The truth about M-I-L-K

In just two-minutes, learn how to make this tasty nut-milk recipe from the ‘top health blogger‘ Sarah Britton.  A dairy-free alternative that won’t cost our planet… 

<p>My New Roots – How to Make Nut Milk from My New Roots on Vimeo.</p>

The nut-milk bottle featured in the video can be bought at Matchbox for $6.95.  We used Onya Weigh reusable produce bags as our sieve or nut-milk bag.  You can buy a pack of 5 (they make great gifts) for $13.95 online here:


My curiosity about why we drink milk has uncovered a number of very unexpected truths that now makes cow’s milk to me, quite frankly a four-letter word. I’m certainly not suggesting that we all become vegan… but there must be a better way forward.  What I do know is our purchasing decisions heavily influence what ‘industry’ does.  Check the facts out for yourself… what do you make of all this?

I’m guessing that the fact modern life has us so removed from how food makes it to our table, is probably the main reason why so many of us are blissfully unaware that cows actually produce milk for the same reason as we do: to feed their young.

Humans are the only species that drink the milk of another animal
Cows do not drink cow’s milk…
Calves stop drinking cow’s milk between the ages of six – eight months

Courtesy of the Peaceful Prairie Sanctuary, this 3-minute video shows us how milk gets to our table.  From my research, I chose this video because it was the least distressing  

  • Day-old calves are taken from their mothers, man handled and treated as ‘waste products’ whom the dairy industry deem acceptable to withhold food, even water for up to 30 hours before they are slaughtered.       
  •  A new mother left frantically grieving for her calf, because instinctively she wants to nurture and allow them to suckle, is returned to the herd to be milked several times a day, by milking machines which will force her to produce about 10 times more milk than she would naturally all to meet our consumption demands of ‘three serves of dairy a day, for strong, healthy bones’. So the milk that nature intended for her calf ends up in our tummies.
  • The cow is reimpregnated 6-9 weeks later, and this cycle continues until she can no longer produce enough milk to be considered ‘profitable’. The constant overstimulation of her udders leads to painful mastitis (inflammation) for her and pus in the milk for us. Yes, you read that correctly, pus.  Google it for yourself.  The dairy industry calls it ‘body cell count or somatic cell count’ and in the USA (I haven’t been able to get the figures for Australia) they allow one eye-drop of pus, in every glass of milk.  And before you say ‘but milk is pasteurized’, just remember pasteurization is a sanitizing, not a removal process.
  • Dairy cows no longer live out their natural lifespan of 25 years.  They are disposed of after just 4-5 years because their milk production will have declined, along with their profitability

 1.8 million dairy cattle produce 10,000 million litres of milk
in Australian every year

I don’t want to sound evangelical because like you, I at times still consume milk products. Why? Habit, its convenient and good for me right? Well maybe not, my research is turning up evidence to the contrary.  Here’s an easy to digest summary:

I just don’t know what is more shocking.  What actually happens to get milk onto our supermarket shelves or the fact that the dairy industry has so skillfully convinced, or should I say duped us into believing that ‘to have strong healthy bones‘ we must drink milk.

What I am saying is, how did we get here?  Who has taught us to be so mean and so indifferent? As a mother I find it intolerable that anyone could think it is ethical to starve a baby for 30 hours.  This situation is made worse when conglomerates like Coles lower the price of milk to $2 for 2 Litres, further driving the demand of what is undeniably an unethical product.

 Dairy farming has an environmental impact comparable to that
of beef farming, with significant methane emissions, high water
usage and significant animal welfare issues

Now that I am better informed, and if the realities bother you as much as they bother me, rest assured that for every dairy product there is a cruelty-free alternative.  In addition to being humane, products like soy, oat and nut based milks are often lower in fat and calories and contain no cholesterol.  Here are some alternatives to consider, that I love and you will too.

