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Dairy rejection based on psychological reasons

(14 Posts)
MissK16 Fri 07-Nov-14 09:57:48

My baby is almost 4 months old, I breastfeed. Since I've started breastfeeding, I constantly think about how personal, bonding, painful, uncomfortable, animalistic and wonderful at the same time nursing your baby is! Then I thought, hold on a minute, all my life I've been drinking animals' milk like I'm their baby. And I know how painful it is to have engorged leaking breasts in the morning. And I know how bad I'd feel if my milk was forcefully constantly pumped, and not for my baby but for people so that they could make cakes and have milk baths! Now I feel awful even thinking about drinking some cow's or any other animal's milk that was forced to give it away. Before I've never been on special diets and never restricted myself from eating foods of certain kinds because of ethical/psychological reasons. Now I'm vegan. I find it weird how I changed so quickly. I was wondering if any other mums have had such thoughts about drinking animals' milk? confused xxx

bronya Fri 07-Nov-14 10:12:41

Well, I eat meat. I figure if I do that, dairy isn't bad at all! If I had the choice financially, I'd eat organic meat and dairy only (plus organic eggs). I had to be nearly vegan while pregnant and I hated it. I can understand your choice, but also would like to say that I had to exclusively pump for a while with DC1 - so a bit like being a cow - milk removal at set times by machine. It was fine, comfier than bf actually.

geekaMaxima Fri 07-Nov-14 21:49:35

YY to regular pumping making you feel like a dairy cow. It made me appreciate cow's milk more, but no - didn't make it repellant.

But OP, when you say you've gone vegan I'm not sure if you've just cut out dairy or actually cut out all animal products in a fully vegan diet. If the latter, do be careful!

It's not too hard to cut out dairy and still eat a balanced diet (research to replace sources of calcium etc.). But suddenly going fully vegan is not really recommended unless you know your stuff nutritionally and supplement if necessary (esp. vitamin b12).

Not the easiest thing at the best of times to completely change your diet, let alone when bfing a 4-month-old baby. So look after yourself smile

Quitelikely Fri 07-Nov-14 21:56:59

How do you know the cows actually have sore boobs though? grin

MissK16 Fri 07-Nov-14 23:46:43

Thank you for the responses! Yes, fully vegan and I've lost weight and I don't really know if I get the nutrients a breastfeeding woman needs...I'll speak to the GP about it. I'm not sure if cows' breasts get sore or not, but I've heard cows moaning in pain from engorgement before...I wish I could afford only eating organic food, not because I think it's healthier, but rather because I know the animals and plants that are now organic foods were treated how they should be. Thanks again!

OutsSelf Fri 07-Nov-14 23:59:45

Vegan Society should be able to give you some ideas for nutritional information and where to plug any deficiencies.

FWIW I happen to think killing something to eat it is in many ways less cruel than forcibly impregnating it, artificially, then removing its baby so you can harvest the milk. There was an, ahem, impassioned farming thread once here where some obviously lovely women were tackling animal rights propaganda about farming, and they were terrifically convincing. But even they acknowledged that the moment when they separate the calves from the cows as pretty distressing, from the cows' point of view.

I have a vague idea that goats may not need to be regularly impregnated to keep up the milk yield, maybe check that out if you're still interested in having some dairy?

Also eggs - they are such brilliant nutrition, literally contain everything you need (not necessarily in the quantities that you need it though) apart from vitamin C. If we've had a few days where our diet has been less than optimal, I always give the kids an omelette and some berries and feel reassured. Harvesting eggs isn't really in the same order of things as taking the babies to slaughter and drinking the milk, to my mind

squizita Sat 08-Nov-14 14:28:06

The milky bit is the least cruel aspect imo. Unless its unsanitary or painful use of the pumps. Factory farming, drugs, killing baby bulls routinely ... These things concern me far more.
I don't find breastfeeding painful at all. So do I therefore have no ethics about my milk and meat? Because to me it doesn't hurt? BFING didn't change my ethics because to me it isn't horrible. But some cows are kept in disgusting conditions.
Fwiw I'm not vegan but am very careful where I source animal produce.

geekaMaxima Sat 08-Nov-14 15:36:15

YY to squizita. Everything we eat has ethical impact. Even vegan diets can be ethically troublesome given the environmental damage and human right abuses involved in global soy farming. (It is of course possible for vegans to avoid soy; it's just one example).

One person's ethically-conscientious diet could involve eating only local products of non-intensive farming, which might include meat or dairy. Another person's could involve eating only plant-based products, which might include monocrops from global intensive farming. It's a trade-off.

OP - some good advice already re Vegan Soc and eggs, but don't worry about your milk. You'll continue to produce perfectly nutritious bm even if your diet is less than balanced at the moment. But you will feel better if you eat well: both physically and mentally/ethically smile

squizita Sat 08-Nov-14 17:40:14

DH won't ear quenoa for ethical reasons. Similar situation to soy.
Also some "fair trade" is cleverly designed to trap communities into a monopoly cash crop (once the company has built the school and set fees needing a certain wage, your family will need to work for them forever ... A simplified example but some companies are that crass - or some fair trade comes with religious pressure ). Like a benevolent dictatorship.
So you even have to shop around as to which fair trade you buy!

OutsSelf Sat 08-Nov-14 22:14:47

I agree that eating or shopping ethically can be tough. I always think it's important to try, though, if we didn't bother, there'd be no drive to change anything.

Most soy is produced to feed livestock. Stopping eating meat would have the biggest effect in dodgy soy production.

I see what people are saying about conditions, but I don't think there is a palace in the world which would provide splice in the event my baby was taken of me. Clearly I'm anthropomorphisising but I've no other way to relate to living things, really. I think killing something is one sort of issue, but at least it ends the suffering of the thing. Taking something's baby, then keeping it lactating, then doing the whole thing to it again and again, that seems like a massively unnatural cruelty.

squizita Sun 09-Nov-14 02:04:08

I think you may have missed our point. We're not saying not to change your diet, but that the principles need to be applied even to a vegan diet (animal welfare, human welfare and environmental considerations). Many people do just think "oh cute animals" and brush all ethical considerations under the carpet apart from this - or say "thats a meat thing" as if anything non livestock related is inherently sound (palm oil anyone?).

OutsSelf Sun 09-Nov-14 12:30:49

I see what you are saying. It had come across to me like you were saying if you want to cut out dairy then you must also consider this, this and this. I was trying to offer a perspective in which just the particular thing about breastfeeding is the guiding principle for the changes she was talking about. The OP wasn't really raising a question about ethical consumption per se, was she? She was talking about feeling as a breastfeeding mother, she felt differently about cows, because they ate also breastfeeding mothers. That's slightly different in emphasis than suddenly becoming politically opposed to farming.

OutsSelf Sun 09-Nov-14 12:31:43

They ARE also bfing mothers, not they ate, sorry

geekaMaxima Sun 09-Nov-14 15:50:51

The OP's second post clarified she was concerned about broader ethics of food production, both animals and plants. I don't think anything anyone said was irrelevant.

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