Sunday, January 27, 2013

got milk?

This week’s reading was interesting for me. I've never liked milk – I’d do just about anything to not drink it. My sister loves milk so I would just bribe her to drink mine when my mom wasn't looking. My cereal always had the bare minimum of milk. I dunked my Oreos in the part of ice cream that got liquidy after sitting out for a bit (so delicious!) and washed down my cookies with water. Forget broccoli or brussel sprouts – milk was the biggest enemy during my adolescent years.  

Now it’s a lot easier for me to avoid milk. Not only do I live in an apartment where I get to control my diet (the only time I use milk is when I’m baking or cooking much to my mom’s disappointment), but I have scientific and religious backings also to justify my dislike of me. For a few years now there have been major breakthroughs in research concerning milk. The supposed benefits are really beginning to fade in light of all this new information about the harms of milk. What once was considered a major factor for child growth (my mom still blames my 5’3” height on how I didn't drink enough milk, not on how she’s 4’11”) is now being partially blamed for a variety of things from heart disease to breast cancer (click here for more information).

Although the religious backings might not have weight with a lot of people, keep in mind that religion has had a huge role in shaping society and culture (more information on religion and society here). Napoleon Bonaparte once said, “A society without religion is like a vessel without compass.” Although by no means am I saying that religion does or should play a huge part in society, I’m merely suggesting that it does influence it a bit. That being said, my religion is Jainism. We believe in non-violence and are non-egg eating vegetarians (More information about Jainism can be found here). Although the principals of Jainism state non-violence and we don’t eat eggs or seafood or poultry or anything of the sort, until recently many Jains have not been vegan. Recent findings about the lack of nutrition and health and milk and the conditions in dairy farms (here for information) have caused many Jains to either drastically reduce or completely cut dairy from their lives. Jains aren't the only ones either – veganism is a growing movement in the US and the world with such prominent figures as Bill Clinton, Pamela Anderson, Lea Michele, Alec Baldwin, and Kristen Bell making the switch.

With the lack of solid evidence that milk is more beneficial than harmful and in a society that is becoming so hyperaware and taking action against injustices to not only humans but animals also, my adolescent self can’t help but get excited at the prospect of the milk craze finally fading out. 

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