By Robert Grillo, Free From Harm
My name is Robert Grillo, and I am the founder and editor of Free from Harm. I want to share my story with you on why I went off of dairy products. Essentially I learned that much of what we think we know about dairy products has been shaped by the dairy industry itself and the science it has funded as well as the USDA whose job is to promote the dairy industry and its products.
So what did I learn by questioning generations of dairy marketing and mythology? A very different reality. I learned that the dairy industry has a profoundly negative impact on dairy cows and calves, the environment and on human health.
This all led me to one important conclusion: consuming dairy is not necessary, natural or normal, contrary to popular opinion which has dominated our thinking about dairy for generations. Dairy is in fact neither healthy or humane. Why? You might ask do I think this.
Firstly, To counter the health claims that say dairy is good for the body, I say take a closer look at the dairy – disease connection which is well-documented in hundreds of studies that I discovered from leading public health organizations here in the US and abroad. There are also some great documentaries that do a great job of demystifying dairy and reveal its destructive impact such as Forks Over Knives and Got the Facts on Milk?
Secondly, to counter the humane claims on some dairy products we see today, I say consider the fact that dairy farms are essentially breeding factories.
- Cows need to be constantly and artificially impregnated to produce
milk and so they are pumping out lots of calves.
The male calves don’t produce milk and must be sold off or killed. Those that are strong enough to make it to auction are immediately torn away from their mothers and either raised as bulls for beef or killed for veal.
- Many cheese makers use rennet, an enzyme found only in the abdomen of unweaned calves, so the veal and cheese makers are interdependent.
- Spent dairy cows who can no longer produce milk after a few years in production become a liability for dairy farmers. And in their fragile, end of production state, the reward for their labor is to be sold for slaughter.
- In fact much of the hamburger we consume today is from spent and ailing dairy cows.
In short, I found the research I did on dairy to be so compelling that I compiled and published it all in a fact sheet called How about Humanely Raised Milk and Dairy Products?