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[P]
Is there anything wrong with milk?

By theR in Culture
Sat Jan 13, 2001 at 01:49:19 PM EST
Tags: Culture (all tags)
Culture

I was having a discussion on #kuro5hin recently when the subject of vegetarianism came up. What followed was a progression to the discussion of milk, the fact that people say there are no other animals that drink milk after reaching adulthood, and milk is not everything the advocates of it say it is. The question is, what is wrong with drinking milk, if anything, and why?


First I would like to get to the point that a lot of people I have talked to about milk often bring up. They contend that no other animals drink milk after reaching adulthood and this is an argument often used when people say that humans should not or at the least do not need to drink milk into adulthood. Well, as many people with cats or dogs can attest, animals not drinking milk in adulthood seems to be more a function of the accessibility rather than by choice. I know that the dogs I have had in the past would gladly lap up milk from their bowl if given the opportunity and I would guess that many animals would react in the same fashion. Although I feel strongly on this point, it does not answer the main question.

There have been numerous studies that have been done on the subject. There are also people who feel very strongly about the subject. There is milksucks.com, for instance, a site that strongly attacks the use of milk with a variety of arguments. From clicking some links and reading some of the sites it seems that there are two main arguments used against the consumption of animal milk. The first is the treatment of the animals. The second is a recurrance of this statement in many forms: "[milks] contain no fiber or complex carbohydrates and are laden with saturated fat and cholesterol." While this may be completely true for the milk that most people drink, I have never been a drinker of anything besides skim milk which happens to be virtually fat and cholesterol free. No milk contains complex carbohydrates or fiber. I don't recall there being anything unhealthy about simple sugars (carbohydrates that are not complex) if not ingested in excess, however.

There are, of course, studies that promote milk. Milk can be an excellent source of vitamin D and calcium, although as stated in an article from the Vegetarian Times, there has been only one major study that has shown milk to prevent osteoporosis and numerous ones to show that it has no benefit in its prevention. The National Osteoporosis Foundation(in the U.S.) still recommends calcium as a way to prevent osteoporosis. As with many things relating to science and medicine, the case for or against milk and dairy products can be made with support from many directions.

The bottom line: Is there anything wrong with drinking milk? I would be interested to hear your arguments for or against as well as links to sites with more information. My stance is, until the consensus of the scientific and medical community says that milk and dairy is actually unhealthy in most cases, I will continue to enjoy milk, cheese, and an occasional ice cream cone. Nothing is perfect, but I will stick with milk until I see the risks as outweighing the benefits.

Other links:
International Osteoporosis Foundation
Lactose Intolerance information
NotMilk
Johns Hopkins University

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Poll
Do you eat dairy?
o No, it's not right. 3%
o No, I'm lactose intolerant. 5%
o Rarely. I just don't like it. 11%
o Occasionally. 8%
o Yes, with misgivings. 4%
o Yes, I love it. 65%

Votes: 141
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o Kuro5hin
o milksucks. com
o the Vegetarian Times
o The National Osteoporosis Foundation
o Internatio nal Osteoporosis Foundation
o Lactose Intolerance
o NotMilk
o Johns Hopkins University
o Also by theR


Display: Sort:
Is there anything wrong with milk? | 122 comments (120 topical, 2 editorial, 0 hidden)
probably not (4.10 / 10) (#1)
by mikpos on Sat Jan 13, 2001 at 10:35:13 AM EST

If you're not lactose intolerant, then milk probably won't do you a lot of harm. People who come from a long tradition of milk-drinking (such as Northern Europeans) might have some nutritional need for milk (that they've developed?), though I can't say for sure. People who come from a long tradition of milk-ignorance (such as probably pretty much anyone who's not European or Asian), it would stand to reason that they wouldn't need much milk.

There's also the myths about the nutritional value of milk. First off, the vitamin D (and possibly vitamin A) you get from milk almost certainly comes from what's been added after the fact; you'd be better off just taking some vitamin pills. In cow's milk (I assume my "milk" you mean cow's milk), there is a lot of calcium, but because humans have such a hard time digesting dairy, most of it leaves the body without being used. If you want calcium, you'd be better off with brocolli (sp?), not milk.

Of course there is a huge difference between "not good" and "bad". Probably the only real argument the anti-milks have going for them is that most modern dairy farms are not exactly cow-friendly. Mind you, if we didn't have dairy farms, what would we do with our poor dairy cows? Surely not all of them can be used for decent-quality beef. Undoubtedly the dumbest animals on earth, they'd starve to death, wandering about in search of barns and hay to magically appear in front of them.

Vitamin D (4.33 / 6) (#3)
by Seumas on Sat Jan 13, 2001 at 10:56:56 AM EST

... the vitamin D ... you get from milk almost certainly comes from what's been added after the fact ... there is a lot of calcium, but because humans have such a hard time digesting dairy, most of it leaves the body without being used.

Actually, vitamin D is added to the milk -- precisely because it aids in the absorption of calcium.
--
I just read K5 for the articles.
[ Parent ]

Dairy Farm Conditions (4.00 / 1) (#30)
by AArthur on Sat Jan 13, 2001 at 03:05:07 PM EST

Alot of that depends on the size of the dairy farm, obviously on small family farms the treatment is going to be different then large commerical ones. On these, cows graze in large fields in the summer, and get feed hay and alfalpha in the winter.

I don't know about in your area, but around here in NY and VT, most of the dairy farming is done on small farms, with co-ops buying their milk for processing, bottling, and selling on commerical markets.

Andrew B. Arthur | aarthur@imaclinux.net | http://hvcc.edu/~aa310264
[ Parent ]

Most other animals don't do crank into adulthood. (4.18 / 11) (#2)
by Seumas on Sat Jan 13, 2001 at 10:54:04 AM EST

Most other animals don't shoot-up after adulthood. Most other animals don't smoke cigarettes into adulthood. Most other animals don't talk on cell phones. And most other animals most certainly don't steam their vegetables, even if they're vegetarians.

Yeah, maybe milk isn't so great for you. I will promise you it isn't as great as the government and the dairy farmers associations have been telling you for the last six decades. It isn't even a great source of calcium. There are a lot better sources.

I'm not a scientist and I'm not a nutritionist, but I know there are concerns about the enzymes in milk, the hormones used in some cases and a lot of other things. I can't even remember all of them to list them. But we'll concede, people who aren't allergic rarely die from milk, but milk may not be the best think for you to drink.

I'm not a vegetarian. I've tried and I've thought about it, but I just like meat too much. I have cut down on red meat a lot though. I do drink milk. Rarely. Mostly, I use milk in recipes, because the substitutes out there really suck. Sometimes I even drink milk out of a glass, though that's pretty rare.

My suggestion is -- drink milk. So what if it has some unhealthy aspects to it. Everything does. If you like the taste of milk, the use it in recipes that call for it and even drink it once in awhile if you like. You don't have to make it the mainstay of your diet, you know. And just because other animals don't do certain things doesn't mean we are subject to the same limitation. There are tons of things other animals don't do, like build cars or use contraception. We're unique and while some similarities can concern us, we also have the ability to do things in moderation. Just like cigarettes can kill you -- but probably not if you only smoke one per week, a glass of milk now and then isn't going to send you to an early grave either.
--
I just read K5 for the articles.

Humans are unique in a lot of ways, ... (4.25 / 12) (#4)
by Speare on Sat Jan 13, 2001 at 11:04:30 AM EST

Contending that we humans must be doing something wrong because the rest of the species on the planet do something else is, in my opinion, a fallacious argument. Humans are unique.

It is widely held that young mammals are able to ingest their nutrition from milk much better than when they get older. This is true of cats and people and other mammals. However, if you like the taste of dairy products, and it doesn't make you ill, then the nutrition you do get is wholesome.

Some cats get ill more often if they're given milk past their weening. I don't give any grown cat milk. (Side note: chocolate is generally slightly toxic to many animals, so don't feed chocolate to puppies and kittens, either.)

Now, to the vegetarian/vegan slant. You're a vegetarian if you don't eat animal flesh. You're a vegan if you don't eat any animal flesh or any animal byproduct such as eggs and milk. There are many different personal reasons to be a vegetarian or a vegan. It ranges from avoiding the cruelty or servitude of animals, to metabolizing sweeter-smelling or sweeter-tasting body fluids.

(Philosophical side question; does a vegan regret suckling from their mother's breast?)

The world is full of unique situations. If you like milk, drink it. If you don't like milk, or you don't like obtaining milk, or it doesn't like you, then don't drink it. That's not such a hard problem, is it?

I repeat, humans are unique. More importantly, all species are unique in some way or another, or they wouldn't be a separate species. Get it?


[ e d @ h a l l e y . c c ]
vegetarian vs vegan (5.00 / 5) (#13)
by Anonymous 242 on Sat Jan 13, 2001 at 12:33:31 PM EST

I find the history of the word vegetarian to be fascinating. The original definition of a vegetarian is someone who only eats vegetables. Vegetarians that also consume dairy products are lacto-vegetarians. Vegetarias that also consume eggs are oevo-vegetarians. Vegetarians that consume both dairy and eggs are lacto-oevo-vegetarians. Vegans, aside from being vegetarians, originally also abstained from use of all animal products and by-products. True vegans not only do not eat meat, dairy or eggs, but also do not wear wool, leather, down, suede, etc.

In modern usage, vegetarianism has come to mean lacto-oevo-vegetarianism and veganism has come to mean vegetarianism.

As an interesting side note, lacto-oevo-vegetarians might as well eat meat. If it was not for the dairy industry, there would be very little veal. Bulls don't get milk and dairy farms only need so many studs. The extra bulls get turned into veal. Also, most cheeses contain an enzyme called reisin that comes from baby cow stomachs.

Also of interest is that a strict vegan lifestyle is next to impossible to achieve. Consider table sugar. Processed sugar is made by feeding sugar through charcoal filters. The filters are most commonly made from bovine bone charcoal. It is virtually impossible to find any sort of processed food that does not contain some sort of animal by-product.

In the end I think its slightly ironic that one of the biggest arguments for vegetarianism is an argument from simplicity, that a simpler diet is a better diet. In reality being vegan or vegetarian makes eating and purchasing food much, much more complicated and expensive.

[ Parent ]

Maybe just a Human quirk (3.20 / 5) (#5)
by sl4ck0ff on Sat Jan 13, 2001 at 11:36:49 AM EST

Like some of the other commenters mentioned, it's probably just a Human quirk. We're very different from other animals and if there were serious issues from milk consumption in maturity they probably would be documented and be "common sense".
/me has returned to slacking
milk & calcium (3.80 / 5) (#6)
by handle on Sat Jan 13, 2001 at 11:58:45 AM EST

There's a big flaw with drinking milk for calcium to prevent osteoporosis: High protein foods cause the body's internal PH to be more acidic which the body stabilizes by releasing calcium from the bones to neutralize the acid. Combined with the fact that (as someone else already noted) cow's milk is difficult to digest and much of the calcium passes through unabsorbed, it's possible to have calcium loss from milk consumption. There's a fascinating graph that I've seen in number of places (but unfortunately don't have a cite for handy at the moment) which shows an almost exact 1:1 correlation between the national rates of female osteoporosis and milk consumption. I'm sure that there are plenty of other factors at work, but it's just a little uncanny.

