Milk: Ideal Nectar Or Flawed Beverage?


Claire Emison, Head Copyeditor

In the present day, it is wildly easy to see that dairy milk is simply an inferior beverage. Today you can step into a grocery store, perhaps even Broadway Market, and spend hours and hours basking in the glory of a wide range of non-dairy milk drinks made from all sorts of things: oats, almonds, cashews, soy; the list is endless. How exciting it is to live in a time when the liquid many of us enjoy with breakfast cereal or a cup of coffee can be made from plants! And yet, even with all these futuristic space-age milks available, some still argue that the best choice is the foul milk of the Dark Ages: milk which comes out of a cow’s udders.

Cow’s milk is an ideal drink, honed and custom-made with the exact nutrients, hormones, and vitamins needed only for a specific demographic: calfs (baby cows). Although humans may occasionally indulge in frolicking in grassy fields or enjoy lounging in the sun from time to time, drinking dairy milk, much like growing a tail, is a calf behavior which is not suited to people. Although this may surprise and dismay some, humans and cows are fundamentally different species, and our drinks should reflect that. 

Over half of the almost eight billion people on Earth (and the Space Station, of course) are lactose intolerant, meaning they cannot fully digest the lactose enzyme prominent in cow’s milk. These people are everywhere; some might be with you right now—it could even be you! Much like with lava or battery acid, when deciding whether or not to drink cow’s milk, it’s important to consider if it’s something you can actually digest, and in many cases it simply isn’t.

In spite of its terrible flaws, cow’s milk is undeniably ubiquitous in our culture. Why is it that every student at CRLS who partakes in a school lunch is given the option to take a carton of milk? Is it to build our growing bodies? Is it to provide us with a delicious beverage to sustain us through the final classes of the day? No, tragically, cafeteria-provided milk is a sinister sign of late-stage capitalism, of corporations influencing our very government. The facts are that the dairy industry lobbies the government, then our schools serve milk, then I have to watch my classmates barbarically chug cartons upon cartons of cow juice.

Of course, there are many, many, other issues with acquiring and drinking cow’s milk, some of which, although I’d love to describe them in graphic detail, right here and right now, are too dark to be mentioned in the delightful Games & Humor section of the prestigious Register Forum.

Every cup of cow’s milk is overflowing with flaws, drawbacks, antibiotics, pesticides, and bad vibes. Next time you’re contemplating a Starbucks latte or considering the school lunch spread, skip cow milk and maybe even try a plant-based alternative. People will literally applaud you; all your friends, your enemies, and any dairy cows who happen to be in your social circle will have no choice but to deeply admire your cool and socially aware choices.

This piece also appears in our October 2021 print edition.