Veal calves: horrifically abused by-product of the milk industry  »

Mercy for Animals has released another undercover video, this time from a veal facility in Canada. These little babies are not just confined, they are sick and injured, and get no medical attention. Why would they? They are just “food,” right? And then on top of that, the workers in the factory pretty much torture them. I couldn’t watch the whole video, it’s too sad, but the parts I watched are disturbing.

I hear plenty of meat eaters proudly declare they don’t eat veal. Most people know it’s often a cruel industry. But do people know that veal is a by-product of dairy production? It’s very simple: Cows need to have babies in order to produce milk. Many of the babies born are male. These male calves are useless to the dairy industry. So they are shipped to veal farms.

Even “humane” dairy farms do this. That’s what I always tell people when they say such and such dairy farm is so nice to the cows: ask where the boy calves are. I dare you. 

When I was a vegetarian, I had no idea that the cheese I consumed drove the veal industry. When I found out though, that’s when I became vegan. Of course I learned all the other reasons to be vegan eventually, but the link between dairy and veal is what made me vegan pretty much over night. I just thought to myself, if veal is a by-product of the dairy industry, dairy isn’t very vegetarian at all! Basically, being vegetarian isn’t very vegetarian. 

You can learn more about this investigation and send an email from the Mercy For Animals page.


Yes! The easiest and best almond milk tutorial ever. FRESH ALMOND MILK ALL THE TIME FOR EVERYONE!


Almond milk tutorial..
1. Soak a cup of raw almonds overnight.
2. Add the soaked almonds and 4 cups of water to your blender. Optional: sweeten it with a couple of dates, agave, vanilla and/or maple syrup.
3. Blend it at high speed for a minute or two.
4. Pour the milk through a “nut milk bag” and squeeze out the liquid..
5. Pour the milk into a purdy little bottle/jar..
6. Lasts 4-7 days in the fridge. Enjoy!

almonds are expensive, but if you can get your hands on ‘em, this is super easy! i’ve been making almond milk like this a lot lately and i’m loving it. 

Yes! The easiest and best almond milk tutorial ever. FRESH ALMOND MILK ALL THE TIME FOR EVERYONE!



Almond milk tutorial..

1. Soak a cup of raw almonds overnight.

2. Add the soaked almonds and 4 cups of water to your blender. Optional: sweeten it with a couple of dates, agave, vanilla and/or maple syrup.

3. Blend it at high speed for a minute or two.

4. Pour the milk through a “nut milk bag” and squeeze out the liquid..

5. Pour the milk into a purdy little bottle/jar..

6. Lasts 4-7 days in the fridge. Enjoy!

almonds are expensive, but if you can get your hands on ‘em, this is super easy! i’ve been making almond milk like this a lot lately and i’m loving it. 


Watch out for aspartame, milk-drinkers!  »

imageMore like aspar-tasty!

Per national food-issues watchdog Parke Wilde at U.S. Food Policy blog, little dairy-consumers could be ingesting fun new chemicals in their federally purchased school-lunch milks!

The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) and the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) have petitioned FDA to modify the standard of identity for milk, permitting companies to add a non-calorie sweetener without additional labeling.

The petition proposes to allow dairy companies to add the non-nutritive sweetener aspartame to milk, without being required to label the milk as “low-calorie” or “low-sugar.”  Currently, aspartame is allowed in milk (just as in diet soda), but such milk must be labeled to let the consumer know.

It appears the dairy industry is especially interested in marketing low-calorie flavored milk through child nutrition programs.

Oh boy! What lucky boys and girls, drinking delicious, artificially flavored milk, full of even more artificial sweeteners! And the dairy industry wouldn’t even have to tell them about it! Gosh, you’d think if milk-sellers were so proud of their newest clever way of tricking children into consuming their hell-beverage, they’d announce it in a super-cool ad, not petition the FDA to hide their action. Why, it’s almost as if the dairy industry doesn’t want adults to know what’s inside the new-and-improved, lower-sugar, “better”-for-kids milk products.

The dairy industry lie (by omission) to us? Perish the thought.

[Photo by cinderellasg via Flickr]


Guest post: when you hate on non-dairy milk, you just sound like an idiot.  »

Thanks to my obsessive personality combined with my penchant for evangelism, I am now lucky enough to have a vegan community that includes my mom, sister and three good friends. It’s really great to get to preach to the choir sometimes. Recently many of us have gathered to rant in perplexed fury about the anti non-dairy milk ads that are popping up on the netwaves recently.