The other bad thing about milk is the industrial way in which it's produced almost guarantees poor quality. Milk cows are given large doses of antibiotics and hormones to keep them producing. Sick cows are still milked because everything is pasteurized.

Disclaimer: I stopped consuming milk products years ago for a number of reasons and am now completely lactose intolerant. I feel that I am much better off as a result. I don't have as many colds and much less gastrointestinal problems. I don't miss milk or ice cream at all although I really, really miss fine cheese.

fine cheeses... (none / 0) (#122)
by Joshua on Thu Jan 25, 2001 at 02:07:07 PM EST

I don't miss milk or ice cream at all although I really, really miss fine cheese.

I have to agree with you whole heartedly on this one! I don't really drink milk (except a touch in my tea), and I can see myself giving up all dairy products completely eventually. I eventually want to settle down in a rural area and live rather self-sufficiently, and the one dairy product that I can see myself still indulging in from time to time is home made cheeses, and maybe a bit of homemade butter made from unpasturized milk, milked from healthy, happy cows that are not given any hormones, chemicals, anti biotics, etc.

Cheers, Joshua

[ Parent ]

Non-human milk (3.60 / 5) (#7)
by BehTong on Sat Jan 13, 2001 at 12:03:48 PM EST

First, my disclaimer: I'm a dairy freak, I can consume up to 8L of homogenized milk a week with no problems, and on top of that, I can eat tons of other dairy products. So I'm certainly not against drinking milk and/or eating dairy products. But...

Isn't it a bit strange that we tend to prefer non-human milk to human milk?? Although I like cow's milk a lot, what's so special about it that we would even want to feed it to our offspring? Now, I've nothing against drinking milk from other animals -- people have been drinking goat's milk, etc., for centuries. But why is it that in modern society we're so ingrained that many people would only give a child minimal amounts of breast milk (if at all) and then stuff them with cow's milk (or other kinds of milk) thereafter?

Human milk is definitely best suited for human children, so why are we so hooked on alternatives?? Curious minds (or at least, a curious mind) wants to know. :-)

Beh Tong Kah Beh Si!

convenience and marketing (3.50 / 2) (#9)
by handle on Sat Jan 13, 2001 at 12:17:55 PM EST

Human milk is definitely best suited for human children, so why are we so hooked on alternatives??

Because it's a lot more convenient pour a glass of purchased cow's milk than it is to breast feed. Also, we're a bit brain-washed about the necessity of milk for the health of young children. Ever notice how aggressively milk is marketed under the guise of telling us how wholesome and wonderful it is? Why do we need to be reminded so incessantly?

[ Parent ]
two reasons (3.66 / 3) (#12)
by h2odragon on Sat Jan 13, 2001 at 12:28:33 PM EST

Firstly, I don't know of any domesticated animal that produces as much milk, pound for pound, as cows do. When you consider the feed and care that goes into a meat animal, and the amount of food you get out of it when you're done, I imagine cows have to be near the top of the list for efficiency whatever the animal rights folks say. The human capacity for milk production is far less, perhaps not enough, even, to keep an infant fed for more than the first few weeks, so substitutes are natural.

Secondly, goat and other milks taste funny (I personally prefer goats milk but not enough to keep a goat); and are harder to come by. A cow can be milked for years after she's had a calf; goats etc. even milked daily dry up much sooner. If anybody has any numbers on that I'd love to hear 'em; I'm going by mostly secondhand experiance there. The milks of predators (that I've sampled at least) can only be described as "funky tasting". Puppies and kittens, once they're big enough to sample other foods, prefer warmed cow milk to "mamma brand" in my experiance.

[ Parent ]

Some Numbers off the Top of My Head (3.50 / 2) (#34)
by AArthur on Sat Jan 13, 2001 at 04:13:56 PM EST

From what I have read (I know a little bit, not alot), Holestein cows produce the most milk, on average 8 gallons of milk a day, with a little bit more in the morning then in the evening.

I am not sure if cows lactate longer then goats do after having a calf, but I wouldn't be surpised if they do. At any rate, they both lacate for most of their productive age, after having a calf.

Goat milk is rather strange, and it really has little to no market, as people generally don't like it. Years ago, my parents used to have goats, but they finally got rid of them, as they were pain, their milk didn't taste that great (and they ended throwing out alot of milk).

Andrew B. Arthur | aarthur@imaclinux.net | http://hvcc.edu/~aa310264
[ Parent ]

Non- vs Human milk (3.50 / 2) (#15)
by zerth on Sat Jan 13, 2001 at 12:46:48 PM EST

>Human milk is definitely best suited for human children, so why are we so hooked on
> alternatives?? Curious minds (or at least, a curious mind) wants to know. :-)

Well, first most females (that I know anyway) dislike lactating. While the perv in me immediately thinks of the whole dairy thing with women instead of bovines, I doubt any female would like to be a "milk manufacturer".


Secondly, human milk is sickenly sweet. I mean, sweet to the point of gagging almost. If you don't like spooning sugar into your mouth, you won't like human milk.


Don't ask.

Rusty isn't God here, he's the pope; our God is pedantry. -- Subtillus
[ Parent ]
Milk manufacturers (3.00 / 1) (#79)
by BehTong on Sun Jan 14, 2001 at 06:53:10 PM EST

Well, I didn't mean that we should start manufacturing human milk in vast quantities... I doubt any woman would even want to consider such a thing. :-)

I was just wondering why we're so hooked on cow's milk even though we technically don't need human milk after a certain age.

Beh Tong Kah Beh Si!
[ Parent ]

Problems with milk and dairy products (4.14 / 7) (#8)
by tmoertel on Sat Jan 13, 2001 at 12:14:34 PM EST

A decade ago, a member of my family was diagnosed with cancer. The doctor (who was later rated one of the best cancer specialists in the United States) explained that cancer cells metabolize fat and use it for food, and so he recommended an extremely low-fat diet as a way to slow the cancer's growth as one prong of the overall treatment plan. For guidance, he recommended The McDougal Plan by Dr. John McDougal, and provided the book by the same name.

At that time, I was a growing college boy, and I chugged skim milk like nobody's business.

Even though I didn't have cancer, I did read the book, if only to provide support to my family. But after reading the section on dairy products, I stopped the skim milk habbit cold. Even today, I avoid dairy products as much as is practical.

If I recall correctly, among the problems with diary products were the following:

  • Cows milk is tailored for infant calves, not for adult humans. Things that calves need more than humans tend to be overabundant in milk, and things that humans need more than calves tend to be lacking.
  • Most human adults are lactose intolerant. The lactose in the milk can cause humans abdominal discomfort and in some cases more serious ill effects. The effects are minor in most folks but can cause lingering health issues.
  • Contaminants tend to be concentrated in dairy products. (This makes sense to me intuitively. Cows eat a ton of grass and grains that are grown and processed with chemical fertilizers and pesticides. A cow eats a lot of food to make a little milk....)
  • Studies of shown that some of the hormones used to increase milk production (rbGH/rBST) appear in the cow's milk itself. It has been postulated that these hormones may have associated cancer and other health risks. Because these hormones have been used only in the last decade, it's too soon to tell which if the postulated risks may be real.

These are the ones that I can recall off the top of my head. The book went into more detail and provided endnotes for about a bunch of related studies.

After reading the book I became a lot less trusting of the foods found so commonly in the supermarket. I'm not saying that I think milk is a poison. Rather, I classify it as yet another highly marketed commercial beverage product, just like sugar water, and not particularly good for me.

One interesting thing that I've noticed while driving: The only industry which advertises on billboards more than the diary industry is -- can you guess? -- the tobacco industry. (At least before the tobacco settlements. Now dairy may be the #1 advertiser, at least in Western Pennsylvania.)

--
My blog | LectroTest

[ Disagree? Reply. ]


hormones (3.40 / 5) (#23)
by mikpos on Sat Jan 13, 2001 at 01:18:17 PM EST

Studies of shown that some of the hormones used to increase milk production (rbGH/rBST) appear in the cow's milk itself. It has been postulated that these hormones may have associated cancer and other health risks. Because these hormones have been used only in the last decade, it's too soon to tell which if the postulated risks may be real.

Actually, IIRC, there was a case a few years (or a decade?) back in Central America where they had serious problems with their cattle hormones. A certain hormone, which isn't used anymore, was used in their cows and consumed by the population through milk (and beef to a lesser extent, I think). Anyway, there was a sudden rash of toddlers going through puberty. Girls were developing breasts at the age of two.

If you've been alive during the last century, you've probably noticed that girls are getting older faster. Average menarche in the US is about 10 years old now, compared to something like 14 30 years ago and 18-20 100 years ago (I'll see if I can dig up these numbers later). The most popular theory is an increase in fats and protein in the diet (e.g. milk and beef) mixed with a lack of exercise, but it also looks likely that cow hormones (e.g. milk and beef again) may have something to do with it. BTW there's also the thought that the lowering of average menarche is due to the increase of black girls being included in statistics (black girls, on average, mature faster than white girls), but that has nothing to do with cows so I've conveniently ignored it :).

So cow milk ingestion => earlier puberty (in girls at least)? It looks plausible.

[ Parent ]

more info (2.00 / 1) (#40)
by mikpos on Sat Jan 13, 2001 at 06:02:12 PM EST

I found this article from Time magazine. It doesn't give everything I hoped it would, but it does at least suggest that I may have exaggerated my numbers :). I'm still looking (in a half-assed manner).

[ Parent ]
A refutation (3.00 / 1) (#36)
by physicsgod on Sat Jan 13, 2001 at 05:34:47 PM EST

And we all know how accurate and unbiased those diet books are. let's take a look.
Cows milk is tailored for infant calves, not for adult humans. Things that calves need more than humans tend to be overabundant in milk, and things that humans need more than calves tend to be lacking.
No one is saying that milk is a perfect food, in fact there's no such thing. Every food has overabundancies in some things and deficiencies in others.
Most human adults are lactose intolerant. The lactose in the milk can cause humans abdominal discomfort and in some cases more serious ill effects. The effects are minor in most folks but can cause lingering health issues.
I for one have never heard of anyone dying from lactose intolerance, and for those of us who do suffer the cure is rather simple, a quick pill of lactase and you're in the clear.
Contaminants tend to be concentrated in dairy products. (This makes sense to me intuitively. Cows eat a ton of grass and grains that are grown and processed with chemical fertilizers and pesticides. A cow eats a lot of food to make a little milk....)
Try running this through your intuition: Milk is something to be fed to young, a group that usually has problems dealing with food contaminants, and so it would be in the calf's best interest if the cow filtered out any contaminants.
Studies of shown that some of the hormones used to increase milk production (rbGH/rBST) appear in the cow's milk itself. It has been postulated that these hormones may have associated cancer and other health risks. Because these hormones have been used only in the last decade, it's too soon to tell which if the postulated risks may be real.
Of course it's real easy to say that something might cause cancer, since pretty much everything you do eventually causes cancer. I would suggest using something other than one popularly published book for research before making a descision about what and what not to eat.

--- "Those not wearing body armor are hereby advised to keep their arguments on-topic" Schlock Mercenary
[ Parent ]
hardly a refutation... (3.00 / 1) (#37)
by VValdo on Sat Jan 13, 2001 at 05:43:46 PM EST

Your remarks such as

Try running this through your intuition: Milk is something to be fed to young, a group that usually has problems dealing with food contaminants, and so it would be in the calf's best interest if the cow filtered out any contaminants.

