Let’s Talk About Dairy

Hello everyone,

I hope that you had a wonderful ThanksLIVING!  We had a wonderful holiday and I am trying to get myself back in gear 🙂

Today I wanted to discuss something that is near and dear to my heart, and it’s also something that most people do not know about.  This subject is dairy!

I was vegetarian for years and often ate cheese, whey, ice cream, yogurt, and cottage cheese, all while thinking that I wasn’t contributing to any animals being harmed or killed.  Unfortunately, I was completely wrong.

The dairy industry does a fantastic job at hiding the truth and telling us that it is perfectly okay to be consuming milk from another species.  In fact, we need it for “strong bones” and “it does a body good”.

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*Look at these happy cows, surrounded by family, living in green pastures.

Let me give you a quick summary of what actually happens in order for humans to drink cow (or goat) milk.  First, how do you think a cow produces milk?  Just like other animals, she needs to be pregnant!  The farmer will artificially inseminate a female cow on a device that is often referred to as a “rape rack”.  She will be pregnant for 9 months, just like a human, and will give birth to her baby.  As soon as the baby is born, he or she will be ripped away from their mom (they don’t want the babies drinking OUR milk) and the mom will cry in agony for days.  If the baby is a boy, he will be killed for veal.  If the baby is a girl, she will be raised as a dairy cow.  All dairy cows will be considered “spent” at about 4-5 years old and will be killed for beef.

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In addition to the animal cruelty, the dairy industry has done an incredible job of hiding the harmful effects of dairy on our health.  Dairy has been linked to certain cancers (including breast and prostate), is full of saturated fat, cholesterol and contains PUS.  It has also been linked to asthma, acne, type 2 diabetes, bloating, constipation, and osteoporosis (you read that right!  Because milk is so acidic, it actually depletes calcium from our bones!!!).  Dairy definitely does NOT do a body good!

So next time you are at the grocery store, instead of reaching for dairy milk, just walk over 5 steps and try some plant based options instead.  No animals had to be killed for them, they are better for your health and they are delicious!

For even more information on dairy, please watch Dairy is Scary or What the Dairy Industry Doesn’t Want You to Know

Also, please know that I am always here for you if you have questions about making the transition ❤

Sometimes it would be easier to not care…

Hello everyone,

This is a blog that I wrote just last year and I wanted to share it again today.  Facebook reminded me that it has been one year since we went to visit these babies and I want to honor them with this story.  We started off with twelve babies and today 5 of them are still alive and thriving!!!  Please take a moment to read this blog.  I still feel just as strongly about this today!

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“Those who have the privilege to know, have the duty to act.” -James Aspey.

Most of the time, in this blog, I try to share information with you: whether it’s vegan nutrition, facts or a kick butt workout that I have created.  Well today is not that day!  Today, I need to share a story with you in order to get it off my chest…that’s what a blog is for, right?!  I truly hope that you will read it anyway; you never know, you may still learn from it or may find it inspiring 🙂

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Since becoming vegan, I have definitely had my share of bad days and this past Sunday was no exception.  Over the past two weeks, my husband and I had been volunteering at an animal sanctuary where 12 baby cows had been rescued the day before they were scheduled for slaughter.  Just like other days, we showed up ready to feed the 9 remaining babies and to give them some love (during the last few months, I have absolutely fallen in LOVE with cows, realizing how incredibly smart and docile they are.  They honestly remind me of a big version of my sweet dog).

When we arrived at the sanctuary, we could tell immediately that the energy was completely different.  Not only were we one of the only people there, but the people surrounding us were completely silent.  We walked in, said hi to the babies and checked to see if they had been fed.  In the meantime, we noticed a baby on the ground who was being loved and kindly spoken to by the sanctuary owner (a 16 year old teen girl, by the way!).  She told us, “this one isn’t doing so well.”  We went on with our sanctuary chores, which included picking up the stall and being sucked on by the other babies, but knew that this poor baby had reached the end.  Surely enough, this baby passed away within minutes of our arrival.

Although we were in complete shock, we stayed, comforted the young teen, helped around the sanctuary (all while walking around the dead calf), and left after an hour.  I cried the whole way home.

