Why You SHOULD Drink Milk

Why You SHOULD Drink Milk

Wise words from a dairy farmer responding to the "Milk Hate"

"Why You Should Stop Drinking Milk"

Rewind to a few days ago when this was the headline I read as I scrolled through The Odyssey Online. (In case you would like to read the original article, here's the link. Why You Should Stop Drinking Milk). It may have been because of my family's dairy farm or because my curiosity got the best of me, but either way, I stupidly decided to read this article written by a fellow Odyssey writer. As soon as I read the first paragraph, I was frustrated. By the time I finished reading the article, I was so irritated by the false information that I knew I wanted to write a response to this author. And so, from a farmer's daughter perspective, here is why you should drink milk from a family who has milked cows for far longer than a century.

1. "You're drinking pus"

The author proclaims: "A glass of milk contains many disturbing ingredients such as bovine growth hormone, feces, and antibiotics...[and] milk has an alarming amount of pus."

When I read this statement I was completely speechless and stunned that someone could think that milk contained any of those substances because milk does not, never has, and never will contain any of these ingredients.

This is why milk is safe. Every other day, milk is picked up by the milk company at dairy farms and is tested for multiple things like bacteria levels (this is the sematic cell count that must be under a set bacterial level), 38-degree temperature, and antibiotic usage. If a farm is tested and has a sematic cell count that is higher than the limit, the milk company will give the farm three attempts to bring the count down into the acceptable range; otherwise, the farm will be shut-off and the milk will not be picked up. In the meantime, the farmer is required to test the sematic cell count of their herd and not put milk from the cow with the high cell count in with the other milk until the situation is straightened out. That cow's milk is not wasted, it is only fed to the calves until the sematic cell count is once again within the acceptable range. The same repercussions farmer's experience from the milk company also occur if the milk is not at 38 degrees. However, if the milk company's test discovers antibiotics in the milk, then the farm will be shut-off automatically by the milk company; they have a strict no antibiotic policy in place.

In response to the statement made about the U.S. having a higher sematic cell count allowance than in other countries, I want one to consider the following. Even though the U.S. allows a higher cell count, do you mean that you are more comfortable drinking milk from a foreign country such as China where there is no way you could see how the milk is produced rather than drink milk that is more than likely produced within your local area and have the opportunity to support the local economy?

2. "Cows milk isn't meant for humans"

"Cow's milk contains an abundant amount of pointless fat, cholesterol, and calories." All I have to say is so do most of the products sold in the snack aisle of the grocery store; yet, people still eat those.

3. "It's a nightmare for cows"

This is the part of the article that infuriated more than the previous portion of the article. While I can't speak for all dairy farmers, I know I can speak for many if not the majority when I say that no farmer would ever treat their cattle like The Odyssey Online writer portrayed them to.

"Cows in the United States spend their lives in crowded feed lots surrounded by disease and their own feces."

That's wrong. If a cow is sick, they are separated from the herd because the farmer doesn't want to risk infecting his entire herd and loosing his business. Cows aren't just an animal used to produce milk, cows are thought of as an essential piece to a farmer's way of life and part of the family. And, cows do not live in crowded feces filled feed lots. Cows are given the room to roam and graze in open fields because it helps to not only keep them healthy in terms of milk production but also help keep their joints, muscles, and feet in tip-top shape.

But, the author doesn't stop there. She continues on to say that cows are repeatedly impregnated through the use of a "rape rack" and bulls are treated with an "electro-ejaculator."

I'll be honest, I've never heard of either of these products so I asked some farmers who have milked cows for their entire lives. Each person I talked to have never heard of either of these products. Do you know why? Because they probably don't exist. Or if an "electro-ejaculator" does exist, most likely it is only owned by the artificial breeding corporations. However, most farmers do not use artificial breeding because it is too expensive; therefore, they let things happen naturally between the bull and cow.

