The accompanying health capsule in today’s Times of India made me smile. I was having breakfast when my eyes fell on the capsule. The tea in my cup whitened with milk powder sparkled with an unusual mirth. Ever since I left Delhi last year, I never bought milk to whiten my tea. I could never come to terms with the taste of actual milk though I was forced to drink it at my Delhi school whose breakfast had milk on its menu. I drank quarter of a tumbler for the sake of a belly that longed for some warm liquid.
Many people in Delhi (and its neighbouring states, I understand) consider milk and milk products as the ultimate secret of good health. I used to buy Mother Dairy’s “toned milk” to whiten my evening cuppa as long as I was in Delhi. Everybody who saw me carrying home that plastic pouch advised me to switch to the actual stuff available hot from the udder provided I was willing to take an early morning walk to the neighbouring village. They wouldn’t believe me when I said that I preferred the taste of the soy milk in the Mother Dairy pouch.
People seldom believe you if you do things different from what they do. Before I came to Delhi, I lived in Shillong where I was in love with the plain lal chai. The people there were quick to portray me as a terrible miser who refused to spend money on milk.
You see, I had enough reasons to smile on seeing the above health capsule this morning. It vindicated my stomach’s natural disinclination toward the bovine milk long, long before the Times of India brought home the merits of the vegetarian alternatives.
The first thing I did after taking the last sip of the powder-whitened tea was to search Google for “why american no to cow milk.” The results stunned me. Contrary to all what I had been taught from childhood, contrary to some of the beliefs that fuel the current rage in my country about the holiness of cows and all their sacrosanct gifts, cow’s milk is a terrible abomination for the human body. That’s what the websites say and have been saying much before the Cow worshippers took charge of Bharat.
Consumption of bovine milk can cause life-threatening diseases such as cancer, diabetes, heart malfunctioning, multiple sclerosis and stroke. It can cause less dangerous ailments such as kidney stones, osteoporosis and rheumatoid arthritis. The common assumption that milk is a rich source of calcium is an absolute myth, according to medical research. The animal protein in milk depletes the human body of calcium creating serious bone diseases. The websites list many researches carried out by reputed agencies which found that milk consumers are more vulnerable to fractures.
A very large number of people are lactose-intolerant. Hence consumption of milk produces in them nausea, cramps, gas, bloating and diarrhoea. Quite many are allergic to milk, especially children who vomit the milk force-fed to them.
I think those who don’t believe this should abstain from milk for a month and see the results for themselves.
Let the cow be holy or whatever people would choose it to be as per their tastes. But we may do better leaving its milk to its calf.