Amount basically to, "Nuh uh!"

You've got no basis for arguing against anything he said. No statistics, no studies, not even anecdotes....just your intuition.

taking a pill may temporarily mask the symptoms of lactose intolerance, but I for one would rather not have them in the first place. Don't get me wrong, I eat milk products all the time, but milk which was marketed in the 1950s as a "health food" part of the all american meal, my "intuition" tells me that when something is overmarketed as being pure and good and wholesome and it's 1953, it probably is terrible for you.

W
This is my .sig. There are many like it but this one is mine.
[ Parent ]

well 3.5 out of 4 aint bad... (3.00 / 1) (#62)
by physicsgod on Sun Jan 14, 2001 at 02:16:03 AM EST

first off I notice you've ignored the first half of my post, so until I hear otherwise I'll assume that's a tacit agreement.(2 points) Well considering his "argument" was based on hearsay and intuition there's not much I could do unless I had more time, resources and desire to devote to this debate. (I'm giving myself half a point) The pill doesn't mask the symptoms of LI, it temporarily cures it. The pill contains lactase which is what LI people don't produce, if you have lactase you don't have LI. Q.E.D.(and another point, it's good to be the judge :))

--- "Those not wearing body armor are hereby advised to keep their arguments on-topic" Schlock Mercenary
[ Parent ]
Weak arguments. (4.00 / 1) (#48)
by sec on Sat Jan 13, 2001 at 07:31:55 PM EST

Cows milk is tailored for infant calves, not for adult humans. Things that calves need more than humans tend to be overabundant in milk, and things that humans need more than calves tend to be lacking.

Guess what -- there is _NO_ food which is tailored specifically for adult humans. All foods are lacking in some nutrients that we need, and have excesses of others. If you truly believe this argument, why don't you take it to its logical conclusion and not eat anything?

Furthermore, different people have different nutritional requirements, so there simply cannot be a one-size-fits-all food. And, since there are very few people out there who drink _nothing_ but milk, this is a total non-issue.

Most human adults are lactose intolerant. The lactose in the milk can cause humans abdominal discomfort and in some cases more serious ill effects. The effects are minor in most folks but can cause lingering health issues.

Most? Some are, to be sure, but I take issue with 'most'. Numbers?

Anyway, if milk makes you sick, don't drink it, or at least take a lactase supplement. If not, then drink it if you want. It takes a real genius to figure things like this out, I swear.

Contaminants tend to be concentrated in dairy products. (This makes sense to me intuitively. Cows eat a ton of grass and grains that are grown and processed with chemical fertilizers and pesticides. A cow eats a lot of food to make a little milk....)

Perhaps... But, consider that HIV-positive mothers frequently give birth to healthy babies.

Studies of shown that some of the hormones used to increase milk production (rbGH/rBST) appear in the cow's milk itself. It has been postulated that these hormones may have associated cancer and other health risks. Because these hormones have been used only in the last decade, it's too soon to tell which if the postulated risks may be real.

Maybe, but if this was a problem worth worrying about, we'd have known about it already.



[ Parent ]

Weak Arguements-sub-2 (4.00 / 2) (#74)
by JackStraw on Sun Jan 14, 2001 at 01:14:39 PM EST

Cows milk is tailored for infant calves, not for adult humans.

The only food that's tailored for people that I can think of is something artifically synthesized. Why are people so against man-made foods?

...

Most? Some are, to be sure, but I take issue with 'most'. Numbers?

I think what he's saying is that many people are *very* slightly lactose-intolerant, and that although they may not realize it, that intolerance is slowly causing small problems throughout their life.

Perhaps... But, consider that HIV-positive mothers frequently give birth to healthy babies.

That is a totally different issue. This involved complications in a baby's immune system more than the HIV virus not getting through to the baby. Oftentimes for teh first few weeks of the baby's life it *will* test hiv-positive, and then mysteriously become hiv-negative.
A better example would be bald eagles, who are at the top of the food chain and in whom the DDT concentration was so strong that it damaged their eggs.

--The bus came by, I got on, that's when it all began.
-The bus came by, I got on... that's when it all began.
[ Parent ]

Don't forget about cannibalism. (none / 0) (#96)
by jetpack on Mon Jan 15, 2001 at 01:38:31 PM EST

The only food that's tailored for people that I can think of is something artifically synthesized.

I have read (and it seems intuitively probable) that the food best tailored for human consumption is human meat.

Derive what implications you like from that idea :)


--
/* The beatings will continue until morale improves */
[ Parent ]

taboo comment (none / 0) (#101)
by JackStraw on Tue Jan 16, 2001 at 07:41:38 AM EST

I heard that it's actually the most delicious, flavorful meat in the world. If you can get past the whole psychological thing. Ugh.

But, anyways, it's pretty dangerous. Remember that whole amd cow disease? A whole tribe of people got that b/c they were cannibals and a lot of diseases are easily passed when eating one's own species.

That's probably the reason that we see so little cannibalism in nature.


-The bus came by, I got on... that's when it all began.
[ Parent ]

no other animals drink milk after adulthood?? (3.00 / 3) (#10)
by FreeLinuxCD.org on Sat Jan 13, 2001 at 12:20:39 PM EST

"the fact that people say there are no other animals that drink milk after reaching adulthood"

Have you not seen an adult cat or dog drink milk? I wouldn't be surprised if other carnivores did too..

yes, but... (3.50 / 2) (#11)
by handle on Sat Jan 13, 2001 at 12:27:07 PM EST

Adult cats and dogs are lactose intolerant and milk can make them sick just like humans. It probably tastes good to them because they're geared toward consuming high fat/high protein foods, but that doesn't make it healthy for them.

[ Parent ]
calibrate your animals (4.75 / 4) (#14)
by h2odragon on Sat Jan 13, 2001 at 12:33:54 PM EST

"Adult cats and dogs are lactose intolerant"

Some are, some aren't; just like humans. My experiment with 6 dogs (age 7yr to 6mo), 2 cats (16yr and 8mo), and a half gallon of slightly used milk (cereal) last night does not bear out your contention. The only one to have any problem at all was the 5yr old fluffy dog, who has had a history of digestive troubles since she adopted me. These results are in line with previous experiments.

[ Parent ]

really? (3.50 / 2) (#21)
by mikpos on Sat Jan 13, 2001 at 01:06:52 PM EST

How do you know? They'd probably only be in mild discomfort, which might not be visible. Cats and dogs seem to have a high threshhold for pain and won't make their discomfort apparent if they can help it. Unless you can somehow feel what they're feeling, I don't know that you've disproven anything.

[ Parent ]
point (4.00 / 4) (#26)
by h2odragon on Sat Jan 13, 2001 at 01:31:37 PM EST

...but this is my pack, and they tell me about things. Beside that, in all but the youngest two I'm confident that digestive troubles are... apparent. Feed 'em chilli, eggs, or any other item off the proscribed foods list and you'll know about it for the next 12 hours or so... and better have any oxygen bottle handy.

[ Parent ]
not just my contention (4.00 / 1) (#43)
by handle on Sat Jan 13, 2001 at 06:27:37 PM EST

From the cat faq:

Most adult cats are lactose intolerant and drinking milk will give them diarrhea.

From dog.com:

Dairy products are not generally dangerous... , but they are usually digested poorly by both dogs and cats, who have little or none of the enzyme required to digest the lactose in milk.

[ Parent ]
Milk is my favorite energy drink (3.00 / 3) (#16)
by YesNoCancel on Sat Jan 13, 2001 at 12:48:07 PM EST

My opinion: If you like milk, drink it. If you don't like it or are lactose intolerant, then don't. Milk is neither the ultimate magic health potion nor a dangerous poison, even if some people want to make you think it is.

the irony of milk in the modern era (4.16 / 6) (#17)
by Anonymous 242 on Sat Jan 13, 2001 at 12:49:19 PM EST

We need to pasteurize milk to make it safe to drink, but pasteurization also destroys a large amount of nutrients that occur naturally in milk. Then we need to add artificial suplements (such as vitamins A and D) to make milk more nutritionally sound. I find this to be as odd as enriched white flour, where first 90% of the nutrients are bleached out of the wheat and then artificial nutrients are added back in to give it some nutritional value. Odd,eh?

Its almost as funny as feeding grain to animals so that we can eat the animals. Most animals do just fine on grazing and foraging, but we want that beef to be nice and tender and so feed them grain. It would be much cheaper (and for the most part more healthy) for we humans just to eat the grain to begin with.

The crucial point is that diet imbalanced by any single food type is unhealthy. Meat, dairy, grains, vegetables, etc. are all wonderful when eaten in proper proportions and yet will make life quite uncomfortable if eaten beyond proper proportion. For example, people that eat too much meat get constipated frequently. That explains a lot, doesn't it? Another good example is that people that don't get enough protein (a common but unneccesary side effect of vegetarianism) is to be tired and cranky all the time. I bet you know some vegetarians that fit that description.

You don't want to eat that (3.00 / 1) (#84)
by Pyro P on Sun Jan 14, 2001 at 11:51:14 PM EST

You probably wouldn't want to eat that grain. Farmers feed the crappy crops that people don't want to their animals. Ever heard of cow corn?

[ Parent ]
You and I already eat it (none / 0) (#92)
by Anonymous 242 on Mon Jan 15, 2001 at 08:56:15 AM EST

Ever heard of cow corn?

Did you miss the recent snafu about the geneticly engineered corn intended for animal feed only that ended up in many different processed foods including Taco Hell brand taco shells? A considerable amount of "bad crops" simply end up in processed foods instead of in the produce section.

[ Parent ]

Milk... (3.00 / 3) (#18)
by CyberQuog on Sat Jan 13, 2001 at 12:54:29 PM EST

Like what has been said previous: human's are extremly unique animals. We were originally hunter and gatherers, eating whatever we could find, but also drinking whatever we could find. So, originally, a lot of human's or cavemen probably did drink milk. Especially when a lot of humans started farming instead of hunting and gathering. It reminds me of when the U.S. was first being settled, a lot people only drank beer that they brought with them, because they could not be sure if the water they found was drinkable or not. I'm sure our ancestors had the same problem. They could be sure a cow's milk was clean, but they could not be sure if the stagnant pool of water was.


-...-
Might be difficult (3.00 / 1) (#69)
by dennis on Sun Jan 14, 2001 at 08:29:15 AM EST

originally, a lot of human's or cavemen probably did drink milk

Hmmm...I'm trying to imagine some poor schmuck in a loincloth, trying to milk a wild bison....

[ Parent ]

mmmmmmm........ free milk.... (4.00 / 5) (#20)
by jbridge21 on Sat Jan 13, 2001 at 12:57:08 PM EST

You can pry my gallon jug of milk from my cold, dead hands. (No, I don't drink from the jug... eww.)

Sure, I'm only 18, but I really like milk, always have, always will. Skim, 1/2%, 1%, 2%, it's all good.

And why the hell should we model our food consumption habits on other animals? First off, most of our diet has NOTHING in common with the way animals eat, cuz they just don't have coffee, chocolate milk, casserole, or Twinkies, do they? So that's a pretty lame argument.

