Milk Power

Bhakti Myth and Folklore?

Krishna culture glorifies milk. Should that praise extend to industrialized milk—the processed and tampered product most people buy? And what about “blood milk”—cruelly wrenched from cows condemned to become hamburgers and steaks?

In the Bhaktivedanta commentaries, milk receives glowing commendation. We hear that milk is a miracle food that builds “fine tissues” in the brain—higher brain cells, the sacred texts say, necessary for comprehending subtle spiritual truths.

What do you think? Is it a well-intentioned yet timeworn exaggeration from the bhakti camp? Or maybe it is a Hindu myth affecting our spiritual teachers?

Check out this latest news:

According to a new study by researchers from the University of South Australia and University of Maine (USA), adults who consume dairy products at least once daily have higher cognitive function than those who rarely or never drink milk or eat dairy foods.

Those who consumed the most dairy products had the highest scores in an extensive cognitive test battery that included multiple measures of visual-spatial ability, verbal memory, working memory, reasoning ability, and executive functioning (the ability to plan, organize, and integrate cognitive functions).

As for those who seldom or never consumed dairy, it turns out they performed lower than average for this study population.

“What will it be today? We have Coca-cola, Pepsi, and 7-Up.” Milk consumption, the researchers note, has decreased worldwide in recent years. For example, in the United States, the decline has coincided with a dramatic increase in soft drink consumption.

How can one indeed drink milk without becoming implicated in the horrors of mass cow killing? I would say we cannot turn a blind eye either to the corrupted version of milk most people buy or to the atrocities befalling the cows, calves, and bulls of a slaughterhouse civilization.

It’s tough to avoid milk, and it’s tough to swallow the consequences of long-term living on violent milk.


  • Reply August 22, 2012

    Madhusudan das

    I say we need to move, in a practical way, towards support and protection of cows, and show by example that it is possible to have the best of both worlds, that is, cruelty-free milk and cows that are loved, taken care of, and happy. The people that talk the most should back up their views with practical actions. Cows are domestic animals, not wild, and need to be supported and taken care of. If people want to be vegan and avoid milk products, that’s their choice–I respect that. But, what about protecting those sweet, gentle, and loving animals?

  • Reply August 22, 2012


    How can we create a farming system where cows are herded for milk then allowed to live out their days cared for by the farmers, not turned into hamburgers? It is possible. Its just a change.

    • Reply August 22, 2012

      Madhusudan das

      tread–here’s a website that might interest you: These people take care of cows till they die a natural death.

      • Reply October 15, 2012


        nice article…. i would love to see more about ahimsa milk or cruelty-free dairy …. this seems be a huge potential to show the awareness of the corrupted dairy industry and the ‘blood milk’ while coming up with a practical solution.

        i have lots of vegan friends and i have to say it’s becoming harder to justify the use of violent milk …..

        thanks again

  • Reply September 26, 2012


    Cows milk is for baby cows and for no one else. Studies to prove that milk is healthy are often supported by the industry and marketing. Lots of people have a high interest, that we continue buying dairy products. Consuming milk today is supporting cruelty against innocent sentient beings. Male calfs, a byproduct of milk industry are killed after their birth and made into veil. The cow has to produce so much milk for humans instead for her child and after 5 years of exploitation, where she is used as an object, not as a sentient, living being, she is slaughtered. I dont eat dairy products since 4 years and I feel much much better without; I can meditate for hours without getting tired, my health has improved, I never have colds anymore.

    • Reply September 26, 2012

      Mahat Tattva Dasa

      Maria, I must strongly disagree with you. If cow’s milk, as you say, is exclusively meant for calves, then why are cows producing so much milk even when they don’t have any calves? For example on our farm here in San Diego we have two cows that have no babies and they are each giving several gallons of milk daily. The Vedas teach that cow’s milk is suitable for human consumption and is necessary for anyone who wishes to develop subtleties needed for something as fine as self-realization. I am sorry, but I find your comment to be nearly fanatical. You have disregarded the concerns brought up in the article.

    • Alec Heumann
      Reply October 7, 2012

      Alec Heumann

      Take it from someone who worked on a ranch for nearly 4 years- cows produce wayyyyy more milk than their calves would ever drink, even without the cows being given all the nasty hormones the factory dairies give them. On the ranch I worked at cows were just fed grass and once a week bran (like oatmeal), and I would estimate that they produced about 4 times as much milk as what the calves would drink. I understand that you feel compassion towards the cows; I also do not like to see them abused like they are. But don’t throw the baby out with the bath water. Cows and bulls are meant to have a relationship with human beings, and both do best when in harmony with each other.

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