What's the hype with milk alternatives?

by Josie Harshfield, Staff Writer

The following story was written by a student on the staff of The Jaguar Times as part of Hilliard Bradley High School’s Journalism Production course.

Save the cows; Drink plant milk!  Photo by: Ulleo from Searchbay.pixabay.com
Save the cows; Drink plant milk! Photo by: Ulleo from Searchbay.pixabay.com

Recently, many people across the country have been cutting out the classic dairy milk and substituting it with milk substitutes such as soy milk, almond milk, oat milk and so many more. What’s the deal with dairy milk? Why are so many people cutting it out of their diet? This story will cover the question asking, “what’s the hype with milk alternatives?”.

I put up a survey on my Instagram page asking people what if they drink plant based milk and why or why not, and a lot of the responses were similar, Alivia Frye stated, “I like it better but I also eat vegan whenever possible for fun.” A few others also said it was because they were lactose intolerant. Personally, I drink almond milk since my dad drinks it but most of the time I don’t enjoy it.

One response from Nora Warnick said “Mass cow farms are a contributing factor to global warming” which caught my eye. After Nora’s response to my survey, I did more research on cow farms contributing to global warming. An article from The Washington Post says that “Cattle are responsible for 62 percent of agricultural emissions — eating fewer of them is one of the most powerful steps an individual can take toward protecting the planet.” Eating cows doesn’t just consist of hamburgers and brisket, it also includes dairy products such as milk and cheese. Another quote from The Washington Post says that “Cows are a major culprit. Since they have slower growth and reproduction rates than other animals, they require more resources to produce something a person can eat. Beef requires about twice as much land per gram of protein as chicken and pork, and 20 times as much land as the equivalent amount of protein from beans.” Thanks to this article, I’ve realized that consuming beef is bad for the environment and my intake of beef should be limited to none and hopefully this can change a few opinions.

A lot of people such as Hannah Boggs are lactose intolerant. The website Mayo Clinic says that lactose intolerance is the inability to digest the lactose in dairy products. Lactose intolerance is usually caused by a deficiency of an enzyme in the body called lactase. It’s usually self-diagnosable and can last for years or even be life long.

Consuming any sort of cow byproduct can be harmful to yourself as well as the environment. In order to help yourself and the world, you can go out and buy plant or nut milks such as almond, soy and oat milk