Can vegans drink milk?
No. Vegans do not consume Milk or any other dairy products.
Fundamentally, vegans believe that living creatures should not be treated like machines. As such they go beyond abstaining from meat and avoid the consumption of all animal products.
To non-vegans this often seems a step too far, since they see produce such as milk and dairy as harm free. However, there are numerous deep-seated issues in the dairy industry, ranging from poor animal welfare to environmental harm.
Some notable examples being:
- The fact that Cows don’t produce milk without a calf. Since the calves aren’t always required, they are simply killed for meat.
- Animals are required to produce milk intensively, often resulting in a drastic drop in life expectancy & a poor quality of life.
- Cows and calves are separated causing distress for both.
- A glass of Dairy milk is 3x more harmful to the environment than any of the plant based alternatives.
What about vegetarians?
This comes down to the individual, but yes generally speaking vegetarians can drink milk.
While vegans can’t drink animal milk, there are numerous plant-based alternatives they can indulge in, each with their own taste & characteristics.
Popular choices include:
- Soy milk
- Almond milk
- Oat milk
- Rice milk
- Coconut milk
Do we need (animal) milk in our diet?
No, we do not need milk in our diet. Whilst milk boasts an impressive nutritional profile, there’s nothing in it that you can get elsewhere in your diet.
Also the plant-based alternatives offer a similar nutritional profile. For example lets take a look at a glass of cow milk compared to a glass of soy milk:
| ||Milk||Soy Milk|
|Calcium||28% RDA||28% RDA|
|Vitamin D||24% RDA||24% RDA|
|Potassium||10% RDA||8% RDA|
|Vitamin B12||18% RDA||33% RDA|
|Phosphorus||22% RDA||16% RDA|
As you can see, the profiles are roughly the same. In fact, depending on your goals a cup of Soy milk may be preferential. For example, it offers a higher protein to fat, or protein to calories ratio.