[Can’t see the video? Watch it on!]

The conversations usually go something like this:

“Really? Really? The dairy industry is trying to convince me not to use almond milk because I have to shake the box?” 

“Seriously? The diary industry thinks that the Riboflavin in soy milk is more scary to me than the chemicals, pus, and hormones in cow’s milk?” 

Etc. You get the idea. The ads are doing little more than poking the beehive for my non-diary friends.

Which is the point.

You see, these ads are not actually for us as non-dairy milk drinkers. I realized this after another rant session with a vegan friend, when I came up a little stumped. These ad writers are professionals. I don’t think they are stupid enough to think that a convicted non-dairy drinker is actually going to flip on their decision suddenly because they realize they don’t like to shake a milk box. Also, we are a pretty small minority to target with wide-scale video ads. Yes, we’re growing, but the recent Gallup poll reminds us that vegans only make up about 2% of the population. These ads don’t seem to be targeting people who presumably can’t drink milk from lactose intolerance, but those who are choosing not to because of an anti-dairy bias. So who are the ads for?

These ads are not weak arguments aimed to bring non-dairy drinkers back into the fold. They’re actually aimed at dairy drinkers to prevent them from considering the switch to non-dairy alternatives. This tactic was used recently with the so-dubbed “anti-fanboy ads” that Samsung Galaxy III released earlier this year. These ads showed a crowd lined up at an obvious-imitation of an Apple store being drawn into the benefits of a Galaxy 3 and eventually abandoning their cult-like appreciation of their unnamed phone (clearly an iPhone 4s). A cacophony of internet righteousness ensued with much mockery and name-calling on either side. Many people argued that the internet skirmish was intentionally crafted, that the ads weren’t actually aimed to get Apple users to abandon their iPhone but to give a pat-on-the-back to those who hate “Apple fanboys” and say, “welcome to the team.”

These “non-dairy milk is stupid” ads are using the same tactic: they are intended to  reinforce to dairy drinkers that people who would think of drinking anything other than cow’s milk are ridiculous. So ridiculous, in fact, that we don’t even deserve rational logic to argue against. This serves to assuage any doubt that may be raised by the increasing number of people abandoning cow’s milk and affirms, “look at these crazy people who think cow’s milk isn’t God’s gift to the world. Good thing you’re not one of them.”

As for the indignation and fury from non-dairy drinkers as a result, that’s minor collateral damage. Or, one could say, just spilt milk.

Lucky for us, if youtube comments and votes indicate anything, no matter who these ads are actually aimed at, they don’t seem to be very successful. In fact, non-dairy are getting an opportunity handed to us to point out the flaws of dairy. Since the ads aren’t using any strong logical arguments against non-dairy milk, even dairy drinkers watch them with a little bit of “WTF?” This gives non-dairy drinkers the chance to make a case against dairy with dairy-drinkers on our side for once. So, show your friends, and make a day out of mocking how ridiculous these ads really are! It’s pretty fun.

Isaak Brown is a writer, youth worker, and highly enthusiastic and evangelistic vegan. Comments and thoughts are welcome at

Infographic: Milk is the wackness  »

Here’s a handy dandy inforgraphic all about our friend milk. See the whole thing here. Lots of interesting facts in this one. I pulled out the above section because it’s effing shocking that people consume so much more dairy than vegetables. And still the government pushes dairy. I think the public has that under control. Maybe they should go harder on the greens, hmm? 



Dude, this commercial is so great. Before everyone bitches about how Silk is wack and Dean Foods is the worst, I just want to say 1) I AGREE OKAY? and 2) Still, this shit is just good for veganism. It makes cow’s milk look gross, which it is, and makes almond milk look delicious, which it is. And I kinda want to get in a sexy sandwich with those two dudes, especially the one who looks like Weiner Dog. He’ll be both breads and I’ll be the ranch dip and marshmallow fluff. SANDWICHES DONE RIGHT.

Anyway, I’m not one for the ad beat, that’s all my girl Megan Rascal, but I’d say this is advertising done right, and so let us SPREAD ITS GOSPEL, MAD MEN-STYLE.*

*I think that means we sleep with it and don’t do our jobs and get drunk. I like!


