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Just Say NO To Milk [For Kids!]

If you’re a kid, this video post is for you!  Although I suppose the adults can watch and read too–if you want to let them. This is the first time that I’m making a video specifically for you–and it’s something I hope to do more of. Of course you're welcome to watch any of my videos, but I wanted to make one special just for you.

So today we’re going to talk about milk. Maybe you yourself are interested in not eating animals, or being what we call “vegan” and your parent may or may not support you. Or, it could be that your parents or family members want to stop eating animals and be vegan and you don’t quite understand why. All of those things can be confusing and scary and frustrating, you you might be feeling angry, or sad or upset. And that’s okay.

One thing I want to tell you is that just because you’re a kid, or basically just because you're younger than me–cause I’m pretty old!- doesn’t mean I'm going to talk down to you. If you’re reading this video post, I’m sure you’re pretty smart. And if your parents showed you this, that means they know you’re smart. I believe that you deserve to know the truth just as much as any adult. [tweet this]

But I also want you to know that I’m not going to show you anything scary, so don’t worry. Also, I’ll be talking a bit about you as a baby with your mom but if you didn’t grow up with your mom, that’s okay, you can still apply what we’re going to talk about, because you have family in your life who love you and that’s what we’ll focus on soon.

So what’s wrong with drinking milk? I’m sure you’ve had adults tell you that it helps you grow big and strong. You probably see all your friends drinking it and kids on TV and movies. You may have even had a doctor tell you to drink your milk, so how can it be bad? [tweet this]

Well let’s first talk about why milk isn’t really good for our bodies.

When you were born, the first food you ever eat was your mother’s milk. Your mom’s body made that milk just for you with everything you needed to grow. You see, babies grow really fast and need to be eating the best food so they can be healthy.

Once you were big enough to eat other foods, your mom’s body stopped making milk because it knew you didn’t need it anymore.

Well cows, the animals we get our milk from, have bodies that work just like that. Mother cows carry their babies for 9 months just like your mom did. And once they have their babies, their body creates milk for them, just like your mom’s did.

Now I probably don’t have to tell you, but you were a lot smaller than a baby cow and didn’t really look the same. So it would make sense that you needed different milk than a baby cow, right?

I mean, drinking the milk from a cow is like trying to wear the pants of an elephant, if elephants wore pants… [tweet this]

It’s just not a good fit.

And here’s the even weirder thing–we adults often keep drinking milk from cows long after we stopped drinking our mom’s milk and long after the baby cows stopped drinking their mom’s milk.  It’s like we’re wearing elephant pants every day, which is just about as silly of an idea!

Now there’s another big reason why we vegans don’t drink cows milk, and this one is really important. We’re going to talk about some things are sad, but I’ll be here to help you through it.

Remember how we said your mom’s body made milk for you and how a momma cow’s body does the same for her baby? Well baby cows will drink all of their mother’s milk right up, just like they’re supposed to and just like you did, and there won’t be any left for people.

But because so many people want to drink the milk of momma cows, the dairy farmers have to take the baby cows away so that they can give the momma’s milk to people.

Now, I know your mother and family must love you so very much and she probably tells you that a lot. Can you imagine how scared and sad she would be if someone took you away from her? Can you imagine how scared you would be if you were taken away from your mother and family?

I know that’s not a nice thing to think about, but remember, I told you I’d tell you the truth no matter what, and that’s what happens to the mommas and babies we get our milk from.

Now after being taken from their mothers, the baby cows are put in tiny little cages with no room to turn around, which is even scarier because they don’t have their moms to protect them. The momma cows will cry for days for their babies because they miss them so much, just like your mom would miss you.

When they’re only a couple months old, the baby cows are killed to make a type of meat called veal. Just like hamburgers or beef comes from the bodies of cows, veal comes from the bodies of baby cows. Now I don’t have to tell you how sad that is. And all so that we can have milk that we don’t even need.

Now you may think that cows always make milk. And don’t feel bad because a lot of adults think that too. But remember how we talked about your mom’s body making milk for you and how it stopped making milk when you were big enough and didn’t need it anymore? Well, when the baby cow is big enough, the momma cow’s body also stops making milk.

So the only way for us to get the milk we drink from cows is for momma cows to have more and more babies, more than they would if they could choose. And every baby is taken away. This is probably one of the saddest things you can imagine. I’m sure your mother and family would never let anyone harm you or take you. And the momma cows want to protect their babies just as much.

Now you may wonder why no one has told you this before. Or why we adults keep doing this to momma and baby cows. Well, sometimes I wish I knew too. A lot of it has to do with money, which you will learn makes people do really funny things.

And I know that if you knew this before, you wouldn’t ever want to drink cows milk, because I know you don’t want to hurt mother and baby cows like that. [tweet this]

Well here’s the good news, there are all kinds of milk you can drink that don’t hurt anyone. And I’ll tell you a secret–they taste a whole lot better than cows milk and, though I'm sure the baby cows would disagree, and are actually really good for your body!

There’s even flavors like chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry, and there are delicious yogurts and even cheese that all come from plants. So you can be happy and healthy and the baby cows and their mommas can be too.

I have links to these products below at the end of the post and you can contact me anytime too at the bottom of this website.

I hope that this was helpful. And thank you for listening and reading–even the hard parts. I had a feeling you were smart enough and cared enough about animals to tough it out.

Now you know why we don’t drink milk and my hope is you’ll choose not to too. Let me know what you thought of the video in the comments and if you have other things you’d like me to cover, let me know!

See ya next nugget!

