Deconstructing the Dairy Is Natural Myth... in 14 Steps
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Vegan lifestyle articles that discuss ways of living in peace with humans, animals, and the environment.


Free From Harm
July 2013

dairy natural myth cow calf
This diagram widely available on dairy industry websites shows how artificial insemination is performed on a female cow.

The dairy industry has most people believing that cow’s milk, and the cheese, yogurt, butter, ice cream and other products derived from it, are “natural” for us to consume. But if they are indeed so natural, then why does the dairy industry have to use such extremely unnatural practices to extract the mammary gland secretions from cows?

  1. What’s natural about artificial insemination — the process of forcibly inserting bull semen deep inside the cow’s vagina while positioning the equipment through an arm in her rectum?
  2. What’s natural about forcing bulls to ejaculate using an instrument called an electroejaculator?
  3. What’s natural about the use of the constraining device that the industry calls a “rape rack” that is used to perform artificial insemination?
  4. What’s natural about an animal’s udders being hooked up to computerized milking machinery?
  5. What’s natural about manipulating the reproductive systems of female cows through genetics to get them to produce 6 to 9 times more milk than their bodies were designed for?
  6. What’s natural about artificially breeding millions of cows only to slaughter them at a fraction of their natural lifespan when their milk production declines?
  7. What’s natural about stripping the calves away from their mothers at birth and forcing them to live in isolation?
  8. What’s natural about feeding their calves raised for veal a diet that makes them anemic and malnourished?
  9. What’s natural about inserting a spiked nose ring in a calve’s nose to prevent him from suckling on his mother’s udders?
  10. What’s natural about consuming the breast milk of another species, intended for their own calves, into adulthood?
  11. What’s natural about drinking dairy milk when most of the global population can’t even digest or tolerate it?
  12. What’s natural about dying from a heart attack or stroke at 50 because our arteries are so clogged with cholesterol?
  13. What’s natural about forcing our children to consume something their bodies were never designed for, causing asthma, allergies, rashes, and juvenile diabetes?
  14. What’s natural about forsaking our compassion and harming other animals not because we have to, but just because we can?

(1) Progressive Dairyman, A.I. Cover Sheaths Improved Fertility in Lactating Dairy Cows, October 2011

(2) Lyons DT, Freeman AE and Kuck AL. 1991. Genetics of health traits in Holstein cattle. Journal of Dairy Science 74 (3): 1092-100

(3) “The Welfare of Cows in the Dairy Industry,” Humane Society of the United States. Accessed 7/21/2014 from:

(4) “Livestock Slaughter 2013 Summary,” USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service, 2014. Accessed 7/21/2014 from:

(5) “The Welfare of Animals in the Veal Industry,” Humane Society of the United States. Accessed 11/30/2014 from:

(6) “The Welfare of Animals in the Veal Industry,” Humane Society of the United States. Accessed 11/30/2014 from:

(7) “Health Concerns About Dairy Products,” Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. Accessed 11/2/2014 from:

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