Cow milk is for calves

The first meal I made for my gf was OssoBucco using veal shanks. The meal was outstanding. At some point over coffee, I mentioned having difficulty sourcing the veal shanks.

Her jaw dropped. After not eating veal for 40 some years, on principle, she was surprised by how tasty it was.

Nature also intended for us to be covered with fleas, lice, ticks and after a refreshing dip in the local stagnant pond, leeches. Yet for some reason people seem fussily adverse to letting nature take its course :slight_smile:.

Firstly, AR people are quite spoken about the extinction of all livestock and pets. That is their end goal.

Secondly, although many breeds of dairy cattle require humans to survive, that is not true of beef cattle. They survive just fine on the open range. With predators capable of taking them eliminated and competition from native species (bison) nonexistent, they would quickly become the dominant herbivore anywhere they were let alone.

Nature is full of animals that opportunistically mooch off of other animals. Birds that sneak their eggs into another bird’s nest to raise their young, insects that mimic other bugs so they get fed solutions intended for the colony, etc. But then we just say “Neat” rather than worry about those animals subverting the natural order.

Seriously, I’m surprised that you are shocked by this. This board is primarily American & European and milk and all it’s related products are a huge part of American/European foods.

Really? You have a cite for that?

Because that would be a ridiculous end goal, and really only makes sense in the context of meat-eaters (like me) trying to make themselves feel better by saying “If I didn’t eat meat / drink milk, they’d go extinct!”.

When the reality is, the demand for these animals is not going to go to zero, and even if it did, they wouldn’t go extinct. We’re talking tens of billions of animals spread across the globe; there’s no plausible scenario where at least a few human populations worldwide don’t keep at least a few thousand around for science if nothing else.

Yeah, I was exaggerating slightly. AR is, like all such radical groups, composed of a core group of absolutists who are clear about the logical end game, quite a few activists who don’t think things through but are angry and passionate and willing to create a lot of suffering for others whom they label as unworthy to be accorded any consideration at all, and a much larger cloud of fuzzy sympathizers who do little but donate money and post on the internet.

But those absolutists have stated – occasionally in public though that’s probably accidental – that they consider all animal-keeping of any sort whatsoever, to be wrong. Along with hunting of course. “One generation and out” is the motto I have heard, I believe Wayne Pacelle said it in public.

It is why AR activities like releasing lab animals into the nearest wild, or lobsters into the nearest body of salt water, both death sentences, and the practice of euthanizing all the pets they “rescue” (this is very well documented), seems quite rational and humane to them. Better death than slavery, they feel.

They are very good at PR, and it is quite hard to find this kind of data. But it’s out there.

Cow milk may or may not be natural, or ethical, depending on your definition of nature or ethics. But it very well may not be sustainable as the century progresses. So get yourself ready for the cockroach milk!

I don’t think nature intends, exactly.

But if she does: then she intends birds’ eggs (as well as the birds) to be eaten by all sorts of creatures; and also for infant mammals (as well as adult ones) to be eaten by all sorts of creatures. So I doubt she’d object to mammalian milk being drunk by all sorts of creatures.

And, all other predation having stopped, would eventually start dying of starvation; having first wreaked major damage on all remotely edible species within their reach.

The system as a whole just plain doesn’t work without predators.

(Which is not a defense of factory farming.)

If people let them alone the wolves would soon make a comeback. Or if someone wanted to tinker with ancient DNA, I bet saber-toothed tigers could take down a cow.

But you specifically said

which is what I responded to, and which I quoted (with additional context) in that reply.

Well, I think the wolves and the cattle would balance each other’s populations in time. But it would require us to leave them to it. All I was trying to say was that common breeds of cattle are well adapted to life on their own. Many domestic animals are – pigs and horses go native very easily. So do goldfish.

Eventually. There’d be a pretty good mess in the meantime, and (especially in combination with other current stresses) some of the overgrazed vegetative species, and some other species dependent on them, might not survive.

The native bison, by the way, aren’t nonexistent. They’re only rare, and gradually becoming less so.

Some are. As you said earlier, most modern dairy cows aren’t: they produce way too much milk for their calves to keep up with, and most would die nastily of mastitis.

Many individuals, even of breeds that may adapt, won’t make it, as they don’t know how to survive on their own. Those that have been managing mostly on the open range would have a better chance; but even those often need human-provided food and shelter to get most of them through the worst of the winter.

Overall: I agree that cattle as such wouldn’t become entirely extinct if all humans either disappeared or cut them all loose; but the adjustment wouldn’t be at all pretty, many would die, and damage to other species would be considerable.

That’s so true.
I never really thought of milk that way.
I’ve watched Cuckoos shoving crow’s eggs out of the nest and replacing them with their own. :slight_smile:

Nature doesn’t do “no suffering”.
And, it really depends on the location – range cattle now are run on land that is otherwise unsuitable for agriculture; arid and fragile. Different story if they were on the eastern part of the plains, what was once tall grass prairie.

But this is far afield.


Interesting. What of the Turkic / steppe peoples of inner asia, and their descendants? Don’t they like, live on milk and milk products?


Interesting question.

Very interesting! So even today on the steppe, nomads don’t have the lactose persistence (tolerance) gene. But 20-50% of the summertime calories in their diet comes from milk products. It’s a modern mystery!


Not really.

As I mentioned in a prior post, cultures that consume dairy but where most adults lose the ability to make lactase typically consume dairy that’s been aged or cultured in some form, which breaks down the lactose. Mongolians fermented milk to make kumiss, make yogurt, kefir, butter, and cheese. It was pretty rare for them drink it as fresh milk.