Also, cows are not repeatedly impregnated and used as a milk machine. Biologically speaking, it isn't possible. A cow cannot produce milk until it has a calf. Once the cow has had a calf, they will be milked; however, once the cow is carrying a calf again, she will gradually begin to dry up. In the last three months, or sometimes a little bit longer, a cow will not be milked because she has nothing to produce. Furthermore, once the cow has calved, she cannot be bred back for at least 60 days. So, no, a cow is not just a milking machine she is cared for and the farmer will treat the cow will the animal's best interest at heart.

Finally, this is the point of the article that frustrated me the most. "Once a cow gives birth, the calf is violently taken from the cow (leaving the traumatized calf screaming for the mother, and most times too weak to survive). The industry does this to prevent the calf from drinking the milk intended for humans."

No, no, and no. That doesn't happen, at least not on any farm that I have ever been on. Actually, calves are kept with the mother for a few weeks because the cow's milk at that time is the most nutritious and contains colostrum (a nutrient that is only found in milk at the very early days of being fresh). So, I ask you, why would a farmer take a calf from the cow when at that time, the milk is the most nutritious? The answer is simple, they don't because both the cow and the calf is an investment and the farmer cares for the health and well-being of both. Furthermore, the calf nine times out of ten be raised up and added to the milking herd so the farmer doesn't want to see the calf suffer and be ill.

4. "There are healthy alternatives to milk"

There's almond milk, soy milk, and many other "milks." But, that isn't milk. The Ranch said it best:

Cover Image Credit: Elmhurst Dairy

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.

Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.

7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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An Incurable Disease Doesn't Change The Love I Have For You

Because one day the one you love the most is fine and the next day they're not, it causes devastation you never truly recover from.


Loving someone with an incurable disease is the most emotionally straining thing I have ever experienced.

My significant other and I have been together for almost six years. During the summer of 2018, we all noticed the significant changes he was going through. He had lost around fifty pounds and had a lack of appetite. We had figured something was going on, however, we didn't realize it was anything serious.

Fast forward to the Fall semester of 2018. I had visited my boyfriend and we had expressed certain concerns, such as, through the night I would try and get him to stop uncontrollably itching his legs to the point of bleeding, or that he was looking a little yellow and was exhausted all the time. After seeing his sister in November, while I was at school, she pleaded with him to go to urgent care because he did not look good. He was yellow, exhausted, and very sickly looking. We didn't realize that the urgent care visit would be the precedent of the rest of our lives.

After coming home for Thanksgiving and spending a week straight in the hospital with him, it finally set in that something was not right. Between all the vomit, getting moved for testing, the weakness, the constant calling for medications because the pain was so severe, and the almost month-long stay in the hospital, it hit me full force that something was really wrong. Words will never truly describe the emotions I was feeling, or the burden of my thoughts that I felt were too selfish to pass on anyone, so I kept them to myself.

When we finally got the diagnosis, we were surprised. PSC, otherwise known as Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis, is an incurable liver disease that affects the bile ducts which become scarred and inflamed, more likely than not lead to cirrhosis and an inevitable transplant. There was no cure, rather the only solution was a liver transplant, and even then the disease can be recurring.

I was thinking selfishly. I was torn in two. What would our future look like? Could we have children? Could we ever do the things we used to?

Loving someone with an incurable disease is a mix of emotions. There is a constant fear in the back of my mind that he is going to wake up in intense pain and have to be rushed to the hospital. There is a constant fear of every time waiting for the bi-weekly blood test results to come back, in fear that his Bilirubin spiked again or he is undergoing a flare up and needs to be hospitalized. There is a constant anxiety that one day he's going to be fine, and the next day he won't be. Even the simple things, such as laying beside one another, was a constant fear I had, due to the pain he was in every day. What if I hit him in my sleep on accident? What if I accidentally hugged a little too tightly and caused him pain?

Loving someone with an incurable disease can be a fluctuation of emotions, however, he makes it worth it.


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