Products I love:

A note about buying organic… Buying organic where possible, is better for you and the environment, as dairy farmers using organic farming methods consume considerably less water. That said, it is important to point out that ‘organic’ does not mean better conditions for the cows or their calves.

Ice cream: There are a huge variety of non-dairy ice creams available (soy, rice, almond and coconut milk) like Coco Luscious.  You can find this at irevive in Toorak or Nushie’s Natural available at all Thomas Dux stores.  The major supermarkets also stock dairy-free alternatives like Soy Delicious, Soy or Rice Dream and the Tofutti brand


Yoghurt: Let’s support Australian farmers doing the right thing. While not dairy free, B.-d Farm Paris Creek based in South Australia are ethical biodynamic producers. Their FAQs will give you piece of mind, with their ethical farming methods resulting in exceptional yoghurts, milk, cheese and butter. Read more:  View their full product range here:


Also, Barambah Organics based in Queensland do not treat their calves as ‘waste products’ and send them to slaughter.  Read more about their business here:


Chocolate: Eskal’s dairy-free Noble Choice available at Thomas Dux and good health food stores. Even the most discerning chocolate lover would not be able to tell the difference.


Cheese: Look for cheeses that do not contain rennet.  The stomachs of slaughtered calves are used to extract the enzyme rennet, commonly used in cheese production.  There are many non-animal rennet options available, you just need to check the label.  Stay tuned for more cruelty-free options coming soon.

Milk alternatives: Soy, rice, oat or nut-milk can replace cow’s milk in any recipe.  Try using almond, oat or coconut milks in your desserts


Sources: Peaceful Prairie Sanctuary, Animals Australia, PETA, Angela Crocombe’s Ethical Eating, My New Roots blog and Gary Yourofsky’s website



4 thoughts on “The truth about M-I-L-K

  1. Readers Comments:-Jules, yes and I have seen a study that the protein found in milk (casein) causes tumour growth and when casein is taken away tumour growth ceases.Plus some also think that cow’s milk consumption in children may be responsible for the growing numbers of juvenile diabetes. One thought is that the milk proteins create antibodies in children and these antibodies later attack the pancreas causing diabetes.So there may be medical reasons as well, to abandon cows milk (and cheese and all "dairy" consumption). Tom

    —————————————————————Your piece on the dairy industry is excellent. I am constantly being asked things like "but don’t the cows like being milked?!" – most people (and I was once one of them) are totally unaware how it all happens. My little "rescued" poddies are now huge hundred kilo friendlies munching through my paddocks. Keep up the great work. As they say, from little things big things grow. Just like my poddies. Deidre

    —————————————————————Good on you for posting this.It’s a bit of a coincidence for me because just talking to Mum about it today. She has stopped eating dairy altogether. I was telling her she was being ridiculous but I’m pretty sure I’m wrong. Just not sure what I’m going to end up being able to eat! Anyway I will come to terms with it eventually. Mark

    ——————————————————Q: Don’t cats drink milk? Jason A: Yes, they do. They like the taste… but they shouldn’t… they show intolerances just as humans do to the lactose. Ever seen a cat suckling on a cows udder?!They like us, should only drink from their mothers, until weened.Cats drinking milk (and there’s 2-3 varieties now available – including lactose free in all major supermarkets) is another ingenious way for someone to make some money off something totally unnatural. Jules

  2. Eskal is foreign owned & made!!!. Try an ethical and local alternative Sweet William – manufactured here in Australia (Sydney) They also have some tasty easter treats.

  3. The Tofutti brand of ice cream is imported from the US!!! Here is my suggestion Dairy Bell sell a great dairy free ice cream – Snow Boy No Milk – I bought the Vanilla & Honey variety on the weekend. It only costs $4.50 for 1 litre. Even better it is made in my home town of Melbourne. Please stop supporting foreign manufacturing – let us keep fellow Aussies in paid employment.

  4. Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog
    and wished to say that I have truly enjoyed surfing around your blog posts.

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    hope you write again very soon!

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