IMG_7671*This is not the deceased baby.  Just one that is sleeping……

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ANOTHER REASON TO STAY AWAY FROM DAIRY:  I knew how incredibly scary the dairy industry was but we learned another horrifying fact before we left.  This sanctuary, which had now lost 4 babies of the original 12, had rescued the calves from a dairy farmer.  He was a completely evil man, who wouldn’t let the rescuers take all of the calves, and even kicked the babies in front of them so that they would “die quicker”.  As if this wasn’t bad enough!  I learned that sometimes in the diary industry, if the farmer knows that the mama cow is having boys, they will abort the babies to get them out sooner.  The sooner the babies are out, the sooner they can use the milk and make a profit!!!  These 12 babies were not only young but they were abortions who didn’t stand a chance.  They were incredibly malnourished and didn’t receive ANY love, or even colostrum, from their mom.  REMEMBER THAT MALE CALVES ARE THROWN AWAY, SLAUGHTERED AND ARE USED FOR VEAL.  NO MILK = NO LIFE

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Two days later, and I am still having an extremely difficult time dealing with not only the loss of this baby, but also the enormity of this horrendous industry.  When we came home on Sunday, I was absolutely in shock!  I wanted to cry, scream, run away and completely check out.  I thought to myself that maybe I am not strong enough to deal with this suffering; maybe this is a hopeless cause that I should run away from right now!  Wouldn’t it be easier to just not care and to go on with everyday life?!  Maybe then I can stop being sad.  I can stop being pissed off that we as a society are contributing to this EVERY SINGLE SECOND of every single day!  And just maybe I can stop being pissed off at those around me who are selfishly taking lives so that they can enjoy a minute of satisfaction on their tongues!

MESSAGE TO VEGANS AND NON VEGANS:  And then I realized something.  I realized that it simply not the faults of my family, friends and strangers.  We have been convinced by media and the power of this industry for so long. “Milk does a body good.”  “Milk builds strong bones.”  “We need milk for calcium.”  “At least milk isn’t killing anyone, right?” “Dairy cows need to be milked.”  IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT!

And if we, as vegans, don’t speak up and fight…who will?  This horror will just continue and these animals will continue to be tortured, murdered and have their babies taken away from them.  So as much as I would love to crawl into my bed and grieve, I cannot.  I have to spread awareness and I owe it to these babies who didn’t make it.  There is no more time to be silent.  Once you know the truth, you are obligated to spread the message!

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So as I leave you, to wipe the tears off my face, please, please, please consider how you can make a change.  Are you a vegan who is afraid to speak your mind?  Or are you a non vegan who is ready to make a change?  Either way, please get out there, educate yourself and fight for these innocent creatures who just wanted to be loved!!!

Thank you ❤

 

For more information on the dairy industry, please visit my “Resource” page and check out the following links:

Cowspiracy http://www.cowspiracy.com

Dairy Is Scary https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UcN7SGGoCNI

Dairy is Scary (No Graphic Images)  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4DcxKBSEzeQ&t=3s

 

It’s easy to give up dairy with these awesome alternatives!

Have you ever thought about giving up dairy but just don’t know how you will live without ice cream or cheese?!  With these awesome alternatives, you don’t have to.  Here are just some of my favorite, plant based alternatives to make the dairy free transition an easy one.

Cheese:  There is a vast array of vegan cheeses on the market!  We have tried many and found that Violife is the most like dairy cheese.  It tastes extremely similar and melts just like the real thing.  We use it on pizza and even in grilled cheese.  Unfortunately, it can be a bit tricky to find, but Whole Foods just launched it in their stores, nationwide.  You can also visit Violife’s website to see where it is sold near you.

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Some of my vegan friends also love the brands: Chao, Kite Hill, Myoko’s and Follow Your Heart.

In addition, we have found that it is truly easy to make your own “cheese” at home.  Here is our absolute favorite, dairy free Mac and Cheese recipe from Vegan Yumminess.

Ice Cream:  Confession time: now that I am vegan, I eat a lot more ice cream than I used to 🙂 I am amazed by how creamy and delicious some of the plant based ice creams are.  My personal favorite is Nada Moo but my husband loves So Delicious (cashew milk).

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There are many dairy free brands on the market now and you can even find them at places like Target and Walmart.

If you want to try to make your own at home, you could try making “Nice Cream”.  There are thousands of recipes on Pinterest and Youtube and it is incredibly simple: blend some frozen bananas with a little plant based milk, add a bit of vanilla and you’ll have a healthy dessert.  Here are 10 nice cream recipes from Chocolate Covered Katie.

Mayonnaise and Butter:   Here are our favorite alternatives for dairy based mayonnaise and butter.  You will be amazed at how these two taste like the real deal!  My favorite mayo is Follow Your Heart Vegenaise and our butter of choice is from Earth Balance.  Earth Balance also makes sticks of butter for baking.

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The dairy free life is taking off in the markets and there are many other alternatives for plant based milks, yogurts, creamers, pizzas….you name it!!  You just have to be open to possibilities and keep trying until you find one that works best for you.

Have you tired any of these dairy free alternatives?  Please comment below with your favorites!

 

***Please remember that any dairy free alternative is going to be better than the real deal.  Dairy contains hormones, saturated fat, cholesterol and PUS…not to mention how they treat the animals (for a review, click here).  Also, please keep in mind that a whole foods plant based diet is better for our health than using alternatives; however, these are great as a treat or during the transition period 🙂

Sometimes it would be easier to not care…

“Those who have the privilege to know, have the duty to act.” -James Aspey.

