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Milk is central to our development; it is universally accepted and understood that a mother’s milk is unequivocally what nature has planned for the growth of babies across all species. Not only does it provide essential nourishment, but by drinking it, a baby also shares its mothers immune system and gets the right balance of fats, proteins, vitamins, hormones, and enzymes for development.

After a human mother has finished nursing her baby, something odd happens — a cow takes over! This makes us the only mammal on earth that is never really ever weaned. No species on the planet consumes milk in their adulthood, or as a matter of fact, consumes the milk of another species, except humans!

In fact, most people believe that their health will be jeopardized if they don’t consume dairy products. Cows milk is often described as nature’s most wholesome food. Our “nutritional education” in schools (funded in part by the dairy industry) teaches us that dairy products form one of the main food groups we all need for proper nutrition. And with the most powerful Congressional leaders in Washington receiving campaign contributions from the National Dairy Council, we can be assured that dairy products will continue to be advertised as food that is “necessary” for good health.

Humans weren’t designed with an odd gene flaw requiring us to drink the milk of other animals to grow, because every species has endemic traits that only apply to their specific type.

Cow’s milk contains most of the same components as human breast milk, however, these components are not in the same amounts. For example, humans have the most advanced brains of all species on earth, therefore human breast milk has evolved into having high levels of PUFAs or polyunsaturated fatty acids (especially linoleic acid) which is responsible for the rapid brain development.

Cow’s milk, on the other hand, contains significantly lower amounts of PUFAs, but higher levels of saturated fats, which contribute to rapid body building. Therefore it should come as no surprise that cow’s milk has double the amount of protein than human milk because cows double their size in 45 days, while humans take 180 days for the same growth.

In addition to the difference in the amount of protein in cow’s milk when compared to human milk, there are also major differences in the composition of this protein. There are two important proteins in milk; Casein and Whey. Cow’s milk has twenty times more casein, which puts a huge pressure on human digestion as it coagulates and forms dense curds that are adapted for the four tiered stomach digestive apparatus of a cow. Human milk, on the other hand, is made up of sixty to eighty percent more whey than casein which is easier to digest for our stomachs.

These are some very logical, factual and scientific reasons why a cow has a brain weight three times as small as ours and a body weight seven times as heavy. The bottom line is, cow’s milk is meant for calves to grow and not humans. We are really not meant to be drinking cow’s milk, at least not in the quantities that we do and especially not into adulthood. To make matters worse, human milk is getting more and more contaminated by pesticides due to the meat and dairy that makes up a mother’s diet.

If for whatever reason, you WANT to consume cow’s milk, you should know that after pasteurization and homogenization, most nutrients and benefits of milk are destroyed, not to mention, the toxins added do more harm than good. Therefore, the only type of cow’s milk that may be safe for human consumption is RAW cow milk from grass fed cows (if consumed in minimal quantities).

However, if you are finally ready to be weaned, but are still concerned about getting adequate nutrition, you will be pleased to learn that there are some delicious plant – based alternatives such as hemp, almond and/or coconut milk that have all the calcium you will need. Almonds, spinach, chard, collards, broccoli, sesame seeds, sprouted sunflower seeds, etc. are also great sources of calcium. For example, 4 tablespoons of tahini (sesame paste) have the same amount of calcium as an entire cup of cows milk!

Contrary to popular belief, drinking cow’s milk is not only unnecessary for humans, but is also getting increasingly unhealthy and nutrition-less due to modern farming methods. There is enough evidence to prove that nearly all cows (unless raised by you or a farm you know well) are full of toxins, such as pesticides, antibiotics, bacteria and hormones. In addition, calcium from cow’s milk is not as valuable as it is widely popularized to be. This and other dangers of cow’s milk will be addressed in detail in the next installment of our “Want Milk?” series. Stay Tuned!