Drinking the milk of other animals

Dear WDDTY:

Kitty Campion says that "humans are the only creatures on earth that drink the milk designed for another species" what about cats? They do it in millions every day.

Man has used the milk of animals as food from times of earliest record. The main reasons we do it is that we can do it, but plenty of other animals will drink the milk if it is offered. Many pigs are reared and fattened on milk and whey from cheese factories.

Campion says that "casein is intended to be broken down by the four stomach digestive system of baby cows".

However, calves have only one functioning stomach, entirely equivalent to the stomach of the monogastric eg, man and other primates and pigs. The other three stomachs are rudimentary at birth and enlarge to cope solely with the digestion of fibrous food, such as grass and hay. This has nothing whatever to do with the digestion of milk.

Regarding her statement that in humans milk coagulates and forms large, difficult to digest curds, so it does in the calf. According to R W Blowey, author of A Veterinary Book for Dairy Farmers, (Farming Press), the formation of a milk clot is the first stop in digestion. This clot is slowly digested by enzymes. N G Fowler, Canterbury.....

Kitty Campion replies:

Dairy products are not a wholesome source of calcium. They contain a significant amount of saturated fat, allergy inciting casein, pesticides and phosphates, which can neutralize the calcium. The proposed use of the hormone BST in milk which will change its chemical composition presents an uncertain danger to humans.

Consuming dairy products does not seem to prevent osteoporosis. Indeed those nations with the highest milk consumption are also those with the highest levels of osteoporosis (Am Jour of Clin Nutr, 1982; 36: 986).

In a study sponsored by the Dairy Council itself women consuming three 8 fl oz glasses of cow's milk daily still lost calcium from their bodies and remained in negative balance even after a year of consuming 1500 mg of calcium daily (Am Jour of Clin Nutr, 1985; 41: 254).

Butterfat clogs arteries (including those of young babies and children), is one of the culprits of childhood obesity and can contribute to the elevated hormone levels that may foster the growth of cancer (Cancer Prev Med, 1982; 11: 108-113 and Progress in Biochemical Pharmacology, 1975; 10: 308).

With increasing frequency, studies are appearing in scientific literature which prove that people who eat dairy and meat free diets live longer, healthier lives (Can Res (Supp), 1975; 35: 3513-22; Am Jour of Clin Nutr, 1978; 31: 191-198; Am Jour of Public Health, 1985; May 75(5): 507-12).