As a young animal lover, I stopped eating meat when I was 13 years old, and dairy was an absolute staple. I didn’t think anything was wrong with it because it wasn’t like the cows were being killed, right? Wrong. So wrong. It wasn’t until four years ago, when I watched the documentary Vegucated, that I found out how inhumane the dairy industry is. I had no idea! Cows are artificially impregnated at an alarming rate, and after they gave birth, their babies are brutally taken away from them immediately and hooked up to a machine to give their milk to us. I was sobbing watching a farmer drag a newborn calf away from its mama while she screamed and tried to chase after it as they held her back.
I live in Vermont, where the joke is that there are more cows than people. I spoke to tons of small family farms to find out the truth. They all nodded. I was shocked that one very well-known organic farm explained, “The reason we separate the calf right away is so they don’t bond. Already you can hear the moms and calves mooing to each other, and it’d be much worse if they stayed together.” It made me sick. As a mother of two, my heart ached, and I felt compelled to give dairy up overnight.
Aside from feeling good about not supporting the cruel dairy industry, I had no idea how dramatically my life would improve over the past four years. Here are the amazing health benefits I experienced after going dairy-free.