Why Do People Drink Milk?

Yarr, my high-school biology teacher was a complete anti-milk umm… scurvy… dog, I guess… arrr. This is retarded, so anyway:

My high-school biology teacher was totally opposed to milk and acted as if it WOULD SLOWLY KILL EVERYONE WHO DRANK IT!!!
It just pissed me off cause I often drink up to a half-gallon of milk a day. Any crazy “MLIK IS EVILE!!!1!!!” people here?

In the Bible, a land flowing with milk and honey was a good thing.

Yes, I know it’s an idiom :wink:

Not true. I get my horchata right here in Chicago. Anyplace with a substantial Mexican population will have it.

For good measure, here’s a recipe. Beware of recipes that use milk, though – they’re crap, too heavy.


1 cup uncooked rice
4 1/2 cup warm water
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cinnamon sticks

Place rice and cinnamon sticks in a large bowl. Pour warm water over rice. Set aside and soak six hours or overnight.

Remove cinnamon sticks. Pour into blender jar; process until smooth. Strain mixture through a fine mesh sieve. Return to blender, process again. Strain mixture into pitcher through a clean dampened
dish towel or cheese cloth. Rinse blender, return mixture to blender; add sugar and vanilla. Process until combined. Refrigerate until chilled. Serve over cracked ice.

The only evil thing about milk is how delicous it is! Oh, and that it increases the mucus production in your nose or something like that. It is cow mucus we’re drinking, after all. But what else are we going to wash down chocolate chip cookies with?

My fiance is a milk-is-evil type, it is a constant running argument (good natured fortunately) with us.

Her claim is that humans are not designed to drink milk and don’t digest it well, and that it is just generally unhealthy. She also claims that, since no other animal in the world is a milk drinker, then humans shouldn’t be either. She also claims that pasteurization destroys any benefits milk has and that it probably causes cancer as well.

My counter claims are that…

–Just because there is a lactose-intolerant minority, it doesn’t logical mean that the rest of humanity is destined to suffer the same ill. Milk has never made me sick and frequently settles down my tummy when it is feeling uppity.

–Every freakin’ mammal on the freakin’ planet drinks milk. What does she think her nipples are for! It is incredibly nutritious and beneficial for an infant, there is no reason why it shouldn’t be also beneficial to adults.

–Pasteurization is one of the greatest life-saving developments in history! You want to claim it causes cancer? Then show me some data!

I don’t think milk is evil. I just hate the taste, smell and texture. I will never drink another drop of milk for as long as I live.

Now cheese is MUCH different story!

There are plenty of crazy MILK IS EVIL people here. They’re everywhere, they’re everywhere.

Well, except among people like the Maasai who exist almost entirely on fluids from cows (and what they can beg, trade, or steal from other peoples) until they move into the cities and start eating fruits and vegetables and stop walking 20 miles a day and get fat and develop heart disease.

If you find yourself unable to ignore them, you can ask questions like “why are we the only species to write letters to our friends and loved ones?” “Why are we the only species to make amusing “Oh Lordy! Look who’s 40” giant novelty cookies?” and so on…

Or you can say things like, we’ll we are not the only species to eat the reproductive organs of plants, so in that way, we’re following the “all specious should do exactly the same things” program you seem to believe in.

Or you could say that perhaps we do this so we’ll have a little less in common with other species because if we get too much in the habit of just following the herd, as it were, the next thing you know we’ll be carrying eggsacks in spongy parts of our backs or coating ourselves in mucus so we can hide out dry spells in the mud. Would you want to do that? Other species do.

By the way, ranchers like to claim that various predators will kill cows, ewes and etc to get at their full udders, but I think this is more myth than reality. I mean, sure, predators like to eat the soft parts first, but…

And, in response to the original OP, some people drink milk because it is the best way to get calcium into the body.

one word… OREOS!!

My daughter and I got into this conversation last night.
It went from "why do we drink milk to…

Did you know that the cows giving milk are usually pregnant or just recently had calves? They often have puss in their milk. Did you know that the baby calves are taken away from their mothers and isolated in small crates. They are given injections of something (I forgot what she said) and this gives the calves the runs…keeping them lean and their meat tender. They are then sold to restaurants as veal specialties.

She is a Veegan and supports PETA so she always has some animal cruelty story to share with me about food.