Additionally, I think the reason that milk was invented (by nature) in the first place is so that babies would have something easier to digest, and could get it very readily, by simpling hanging around mommie. They outgrow it because they need to find their own food at some point, because they don't have grocery stores. It is to their advantage to be weaned, because that means that their survival is then more disconnected from the survival of their parents.

Us crazy humans, however, don't have such evolutionary considerations for milk anymore, thanks to something called "trade" and the "economy". So I don't really give a rat's ass about what other animals do in this regard.

Now, as for the nutritive content, or lack thereof, that's obviously still up in the air, waiting for more researchers. But, it has to be pointed out that this stuff is fed to COW BABIES (or insert your favorite animal), so it CAN'T BE BAD.

*glug glug glug glug glug* Ahhhhhhhh.

Even worse than you may think (4.00 / 6) (#22)
by MotorMachineMercenary on Sat Jan 13, 2001 at 01:09:09 PM EST

Funny coincidence that milk comes up, since just a couple of days ago I found this (story #19) with the following summary:

"Research points to a possible connection between gastro-intestinal Crohn's disease and the milk we drink. Four studies show that the bacterium Mycobacterium Paratuberculosis (MP); which is found in an almost identical Johne's disease in cattle, survives the pasteurization process and can infect us through the dairy products we consume everyday. This disease has already infected between 500,000 and 1 million people in the US alone and approximately 55 Americans are newly diagnosed each day. At least half of these victims will have an inflamed intestine surgically removed. Both medical and veterinary researchers agree that there is cause for concern and great need for further investigations, yet neither the government nor the dairy industry are willing to touch the issue. Forty-five percent of dairy producers are either unaware of the disease or know very little about it despite the fact that the dairy industry is losing 1.5 billion dollars a year in lethally infected animals." (the original article cited can be found here)

A quick Google search yielded this and this from last January and June, respectively. Maybe not as bad as Mad Cow disease in Europe, but might be much bigger.

My bodyweight is muscle and cock MMM
Tenured K5 uberdouchebag Herr mirleid
Meatgazer Frau gr3y


Modeling Behavior After Animals (4.36 / 11) (#24)
by Seumas on Sat Jan 13, 2001 at 01:19:18 PM EST

I think the greatest point against modeling our eating habits after animals is found in noting that a lot of animals eat feces.
--
I just read K5 for the articles.
Re: Modeling Behavior After Animals (3.50 / 4) (#31)
by AArthur on Sat Jan 13, 2001 at 04:04:24 PM EST

Yes, including cows. Some farmers feed their cows chicken manuare, as it is cheap (especially if they also raise chickens). Some people claim that is just sick and causes diseases, but on the other hand, it does contain many nutritions that cows need. And it's cheap (as I said before), and a source of recycling. Chicken manuare also isn't that great to spread on fields, as it is tends to stunt the growth of plants (even after it is broken down quite a bit).

Andrew B. Arthur | aarthur@imaclinux.net | http://hvcc.edu/~aa310264
[ Parent ]

Difference In Feces Eating (4.00 / 2) (#46)
by Seumas on Sat Jan 13, 2001 at 07:10:20 PM EST

First, you're right that they feed some cows various feces. But elsewhere in the wild a lot of animals actually eat the feces of other animals to make up for the lack of certain nutrients in their own body that the other animals do not completely digest. Not only that, but there are some animals that eat their own feces two or three times to absorb all the nutritious stuff they can -- sort like cows, ownly cows have four stomachs and the cud never leaves their bodies.

Still, the point being that what is nutritious (eating feces of another animal) for some animals is not necessarily healthy for humans. I'm not about to eat my own crap just to get at those extra kernals of corn again.

And eating feces is vastly different than eating the meat from an animal that ate feces, no matter how you slice it.
--
I just read K5 for the articles.
[ Parent ]

Actually... (3.50 / 2) (#56)
by cr0sh on Sat Jan 13, 2001 at 10:37:24 PM EST

I believe they stopped doing this (or at least they were supposed to have stopped doing this), along with the feeding of ground up "cow matter" from slaughterhouses (basically, a protein mixture of "parts", that is cooked and dried, IIRC) - because of Croytzfeld-Yacob (I probably butchered that), aka "Mad Cow Disease", and other prion related diseases.

I know they supposedly stopped this practice in Britain after that big Mad Cow Disease spread a few years back. I wonder if all farmers did this? Something tells me that they didn't, and some of them continued after the ban (it is cheaper to feed that kind of matter, to save feed - it is an additive to the feed, to stretch the feed supply).

Prion-related disease is NOT something you want...

[ Parent ]

Including agro-industrialists. (3.00 / 1) (#73)
by ambrosen on Sun Jan 14, 2001 at 01:12:21 PM EST

There was a wee uproar in Britain a couple of months ago after it was revealed that some 'farms' in France were feeding cattle on sterilised sewage. Which is gross. Don't know if people would have been quite so upset if it wasn't the French doing it.

--
Procrastination does not make you cool. Being cool makes you procrastinate. DesiredUsername.
[ Parent ]
on the Internet, all things are possible (3.50 / 2) (#55)
by xah on Sat Jan 13, 2001 at 10:13:20 PM EST

The sad thing is that you can probably find a couple of web sites that advocate the eating of feces as a health measure. "Save the dung beetles" or something. One time I actually found a web site that advocated the drinking of one's own urine. It was supposed to invigorate one with the "minerals of life" that one unfortunately lost by, er, making water. There was also a religious tie. Apparently they believed Jesus and his disciples did this regularly, so we should too. I can't say I was too tempted to try it.

[ Parent ]
www.jesus-diet.com (none / 0) (#121)
by Joshua on Thu Jan 25, 2001 at 01:44:36 PM EST

Indeed, I've seen this site as well. I've also seen the very similar Stop Eating, and I read the entire article on drinking urine. I will now admit that I have tried this, and I found that it tasted absolutely horrible, and I certainly couldn't get through the glass that I filled that morning. I felt as though I would vomit, in truth. However, I do not dismiss the possibility that under different circumstances, drinking urine might be a very healthful thing to do, but I don't have any data to know either way.

Cheers, Joshua

[ Parent ]

Which diet to model (3.00 / 2) (#68)
by dennis on Sun Jan 14, 2001 at 08:25:23 AM EST

Modeling our diet after animals is a horrible idea. Cows survive on grass, we certainly wouldn't. However, modeling our diet after the diet humans ate prior to 10,000 b.c. might not be such a bad idea.

[ Parent ]
Thing again, my friend (2.00 / 1) (#107)
by afc on Tue Jan 16, 2001 at 11:40:44 AM EST

Given the average life span and the hygienical conditions of mankind 10.000 years ago, it doesn't strike me as a particularly bright idea.

Or perhaps we should go back to carving on stone tablets?
--

Information wants to be beer, or something.
[ Parent ]

Correlation (none / 0) (#110)
by Spendocrat on Tue Jan 16, 2001 at 02:13:15 PM EST

is not causation. There have been great advances in a lot of areas that affect our lifespan that have nothing to do with diet. In fact, you mention a major one.

Does carving in stone tables have something to do with a proper diet?

[ Parent ]

One little example (none / 0) (#115)
by afc on Wed Jan 17, 2001 at 12:53:57 PM EST

There have been great advances in a lot of areas that affect our lifespan that have nothing to do with diet. In fact, you mention a major one.

No I didn't yet. Here it goes: cooking. The paleodiet most certainly did not include any food that had been cooked for long over a fireplace of sorts. We all know (at least I hope so) that cooking is a very effective means to decontaminate food, right?

One thing that strikes me as odd, is how close this argument (we were designed to eat so-and-so, not steak!) used by militant vegetarians borders on hysterical Creationism. I suppose equally irrational people find a common ground to play after all.

Anyways, it's not like our enzymes and bacterial flora don't have some flexibility as to what it can or cannot digest. That flexibility doesn't seem to include cellulosis, for all I know, but I'm pretty sure that for a large number of people, it includes a small amount of milk.

Does carving in stone tables have something to do with a proper diet?

Yes, it makes it much less efficient to write down recipes. Handhelds get the edge on that, though.
--

Information wants to be beer, or something.
[ Parent ]

amusing (3.66 / 9) (#25)
by rebelcool on Sat Jan 13, 2001 at 01:23:10 PM EST

some people like it. some people dont. Just like Meat. I like meat, i'd be very unhappy without meat. I dont force my meat on other people, so why do they try and force their non-meat agenda on me?

Same goes for milk. If you disagree with milk, then dont drink it. I dont mind milk, and i'm slightly lactose intolerant (milk mixed with other stuff such as ice cream or cereal doesnt bother me much). Milk certainly does have its benefits as it's an excellent source of calcium. Just like meat has its benefits as a particularly tasty way to get protein.

Humans are not like other animals. Most other animals also dont have sex for pleasure. Most don't socialize, or build things. I'm sure some of the environmentalists would love for us to go back to the days of hunting and gathering, but face it... we're different.

What always amuses me is how people say "but plants dont hurt"..how do you know? You didn't create any plants. Many plants have an injury response system to them. Is that any different than pain, just because they dont have a central brain? I'm sure this will get lots of response, but its something to think about the next time you eat that carrot. Was it abused? Did it suffer from being plucked up callously from the mother earth?

COG. Build your own community. Free, easy, powerful. Demo site

What if fur really is murder? (4.00 / 2) (#47)
by gunner800 on Sat Jan 13, 2001 at 07:12:46 PM EST

I don't believe that eating meat (or plants) is wrong. And I don't "force my meat on other people". If I see someone eating a green salad, I do not knock the fork out of his hand or shove a rare steak down his throat.

But I do believe that some things are morally wrong and that I have an obligation to stop them from happening. If I see somebody robbing a store, I'll call the police. If someone I know if cheating on their spouse, I'll try to talk them out of it.

In short, there are some situations in which I feel obliged to force my morality upon others. Society as a whole does it too -- hence, laws. For some, eating meat (or drinking milk, or whatever) is immoral to the point that they feel obliged to stop it.

---Ignore poorly-chosen handle for purpose of gun-control discussions.
[ Parent ]

Morality (none / 0) (#76)
by DoomHaven on Sun Jan 14, 2001 at 02:41:32 PM EST

I your reply, gunner800, both of your cases involve someone hurting (emotionally and financially) someone else. However, I believe I can ingest whatever I want, because it affects only myself. To people who believe that "eating meat (or drinking milk, or whatever) is immoral to the point that they feel obliged to stop it" are wrong. Period. DoomHaven's first law of morality: "Any moral, no matter how *right*, is wrong when taken to the extreme. Including this one." DoomHaven's second law of morality: "You have the freedom to whatever morality you want, unless in interferes with the morality of another person." Believe, if you will, that eating meat is a horrible wrong. The minute you interfere with my plate, you are wrong, and I will react accordingly.
My bleeding edge comes from cutting myself on Occam's Razor.
[ Parent ]
Flawed argument. (none / 0) (#97)
by Parity on Mon Jan 15, 2001 at 09:16:46 PM EST

Eating meat does -not- affect only yourself; it also affects the animal killed for the purpose, most directly, as well as a whole host of negative ecological effects.

I happen to think that this -is- a case where passing a law would be over-zealous, but it is true that there is an argument to made for harm to others, directly and indirectly. (The direct harm argument can be avoided, of course, by asserting human superiority over other creatures, but that is a philosophical opinion not a proveable truth.)

