Got Greens?

Cheese.  If there is a vegetarian fence-sitter afraid to go full-on veg, cheese is the goo that keeps them stuck to their post.  To be sure, if I had to choose between a greasy McDonald’s burger and a slice of cheese, I would pick the burger.  It’s said that there is more animal suffering and torture in a slice of cheese than a ribeye.  The life of a dairy cow is far worse than one “fattened up” (after pasturing) for only a short time in a feed lot.

If I had to choose, which I don’t, because I’m not anywhere close to starving.  Greens give me everything dairy does, and more.  So, to all the fence-sitters out there, I’d like to ask, “Got Greens?

* * *

Top Ten Reasons to Ditch Cheese

10.  Even cheap cheese can be expensive.  Highly processed foods mean energy and waste.  There are many steps in making cheese, from the feeding of the cow, to the milking of the teat, to the homogenizing and pasteurization, to the adding of the vitamins (that were lost due to heating), to the coagulating, to the pressing…to the grocery to you .  Cheese is a highly processed food, pure and simple.

Baby monkey nursing
Baby monkey nursing (Photo credit: nycgeo)

9.  A mother’s milk is meant for its own infant species.  Seal milk is evolved for seal pups — a human baby would starve drinking it.  Likewise, elephant milk is for her calves, and, yes, bovine milk is made for its calves too.  Ask your nursing friend if she wouldn’t mind squeezing a couple quarts of her breast milk so you can make a block of cheese; don’t be surprised if you get slapped.

8.  Lactation doesn’t happen on command.  Dairy cows give way more milk in their short lifetime than their bodies are supposed to make in a whole one — more than 4 times as much.  When milk production drops, she is artificially inseminated again to get her back on the pumps, just so you can have your slice of cheddar on a cracker.  In just 5 short years — that would be like you living to be the ripe old age of 18 — she is “spent,” no longer able to stand on her own feet.  She is dispatched, ground up, sold as pet food, her stressed meat not even fit for human consumption.

7.   Minerals and vitamins are borne of the plant world.  Where do you think cows get their calcium and vitamin D?   (Hint:  they chew it.)  Answer: Grass.  Humans are fortunate to be able to synthesize vitamin D with a bit of sun exposure, and calcium is ready for absorption from a diet rich in leafy greens (kale, broccoli, turnip, collard).

“Got Milk Greens?”

A veal calf
A veal calf (Photo credit: Farm Sanctuary)

6.  Veal:  the bastard child of dairy.  A newborn dairy calf is taken from its mother nearly immediately after its birth, just as the two are beginning to bond.  While the grieving cow is put back on the pump for your mozzarella purchase, his fate is sealed as beef, or, worse, to finish up in veal crate for the next few weeks.  He is then slaughtered well before his first birthday after never having moved a muscle (keeps the meat tender).  The female calf is lucky; she simply becomes another happy dairy cow.

5.  Dairy is acidic.  Too much of it puts undue strain on the kidneys.  In order to buffer this condition, the body draws (guess what?) your own calcium directly from your bones.  Can you say “osteoporosis?”

4.  Cheese tricks you into feelings of comfort.  As mammals, we are evolved with some great survival hormones.  One of them (relaxin) is responsible for the expression of the milk from the teat into the babies mouth, while another (oxytocin) makes the female feel good about nursing him.  As for the nursing baby, endorphin explodes in his little brain, making him come back for more.  It’s no wonder toddler-weaning is compared to recovering from a crack addiction.  (See?  It’s not entirely your fault.)

3.  The Dairy Council.  Are you really going to take data spewed forth by the same industry who also profits from your consumption of their product?  Blind government trust is so old school.  Dig a little deeper.

“Milk.  It Does the Body Good.
(Until Your Mama Weans You).”

2.  It makes you fat and messes with your blood workup.  There.  I said it.  It is nature’s “liquid flesh” and has all that bad with (what is little of) the good.

1.  A mother’s love.  Be it cow, a doe, a sow — or a human — all female mammals are wired to protect and nurture their young to maturity.  Separating them unnaturally to fix your taste bud seems a bit, uh, selfish.  Doesn’t it?

Mother and Child
Mother and Child (Photo credit: drogomoss)
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