Hello everyone,

Most of the time, in this blog, I try to share information with you: whether it’s vegan nutrition, facts or a kick butt workout that I have created.  Well today is not that day!  Today, I need to share a story with you in order to get it off my chest…that’s what a blog is for, right?!  I truly hope that you will read it anyway; you never know, you may still learn from it or may find it inspiring 🙂

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Since becoming vegan, I have definitely had my share of bad days and this past Sunday was no exception.  Over the past two weeks, my husband and I had been volunteering at an animal sanctuary where 12 baby cows had been rescued the day before they were scheduled for slaughter.  Just like other days, we showed up ready to feed the 9 remaining babies and to give them some love (during the last few months, I have absolutely fallen in LOVE with cows, realizing how incredibly smart and docile they are.  They honestly remind me of a big version of my sweet dog).

When we arrived at the sanctuary, we could tell immediately that the energy was completely different.  Not only were we one of the only people there, but the people surrounding us were completely silent.  We walked in, said hi to the babies and checked to see if they had been fed.  In the meantime, we noticed a baby on the ground who was being loved and kindly spoken to by the sanctuary owner (a 16 year old teen girl, by the way!).  She told us, “this one isn’t doing so well.”  We went on with our sanctuary chores, which included picking up the stall and being sucked on by the other babies, but knew that this poor baby had reached the end.  Surely enough, this baby passed away within minutes of our arrival.

Although we were in complete shock, we stayed, comforted the young teen, helped around the sanctuary (all while walking around the dead calf), and left after an hour.  I cried the whole way home.

IMG_7671*This is not the deceased baby.  Just one that is sleeping……

____________________________________________________________________________________________

ANOTHER REASON TO STAY AWAY FROM DAIRY:  I knew how incredibly scary the dairy industry was but we learned another horrifying fact before we left.  This sanctuary, which had now lost 4 babies of the original 12, had rescued the calves from a dairy farmer.  He was a completely evil man, who wouldn’t let the rescuers take all of the calves, and even kicked the babies in front of them so that they would “die quicker”.  As if this wasn’t bad enough!  I learned that sometimes in the diary industry, if the farmer knows that the mama cow is having boys, they will abort the babies to get them out sooner.  The sooner the babies are out, the sooner they can use the milk and make a profit!!!  These 12 babies were not only young but they were abortions who didn’t stand a chance.  They were incredibly malnourished and didn’t receive ANY love, or even colostrum, from their mom.  REMEMBER THAT MALE CALVES ARE THROWN AWAY, SLAUGHTERED AND ARE USED FOR VEAL.  NO MILK = NO LIFE

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Two days later, and I am still having an extremely difficult time dealing with not only the loss of this baby, but also the enormity of this horrendous industry.  When we came home on Sunday, I was absolutely in shock!  I wanted to cry, scream, run away and completely check out.  I thought to myself that maybe I am not strong enough to deal with this suffering; maybe this is a hopeless cause that I should run away from right now!  Wouldn’t it be easier to just not care and to go on with everyday life?!  Maybe then I can stop being sad.  I can stop being pissed off that we as a society are contributing to this EVERY SINGLE SECOND of every single day!  And just maybe I can stop being pissed off at those around me who are selfishly taking lives so that they can enjoy a minute of satisfaction on their tongues!

MESSAGE TO VEGANS AND NON VEGANS:  And then I realized something.  I realized that it simply not the faults of my family, friends and strangers.  We have been convinced by media and the power of this industry for so long. “Milk does a body good.”  “Milk builds strong bones.”  “We need milk for calcium.”  “At least milk isn’t killing anyone, right?” “Dairy cows need to be milked.”  IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT!

And if we, as vegans, don’t speak up and fight…who will?  This horror will just continue and these animals will continue to be tortured, murdered and have their babies taken away from them.  So as much as I would love to crawl into my bed and grieve, I cannot.  I have to spread awareness and I owe it to these babies who didn’t make it.  There is no more time to be silent.  Once you know the truth, you are obligated to spread the message!

____________________________________________________________________________________________

So as I leave you, to wipe the tears off my face, please, please, please consider how you can make a change.  Are you a vegan who is afraid to speak your mind?  Or are you a non vegan who is ready to make a change?  Either way, please get out there, educate yourself and fight for these innocent creatures who just wanted to be loved!!!

Thank you ❤

 

For more information on the dairy industry, please visit my “Resource” page and check out the following links:

Cowspiracy http://www.cowspiracy.com

Dairy Is Scary https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UcN7SGGoCNI

Dairy is Scary (No Graphic Images)  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4DcxKBSEzeQ&t=3s