Parity None


[ Parent ]
Even more flawed logic (none / 0) (#106)
by afc on Tue Jan 16, 2001 at 11:38:13 AM EST

Problem is, animals are not people, so your argument doesn't hold water. Everything we (as well as other animal and vegetable species) do affects the environment. Some actions affect it more and some less. The negativity or positivity of that change is a matter of opinion and, quite often, ideological bent. Unlike some environmentalists like to believe, the environment is not in some pristine, heavenly state of equilibrium until makind starts to defile it.

Is turning a desert into arable land that can grow crops a negative change in the environment?
--

Information wants to be beer, or something.
[ Parent ]

Animals, environment. (none / 0) (#109)
by Parity on Tue Jan 16, 2001 at 02:06:13 PM EST

Not all animals are people, but people are animals, therefore you must first argue why people are better than animals before dismissing their lives as unimportant. It is not a given.

As for my environmental references, I mean that on the one hand flatulence and decaying feces of cattle are a dramatic contributor to greenhouse gasses (unavoidable if you raise cattle in quantity, but OTOH, with a change in operations, methane could be harvested for a reduction of damage and a source of renewable energy... but nobody except a few proof-of-concept experimentors do that), and OTOH, it is common practice to raze rainforests for grazing space which becomes desert which is not reforested. It's cheaper to raze more forest than to use existing arable land or to supplement the ground of the already cleared forest enough to create a renewable pasture. (The problem is, rainforest has extremely shallow rooting, so it's like a layer of topsoil over sand.)

Generally, I selfishly consider anything that makes the planet more likely to become uninhabitable by mammals to be a bad thing. I happen to like living in a world where one does not need an environment suit to go outdoors, and I find mammals more pleasant to share my environment with than insects.

Parity None


[ Parent ]
Humans ?= Animals (none / 0) (#112)
by DoomHaven on Wed Jan 17, 2001 at 02:42:48 AM EST

Arguably, the fact that we can herd, kill, and eat other animals could imply that we are "better" than them.
My bleeding edge comes from cutting myself on Occam's Razor.
[ Parent ]
might is right? (none / 0) (#116)
by gunner800 on Wed Jan 17, 2001 at 11:48:01 PM EST

I'm armed. My friends are armed. We can herd, kill, and eat unarmed people if we want to. So are we better than, say, the Amish (who would, IIRC, refuse to fight back)?

And don't say using technology is no fair. You try herding, killing, and eating grizzly bears with no technology whatsoever.

---Ignore poorly-chosen handle for purpose of gun-control discussions.
[ Parent ]

Actually, yes. (none / 0) (#117)
by DoomHaven on Thu Jan 18, 2001 at 09:57:00 AM EST

> I'm armed. My friends are armed. We can herd, kill, and
> eat unarmed people if we want to

By the rationale I set forward, yes, that would make you better than the Amish, assuming that the Amish was a different species (and the jury is still out on that one).

> You try herding, killing, and eating grizzly bears with
> no technology whatsoever.

Then, in that situation, humans would not be superior to grizzly bears (great white sharks, large cats, etc, etc).

I never said I was *right*. Just that that was the rationale set forth by me.

My bleeding edge comes from cutting myself on Occam's Razor.
[ Parent ]
Mankind vs. the rest (none / 0) (#114)
by afc on Wed Jan 17, 2001 at 12:15:07 PM EST

Not all animals are people, but people are animals, therefore you must first argue why people are better than animals before dismissing their lives as unimportant. It is not a given.

There are many reasons for that (and DoomHaven above gave us a very good one), and I'll give you two free of charge:

  • If you're theologically educated in the tradition of the three big monotheistc faiths, you know that animals don't have an immortal soul;
  • Animal can't argue the defence of their own species on K5;

[...] it is common practice to raze rainforests for grazing space which becomes desert which is not reforested.

This is a myth found in much of PETA's propaganda against McDonalds and other fast food chains. Fact is, most of the devastation that occurs in the rainforests of South America is largely due to clandestine logging companies (mostly from South Asia, go figure), although a sizeable portion in the southernmost parts of it is due to cattle ranchers (who have absolutely no connection to McD), but this is declining rapidly as the land does not yield good, renewable pasture. It doesn't turn into desert, strictly speaking, by the way - the soil is barren, but can be used for agriculture with a high dose of added fertilizer. It is yet to de devised a sound way to economically explore the Amazon.

Generally, I selfishly consider anything that makes the planet more likely to become uninhabitable by mammals to be a bad thing. I happen to like living in a world where one does not need an environment suit to go outdoors, and I find mammals more pleasant to share my environment with than insects.

Your views are not so different than mine, then. I like trekking, and I like going outdoors, camping and canyoning. I would like to preserve that part of the environment that I deem pleasurable to human use, but I refuse to acknowledge the supposed sanctity of the life of the mosquito. Or of the chicken, for that matter.
--

Information wants to be beer, or something.
[ Parent ]

"Philosophy...is the talk on a cereal box&quo (none / 0) (#113)
by DoomHaven on Wed Jan 17, 2001 at 02:49:16 AM EST

- Edie Brickell

> by asserting human superiority over other creatures,
> but that is a philosophical opinion not a proveable
> truth

Couldn't you argue that since animals don't have "philosophy", that by default humans will win any philosophical arguments with them, such as the philosophical argument of species superiority?

Yes, that was a joke.

My bleeding edge comes from cutting myself on Occam's Razor.
[ Parent ]
Not so different (3.00 / 1) (#86)
by anewc2 on Mon Jan 15, 2001 at 03:19:00 AM EST

All animals have sex for pleasure. Why else? Have they made the connection between sex and babies? Do they plan their families?

Many species socialize. Our social activities are similar to those of other primates. My cats socialize with each other and with me. Wolves, horses and many other species live in packs and herds.

The world's biggest fool can say the sun is shining, but that doesn't make it dark out. -- Robert Pirsig
[ Parent ]
So is organic milk the answer? (3.33 / 3) (#27)
by KevBzng on Sat Jan 13, 2001 at 01:32:06 PM EST

Is the choice of organic milk a better solution for those of us who like milk? I drink organic skim milk, and like it. The more I learn about mysterious additives, the more I wonder if even drinking organic milk as a choice insulates me from this. So I'll drink tap water, oh wait all sorts of additives there too.

I don't know what the answer is. I like milk, I drink milk, hopefully I won't die because of this!

re: So is organic milk the answer? (3.50 / 2) (#28)
by Seumas on Sat Jan 13, 2001 at 01:50:03 PM EST

I drink tap water, but have a filter. Makes the water taste a lot better and removes most of the crap that is added in the first place

The thing is, you do need milk to cook a lot of things. I don't know if the alternatives work any better, but I know that I can't stand the taste of 1% milk. I drink 2% (well, I don't exactly drink it since I only have maybe one glass of milk a month -- but I do cook with it). I figure that since I can't stand 1% milk, I would probably wretch at the taste of the other alternatives. In fact, I hate most real-food substitutes. I'm trying to eat a little healthier these days, so I substitute things like Italian Turkey Sausage instead of Italian Sausage. But I'll tell you, it doesn't taste anything like the real thing.
--
I just read K5 for the articles.
[ Parent ]

Depends... (3.00 / 2) (#51)
by sec on Sat Jan 13, 2001 at 08:29:09 PM EST

I actually prefer the taste of Rice Dream to real milk. It has a rich, nutty taste that I find quite pleasant. YMMV, of course.

The soy-based alternatives to cheese, though... <gag>. The low-fat cheeses are ideal... for rubbing out spelling mistakes. Low-fat sour cream resembles a slightly tangy-tasting white Jello.



[ Parent ]

How about soy? (3.00 / 1) (#72)
by ambrosen on Sun Jan 14, 2001 at 01:09:20 PM EST

I find soy milk does everything that you need with milk in cooking, and it contains a more healthy 2% fat and 4% protein, in other words similar nutrition to the stuff they squirt from cows, rather than no fat and little protein like Rice Dream. The yogurts are nice as well, but I don't really believe in the cheese. Tofu substites (flavour wise) quite well for ricotta in recipes with spinach, mind.

--
Procrastination does not make you cool. Being cool makes you procrastinate. DesiredUsername.
[ Parent ]
People aren't meant to drink milk (3.40 / 5) (#32)
by ggy2 on Sat Jan 13, 2001 at 04:05:16 PM EST

I'm suprised that no one has said it, but humans aren't intended to drink milk. All other mammals become lactose intolerant after they grow to a certain age, as do lactose intolerant people. Europeans have a mutation, which stops them from becoming intolerant. I won't say that this meant that you should/should not drink milk, but just remember that humans aren't very different from anything else!

Then it should also be said (4.00 / 2) (#49)
by Inoshiro on Sat Jan 13, 2001 at 08:04:46 PM EST

That a lot of our adult behaviour is borrowed from childhood, too. Most ape species lose their inate curiosity, and become more of the hunter/gatherer types than the young apes -- who explore, and adventure.

If you read "The Naked Ape" by Desmond Morris, you'll find out a lot of interesting things which seem to be delayed or eliminated in humans (such as the onset of a thick adult fur coat, behaviours, etc). It's allowed us to be more versatile.



--
[ イノシロ ]
[ Parent ]
Lots of people are lactose intolerant (none / 0) (#120)
by Joshua on Thu Jan 25, 2001 at 01:24:43 PM EST

And I do mean bloody lots! I've read (unconfirmed, check on it, folks), that over half the human population is lactose intolerant to some degree.

[ Parent ]
Cats and Dogs do like milk. (3.20 / 5) (#33)
by DrEvil on Sat Jan 13, 2001 at 04:08:30 PM EST

Well, as many people with cats or dogs can attest, animals not drinking milk in adulthood seems to be more a function of the accessibility rather than by choice. I know that the dogs I have had in the past would gladly lap up milk from their bowl if given the opportunity and I would guess that many animals would react in the same fashion.

I live on a diary farm and we do feed our cats and dog milk all the time, and they love it, they all gather round just waiting for thier feeding time. So we aren't the only ones that drink milk at an adult age.

I think drinking milk is no differnt then drinking anything else, nothing is good for you in excess, but in moderation everything is okay.

"like" does not mean "good" (1.00 / 1) (#42)
by paulT on Sat Jan 13, 2001 at 06:15:15 PM EST

Given the literature I've read since getting our current round of cats (two) and from discussions with our vet, just because cats and dogs like milk does not mean it's good for them. All of these sources told me cats and dogs are lactose intolerant and too much milk was hard on their digestive systems.



--
"Outside of a dog, a book is probably man's best friend; inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." - Groucho Marx
[ Parent ]
Hey guess what! (2.66 / 3) (#65)
by Educated Escort on Sun Jan 14, 2001 at 06:04:24 AM EST

I live on a diary farm and we do feed our cats and dog milk all the time, and they love it, they all gather round just waiting for thier feeding time. So we aren't the only ones that drink milk at an adult age.

Hey guess what! I gave a large group of kids these huge things of cotton candy and every day they gathered round' to eat them. They loved it!

Sorry I couldn't resist :) Smile

As Paul says liking it doesn't mean it's good for you. ANd you probably shouldn't give the animals the milk. Any vet will tell you it is VERRRY bad for them.