Russell Simmons tells NY to get off the cow teat!  »

Earlier this month, Russell Simmons wrote a letter to New York governor Andrew Cuomo telling him that milk should no longer be the state’s official beverage. In other news, milk is New York State’s official beverage. No but really, did you know that? I didn’t. Wait, does every state have an official beverage? Looks like a lot of them do, and for the vast majority, it’s milk. Grody! However, California’s is wine—go ‘head, Cali! Get your drink on!

I used to be all about almond milk but now I’m all about coconut milk. It RULES. So! I think the oficial state drink should be coconut milk! There, it’s settled. I’m a (super) genius!

One Green Planet has a nice guide to help people dump the cow milk and get down with some plant milk! So if you know anyone looking to make the change, there you go. 


Find the real milk? If it’s all the same to you, I’ll pass  »

Oh, the food lobby. In its latest move, the California Milk Processor Board is trying to discredit milk alternatives like almond and soy milk with a new website that asks you to “find the real milk.”

Anybody who regularly enjoys milk alternatives knows that non-dairy—a.k.a. non-cruelty—milks don’t look the same as the stuff we take from cows, but my mother always told me not to judge things by how they look. When it comes to what I mix with my Cocoa Camino hot chocolate, I prefer to judge by factors like an absence of cholesterol, the presence of a nice dose of protein or omega-3 fats, and the fact that my favorite dairy-free milks got into my fridge by way of neither the callous removal of male calves from their mothers minutes after birth, nor the non-therapeutic application of hormones and antibiotics to dairy cows.

I’ll give them this: Milk producers have done a bang-up job of convincing the general public that milk is the perfect food, one we must all have in our diets lest we shrivel up and blow away. This totally ignores the millions of people around the world who don’t consume milk after they are no longer breastfed, and who do just fine for it. Many people can’t consume dairy, due to allergies or intolerance, and they are also perfectly healthy without it in their diets. Dairy’s association with weight loss has also been overstated.

The fact is, there are no nutrients found in milk from cows or any other mammal that we can’t get in our diets in another way, and there are plenty of things—especially in milk from factory-farmed animals—in cow’s milk that we’d all be better off without.

So what’s your favorite milk alternative? Mine’s almond milk, for sure. If you want to avoid additives, just do some label-reading—the extras aren’t in all non-dairy milks, contrary to what the Got Milk site implies. And better still, even a culinary fool like me can make homemade almond milk!

Terri Coles lives in Toronto, Ont., where she enjoys barbecuing, feeding feral cats, going to local music shows and getting really mad about hockey games. She blogs about her adventures in plant-based eating at The Vegina Monologues.

[photo by Luca Argalia via Flickr]


PETA messes with aggro CEO  »

Today in pointless news, we discover that PETA sent some PR company CEO a case of soy milk. The guy said he’d fire the next person who uses the last of the milk in the office refrigerator without replacing it, so PETA got wind of this and sent a bunch of soy milk with this note: “To help alleviate your office’s milk shortage, assist in your company’s stated goal of promoting employee responsibility while decreasing selfishness, and reduce animal suffering, PETA is sending the Beckerman Public Relations headquarters several cartons of delicious soy milk.”

HAHAHAHA what? Cute, PETA, but like, is this where my donation money goes? I feel like it could be better spent, even though this PR fellow is clearly an asshole. Maybe I’m taking it too seriously. What do you guys think?

[Photo credit: Catchword Branding]


Big news: cows also suffer in extreme heat  »

Those of us on the East Coast, especially in the concrete sauna otherwise known as NYC, are well aware of the suffocating heatwave that’s settled in this summer. If you thought New Yorkers were cranky before, the bar has definitely been raised due to the weather as of late. Now, imagine you can’t sweat.
Cows cannot sweat. Nor can they crank up their A/C, or dip into Victoria’s Secret for a while to browse frilly things while they cool off, or hit up the closest Starbucks for a Venti Mocha Frap. Instead, they become exhausted and debilitated, and they lose their appetites. This leads, of course, to a decline in milk production by as much as a third. Cows in Texas have become so overheated and lethargic that they drink so much water it actually kills them. While some dairy farmers are installing fan and sprinkler systems to alleviate the heat and cool off the poor bovines, this is only to maintain productivity and keep business booming. Perhaps we should start looking at the bigger picture and just stop treating these distinguished animals as if they were machines in the first place. After all, there are plenty of delicious milk alternatives out there, and I’ve never seen a lethargic almond.

[image via NDSU Agriculture Communication on Flickr]

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