So you think this is a ridiculous statement, don’t you? WE AGREE. It is just as ridiculous as BIG DAIRY’s advertising slogan: “9 out of 10 U.S. Olympians grew up drinking milk.”
That’s why we put up a billboard at Beverly & Sweetzer in Hollywood–and plastered posters all around LA–to expose the deadly truth about cow’s milk.
We are Switch4Good, an evidence-based nonprofit, working hard every day to bring consumers the truth.
Truth is, most Americans grew up drinking milk because BIG DAIRY lied to us. Working in collusion with the Federal Government, BIG DAIRY sold us the lie that “Milk does a body good.” They said we needed milk to be healthy and have strong bones. But it’s just not true.
It’s like when BIG TOBACCO told us cigarettes don’t kill you. For years, cigarette manufacturers used slick PR and advertising campaigns (remember the Marlboro Man?) while hiding over 500 studies that proved nicotine was addictive and cigarettes kill.
Taking a page from the tobacco industry’s playbook, BIG DAIRY also hides behind slick marketing and lies. But make no mistake, like tobacco, dairy is a stone cold killer.
Here are the important facts that the Dairy Industry has hidden from you:
Dairy kills people.
Dairy kills the environment.
Dairy kills the truth.
Dairy kills cows.
Dairy kills food justice.
This may all seem a bit far-fetched, because we all grew up believing BIG DAIRY’s marketing lies… but keep reading to uncover the truth.
Dairy Kills People.
Dairy is a leading contributor to heart disease—the NUMBER ONE KILLER of Americans. Milk and other dairy products are the top source of artery-clogging saturated and trans fats in the standard American diet. These fats constrict blood vessels and slow blood flow to working muscles, causing hypertension and wreaking havoc on the cardiovascular system. Cheese is especially dangerous since it is typically over 50% percent fat!
Multiple studies have linked dairy to increased risk of terminal cancer.
More Dairy = More Ovarian Cancer Deaths
Research published in 2021 looked at over 3 million people (!) across 34 studies and found that women who consumed more dairy increased their risk of dying from ovarian cancer by 32%.
More Dairy = More Prostate Cancer Deaths
Harvard researchers found that men consuming the recommended 3 daily servings of dairy had a 141% higher risk of dying from prostate cancer.
Studying over 200,000 people, Harvard researchers found that replacing the “recommended” three daily servings of dairy with whole grains, nuts, or beans (like oat, almond, and soy milk) cuts the risk of dying early by over one-third.
Dairy products are among the most harmful inflammatory foods–especially for the 65 percent of people globally who are lactose intolerant. Inflammation is the one underlying comorbidity linked to most chronic disease.
Despite what we have learned growing up–from our parents and advertising campaigns–dairy products are among the most harmful and inflammation-inducing foods. Explains Dr. Vivien Chen who teaches and empowers individuals to take charge of their own health and healing via Plateful Health: “Our bodies are very clever and are always trying to protect us. If there is chronic inflammation going on, it means there is something lurking in your body that shouldn’t be there. Your immune system is on high alert because it is encountering things that shouldn’t be in your body, and so it triggers a chronic, low-grade inflammatory response to try to counteract and remove it.”
Over time, the inflammatory cells and cytokines that get released can actually damage tissues like blood vessels, causing them to clog up and become leaky. This, as you can imagine, can then impair blood flow and affect athletic performance and recovery as it has an adverse effect on oxygen delivery. In addition, inflammation in the body means cells that would normally be recruited for regenerating damaged tissue during performance are diverted away, meaning it could take longer for the body to repair itself after training. Inflammatory cytokines, which are the chemical messengers that the body uses to communicate with, can also cause fatigue which will also interfere with athletic performance.”
Cows’ milk proteins are foreign to the body, triggering an immune system defense. This can affect lung function, making it more difficult to breathe when we need it most. Asthmatic athletes are particularly crippled by drinking dairy, as dairy is devoid of antioxidants which are essential for protecting asthmatics’ vulnerable lungs.
Dairy Kills the Environment.
Industrial dairy farming contributes to ecocide—the widespread anthropogenic climate change that is causing a global environmental crisis.
The waste from a dairy farm of 2,500 cows is equivalent to the waste from a city of 411,000 people, or 110 million pounds of waste a year. What’s more, animal agriculture makes us 1/4 of the global water footprint, 19% of which comes from dairy cows.
According to Science.org, water use is much higher for cow’s milk: 628 liters of water for every liter of dairy produced, compared to just 28 liters of water used for 1 liter of soy milk.
Communities are suffering from extreme air pollution and contaminated drinking water due to harmful greenhouse gasses and runoff from nearby dairy farms. Not to mention the loss of land and soil degradation from careless handling of fertilizers. A study by Oxford University found that producing a glass of dairy milk every day for a year requires 7,000 square feet of land – ten times more than oat milk.
Dairy Kills the Truth.
For decades, BIG DAIRY has manipulated research and nutritional science to construct billion-dollar marketing campaigns through its marketing arm, MilkPEP. They are responsible for some of the most popular and misleading advertising campaigns in history.