When she was about 15 years old I got a call from the store manager because she was putting stickers on the meat that said something like “this once had a face” I don’t recall what the manager made her do. I think she had to write a report for him to stay out of trouble.

Outside of the western world, most people become lactose intolerant after infancy, so it’s hardly universal.

Ye be drinking the milk for calcium, the same as ye be drinking the orange juice so ye’s don’t get scurvy while sailing de seas. Yarrrr. But milk be very fattening unfortunately - so the Cap’n an his mateys seek out other forms of calcium rich booty!

Ok I did my pirate thing for the day, so don’t say I’m not a team player or anything like that! My old teacher had heart surgery and they had showed him a full test-tube of fat that is said to be the fat content of a glass of milk. Yeuch

I’ve always hated the taste, texture and smell of milk, ever since I was a kid. I will eat it with cereal or oatmeal (oddly enough I don’t mind milk with these things), and I’ll cook with it, but that’s about it. I take supplements and drink OJ with calcium in it. I love cheese and yogurt, but gag at the thought of a glass of milk.

Oh yeah, and, um…Arrrr!

The four major nutrients we need from food are water, protein, fat and carbohydrates. As far as I know, milk is the only single food that has all four.

Besides, it makes damn good ice cream.

Arrrrrrr me blimey birthing parental unit used to be cheap and would make up that instant milk from Carnation and put it in the store bought milk container to fool us. Aaaaarrr any idiot can tell the difference!

Isabelle me blimey non-birthing parental unit did the same. After much ado and threat of the plank or hanging from the yardarm, a settlement was made and Skim was the law of our corner of the seven seas. When I moved out on my own there was much merriment and the next-to-cream nectar known as 2% made it to my fridge. I’ve recently gone health-nut and switched to 1%. I wish I didn’t need to lose 10 or 15 pounds, because I’d drink a gallon a day if I could. Arrrr.

There is a limit (at least in the US) of how much somatic cells (commonly referred as pus) can milk have. A commingled tank (with the milk of all the cows in the unit) that surpasses that amount is immediately discarded, all of it. And cows that are sick or in antibiotics cannot go to the dairy parlor until they are deemed free of disease. Baby male calves may be treated the way you say (and not necessarily the right thing to do, either), but baby female calves get the best colostrum and baby feed around, and are reared to become good dairy cows.

We need water, protein, fat, carbohydrates, minerals, and vitamins. Milk has the first four in good quantities, and a good chunk of the minerals and vitamins we need.

I don’t have a cite for these, but here goes:

Ancient peoples of central and western Europe became lactose tolerant because those individuals who could digest milk were morelikely to live longer and leave more descendants. Their descendants, of which I am one, make up about 30% of the world population. The rest of the world’s peoples are usually lactose intolerant so it is by no means a minority.

And besides, milk tastes good. Sure, I enjoy a nice glass of limeade, but nothing beats the smooth taste of milk. And a man can live on milk alone too.

How the heck do you make a White Russian without milk?!?!?

If most of the world’s people are lactose intolerant, it’s interesting that herding bovines and ovines is so universal. It seems that nearly every culture went through a herding stage. If you can’t use the milk, then there’s no use for the animals other than meat and leather. It almost seems like it wouldn’t have been worth keeping the animals when you couldn’t get any ongoing profit (i.e. milk) from them.

Can lactose intolerant people eat cheese?

Personally I drink milk because it is tasty and an excellent source of calcium and vitamins. I drink skim to make it a healthier choice as my cholesterol is high enough without the milkfat!

There are a lot of foods we eat that no other species on the planet eats so I can’t see that as a valid reason not to drink milk. Why do we process coffee beans and drink coffee? Why do we make so much candy (that has no nutritional value)? Why deep fry things? Why do we cook meat at all? No other animal cooks their food.

Apparently we adapted an ability to digest milk that gave us an advantage in survival. And have been drinking milk for a very long time. (from here )

I was really surprised to discover how many non European peoples have lactose intolerance though. (from here )

And apparently the level of lactose intolerance dictates wether or not you can eat cheese. If you are highly intolerant you can have no lactose at all… more moderate cases can ingest foods with lower amounts of lactose (like some yogurts and cheeses) or need only add enzymes to their dairy. (from the same article quoted directly above)