’m aware of, dairy is another “biggie” like smoking that increases one’s chances of getting cancer as well as other diseases. So, I don’t eat it.

      To be honest with you, however; if health were my only reason for not eating dairy, I’d probably cheat on occasion. I know sugar is not good for me, but I still eat it sometimes. I don’t think this is a big deal as long as I don’t go overboard. I don’t do this with dairy, however; because in addition to my belief that it contributes to disease I also believe that it subjects cows to mistreatment. I don’t think cows should be treated any differently than I treat my dog, so I don’t eat any dairy at all. I did miss dairy when I first gave it up, but I don’t anymore. There are lots of fab dairy replacements out there, like coconut milk ice cream – soooo yummy!

      I highly doubt that my comment is going to change your mind about dairy, and I respect your choice. Still, I hope that you’ll check out the research on dairy. The movie, Forks Over Knives, is great for sharing the research about the dangers of dairy. And the movie, Vegucated, is awesome for realizing how badly farm animals are mistreated. And the post Why is Dairy Bad for My Conscience is great for understanding how dairy cows are mistreated.

      Anyway, thanks for reading and please feel free to ask any questions. You’re thoughts, no matter how different they are from mine, are always welcome here!! Celeste 🙂

      • TheFreshFresher says:

        Thanks for your comment – I was expecting to get some grief for that on a vegan blog! My boyfriend is a vegetarian who used to be vegan so I do get a lot of info about that from him – it was him who told me about the cows being pregnant in order to sustain the milk production etc.
        I also love some vegan products – there is a vegan cafe near our house that does the best Mississippi Mud Cake I have ever tasted! As I said though i’d be more inclined to choose those products on the basis of animal welfare – I like cheese too much and I’m already not a drinker, smoker, red meat eater or caffeine drinker. I need something! 😉

    • Hey Amy! I hear you about needing something! That’s why I haven’t completely given up caffeine and sugar. I try to only have them on the weekends, but it would be really hard for me to give up my almond milk latte’s and coconut milk ice cream splurges!! I think it’s amazing that you don’t do caffeine, by the way. I’m so happy that you stopped by my blog and I hope to hear from you again! Celeste 🙂

  18. I was weaned when I was about two. That’s what I tell my students who ask why not consume dairy foods.

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  20. uberdish says:

    It’s so crazy all this milk hype! What makes me really wild is the fact that my children are drilled in school about eating and drinking dairy to keep themselves healthy and strong. My daughter once spoke up and lost marks on a school project when she drew pictures of greens as a source of calcium. Grrrrr…. I love Ally’s (above comment) response to it all! I must remember that. 🙂

    • I know! It’s so sad that we continue to teach kids that dairy is good for them. Come on people – get a clue! Your daughter must have been crushed when she got marked down for putting greens down as a source of calcium. I still remember learning the saying 4 – 4 – 3 – 2 is the magic clue when I was in grammar school. It was to teach me to eat 4 breads and cereals, 4 fruits and vegetables, 3 milk and 2 meat servings a day. Like you said, Grrrrrr…. I just can’t believe that things haven’t changed since I was in grammar school – so very sad!! Celeste 🙂

  21. Hmmm…. not sure why your latest posts don’t show up in my reader will try to unlike then like to see if it works again.

    This is an awesome post – telling it straight! Drinking milk from another species as adults is bizarre to say it mildly (thanks for the graphic image lol) – until recently I didn’t think about this either. What other animal does that! And all the research on how milk is bad for you is just scary. I have been lactose intolerant for 7 years – so I cut right down on my dairy but I would have it once in a while if I really felt like it and suffer the consequences. However, when I found out the amount of growth hormones and antibiotics they inject the cows with and all the extra lactose that they add to the dairy (lactose = sugar, sugar is addictive = you want to eat more sweet things = you gain weight), the potential illnesses it can lead to and the hard life dairy cows have, I had had enough, full stop.

    The good news recently was that I found that dairy sale was going down, however, then the dairy giant in New Zealand decides that they need to change this by giving away free milk to all primary school kids under the cover of being ‘nice’ and wanting to give all kids a ‘healthy’ start in life ( I think it’s a giant league involving the dairy giants, government and health boards working together on this as it’s too valuable a money spinner to loose. I hope their iron grip will lessen and that more people will become informed of what’s really going on.

    I’m not a vegan, but, dairy – no thanks, not for me!

    • Hey Caroline! Thank you for your thoughtful comment! I’m so glad you kicked the white stuff to the curb girlfriend. And New Zealand’s dairy giant sounds pretty darn sneaky and deceptive with what they’re doing. I’m sure it has nothing at all to do with being “nice.” Thank you for sharing that with me – it’s important info to be aware of. Have a fab weekend! Celeste 🙂

  22. Every Friday when my mother complains about some ache or pain I tell her she needs to change her diet. She then goes on to tell me that when she was a child she saw the happy cows on the farms eating grass so it can’t be the way I say it is. I merely tell her that factory farming is different and then I shut up. It would seem she prefers to live in the world of her imagination vs the harsh realities of life.

    • I feel for you Ivonne! It is so hard to watch our loved ones destroy their health with their choices and to be so oblivious to the suffering of animals. Here you are showing her another path and she just doesn’t get it. This is really hard.

      I wish I understood this, but I don’t. I have several family members that read every post I write and continue to eat meat and dairy. I don’t get this. Do they not understand the information I’m sharing? Do they not realize they are harming themselves? Do they not believe that animals suffer because of their choices? Do they not care? At this point, I’ve given up trying to understand. I just put the information out there and hope that I’m making an impact on someone.

      At the same time, I don’t judge anyone. I lived for too many years as a meat-eater, so I would be unfair for me to judge others for doing what I did for most of my life.

      Celeste 🙂

  23. Oh and I forgot to write that my mom told me she has osteoporousus (sp?). I informed her that cows milk takes calcium out of your bones, her response but I like the way it tastes and I am too old to change—ok so go ahead and enjoy your dairy related illness why don’t you 😛

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