Is consuming milk bad for health?
We have consumed milk of various animals for thousands of years. Milk is an important part of ayurveda. It is considered to be a medium as well as effect enhancer of medicines. The milk of camel and goat also has medicinal properties. Gandhiji was fond of goat milk and a goat used to accompany him whenever he travelled.
But today milk allergies have flooded the world and milk is aggravating autoimmune and inflammatory conditions.
Is this the fault of milk?
Not entirely. The use of bovine products in vaccines has triggered the allergies. The human body has changed, thanks to medical interventions, and is today unable to properly process and utilize many nutrients.
There is also a disease miasm called Psora in homeopathy. People with this miasm react negatively to milk. This is the most widespread miasm and forms the basis of other conditions. Milk incompatibility can be rectified by the use of appropriate homeopathic remedies.
The nature of milk has also changed. Indigenous cows have been replaced by foreign breeds. The cows are subjected to steroids, antibiotics, and vaccines that poison the milk. There is also the threat of adulteration. Besides water of doubtful quality, chemicals and detergents are used to enhance quantity and make milk more appealing.
There is also an abundance of purely chemical milk in India. It is said that currently India produces around 40% of the needs of the country. 60% demand is met with fully adulterated milk. Thus consuming sweets and even tea from roadside vendors is a health risk.
Milk today needs a "use with caution label". To circumvent the issues one can procure milk from the cow sheds that keep indigenous cows. There are cow sheds that try to supply good quality milk using safe and ethical practices. If milk agrees with your constitution you can procure from such agencies. The price however is high.
The government should take a critical look at the alarming situation and ensure that good quality milk is available. However it is the government that is responsible for introducing non indigenous breeds, artificial insemination, and encouraging extreme medication and vaccination of cattle. It is unfortunate those even goats are vaccinated. There are therefore no alternatives.
There are ethical issues. People feel that drinking milk is a form of cruelty to the animals and their offspring. This is also right. But there is an other side too. Animals that provide milk and dung share a relationship with their owners and therefore are well taken care of and avoid the slaughter house.
In India the cow was a prized possession and a family member. In my ancestral house I have witnessed the entire household take care of the 5 to 6 animals in the cowshed. The birth of a calf was celebrated and we children used to play with them. The cows were very spirited and getting close to a newborn calf carried serious risk.
The cows were kept for household milk consumption and there was no business motive. Therefore the calf were never constrained to drink their full. The cows provided enough milk for everyone. They were also free to go for grazing and returned in the evening by themselves.
The cow dung and urine was essential for agricultural activity. Today farmers are once again returning to those methods. This ensured that cows past their prime were well taken care of. The cowdung was also used for fuel and for mopping floors of mud houses.
The panchagavya was also essential for the famous Durga Puja which was also conducted in our house.
The smell of the cows and cowshed has a charm of its own. Much like horse stables in the West. That earthy feeling is what many miss today. When I visit villages in rural areas that smell reminds me of my own village.
The female members of the families enjoyed taking care of the cows. They used to spend hours cleaning and feeding them. We often lingered in the cowshed to take part. Each cow had a different nature and our aunts used to tell us how to handle them without risking injury.
There are instances of cows providing warning to the family about upcoming incidents. Many also have tales of cows taking the misfortune on themselves.
The cow became sacred also for the reason that Sri Krishna was raised by a cowherd family. He used to take the cows out for grazing and play his flute while they grazed. He was also extremely fond of milk and milk products.