Dairy Truth – #februdairy

After (another huge success of) Veganuary, the dairy industry came up with Februdairy. It’s giving me mixed feelings. First of all, it makes me laugh a little bit, because.. seriously? Second, it makes me happy.. because apparently the dairy industry is having problems and is trying to survive. Third, it makes me sad.. because there must be a lot of desperate farmers now veganism is going so well. Don’t get me wrong, because there is nothing I like more than animal exploitation to stop, but I also want people to have a job. I just hope that the dairy farmers are brave enough to choose a different profession before it’s too late. In the end I think it makes me happy the most, because if you look at #februdairy you can see how the vegan community is fighting back. It gives me a feeling of togetherness, we are all fighting for the ones without a voice. And it’s working! It looks like Februdairy turned into a vegan campaign showing everybody the truth around dairy. In just a few days the complete opposite is happening. It makes me feel proud, hopeful and strong! We have to stand up for the voiceless!

Why is dairy so scary?
Dairy is scary for a lot of reasons:
-A cow gives milk for the same reason a dog, a mouse, a lion and even humans give milk. It’s meant for her baby. Cows are not here in the world to provide milk for human consumption. We are not calves.
-We are the only species on earth that keeps consuming milk after we need it and also the only species that consumes milk from a different species.
-To get the milk, a cow get artificially inseminated every year. After the cow gives birth her baby is taken away from her within less than 72 hours. The calf is put in a crate by him/herself. A lot of male calves are killed straight after birth or sold for veal. Females will go through the same process as their mothers.
-A dairy cow goes to slaughter when she is around 5-6 years old (the average natural lifespan for a cow could be as long as 25 years), because around that time she will give less milk. At that time most of the cows are weakened a lot (some of them can’t even stand on their legs anymore, they’re called: downers) by the conditions they have lived in. She will be sold for meat. So every sip of milk is linked to the meat industry.
-Due to infections, caused by the machines and always lactating, there is blood and pus in milk. It’s legal for milk to contain up to 400 million pus cells per litre. This means that one teaspoonful of milk can max. have two million pus cells.
-In milk there are hormones and growth factors. This is necessary for the calf to keep drinking from her/his mother and to grow fast into a 750-1000 kg adult cow.
-Cow’s milk is unnatural to drink, unless you’re a calf. Therefore it’s unhealthy for humans. There are studies that that, for example, countries with lowest rates of dairy consumption have the lowest rates of osteoporosis. There are also studies that say that dairy increases the body’s level of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1). This is a known for promoting cancer. And this isn’t all, there are a lot more negative health related issues around dairy!
-Then there is the saturated animal fat, casein and lactose. This is linked to obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and strokes, bloating/wind and cramps, allergies, ovarian cancer.
-Dairy is all about money. The government and the dairy industry do not care about your health. Do your own research!

What can you do to make a difference? 
-Drink plant-based milk: oat, rice, soya, almond, cashew, macadamia.
-Only eat plant based yogurt, ice cream, cheese, creams or anything that otherwise may contain cow’s milk, like biscuits, crisps, cakes etc.. there is so much choice!
-Vote with your money. Every time you choose a plant-based alternative to cow’s milk, there is supply and demand. If supermarkets sell more plant-based milk and less cow’s  milk, slowly but surely there will be less and less dairy cows.
-Speak up! Tell people about the dairy industry. Tell the truth and hopefully more and more people will make the connection.

Do you still drink cow’s milk or did you swap it for a plant-based alternative? What is your favourite (my one is oat milk)? Do you have something you’d like to share or do you have a question? Please let me know in the comments below or show me by using #PlanetManel on Instagram. Thank you! X

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Vegan Advice #2

qaLet’s talk about veganism! Once in a while I like to do a ‘Vegan Advice’ post, where I’ll be giving answers to questions I get asked a lot. Every time I will answer 3 questions. You maybe read my first Vegan Advice already. That one answered the following questions: ‘Can I still eat something nice in a restaurant?‘, ‘How would my environment react?‘ and ‘Can I do it?’. This time I will answer 3 questions too: ‘Where do I get my protein from?’, ‘Can I eat the eggs from my own chickens?’ and ‘Do cows have to be milked?’. These are questions I get asked all the time. If you’re vegan too, I’m quite sure that you get these questions all the time as well. Especially question number 1..

16Where do I get my protein from?
Lets start this 2nd Vegan Advice with a classic. I think this is the most common question you get as a vegan. That’s why, whenever I get asked, it always makes me laugh a little bit. There are still a lot of people out there who think that you need to eat chicken, eggs and greek yogurt to get a sufficient amount of protein. Luckily plants have a lot of protein too. Very good quality protein. For everybody who doesn’t know yet or for people who would like to have a reminder, there we go: Black beans, Lentils, Tofu, Chickpeas, Soy, Edamame beans, Peas, Tempeh, Hemp seeds, Pumpkin seeds, Chia Seeds, Spinach, Broccoli, Almonds, Peanut butter, Spirulina, Tahini, Nutritional yeast.. and I can go on and on, but these ones are some important ones, which are particularly high. What means if you eat lots of these things, there will be no problem with your protein intake. Always aim to eat a varied diet though, don’t only get your protein from peanut butter guys, haha!

img_5915Can I eat the eggs from my own chickens?
Of course you can, but it wouldn’t be a vegan thing to do. So what are you suppose to do with the eggs? I would (and many people do) feed them back to the chickens. Chickens in the wild tend to do this too, to get the lost nutrition back into their body. The chickens nowadays, especially the ones who are bred to lay eggs, lay a lot more eggs than a chicken normally would. It’s insane to think about breeding an animal in a way so ‘we’ can make a profit. Some chickens will always lay a lot of eggs for a long period of time, that’s simply how they were bred. Very sad if you think about it. Other chickens won’t lay any eggs after a while or only just a few a year. This last situation is normal. Imagine a chicken who has to lay 1 or several eggs a day? It would be very vulnerable for predators and a waste of nutrition. Eating eggs is just not a unnatural thing to do. It’s not ours to take. So eating the eggs of your own chickens would also be unnatural. Normally, chickens who were used to lay a lot of eggs, will lay fewer eggs after a while. Especially if there is no rooster around. I was always told that a chicken who lays a lot of eggs, is very happy and a chicken that didn’t lay eggs was unhappy. Now I’m thinking about it, it always was the other way around..

IMG_0696Do cows have to be milked?
If I get this question, I’m always a bit flabbergasted. I do admit that as a child I did believe this too, because this is what you’re told. I am surprised if an adult asks me this though. No offence, because if you never thought about it and you were always told that cows exist to give us milk, then you don’t know. But a cow is not a magic milking machine. In order to give milk, a cow has to, just like any other animal and just like us humans, give birth first. By drinking milk you’re not only supporting the fact that the baby is stolen from the mum 1-3 days after giving birth, but you’re also supporting that more cows come into this world every day. More cows will suffer, more milk will be produced, more cows will be killed and also the more cows there are, the worse it is for the environment. Cows and other livestock are responsible for more than half the CO2 in the world. Apart from that, milk is one of the worst thing you can drink if you want to live a healthy life. So a cow will not suffer if you don’t milk it. If you don’t milk a cow after giving birth, the calf will drink the milk and stay with his/her mum for at least 6 months. Slowly it will drink less milk and slowly the milk will ‘dry up’. Exactly the same as with humans.

Did you already know the answers to these questions or did you learn something? Are there any other questions you’re struggling with? I’d be more than happy to help! Please let me know by leaving a comment below or by sending me a private email. You can also contact me via Instagram by sending me a message, by tagging me or by using #PlanetManel. Thank you! X