"It has become appallingly clear that our technology has surpassed our humanity"

Albert Einstein


[ Parent ]

Eureka! (4.00 / 6) (#35)
by Mr. Excitement on Sat Jan 13, 2001 at 04:27:15 PM EST

They contend that no other animals drink milk after reaching adulthood and this is an argument often used when people say that humans should not or at the least do not need to drink milk into adulthood.

Aha! That's it--

Drinking milk after reaching adulthood is what separates us from the animals!

(Except the weasel... ;)

1 141900 Mr. Excitement-Bar-Hum-Mal-Cha died in The Gnomish Mines on level 10 [max 12]. Killed by a bolt of lightning - [129]

Milk causes mucus production in me (4.20 / 5) (#38)
by hoss10 on Sat Jan 13, 2001 at 05:48:08 PM EST

Milk causes mucus production in me so I gave it up just before Christmas.

I had a runny nose since I was a child but never really thought much of it until I heard about lactose intolerance. While I don't have lactose intolerance I heard about increased mucus production due to milk. http://www.milksucks.com/mucus.html

It takes a few weeks for it to work and can now tell you that the runny nose I've had for literally as long as I can remember is gone.

Apparently I can start it again in about a year .. going to investigate that now.

casein (3.00 / 2) (#44)
by handle on Sat Jan 13, 2001 at 06:41:46 PM EST

Casein is one of the primary proteins in milk that the body has trouble digesting. It causes lots of mucus secretions. It's also a primary ingredient in some types of glue.

[ Parent ]
Got Advertising? (4.16 / 6) (#39)
by VValdo on Sat Jan 13, 2001 at 05:55:48 PM EST

Well, I kinda made this comment in a reply to someone else, but I wanted to expand the point into a post.

First off, I'm a milk-consumer. I don't really drink milk by itself any more, but that has more to do with the fact that I'm always buying it and then leaving it in the fridge and it goes bad, blah blah blah.

Anyway, here's what creeps me out about milk (aside from the fact they treat the animals like shit)-- the advertising.

Before the invention of ice machines & refrigeration, I don't think milk was mass-marketed as the magical-drink-of-life like it is today, but in the 1950s, for some weird reason, milk was marketed as this All-American cure-all, a nutritious and healthy addition to any breakfast table.

I think that that image, unlike so much of the bullshit that the 50's were all about ("Smoking is good for you", "duck and cover works", "Pot makes you go insane," etc.) is still here today. Milk *STILL* has the Ward and Jude Cleaver wholesomeness associated with it.

I think one of the reasons is that the marketing for milk is still on that same "it's good for you" level, like a public service announcement. The Milk Industry is huge, so that makes sense.

Anyway, I just wanted to point out that there's a lot of reasons not to drink milk (animals are abused and bred to have huge gazoombas, it's not good for you) and some reasons to drink it (it tastes good) but this weird "attack milk and you're attacking american values" bullshit is a remnant of the post-WWII era.

W
This is my .sig. There are many like it but this one is mine.

subsidized up the wazoo too (3.00 / 1) (#45)
by handle on Sat Jan 13, 2001 at 06:53:53 PM EST

The dairy industry is also the most heavily subsidized segment of American agriculture. They got something in the neighborhood of $8 billion in 1995, and I think they get more today.

[ Parent ]
What? (3.70 / 10) (#41)
by conio on Sat Jan 13, 2001 at 06:05:15 PM EST

They contend that no other animals drink milk after reaching adulthood and this is an argument often used when people say that humans should not or at the least do not need to drink milk into adulthood.
In that case, we shouldn't consume any processed, mixed, or refined foods, including things like bread, soup, or tea, because we were designed to eat plants and raw meat.

I find it funny that PETA--the main proponent behind this anti-milk movement--can make its claims with a straight face. Aren't we humans, as omnivorous creatures, supposed to eat meat?

Sometimes I feel alone when judging the outrageousness of these ridiculous assertions.

Sam

Milk it does a body BAAAAAAAD (2.40 / 5) (#58)
by Educated Escort on Sat Jan 13, 2001 at 11:39:20 PM EST

We should NOT eat bread or soup (that is refined) or teas. They are as bad for us as milk is. Meat......that is a different story. Yes, man has eaten meat for zillions of years. But for ethical reasons I don't like to (just do a little research about the meat industry and if you have a conscience you won't either)

When this country used to belong to its rightful owners the NATIVE Americans they killed animals and ate them and used their hides for clothes etc, but they respected the animals and gave back to the earth.

I can't eat an animal that has lived its entire existence in a two by four stall.

It is not humane.

And as far as the milk goes. Go read the sites MilkSucks.com There is plenty of info there that hits the tip of the iceberg as to why it is ridiculous that we, the only mammal that drinks milk after we are weened from our mother's , should cease all milk drinking immediately. But the milk industry is making a bundle off you. So sad.

"It has become appallingly clear that our technology has surpassed our humanity"

Albert Einstein


[ Parent ]

"Albert, stop telling God what to do" (3.00 / 1) (#61)
by physicsgod on Sun Jan 14, 2001 at 02:04:35 AM EST

I believe that the OP was pointing out that we are the only animals on the planet that cook our food, as such breads and soups (refined or not) are on the same level as milk. As far as the Amerinds (they're no more native than I am) being humane, let's try an experiment. I have relatives with land out in the midwest, meet me there in the spring, I'll bring a obsidian spear and I'll hunt you down, jab the spear between your ribs and leave you there to drown in your own blood, or I could shoot you in the base of the head in which case you'd be dead before the bullet ever left your skull. As for milksucks.com let's keep track: intro,bad (say what you want or get things organized) a prostate cancer argument so thin I could read newspaper through (a study shows a moderate increase in a hormone believed to maybe cause cancer?) acne? flatulence? constipation? these are the pressing medical issues of the day? All in all it sounds like a vegan propaganda sheet, not exactly convincing.

--- "Those not wearing body armor are hereby advised to keep their arguments on-topic" Schlock Mercenary
[ Parent ]
Right on the bull's eye (none / 0) (#105)
by afc on Tue Jan 16, 2001 at 11:17:28 AM EST

MilkSucks.com is nothing more than a propaganda sheet for PETA. Don't expect intellectual honesty from it.
--

Information wants to be beer, or something.
[ Parent ]

This is just random weirdness, please ignore :) (3.33 / 3) (#63)
by Field Marshall Stack on Sun Jan 14, 2001 at 02:17:54 AM EST

I can't eat an animal that has lived its entire existence in a two by four stall.

It is not humane.

One comment I've heard often IRT humane treatment of animals is that it's much less humane to raise an animal in an n by m pen, shut off from sunlight/real food/exercise/all the other amenities of life, either totally isolated from all other creatures, or crammed in so tightly in a big wad of fooflesh that they can't move. I'm going to play devil's advocate here and say that, if you're going to raise an animal for slaughter, that's the kindest way you could possibly treat them. From speculation based on human children raised without contact with humans, etc. a creature raised in those conditions would never become sufficiently mentally developed to possess whatever glimmers of self-awareness they'd develop otherwise. Tormenting something that's not self-aware can be silly (I'm picturing a guy beating the bejeezus out of a boulder, here), but it cannot possibly be morally wrong.

Personally, I think the most humane way to raise animals for slaughter would be (somehow) disabling all higher-level mental functions soon after birth. If you did that (again, ...somehow...), you could raise them in as efficient a fashion as possible, certain that no moral crime has been committed. (unless you buy into moral arguments based upon potentiality, which IMO are more or less garbage). I'm serious. Of course, I _also_ think that the killing of a very young infant by its parents should be at the very most a misdemeanor crime, so your mileage may vary.

I've recently become aware that certain of my views are somewhat... outside the mainstream...
--
Ben Allen, hiway@speakeasy.org
"Nobody ever lends money to a man with a sense of humor"
-Peter Tork
[ Parent ]

Uh.... (none / 0) (#99)
by skim123 on Mon Jan 15, 2001 at 10:51:40 PM EST

Personally, I think the most humane way to raise animals for slaughter would be (somehow) disabling all higher-level mental functions soon after birth. If you did that (again, ...somehow...), you could raise them in as efficient a fashion as possible, certain that no moral crime has been committed

Wouldn't a moral crime be committed when you removed their higher learning? So it's morally objectionable for me to kill you now, but it's ok for me to give you a labotomy and then kill you?

Money is in some respects like fire; it is a very excellent servant but a terrible master.
PT Barnum


[ Parent ]
Yeah, this is the "potentiality" argumen (none / 0) (#108)
by Field Marshall Stack on Tue Jan 16, 2001 at 12:08:43 PM EST

...I mentioned in passing. If you were to "lobotomize" a sentient entity then kill it, you'd have certainly committed a moral crime. However, if you were to do the same to a _non-sentient_ entity possessing the potential to become, at some point in the future, sentient, you almost certainly would not have done anything morally wrong. There's a truly amazing proof for this assertion, which unfortunately is too large to fit in this text box :)
--
Ben Allen, hiway@speakeasy.org
"Nobody ever lends money to a man with a sense of humor"
-Peter Tork
[ Parent ]
MilkSucks.com kinda sucks (3.00 / 1) (#64)
by sweaty on Sun Jan 14, 2001 at 03:39:05 AM EST

The food pyramid there shows milk products being the most consumed (by weight) food group. This has much more to do with milk being mostly consumed in liquid or semi-liquid forms and thus being disproportianately heavy. Nice to see sites proclaiming to present the truth skewing numbers to suit their agenda.

[ Parent ]
Nor is it true. (none / 0) (#91)
by angelo on Mon Jan 15, 2001 at 08:40:34 AM EST

I never understood the food pyramid. I'm lucky if I get in one serving of grain or vegetable a day. I think I'm living on a diet of less than 2000 calories a day. I do *eat* dairy, but only in the form of feta cheese, since it's the only stuff I can stomach. I am one of those poor sods with a lactose problem :(
lowmagnet.org
[ Parent ]
Don't get deluded! (none / 0) (#103)
by afc on Tue Jan 16, 2001 at 11:07:41 AM EST

Milksucks.com like so many suchlike sites is owned and run by PETA. They have no interest in "presenting the truth" as you say, but rather want to present factoids that add credibility to the propaganda of their anti-human cause.
--

Information wants to be beer, or something.
[ Parent ]

Meat alternatives (4.00 / 1) (#70)
by dennis on Sun Jan 14, 2001 at 08:41:38 AM EST

I saw free-range chicken at the local Harris Teeter the other day. If you don't mind paying shipping you can buy any domestic animal free-ranged, over the Net. Or if you prefer you can get bison and venison. There's also a health advantage to eating grass-fed meat--feeding cows grain instead of grass alters the balance of fats to something much less healthy for humans. (And of course, feeding cows with other cows leads to the kind of nastiness they're having in Europe.)

The other thing about milk is that we drink the milk of different species, which biologically is a pretty weird thing to do.

A true paleodiet leaves out beans, grain, milk, and refined sugar...if you leave meat out too you'll starve. Personally, I'm not entirely convinced yet about the beans and grains...grass seed is a decent wild forage, though you're not likely to eat much of it unless you live someplace with lots of wild rice, and even then it's seasonal. Legumes, I need to look up and see what's in my wild edibles guides.

Some people say you shouldn't eat it if it's not edible raw. But fire goes back at least a quarter million years. A decent spear from half a million years ago was found recently, which leads me to believe we had fire that far back--if you're good and strong like homo erectus, it doesn't take a lot of finesse. Anthropologists don't like to date cooking prior to the earliest hearth they've found, personally I think if you can make a decent stone knife you're probably making little campfires and cooking your meat on sticks. Just my opinion.