The Dairy Checkoff Program is an industry-funded federal program that has a profound impact on what Americans choose to consume. Prompted by the dairy industry, Congress created the National Dairy Promotion and Research Board in 1983 whose sole purpose was to promote dairy products by way of marketing and “nutritional education.” To fund this effort, dairy farmers agreed to pay a small fee based on the weight of the milk they sold.
This program is responsible for targeting low-income communities with some of America’s most craveable (and least healthy) food products including Pizza Hut’s Stuffed Crust Pizza and Taco Bell’s Quesalupa and Quesarito. The Board has worked with dozens of companies to promote dairy-heavy menu items, resulting in 40 percent more cheese on Domino’s pizzas, more milky drinks at Starbucks, and larger cheese slices on Egg McMuffins.
In addition to these corporate collaborations, the research studies that demonstrated a positive correlation between athletic performance and chocolate milk were funded—at least in part—by the dairy industry and specifically designed to favor dairy. Scientists ensured the industry’s desired result by comparing chocolate milk to a protein-deficient sports drink.
Of course, BIG DAIRY relies on the fact that most people don’t read below the fold, let alone analyze scientific studies.
People see the professional athlete sporting a milk mustache when they flip the page in a magazine, or they scroll through the headlines and see that a new study confirms the benefits of chocolate milk in teen athletes, and they’re reminded to add milk to their grocery list. Milk has become so ingrained in our culture that we cannot see past the smoke and mirrors to what milk really is—a century-long problem the government cannot spend enough money to get rid of, no matter how much cheese Pizza Hut stuffs into its crust.
Dairy Kills Cows.
Of course, the dairy industry doesn’t kill “productive” dairy cows. That would be very unprofitable for them. However, after the cows have spent years being forcibly impregnated, having their babies repeatedly stolen, and enduring constant physical and psychological abuse, ALL dairy cows are killed and “processed” into beef products–years before their natural life expectancy.
The dairy industry is inextricably linked to the meat industry. Male calves are considered by-products of dairy farming and are sacrificed so that milk can be harvested from their mothers and sold. At these facilities, female calves will likely become dairy cows themselves. But male calves are confined and sold for veal, or simply killed. To BIG DAIRY, their lives are worth nothing and their suffering is just part of the business.
In many cases, when dairy cows are considered “spent,” producing less milk as a result of repeated pregnancies and births–or due to a prolapsed uterus–they are sold for cheap cuts of beef, many ending up as fast-food hamburgers.
Dairy Kills Food Justice.
The majority of the world’s population is unable to digest the lactose in dairy, with 70-95 percent of Blacks, Asians, Native Americans, Latinx folk, and Ashkenazi Jews suffering from lactose intolerance. Lactose Intolerance is a debilitating condition that causes gas, bloating, nausea, cramping, diarrhea, stomach pain, and in severe cases, vomiting. And yet BIG DAIRY continues to market milk and other dairy products to people of color.
Since its inception in 1946, the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) has encouraged children of color to take a carton of milk with their lunch. This is an unjust form of structural racism called dietary racism. And we think it’s time BIG DAIRY and their collaborators (like the USDA) stopped discriminating against people of color.
Through the NSLP, the USDA mandates cow’s milk in schools to the detriment of over 50 million American children. However, not only is milk the most common and severe food allergy in children under 16, but the vast majority of children of color are lactose intolerant.
This is problematic because pushing cow’s milk on lactose intolerant children greatly inhibits their learning potential setting them up for multiple disadvantages as they progress through their educational journey. For children of color specifically, this systematically undermines their ability to perform at the same level as their white, lactase-persistent classmates.
Is Dairy the New Tobacco?
At the top of this page, we suggested that BIG DAIRY had taken a page out of BIG TOBACCO’s playbook–hiding behind slick marketing and lies.
Truth is, like tobacco, dairy is a stone cold killer.
Remember the female athletes sponsored by the Dairy Industry, flexing and smiling on a billboard in the heart of Times Square? The copy on the billboard beside them read “Join Team Milk.” On the surface, it certainly seemed like a noble effort—promoting women in sport and apparently calling for an end to the disparity between male and female athletes. But BIG DAIRY essentially took a page out of BIG TOBACCO’s 1929 “Torches of Freedom” campaign playbook—an attempt to make cigarettes a symbol of female emancipation.
The Dairy Industry’s efforts to “Nikeify” milk deserve scrutiny, because “Milk Hurts.” It hurts the people drinking it. It hurts small farmers and our environment. And, obviously, it hurts the cows who are trapped and exploited by the industrial dairy machine.
And while BIG DAIRY certainly wants you to feel good about drinking milk—with their slick ad campaigns, paid for by YOUR tax dollars through the U.S. government dairy check-off program—most people will be literally sick to their stomach and suffer numerous other health problems after consuming dairy–up to and including death.
For too long, society has accepted the distortion and misinformation BIG DAIRY feeds us.
Switch4Good exists to set the record straight, for the sake of human health, food justice, and the future of our planet.
We work with health experts, athletes, social justice warriors, enlightened policy-makers, and progressive corporations to promote ethical lifestyles and widespread behavioral change related to how we eat.
EVERYONE can benefit from ditching dairy. Whether you’re looking to improve your health, raise a family, optimize athletic performance, protect the environment, or stand up for social justice, you can do so by going dairy-free.