I want to show you that the dairy industry is misleading in their advertising campaigns. Rather than drinking milk or eating dairy products; we should use alternatives to dairy.
First, I want to tell you about the dairy industry's claims, second, why they are misleading, and third, I'll show you some alternatives to dairy.
Let's start with my first point: the dairy industry makes many unsupported, misleading claims.
You've all probably seen the commercials, the ads in magazines, and the ads in newspapers. The "Got Milk" and other dairy industry campaigns have certainly gotten the message across. As marketers they are geniuses.
In these marketing campaigns the dairy industry claims that drinking milk helps us to lose weight, they claim milk helps to prevent osteoporosis, and they even claim that California cows are happy. However, these claims are poorly supported and some might even say bogus.
The dairy industry pays huge numbers of dietitians, doctors, and researchers to push these claims, spending more than $180 million annually.
The dairy industry has certainly infiltrated this country.
In schools, every child is given a pint of milk with their lunch.
They have bought off sports stars, celebrities, politicians, pushing all the while an agenda based on profit, rather than public health.
Now that you know what the dairy industry is claiming, let's move on to my second point: The evidence to why these claims are unsupported and misleading.
A recent "Got Milk?" ad featuring singer Sheryl Crow read: "Studies suggest that the nutrients in milk can play an important role in weight loss. So if you're trying to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight, try drinking 24 ounces of low-fat or fat-free milk every 24 hours as part of your reduced-calorie diet."But, according to a study published in the April 2007 issue of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition: Men and women aged 50-70 years old who had higher dairy consumption were not associated with lower weight.
Another study published in the April 2005 issue of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition: women aged 18-30 years old who increased their intake of dairy products did not alter their body weight or fat mass.
Dr. Stephen Daniels said "No study has yet shown that adding milk to youngsters' diet actually helps them control weight."Milk is high in saturated fat; numerous studies have suggested that diets high in saturated fat increase the risk of heart disease and stroke.
Another big claim, that drinking milk can help protect you from osteoporosis, the disease characterized by weak, porous bones, is also highly advertised.
Yet a study published in the June 1997 issue of The American Journal of Public Health found no evidence that higher intakes of milk reduced fracture incidence. This was a 12 year study of over 77,000 women.
In general, world dietary patterns show that countries where people consume large amounts of calcium are also countries where people eat enormous amounts of animal protein, such as in the United States and northern Europe.
These countries also suffer among the world's highest rate of fractures due to osteoporosis. Colin Campbell, professor of nutritional biochemistry at Cornell University says: "The correlation between animal protein consumption and fracture rates in different societies is as strong as that between lung cancer and smoking."Eating animal protein, which is high in sulfur-containing amino acids, requires the body to find a way to buffer the effects of those amino acids. It does so by releasing calcium from the bones, literally peeling them away.
Another claim from the California Milk Advisory Board is that "Happy cows come from California," yet at least half of the dairy cows in California and the rest of the United States live on factory farms, crowded into concrete-floored pens or barns, not on grassy hillsides as depicted in the ads.
Cows normally live to be around 20-25 years old, yet milking cows live only 4-5.
Farmers also use an array of drugs, including bovine growth hormone (BGH); prostaglandin, which is used to bring a cow into heat; antibiotics; and tranquilizers to improve behavior.
BGH causes cows' udders to become so heavy and swollen that they can drag along the ground. A full udder can weigh 60 pounds. The cows' accidental stepping on their udders causes the teats to become injured and infected.
Female offspring may join the ranks of the milk producers, but the males are taken from their mothers within 24 hours of birth and sold at auction either for the notorious veal industry or to beef producers.
Does that sound like a happy life to you?So, what is my logical, ethical conclusion? Let's find out in my last point: We must cut dairy out of our diets completely and choose to use the alternatives.
There are many easy replacements for milk and other dairy products.
Soymilk or rice milk is one milk alternative that I enjoy.
Many nondairy beverages are fortified to almost mimic what is in milk.
There are quite a few dairy-free ice creams and desserts. Every one I've tried so far has been delicious.
There are many other good sources for calcium. Sesame seeds, tofu, nuts, seaweed, arugula, collards, figs, parsley, kale, and wasabi. They all have much more calcium then milk!I want to tell you, it's your choice whether or not you eat or drink dairy products. Cutting out dairy can be very tough choice. But, if you choose to eat and drink the alternatives, you will benefit with better health and a cleaner conscience.
As I bring this to a close, just think about the dairy industry's claims, why they are misleading, and remember the alternatives.
Unfortunately, the dairy industry will spend more money pushing their unsupported claims, the cows will continue to suffer and the milk drinkers of the world will get unhealthier. So next time you see a "Got Milk?" ad or the "It does your body good" slogan, do your body good and choose to eat the alternatives to dairy.
Sources1. Feskanich, D, W C Willett, M J Stampfer, and G A Colditz, eds. "Milk, dietary calcium, and bone fractures in women: a 12-year prospective study." Am J Public Health 87 (1997): 992-997.
2. Snijder, Marieke B, Amber AWA van der Heijden, Rob M van Dam, Coen DA Stehouwer, Gerrit J Hiddink, Giel Nijpels, Robert J Heine, Lex M Bouter and Jacqueline M Dekker, eds. "Is higher dairy consumption associated with lower body weight and fewer metabolic disturbances? The Hoorn Study" American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 85 (2007): 989-995.
3. Gunther, Carolyn W, Pamela A Legowski, Roseann M Lyle, George P McCabe, Marianne S Eagan, Munro Peacock and Dorothy Teegarden, eds. "Dairy products do not lead to alterations in body weight or fat mass in young women in a 1-y intervention" American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 81 (2005): 751-756.
4. Weise, Elizabeth. "PETA: 'Happy cows' ad is a lie," USA TODAY 12 December 2002, 5. "Plant-Based (Vegan) Sources of Calcium vs. Animal Sources of Calcium," Soy Stache. 18 July 2007, 6. "Calcium," Vegan Society. 18 July 2007, 7. "Vegetarianism: A Few Facts," VegSource. 18 July 2007, 8. "Experts Compare Dairy Milk with Alternatives," Cooper University Hospital. 18 July 2007, 9. Green, Ch. "Not Milk: The USDA, Monsanto, and the U.S. Dairy Industry," all-creatures.org. 18 July 2007, 10. Chaitowitz, Simon. "Milk Is Ineffective for Building Strong Bones, Doctors Say," PCRM. 18 July 2007, 10. "Calcium Rich Foods: Get All The Calcium You Need Without Milk," the Healthier Life. 18 July 2007, 11. Raloff, Janet. "Do Meat and Dairy Harm Aging Bones?," Science News Online. 18 July 2007, 12. "Kids Who Got Milk May Not Get Fat," CBS News. 18 July 2007, 13. "Milk: No Longer Recommended or Required," PCRM. 18 July 2007, 14. "Milk Sucks!," dumpdairy.com. 18 July 2007, 14. Kradjian, Robert. "THE MILK LETTER : A MESSAGE TO MY PATIENTS," NOTMILK. 18 July 2007, 15. "Saturated fat," Wikipedia. 18 July 2007, Type: Persuasive speechLength: 8-9 minPurpose Statement: To persuade the audience that the dairy industry is misleading the public and we should choose to use alternatives to dairy.