Just curious, why do you say tea is bad? Especially green--lots of wild plants can be used as teas.

[ Parent ]

rightful owners? (3.00 / 2) (#80)
by Bridge Troll on Sun Jan 14, 2001 at 08:00:02 PM EST

I realize many of you will see this as a troll, but is not meant to be.

Firstly, what makes the Native Americans the "rightful" owners? European countries arrived at their current boundries through war. So did Asian and African countries. So made were the borders of the Americas.

Secondly, why is exploiting modern technology to more efficiently produce and consume animals wrong? People need to eat, and only people are sentient, despite what PETA would have you believe. Besides, have you actually EVER seen a farm? There are many in my area. The animals roam around in large fields for most of their lives.




And besides, pounding your meat with a club is a very satisfying thing to do :) -- Sleepy
[ Parent ]
Your punishment, should you choose to accept it... (3.66 / 3) (#81)
by elenchos on Sun Jan 14, 2001 at 08:30:05 PM EST

...is to write a 1,000 word essay on the difference between a `hobby farm' such as you have seen, or heard described in a typical Country Western song, in which Farmer Brown in his coveralls and John Deer hat sprinkles feed to his clucking chickens and totes bales of hay to his peacefully grazing cows; and a factory farm, the kind that actually produces 99.9% of the food that people find in the supermarket, and which has put 99.9% of the poor slobs like Farmer Brown out of business, or on the dole.

For extra credit, write 500 words on why land acquired through wars of conquest is "rightfully" owned by the conqueror.

Adequacy.org
[ Parent ]

Interesting, and Important Point You Bring Up (2.50 / 2) (#83)
by AArthur on Sun Jan 14, 2001 at 11:35:02 PM EST

That's a rather interesting point you bring up... and should remind people to buy there products from local farm stands and farm bussinesses, and not neccessarly large supermarkets.

I don't know about in your area (well not in mine, but nearby), there are places where you can still get milk delivered from the milkman, who delievers milk, that has been milked from his own cows.

Also, I am not sure to what extent 'factory farming' is using in the dairy industry around here (in the Northeast USA). I'm sure it exists, but it's not well advertised (gee... I wonder why). I don't have statics on it, but I have heard that the majority of milk in the NE comes from family farms, and not factory ones.

Andrew B. Arthur | aarthur@imaclinux.net | http://hvcc.edu/~aa310264
[ Parent ]

Careful with those stats, Eugene! (none / 0) (#102)
by afc on Tue Jan 16, 2001 at 11:03:09 AM EST

When picking statistics out of thin air, try and make them more credible, elenchos. That is, if credibility is your intention. If you just want spread PETA propaganda, be my guest and add another decimal point to those percentages.

Probably unlike you, I've grown up in farm country and I know what a cattle farm or a chicken grange really are. Cattle that is bread for their meat is mostly kept at extensive or semi-intensive pastures. Of course, chicken are crowded together in a very small space, but then again, chicken are pretty small critters, and no matter how much the big screen romanticizes it, they shouldn't expect much of their lot in life.
--

Information wants to be beer, or something.
[ Parent ]

Diet for a New America (none / 0) (#119)
by Joshua on Thu Jan 25, 2001 at 01:11:23 PM EST

I recomend the book Diet for a new America by John Robbins. It was written some time ago, and much has changed since then, but many of his points are still quite valid. Factory farms are horrible places, and the animals are treated in the worst way, although it is beginning to get better.

I don't have anything morally against eating meat, or dairy products. However, I do suspect that eating these things is not all that good for the human body, but I am by no means certain. I have merely done a bit of experimenting and a lot of reading (Natural Hygiene, Food Combining, Fruitarianism, Raw-Foodism, Breatharianism, etc.) and I do suspect that processing and cooking and whatnot does make foods less digestable and assimilatable by the body. I think this also applies to milk. I think milk, straight from a healthy cow is probably not all that bad for you, but modern milk? Dairy farms pump their cows full of rediculous amounts of hormones and lots of other drugs and shite, and the milk is processed heavily and pasturized (cooked), and who-knows-what else. That, I feel, is probably quite not-so-good for the human body. I only drink milk in my tea, but I'm considering changing to oat milk, which I've heard is quite easy to produce at home from raw oats.

Anyway, just my thoughts on the subject. Cheers,
Joshua

[ Parent ]

OT: Anne Marie, have you noticed... (1.00 / 2) (#82)
by elenchos on Sun Jan 14, 2001 at 08:39:55 PM EST

...this guy `dennis' who's been posting lately? What is UP with that? We both know Dennis is MY name! Just wondering if you had any strategy hints that I could use to deal with this upstart, since you seem to have beaten the fake Anne Marie like a gong and forced him to slither back under whatever rock he crawled out from under.

Thanks.

Dennis. :P

Adequacy.org
[ Parent ]

I dunno (2.75 / 4) (#50)
by Fastleaf on Sat Jan 13, 2001 at 08:19:29 PM EST

Ever since I was a little kid I loved milk. I drank a ton of it. I ate it with pizza. With hot dogs. With chicken, chocolate, cookies. All kinds of stuff.

One day I had a taste of "very" rotten milk and I haven't drank the stuff ever since. This was a few months ago. I do drink chocolate milk though. As long as i "know" it's fresh.

Rotten milk is something you do NOT want to experience. Not only did it taste bad, but it had a stinging sensation.

Moral of this story: Make sure your milk is fresh :)

Hate to break it to you... (2.33 / 3) (#85)
by cameldrv on Sun Jan 14, 2001 at 11:58:15 PM EST

But if you're buying the chocolate milk from the store, you're getting partially spoiled milk. When a milk truck is delayed and the milk starts to go bad, they put chocolate in it to mask the bad taste.

[ Parent ]
milk is good for some people. . . (4.40 / 5) (#52)
by xah on Sat Jan 13, 2001 at 09:20:48 PM EST

. . . and not for others. If you are lactose intolerant, then you shouldn't drink much milk. As your "lactose information" link, located at the end of your article, points out, if you are lactose intolerant then you don't have lactase, meaning you can't digest the carbohydrate known as lactose. This means you won't get a lot of nutritional benefit from drinking milk. OTOH, if you aren't lactose intolerant then you have lactase, and you can drink milk, eat ice cream, and freely enjoy dairy products without negative effect.

Lactose intolerance is a trait that is partially genetically inherited, IMHO. (Life experience, like illness, can also bring it on.) As your link points out, most caucasian (white) people are not lactose intolerant. Most others are. Anthropologists have speculated (and it is only speculation) that caucasion people developed the ability to digest lactose as an adaptation when the isolated caucasion ancestor group was forced to milk their cattle for nutrition.

The ability to digest lactose is not hugely significant, except on a personal level. It's one of the tiny things that set us apart as human beings. The tininess of the difference serves as a reminder of humanity's genetic closeness.

There are a lot of folks out there who hate milk. They once drank milk and had bad experiences with it, probably because they are very lactose intolerant. This is especially disillusioning to them because the dairy industry keeps advertising milk to a cross-section of people, and thus their expectation is that they should be able to enjoy the product. If we could spread the message that you should only drink milk if you can digest it, then there would be less disillusionment.

There are other problems with milk, including bovine growth hormone, and the possibly inhumane way we treat cows, but that is another article altogether.

couple of minor points (2.50 / 2) (#53)
by el_guapo on Sat Jan 13, 2001 at 09:51:58 PM EST

milk is only a good source of vitamin d because they add it. a few minutes of sunshine a day is all a body needs for vitamin d, your skin synthesizes it when exposed to sunlight. i neither seek milk out nor avoid it, but i do think it would be healthier for me to avoid.
mas cerveza, por favor mirrors, manifestos, etc.
Something is fundamentally wrong with milk... (3.75 / 4) (#54)
by rbeier on Sat Jan 13, 2001 at 10:06:24 PM EST

I was originally going to post this directly, but it ended up being way too long, so I put it on my web site:

A Cautionary Tale of Cows


Original Human Diet (3.75 / 4) (#57)
by Ashley Y on Sat Jan 13, 2001 at 11:14:38 PM EST

It's worth noting that agriculture and pastoralism are only about 10k years old. Humans have been around for 3m years.

Before agriculture, humans subsisted entirely on wild food. This likely included any or all of leafy vegtables, nuts, fruits, roots and tubers, mushrooms, eggs, fish, insects, honey and lean meat. It probably would not have included non-human milk (since that involves the effort of domestication), nor would it have included seeds, beans, grains, legumes, pulses etc (which must be cultivated). Nor, obviously, would it have included the large quantities of refined sugar and fats, etc., that make Americans so fat (sorry, but it's true). This wild diet is the diet we evolved to eat, though that doesn't necessarily imply that other diets cannot be just as healthy. There's a movement to return to the "paleodiet", see beyondveg.com for instance.

There are still foraging peoples today, though apparently all of them supplement their wild-food diet with cultivars obtained through trade with neighbouring agriculturalists. They may not drink milk (unless they trade for it), but they do have a tendency to breast-feed until around age four.

It may have been the original diet... (3.00 / 1) (#60)
by physicsgod on Sun Jan 14, 2001 at 01:46:28 AM EST

But humans have been domesticating mammals (i.e. goats) for about 12,000 years, it should also be noted that about the time of domestication there were ~3,000,000 humans on the planet. (All numbers from <_Asimov's chronology of science and discovery_)

--- "Those not wearing body armor are hereby advised to keep their arguments on-topic" Schlock Mercenary
[ Parent ]
That's not very long (3.00 / 1) (#66)
by dennis on Sun Jan 14, 2001 at 07:59:59 AM EST

In evolutionary terms 12,000 years is a very short time if you're not a fruit fly. Biologically we're very similar to the original hunter-gatherers.

[ Parent ]
What about grasses? (3.00 / 1) (#71)
by ambrosen on Sun Jan 14, 2001 at 01:02:24 PM EST

It was my understanding that the wild predecessors of wheat had seeds which were as edible and nutritious as modern wheat but a little smaller per seed. I remember in a book by geneticist Steve Jones, him saying that previous to agriculture a family group in the (now) middle east could collect a year's food in a week at harvest time.

--
Procrastination does not make you cool. Being cool makes you procrastinate. DesiredUsername.
[ Parent ]
Beyondveg.com - good or bad source (3.00 / 1) (#75)
by autarch on Sun Jan 14, 2001 at 02:15:03 PM EST

This site appears to be pretty much the brainchild of one person, Tom Billings. According to his own bio, he is a computer consultant, not a nutritionist. In fact, his bio does not list any study of nutrition or biology at all. Strike 1.

Strike 2: AFAIK, none of this stuff has been published in any peer-reviewed journals.

Strike 3: AFAIK, this stuff has been published online on his website only.

He dresses up his writings in scientific language but I really doubt his qualifications.

Note, I don't necessarily disagree with all of his opinions. I myself am highly skeptical of the practicality of raw whole foods vegan diets. Particularly for children, the lack of concentrated calorie sources (unless you eat lots of avocado and coconut) seems like a potential problem.


-dave

[ Parent ]
Better source (3.00 / 1) (#77)
by dennis on Sun Jan 14, 2001 at 02:43:33 PM EST

For peer-reviewed articles check here.

