Putting aside for a moment the dietary arguments against drinking cow's milk—we're not calves, it's liquid meat, it's snot-producing, so hard to digest, etc.—conventional milk deserves vilification for many reasons. Conventional dairy's ethically repulsive and planet-reaming process involves more or less torturing cows to lactate year-round; pumping their ailing, grain-fed bodies with hormones and antibiotics right up until they become hamburger; butchering their anemic offspring for scallopine and pet food; and, last but not least, polluting our own water supplies with both their excrement and agricultural runoff. Oh, wait. That wasn't last. I forgot to mention that conventional milk is trucked hither and yon. But don't take my word for any of this; here's yet more information on the malevolent liquid that complements a slice of chocolate cake so nicely.
One way that milk lovers can sidestep these issues, at least in part, is to buy more sustainable forms of milk: certified (or in-spirit) organic and/or local. But if taste is the guide, as is so often is the case, is one of these morally better milks more delicious than the other? Or are they all just white, taste-neutral beverages?
Head to Grist for the full rundown of which milks are worth buying and which are not.
Photo by Jason Houston via Grist.