Suckled In: It's Udderly Ridiculous

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Suckled In: It's Udderly Ridiculous

By Jenny Moxham
Heckler ยป Article
Sydney Morning Herald.
22nd October 2009

Suckled in: it's udderly ridiculous - October 22, 2009 .

WITH Wednesday's Heckler about spilt milk and recent talk of hoaxes I was suddenly struck by what is surely one of the biggest hoaxes ever - the milk hoax.

It is perpetuated by the dairy industry and holds that cows' milk is a ''natural food'' that we need for strong, healthy bones.

Certainly milk is ''natural'', and certainly it's natural to drink it if you're a calf, but it can hardly be considered a natural drink for humans - especially adults.

Bovine milk is designed specifically to meet the needs of a large, fast-growing calf.

Now picture this: You're driving along a country road and you spy a smartly dressed couple clambering through a fence and heading towards a cow. The woman pushes the calf aside, then, getting down on hands and knees, crawls underneath the cow, grabs the udder and suckles. When she's had her fill, the woman rolls from beneath the cow and her place is taken by her well-dressed partner. Wiping the milk stains from her dress, she keeps the indignant, mooing calf at bay with intermittent kicks.

When the couple have had sufficient to drink they sidestep around the cowpats and head back to their car.

On seeing this, would you think to yourself, ''Oh, that couple are having a drink of milk''? Or would you stare in utter disbelief and think, ''Those people must be crazy.''

I imagine you would think they were crazy, and you would be right. It is crazy to suckle from a cow. Yet we do this, in effect, each time we drink cows' milk.

Paying someone to mechanically suckle the cow and put the milk in a carton may well make all of this seem less ridiculous, but whichever way we have it, we are still sucking baby milk from a cow's udder.

Oh, and we don't just kick away the calf, either. We kill it. One million tiny bobby calves are slaughtered each year by the industry.

Dairy Australia tells us ''milk is packed with important nutrients children need every day to promote growth and development, and to build strong, healthy bones and teeth''.

Funny thing is, the countries with the highest intake of dairy have the highest rates of bone fractures and osteoporosis.

Just think about it. Is it really plausible that humans were created so imperfectly that it would be necessary for them to seek out lactating female bovines and suckle from them in order to meet their calcium needs?

Surely the milk hoax has to be one of the biggest hoaxes ever.