As published in The Record, NorthJersey.com
There are better sources of calcium than milk
Regarding "The milk question" (Better Living, Page BL-1, Jan. 5)
My mother was brought up on dairy, regularly consuming milk, ice cream and cheese. She suffered horribly from osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis and sclerosis as she aged. She had two hip replacements.
I've done research concerning how dairy inflames arthritis, and how it actually depletes calcium from bones.
Although nothing can compare with the unique vitamin D provided by sunlight, it's true that calcium and vitamin D are better absorbed in foods, rather than a pill. But it is better absorbed from foods other than dairy.
The 2012 report in the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine must have rattled the dairy industry. The study tracked fracture rates in 6,712 adolescents. The results showed that active children who consumed the largest quantities of milk actually had more bone fractures than those who consumed less. In other words, milk doesn't actually build strong bones.
In addition to health benefits, a dairy-free diet benefits dairy livestock. There are no happy cows. After giving birth, they are separated from their calves so humans can have their milk. Cows will try to hide their calves from dairy farmers. A cow's bond with its calf is very strong, yet we tear them apart for milk. It is an evil and cruel industry.
Calcium is an essential nutrient. But non-dairy sources of calcium such as beans, tofu, broccoli, kale, collard greens, breads, cereals and non-dairy, calcium-fortified beverages provide adequate calcium without any of the health, ethical or environmental drawbacks associated with milk consumption.
Jan Fredericks, president of God's Creatures Ministry