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The detrimental impact of the dairy industry is finally coming to light. Not only have we been made to believe that cow’s milk is needed for its health benefits, but we’ve also been persuaded that these cows are living in open green pastures on family run farms. Sadly, both of these are huge misconceptions in our society.

Environmental Impacts of Diary

Even though there are still small dairy farms that exist, the majority of dairy products (over 90%), come from large industrial farms. Cows are not roaming free, eating nature’s green grass. One farm can hold thousands of cows that are kept in pens and spend most of their lives caged in.

The waste that is produced by the cows is spread back onto the land. However, the amount of waste is too large for the ground and crops to absorb, so the excess waste goes into the nearby waterways. This largely effects the surrounding ecosystems, damaging and killing important organisms of the ecosystem.  

Not only does it affect the local water resources, but those small waterways eventually lead up to big rivers and bodies of water. When all these harmful chemicals and waste meet together, it can create miles and miles of dead zones where it is extremely hard for any marine life to live.

The environmental impacts of the dairy industry don’t stop there. The methane that is produced from the enormous number of cows, goes into the atmosphere, increasing greenhouse emissions and enhancing the effects of climate change.

Health Impacts of Diary

The practice of producing dairy products is not only effecting our environment in a harmful way, but it is also effecting our health.

When so many cows are kept in such a small space, the risk of spreading infections and illnesses is extremely high. Because of this, many farmers pump their cows with antibiotics to avoid mass sicknesses in their stock. The problem is, those antibiotics find their way into our milk supply which we drink. We consume the antibiotics, which we don’t need, leading to antibiotic resistance. When we get sick, normal antibiotics won’t work as well, so doctors might have to prescribe a higher dose. In some cases, people who take the highest antibiotic dose are still resistant and there are no other options to fight infections.

Dairy products like milk have also been shown to be linked to higher risks of diabetes, acne, high cholesterol, and even cancer.

Alternatives to Cow’s Milk

Instead of drinking cow’s milk, why not try a healthy alternative instead! Give almond or cashew milk a try. You can stock up on these nuts at your local bulk store and make batches for the week. Not only are you avoiding the damaging dairy industry, but you are also avoiding plastic containers. You can even try some soy milk or try to make oat milk at home as well. Make sure to have reusable nut milk bags to make your milk nice and smooth.

Almond or Cashew Milk Recipe

1 Cup of Almond or Cashews (soaked overnight in water)

3 Medjool Dates (pitted)

3.5 Cup of Water

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

Pinch of salt, cloves, nutmeg, and a splash of vanilla extract (or a teaspoon of vanilla if using powder)

Run through the nut milk bag to create the finished smooth nut milk

Add more water if it’s too thick or if you want to be more frugal with your almonds or cashews!

Homemade Oat Milk Recipe

1 Cup Rolled Oats

3 Cups Water

3 Medjool Dates (pitted)

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Run through the nut milk bag to create the finished smooth oat milk

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