This post answers a question I received on Tumblr:
I need advice on how to stop drinking milk? I don’t actually like milk at all, but i crave it a week before my period, and cant get enough of it. Am i lacking vitamins? Is it all mental? what should i do?
Quitting cow’s milk is easy. Simply replace cow’s milk with any of the tasty non-dairy milk substitutes we have at our fingertips. Soy, almond, hemp, oat, and rice milk are a few examples. You can find these in various flavours as well, like chocolate, vanilla, and sometimes even in seasonal flavours (like egg nog).
These milks vary in taste and are good for different things. I prefer soy milk in coffee drinks and almond milk in smoothies. In the States, Trader Joe’s brand almond milk was my favourite milk for cereal and smoothies. Alpro soy and almond milks are my favourites here in the UK. If you have a craving for chocolate, try chocolate hemp milk.
I recommend trying different kinds of non-dairy milks until you find one you like.
What about calcium?
We do not need cow’s milk for calcium or protein. Plenty of vegan foods like dark leafy greens are naturally rich in calcium. Non-dairy milks and cereals are typically fortified with calcium as well.
According to The World’s Healthiest Foods:
- “Calcium is provided by a wide variety of foods, and in order to get 1,000 milligrams per day (the Dietary Reference Intake, or DRI for women and men 19-50 years of age), you don’t need cow’s milk, yogurt, cheese or butter.
- 1 cup of steamed collards and 1 cup of cow’s milk are nearly identical in terms of calcium (with collards providing 266 milligrams and cow’s milk providing 276 milligrams).
- 100 calories worth of spinach provides you with twice as much calcium as 100 calories worth of yogurt.
- As you can see from the examples above, many non-dairy foods can provide you with substantial amounts of calcium. Particularly helpful in this regard are green leafy vegetables like spinach, collard greens, mustard greens, turnip greens, and kale….Finally, a very helpful non-dairy food for boosting your calcium intake is tofu.
- One of the reasons for tofu’s rich calcium content involves the tofu production process itself since calcium is often used to help cause precipitation of the soy milk (i.e., conversion of the soy milk into a more solid form).”
What about cravings?
Cravings for cow’s milk are most likely mental. Cow’s milk is familiar, so you crave the experience of drinking a glass of milk and the comfort you receive from it. I recommend eating a variety of calcium-rich foods like tofu or dark leafy greens, or increase your intake of sweet potatoes, broccoli, and grapes if you eat high carb low fat. (I get most of my calcium intake from these foods.) If you still have cravings for milk, try drinking some non-dairy milk instead. With the huge variety of non-dairy milks available, surely you’ll find one you like.
The dairy industry.
This morning I happened upon this post from @brusselsvegan on Instagram:
“6 things I didn’t know about dairy before going vegan:
- Cows have to be pregnant and have a baby in order to give milk, just like humans.
- Dairy cows are artificially inseminated over and over again throughout their lives just so their milk can be used by the industry (i.e. us). When they are considered too old and don’t produce milk quickly enough anymore, they’re slaughtered and their meat is sold (to the fast food industry, for instance).
- Once a dairy cow gives birth, her calf is taken from her and killed shortly thereafter just so he/she doesn’t drink the milk that’s meant for him/her (Hello, veal industry). If the calf is female, she may also be raised (not on milk – because that’s sold to humans) to step into her mother’s footsteps.
- Dairy isn’t ideal for human consumption and causes much more harm than good simply because it’s designed for baby cows, not humans.
- We are the only species on earth that drinks milk into adulthood.
- We are the only species on earth that drinks the milk of another species.”
These are important facts to remember. One of the easiest ways to start living as a vegan is to quit drinking cow’s milk. If you don’t eat meat but continue to drink cow’s milk and consume cheese and other dairy products, you are still contributing to the meat industry and all the deplorable practices that come with it.
Choose non-dairy milk or simply cut out all milk and its substitutes from your diet. You will feel much better mentally and physically without dairy products in your life.