All the food we make at Fairfoods is free of dairy products such as dairy milk, dairy cream and dairy cheese. The main reason that we do not include dairy is because – by it’s very nature – it involves animal exploitation. This and other reasons for avoiding milk are given below in a short summary.
There are a huge number of amazing alternatives to dairy out there: more about these in the next instalment of ‘Cow’s Milk – Leave It Out!’.
Impact on animals
In order for a cow to yield milk, she must first give birth to a baby calf who is taken away from her about two days after birth, a heart-rending split for mother and baby.
Cows produce an ever-increasing quantity of milk (1) and this leads to suffering because milk production puts an enormous strain on the cow.
The production of one litre of milk requires an average of 990 litres of water (2) and produces the equivalent of 1kg of CO2 (3).
Milk production contributes to eutrophication* and acidification** and to the release of greenhouse gases. (4)
Impact on health
Dairy is high in saturated fat and has been linked to heart disease.
A high percentage of the world’s population is intolerant to lactose which means that they can not fully digest milk.
More about dairy and health here.
Dairy-free/vegan alternatives to milk. We rate some of the most popular dairy-free milks.
1. DairyCo (2008) Average milk yields, http://www.mdcdatum.org.uk/ MilkSupply/averagemilkyields.html (accessed 28.5.2009)
2. http://www.svenskmjolk.se/Image Vault/Images/id_153/scope_128/Image VaultHandler.aspx (accessed 28.5.09)
3. Steinfeld, H., Gerber, P., Wassenaar, T., Castel, V., Rosales, M., de Haan, C. (2006) Livestock’s Long Shadow: environmental issues and options, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, p. 167. In: http://www.vegansociety.com/images/ thewhitestuff.pdf (accessed 28.5.9)
4. Garnett T. (2007) Meat and dairy production and consumption, Food Climate Research Network, University of Surrey, p. 54-55. In: http://www.vegansociety.com/images/ thewhitestuff.pdf (accessed 28.5.9)
*Eutrophication is where the environment becomes enriched with nutrients which upset normal ecosystem functioning.
*Acidification is where the pH of the soils decreases and upsets normal ecosystem functioning.