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RESOURCES:
Lots of Info on What's Wrong With Milk
Some Real Vegan Kids!
Being A Vegan Kid Article
Vegan Milk List
Yummy Vegan Ice Cream!
Vegan Cheeses!
Make Your Own Vegan Cheese! Try: This and This and This!

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33 Comments

  1. Angela on 06/10/15 at 11:32 pm

    “I really liked it. Thank you for having that website”.

    – Mima (4 years old)

    • Emily Moran Barwick (BiteSizeVegan) on 06/10/15 at 11:48 pm

      Mima, thank you SO much for your comments and for watching and visiting the website. Feel free to ask questions anytime. Many thanks!

  2. sally anne hubbard on 06/11/15 at 1:16 am

    I am not a kid, just at heart. This was a wonderful video for children. It was straight to the point without being too harsh for kids.
    I never knew about milk until I was an adult, no adult ever taught me the cruelty involved.

  3. Gerard on 06/11/15 at 4:53 am

    This is JUST the type of great, friendly, informative video needed to help educate people. The only criticism I have is that the intro and ending are too long and people may get turned off watching the beginning bit before you get into the heart of the subject. I felt there was just that little bit too much about selling yourself at the end too (which is normally fine but in this case too much). Well done though, you’re absolutely brilliant at making this stuff and otherwise is a fantastic video. I wish there was more of this stuff around as currently many of the vegan videos online are full of too much anger/hate/name calling, etc., and this is NOT the way to win over the hearts and minds of ordinary people.

    • Emily Moran Barwick (BiteSizeVegan) on 06/11/15 at 5:18 pm

      Gerard, thank you so much for your feedback and i’m glad you liked it. I appreciate the input about what to change- I did feel the lead-in a bit long but as this would be my first introduction i wanted to assure them. Hopefully in the next ones I won’t need to do that :) For the selling do you mean the support talk?

  4. Friderike on 06/11/15 at 7:34 am

    Dear Emily,

    Wow. I love this. In my opinion, you handled this difficult subject in a perfect way, telling the truth without traumatizing kids. Congratulations and THANK YOU. I wish I had seen this video when I was 4. I know you would have reached me.
    I also think that the video is suitable for adults who are afraid to watch “Earthlings.” I’ll share it.
    Love from Friderike (from Germany)

  5. Kim on 06/11/15 at 2:50 pm

    I just watched the video with my 9 year old granddaughter. We already don’t drink cow’s milk, but I think it tied it all together for her. I just saw you on “Live Vegan Vibrantly” and can’t wait to see some of your other videos! You rock!!

  6. Vinna on 06/11/15 at 4:53 pm

    So what would you suggest for parents who are unable to breastfeed or for people who have to take care of abandoned babies? Cows milk baby formula is the first choice because other types of formula have more risks than those that come from cows milk so if you would have people do away with using cow’s milk, what lower-risk milk would you suggest they use? Keeping in mind that almond milk does not provide for all the nutritional needs that kids need, soy milk can be dangerous for both kids and adults and grain milks do not provide for all a baby’s needs. Also, calves don’t drink all their mothers milk, sometimes there’s a lot left over in the udders which becomes painful for the cows and can cause abscesses to develop because of the pressure of the remaining milk, milking the cows often relieve that. What you’ve said about and cows and calves is very misleading and only represents a small, frowned upon (including the majority of milk drinkers) section of the dairy industry, there are many farms that do not use the methods you have outlined.

    • Emily Moran Barwick (BiteSizeVegan) on 06/12/15 at 2:34 pm

      Thank you for your comment Vinna. Even the smallest dairy farms take the calves away. They *have* to or they can’t make a profit. There is no way to have a dairy production without doing so. All dairy ends in the meat industry- both the mothers and the babies. And all dairy separates families, no matter how small the operation. We like to believe otherwise but it doesn’t make it true. See this video for reference.

      For the formula/breastfeeding question: If you can’t breastfeed or choose not to, you can try to score breast milk from a vegan donor by going through an approved milk bank, or you can go the soy formula route. The vitamins in soy formula may contain trace amounts of animal products, but you can check with the manufacturer and decide what is best for your family.

  7. Pamela on 06/11/15 at 7:51 pm

    Ho there! Wondering if anyone else is have issues with the audio? The vid plays but there’s no sound. I tested the audio with vids from other sites and they project sound. Any ideas? Thanks! :)

  8. Gerard on 06/12/15 at 8:00 am

    Please ignore my comments on your selling yourself being too long. I was being too critical there. Carry on producing these great videos, you have a natural talent for this sort of thing which you do brilliantly.

  9. Coral on 06/12/15 at 1:35 pm

    Hi Emily, I love your work dedication and compassion!
    You use your talent to inform the world, and that is really admirable.
    I am not sure if this is the right place exactly to request, but I was wondering if you could do a video about specifically the brainwashing methods that were done on us since birth in the intention to make us believe we need meat dairy and eggs, or in short words – That “they need to die, so we can live”: Tv commercials, billboard adds, radio, doctors, “3 dairy products a day”, shows…etc’ And focus specifically on the USA so people can relate and say it really happens there!
    Thanx

  10. Francesca Mamlin on 06/12/15 at 5:11 pm

    I think it is a wonderful idea to reach out to kids. I went vegetarian when I was 3 years old, and I didn’t go vegan until age 20 because I had no idea how much damage I was doing by consuming diary. Kids love animals. I think they have a special connection with animals because they haven’t yet been beaten down with the idea they are somehow superior. I think you can help them keep that childlike innocence and love for living things. Vegan love!

    • