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10 Reasons Why Dairy is Bad for You

10 reasons why dairy is bad for your health
(and for animals & the environment)

It’s time to ditch dairy

For years, the United States Department of Agriculture has promoted the idea that dairy is good for you, spending millions of dollars on their famous “Got Milk?” campaigns.

But scientists have found the opposite to be true – that dairy can have devastating effects on your health and the environment. 

In this article, we’re going over 10 REASONS WHY DAIRY IS BAD FOR YOU, its effects on the environment, the cruelty of dairy farming, and the history of dairy lobbying.

1. Dairy is nature’s perfect food – if you’re a calf.

Before the agricultural revolution, humans only drank mother's milk as infants, and milk wasn’t consumed as an adult. In fact, 75% of the world’s population are lactose intolerant, meaning they can’t naturally break down the lactose found in dairy. People who are lactose intolerant have digestive symptoms when they consume dairy products. This includes nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and related symptoms. So from an evolutionary perspective, dairy isn’t necessary for optimal health. 

2. Dairy is known for being a “good source of calcium.”
In reality, it’s a subpar one.

New research has shown that dairy have little or no benefit for bone health. Most studies haven’t been able to strongly link dairy to less fractures or broken bones. And one study of almost 100,000 people found that men who drank more milk as teenagers experienced more bone fractures as adults. 

Instead of getting calcium through dairy, you can get all the calcium you need through vegetables and nuts, such as broccoli, kale, leafy greens, sesame seeds, tahini, organic tofu, almonds. All of these foods have adequate amounts of calcium to meet daily requirements.

And don’t forget your vitamin D! Vitamin D plays an important role in bone health too. No matter how much calcium you are consuming, you need vitamin D to help absorb it. Take supplements, get some sun, or buy nut milks with vitamin D added.  

We at the REBL family recommend vegan vitamins to get everything you need in addition to a plant-based diet.  

3. When you consume dairy, you’re getting their hormones 

Dairy cows are kept on sex hormones or are pregnant year-round so they can produce milk for humans to consume – even if your milk or dairy products are “organic.”

When you consume diary, you’re consuming high levels of estrogen and progesterone, which are sex hormones that can increase the rick of cancer and affect your normal hormonal function. For instance, a 2010 Japanese study found that men's testosterone levels decreased after they began drinking milk.

The bottom line is: when you eat dairy, you’re also consuming hormones at levels that aren’t natural for your body to process, leading to health issues down the road.

4. Regular dairy consumption is linked to cancer

The changes in your hormones aren’t the only thing scary about dairy. The hormones in dairy have also been linked to a higher risk of cancer.

When you eat dairy regularly, you’re at a higher risk for prostate cancer, as well as lung cancer, breast cancer, and ovarian cancer in people with lactose intolerance.

Even just a small amount of milk – less than a cup of dairy milk a day – was associated with an increased risk of breast cancer by 30 percent

5. Dairy products are full of contaminants

Did you know that dairy products contribute up to half of most peoples’ intake of dioxins? A dioxin is any highly toxic compound that exists because of manufacturing processes. They don’t easily leave the human body, and can eventually build to harmful levels that may affect the immune, reproductive, and the central nervous systems. 

Other contaminants often introduced during processing of milk products include melamine, which is also found in plastics, and negatively affects the kidneys and urinary tract due to its high nitrogen content, and carcinogenic toxins including aflatoxins. When farmers treat cows for conditions such as mastitis, an inflammation of the mammary glands that's incredibly common because of the constant milking cows suffer, antibiotics are used — which means you also might be drinking those.

6. Dairy products increase the risk of heart disease

Milk and other dairy products are the top sources of artery-clogging saturated fat in the American diet. Milk products also contain cholesterol. Diets high in fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol increase the risk of heart disease, which remains America’s top killer. Cheese is especially dangerous. Typical cheeses are 70 percent fat.

7.  Dairy may contribute to a likelihood of Alzheimers 

Research shows that saturated and trans fats found in dairy products can increase the risk for cognitive decline and Alzheimers. The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine suggests you eat a plant-based diet to prevent Alzheimers, which helps protect brain health. They encourage a diet full of berries and foods rich in vitamin E, including nuts, seeds, leafy greens, and whole grains.

8. Dairy farms emit a HUGE amount of greenhouse gases

The production of dairy products — including milk, cheese, ice cream and yogurt — contributes about 3.6 percent of global planet-warming emissions each year. 

If more people don’t switch to plant based foods, the emissions from livestock and dairy production could take up to 49% of our remaining greenhouse gas budget by 2030.

9. Dairy farms cause poor water quality

Dairy farms are responsible for more water pollution incidents than any other form of farming. A farm with 2,500 dairy cows produces the same amount of waste as a city of 411,000 people. Dairy cows in the US alone produce over ONE BILLION pounds of waste PER SECOND. And where does it go?

Waste from dairy farms often leak into rivers and streams where it kills fish and wildlife and spreads disease. E. coli is often from this waste, even in veggie recalls.

10. Dairy cows are extremely stressed out

Cows in the dairy industry suffer their entire lives, worse than cows raised for meat. In factory farms, they are commodities, forcibly impregnated, with the female babies housed in tiny hutches and fed milk replacer until they are hooked up to milking machines. Over 90% of US dairy cows are confined in primarily indoor operations, with more than 60% tethered by the neck inside barren stalls, barely able to move.

No matter where you buy your milk, cows (and goats) are forced through cycles of cruelty that ends with their slaughters. Males born often become veal. Female calves suffer the fates of their mothers until about five years, when they don’t produce enough milk anymore, and are also sent to slaughter. 

The milk you’re drinking comes from stressed out cows, with adrenaline running through their blood nearly everyday.


From ABC news, August 2018: “The U.S. Department of Agriculture said it's buying 11 to 13 million gallons of milk from dairy farmers for $50 million and planning to send it to local food banks. It's the first time the USDA program that buys surplus products has purchased liquid milk.”

Get that expensive cycle? The government pays farmers to produce dairy, and then pays for the product because consumers don’t want it. Yikes!

From Gene Baur, president of Farm Sanctuary and an associate professor at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health: “For decades, the federal government has enabled our dairy industry by subsidizing the excess production of cow’s milk even as American consumers drink less of it and we face a glut of 1.4 billion pounds of cheese in storage. Our milk supply is outpacing demand, but dairy farms continue to receive government support, which promotes further wasteful overproduction. Industrial dairies are exploiting tax breaks and other benefits to consolidate their influence, while smaller dairies are in crisis. Many of these smaller farms are going out of business, despite the government subsidies meant to keep them afloat.”

And why are you reading about almond milk and the like being so terrible? Oh, that’s the dairy lobby, makers of the Got Milk? campaign and the ones trying to say if it is not a secretion, it should not legally be allowed to be called “milk.”


So… Time to DITCH DAIRY, because DAIRY IS SCARY!