[ Parent ]
Inaccurate characterization of Beyond Veg (none / 0) (#94)
by ceriman on Mon Jan 15, 2001 at 11:09:03 AM EST

Your characterization of Beyond Veg is inaccurate. First, there are multiple primary writers on the site, including Loren Cordain (PhD in Exercise Physiology), Jean-Louis Tu (PhD Math), Tom Billings (MA, MS in Statistics), and others. Your statement that none of the material is published in peer-reviewed journals is wrong. Loren Cordain's material, in various forms, has appeared in his published academic papers. Look him up in the site authors section for a list of publications. Your statement that the material is online at Beyond Veg only, is only partially true. Some material is exclusive, but some is duplicated elsewhere. The Paleolithic Diet vs. Vegetarianism series was published in the "Health and Beyond" newsletter, and is online legally at 2 other websites. A 3rd website has part of the interview up - illegally, and a lawsuit is being prepared against the website that is engaging in copyright infringement. Some of Tom Billings' material is up on 2 other websites (the "Troubleshooting" article). More to the point, some material is exclusive because it was written specifically for Beyond Veg, and as the only thing we have is content, we want web-exclusive material when we can get it. Beyond Veg has been the target of mischaracterizations from folks who read only a tiny part of the site, get all worked up, and run off thinking the 1-2 segments they read reflects the entire site. In fact the site is huge, with multiple authors. It has humor, bios, and science based articles that are heavily referenced to the scientific literature. At Beyond Veg we actually want you to read the scientific literature if you question our interpretation or views. Once you start reading the literature instead of blindly accepting the claims of "experts," you will find that diet is not a black-and-white issue (e.g., raw vs. cooked, veg. vs. non-veg), and that the "experts" are often wrong or biased. PS the worst misrepresentation to date of Beyond Veg: 2 veg advocates compared HUMOR articles on Beyond Veg to veg articles that were scientific, in an attempt to discredit Beyond Veg. Talk about intellectual dishonesty! Tom Billings

[ Parent ]
Fats (4.00 / 1) (#78)
by dennis on Sun Jan 14, 2001 at 02:56:12 PM EST

Arguably a paleolithic diet includes a lot of fat. Wild animals tend to have leaner meat but also layers of fat, which probably was used. A common amerindian food was pemmican, which is dried meat mixed with rendered fat. However the ratio of fat types is different with a grass-fed herbivore than with a grain-fed.

Inuit ate an exclusively meat diet with lots of fat, and had very low rates of heart disease and cancer. Not genetic--once they started eating a modern diet they had the same rates as anyone else.

Extracted vegetable oils are a fairly recent invention, though, and transfatty acids like you get in margarine don't exist in nature at all, and are implicated in all kinds of health problems.

[ Parent ]

Lactose intolerence (3.50 / 4) (#59)
by jethro on Sun Jan 14, 2001 at 01:41:56 AM EST

First off, I've been vegan for a few months for health reasons, but I've been a vegetarian for, oh, 11 years or so.

I also moved to the US almost 3 years ago.

I used to drink milk like crazy. Like a liter (half gallon?) of milk a day. I used to drink 2% milk.

After moving to the US, I started developing serious skin conditions. I didn't know what the hell they were, but they dissapeared as soon as I cut out milk.

Apparently, after drinking milk for years, American milk made me sick! I'd never even HEARD about lactose intolerence outside the US. I'm wonderng whether it's not really lactose, but something inthe way it's processed.

--
In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is kinky.
Where were you ? (3.50 / 2) (#67)
by Aidan_Kehoe on Sun Jan 14, 2001 at 08:02:19 AM EST

I've been living in Belgium, having moved from Ireland for ~4 months, and the milk here just seems over-processed; and it's left, unrefrigerated, for months at a time ... scary shit, man.

--
There is no TRUTH. There is no REALITY. There is no CONSISTENCY. There are no ABSOLUTE STATEMENTS. I'm very probably wrong. -- BSD fortune(6)
[ Parent ]
Re: Where were you ? (3.00 / 1) (#87)
by jethro on Mon Jan 15, 2001 at 03:51:38 AM EST

I was living in Israel. Right before I left (~3 years ago) they came up with some AMAZING new dairy stuff (typical...)

Like Enriched 1% Skim milk that actually tasted WONDERFUL and had lotsa vitamins and stuff... And "Breakfast Milk" which I never tried until THE VERY NIGHT I LEFT which tastes like custard (Bird's Custard, not the crap they call custard in the US).

And Oh So Many kinds of Cottage Cheese (also inedible in the US).

And cream cheeses that take 2 months to expire...

It is very sad, but the thing I miss the most about "Back Home" is the food!

--
In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is kinky.
[ Parent ]
Mmmm (none / 0) (#111)
by Aidan_Kehoe on Tue Jan 16, 2001 at 05:08:05 PM EST

Mmmm, birds custard, etc. With stewed apples ... (I wonder what sicko thought up to stew apples in the first place). Anyway, 'twas excellent

--
There is no TRUTH. There is no REALITY. There is no CONSISTENCY. There are no ABSOLUTE STATEMENTS. I'm very probably wrong. -- BSD fortune(6)
[ Parent ]
Then it's UHT (none / 0) (#118)
by dave.oflynn on Tue Jan 23, 2001 at 08:30:01 AM EST

If you come across milk that's got a best-before date more than about 10 days in the future, it's probably UHT (long-life) milk. It doesn't need to be refrigerated. Now, I don't know what exactly the UHT treatment does to milk, but I'm damn sure it makes it taste disgusting.

And yeah, I'll second the point that US milk is undrinkable (I think it's all UHT). In fact, the only 2 countries I've found that don't sell much UHT milk are Ireland and the UK. Though, that said, the Irish milk still tastes nicer ;-).

[ Parent ]

Interesting, if not quite on topic (3.00 / 2) (#88)
by Simon Kinahan on Mon Jan 15, 2001 at 05:56:01 AM EST

There was some recent research done in Europe that found that many autistic children cannot digest caesin (from milk) and glutin (from wheat), and that these create opiate liks effects in their undigested state, giving rise to many of the familiar symptoms of extreme autism.

It may be that the difference between Asperger's Syndrome and extreme autism is, in fact, diet.

Simon

If you disagree, post, don't moderate
Interesting, if not quite on topic (2.33 / 3) (#89)
by Simon Kinahan on Mon Jan 15, 2001 at 05:56:22 AM EST

There was some recent research done in Europe that found that many autistic children cannot digest caesin (from milk) and glutin (from wheat), and that these create opiate liks effects in their undigested state, giving rise to many of the familiar symptoms of extreme autism.

It may be that the difference between Asperger's Syndrome and extreme autism is, in fact, diet.

Simon

If you disagree, post, don't moderate
A vegan POV (4.00 / 1) (#90)
by seb on Mon Jan 15, 2001 at 08:23:33 AM EST

There are two things wrong with milk.

1) The cruelty-to-animals thing

This one's not important to everyone, but if you're vegetarian, think about becoming vegan. I've been vegan for 3 years. Many people think vegetarianism's fairly 'normal' and veganism's a bit 'extreme'. However, as this comment by a presumed omnivore points out, vegetarians who are concerned about animal welfare might as well be eating meat. Animals die for milk. Not to mention hormones designed to make them over-produce. You might as well do what you can to reduce cruelty to animals.

2) The lactose-intolerance-mucus-health thing

This is probably true of loads of foods, but there is quite a lot of (mostly anecdotal) evidence that milk is bad for you, or at least bad for some people. 31% of British people, for example, are attempting to reduce their milk intake. More studies need to be done. Personally, I've noticed I get far, far fewer colds since I gave up milk. About 1 a year compared with about 5 or 6 a year previously. This could be to do with other diet changes, though. I think there's good reason to suspect milk of being slightly dodgy.

hey (none / 0) (#98)
by Rainy on Mon Jan 15, 2001 at 09:53:15 PM EST

I've been thinking of becoming vegan cause of cruelty/animals thing, but I don't know what I would eat. What do you eat, only salads? Potatoes? Pasta? Anything else?
--
Rainy "Collect all zero" Day
[ Parent ]
My menu (none / 0) (#100)
by seb on Tue Jan 16, 2001 at 05:27:18 AM EST

When I can't be bothered cooking, it's usually Baked potato and a nice green salad or a tomato / bean pasta or something. about two or three times a week it's something like:

Vegetable paella
Artichoke and Roasted Pepper Pizza
Mediterranean Ratatouille
Aloo gobi, Vegetable Dhansak (etc)
Thai red vegetable curry
Noodle salads
Roasted vegetables and Mash with mushroon gravy
Black bean and Tofu Burittos
Mushroom, chestnut and parsnip loaf
Crispy mock duck with pancakes and black bean sauce

Sure, you've got to get creative, but I reckon I eat more interesting food than most people, probably because I *have* to make an effort. At the end of the day, it's not so different from being veggie - you just miss out the cheese. Tofu is a bit of an acquired taste but I love it these days, it's incredibly good for you (protein, calcium, no fat), and you can do a surprising amount with it.

[ Parent ]
Don't make judgements based on *American* milk. (4.00 / 2) (#93)
by Remus Shepherd on Mon Jan 15, 2001 at 10:19:56 AM EST

I drink milk in moderation -- one or two glasses a day, usually at lunchtime. Never bothered me. With an ulcer, I don't have many other options besides water. (No carbonation, caffeine, alcohol, etc.)

But I noticed something odd when I visited Australia a year ago. Their milk actually TASTED GOOD. :) Skim milk there has no relation to bland thing we call skim milk here. I don't know what it is, but something about the way we process milk in the USA completely ruins the product. Australian milk is pastuerized and homogenized just like ours...but it's much, much better tasting and tolerable. I'd believe in a heartbeat that it's better for a person as well.


...
Remus Shepherd <remus@panix.com>
Creator and holder of many Indefensible Positions.
Milk? Necessary? (3.00 / 1) (#95)
by sorynn on Mon Jan 15, 2001 at 11:16:07 AM EST

Well, I used to drink a lot of milk when I was in my freshman year of high school (think 3 tall glasses a day?). That was when I was 13 or so. However, somewhere around the time I turned 15, I stopped drinking it. I still drink every now and then, (mostly when it's there), but since I'm a student living on campus, I usually live on coca cola... or water. (water is free, since you can drink tap-water in Holland, which means at the end of the month, I end up drinking water).

Do I think milk is necessary? No. Do I think it's bad for you? Hmm... nope. Do I think people shouldn't drink milk because it harms animals? Well, I'm sorry, but I think everything we humans do is harmful to animals, so why draw the line at milk?


"Eagles may soar, free and proud, but weasels never get sucked into jet engines."
Milk drinkers are cussed and goin' to Hell! (2.00 / 1) (#104)
by marlowe on Tue Jan 16, 2001 at 11:08:46 AM EST

Or something.

What, you really expect me to take this topic seriously? This is almost as lame as that what's-your-favorite-color topic.

But hey, the spelling's great.

Tomorrow's topic: pot smokers who eat Doritos and the junk food vendors who love them.


-- The Americans are the Jews of the 21st century. Only we won't go as quietly to the gas chambers. --
Is there anything wrong with milk? | 122 comments (120 topical, 2 editorial, 0 hidden)
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