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Hello all. I am involved in my first semi-debate about the healthiness (is that a word?) of dairy. I have given what I know, which isn't much. I need some arguments against dairy from a purely health perspective.


Much thanks!


DAIRY
 

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How about that milk-drinkers get to consume all the antibiotics they give the cows to stop them getting udder infections from over-milking and passing diseases on to each other because they're kept so close together?
 

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Well I would start with the plain and simple fact that about 60% of the human population can not digest lactose by adulthood.

That does not even start to factor in allergies.
 

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Jeezy - thank you SO MUCH for those links... I have been struggling w/ that debate for over 2 years now. I've always had random tidbits of info that I found randomly and tried defending my non-dairy habits [relatively successfully]... but this was absolutely perfect. First order of business, email to my mother.
 

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Yay!
Maybe you can gross some people out (puss and antibiodics anyone?) and they'll stay away from milk for a while.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beets83 View Post

Jeezy - thank you SO MUCH for those links... I have been struggling w/ that debate for over 2 years now. I've always had random tidbits of info that I found randomly and tried defending my non-dairy habits [relatively successfully]... but this was absolutely perfect. First order of business, email to my mother.
Except that it's very easy to refute each of those points in the links.

From a purely health perspective, as long as you eat organic dairy that is low-fat or non-fat, and consume it in small-to-moderate amounts, there is really nothing wrong with it (again, from a health perspective).

The issues arise when you consume high-fat conventional "factory" milk in large amounts.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by OregonAmy View Post

From a purely health perspective, as long as you eat organic dairy that is low-fat or non-fat, and consume it in small-to-moderate amounts, there is really nothing wrong with it (again, from a health perspective).

The issues arise when you consume high-fat conventional "factory" milk in large amounts.
k.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by OregonAmy View Post

From a purely health perspective, as long as you eat organic dairy that is low-fat or non-fat, and consume it in small-to-moderate amounts, there is really nothing wrong with it (again, from a health perspective).
Well there would still be the claim that animal protein increases the amount of calcium escaping from your body, for example.

But generally, I do believe that you can eat almost anything - sodas, salt, sugar, fat, etc. - if you do it in small enough amounts. That consideration is really not an argument in favour of the healthiness of any food however.
 

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Which is why it is hard to argue that milk is inherently bad for you, from a health perspective, if you don't consume a lot of it.

Now if you're going through a gallon a week, that's a different story...
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sevenseas View Post

Well there would still be the claim that animal protein increases the amount of calcium escaping from your body, for example.
Even if drinking milk is a zero sum game with respect to calcium (and it isn't) since when does that make something unhealthy?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by OregonAmy View Post

Except that it's very easy to refute each of those points in the links.
I'm not really sure about that. Seriously, can you refute each point with a good source?

Quote:
From a purely health perspective, as long as you eat organic dairy that is low-fat or non-fat, and consume it in small-to-moderate amounts, there is really nothing wrong with it (again, from a health perspective).

The issues arise when you consume high-fat conventional "factory" milk in large amounts.
The vast majority of people don't eat organic dairy. But I also agree that animal foods in small amounts do not ruin health. That's why I think the health argument is not a strong argument for veg*nism (maybe a strong argument for cutting down on animal products, but not necessarily eliminating).
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Irizary View Post

I'm not really sure about that. Seriously, can you refute each point with a good source?
I should have said, it would be really easy for someone in an email to consider each of those points as easy to argue against and easily feel that the sender is rather naiive. In other words, there isn't anything really compelling to convince the reader that dairy really is harmful.

"You can decrease your risk of osteoporosis by reducing sodium and animal protein intake in the diet,5-7 increasing intake of fruits and vegetables,8 exercising,9 and ensuring adequate calcium intake from plant foods such as leafy green vegetables and beans, as well as calcium-fortified products such as breakfast cereals and juices."

Right. In other words, drinking milk doesn't cause osteoporosis. A poor diet and lack of strength-building (weight-bearing) exercise certainly can, however.

"Dairy products-including cheese, ice cream, milk, butter, and yogurt-contribute significant amounts of cholesterol and fat to the diet"

What about non-fat milk and non-fat yogurt?

"Breast and prostate cancers have also been linked to consumption of dairy products, presumably related, at least in part, to increases in a compound called insulin-like growth factor (IGF-I)."

iirc, it's due to hormone use in milk, and hasn't been proven at all. Words like "might" and "presumably" won't really convince people.

"Insulin-dependent diabetes (Type I or childhood-onset) is linked to consumption of dairy products."

Given the number of children who eat dairy, why don't more kids have diabetes?

"lactose intolerance"

If you're not lactose intolerant, this point is pretty useless.

"Consumption of milk may not provide a consistent and reliable source of vitamin D in the diet."

Vitamin D is added to milk, as it is to soymilk.

"Synthetic hormones such as recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH) are commonly used in dairy cows to increase the production of milk"

And if you drink organic or non-RBST milk, this doesn't affect you. And many, many people are going this route.

"Milk proteins, milk sugar, fat, and saturated fat in dairy products may pose health risks for children and lead to the development of chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and formation of athersclerotic plaques that can lead to heart disease."

yes, and so can french fries, fried food, sitting on the couch all day, living with a smoker, etc.

Quote:
The vast majority of people don't eat organic dairy. But I also agree that animal foods in small amounts do not ruin health. That's why I think the health argument is not a strong argument for veg*nism (maybe a strong argument for cutting down on animal products, but not necessarily eliminating).
exactly. And, more & more people are eating dairy that is at least rBST/rGBH free.
 

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FWIW, the statements I typed above aren't necessarily what I believe, but I think that they're representative of things people would think if they read the PCRM article.

I think that if someone could provide something compelling from a health perspective, that'd be worthwhile. But what PCRM has listed unfortunately doesn't cut it.

It is really difficult to justify elimination of dairy from a health perspective, unless it isn't possible for someone to have dairy in moderation (like if they can't stop at a small dish of full-fat yogurt and have to eat a whole container or something).
 

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If they aren't convinced by the end of your argument, tell them that every glass of milk they drink is full of slimy pus!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by OregonAmy View Post

It is really difficult to justify elimination of dairy from a health perspective, unless it isn't possible for someone to have dairy in moderation (like if they can't stop at a small dish of full-fat yogurt and have to eat a whole container or something).
Well I do think it's easier for some people - would be for me at least - to completely eliminate a product rather than trying to eat less of it. Because "less" is a very indeterminate notion and you may easily slip into eating more and more, etc.

But at any rate, eating less dairy is better than eating more from an AW/AR perspective, so in that sense the health argument is worth mentioning.
 
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