By Ghanim al-Sulaiti
As a vegan entrepreneur, I’m frequently asked questions about my food choices by people who still eat animals. Whether they’re fascinated, unsure, or simply want to know more about the benefits of going vegan, I’m always willing to engage in the conversation. This week, at an event in Doha, I was once again reminded of just how little of the dairy process people are aware of.
While many assume that cows are able to be milked by the pull of an udder, which in turn supplies supermarkets with milk for consumption… Cows don’t always have milk in their udders, and they don’t need to be milked by farmers. The fact is, cows produce milk to feed their babies.
Since cows only produce milk after they’ve given birth to calves. farmers artificially inseminate them to keep the milk coming.
After the delivery, farmers usually take calves away from their mothers to harvest the milk of the mother cow which causes immense stress to cows and calves, alike. The mother cows have been known to cry out for days after their babies are dragged away from them.
Cows don’t need to be milked, and they don’t enjoy it. The truth is, for us to have a glass of milk, a mother has to endure the loss of her baby over and over. By continuing to consume dairy products, humans are supporting a lifetime of suffering for these sensitive, intelligent animals.
Even at so-called ‘organic dairy farms’ – cows are kept constantly pregnant, calves are removed from their mothers and male calves are turned into beef or veal.
While the calves need the milk from their mother…should humans be consuming it? Absolutely not! Dr Frank A. Oski, Director of Pediatrics, at John Hopkins University, says, “There is no reason to drink cow’s milk at any time in your life. It was designed for calves, not humans, and we should all stop drinking it today.”
Dairy is not a health food.
* The author is an expert in vegan wellbeing and health. Instagram handle: @Ghanim92
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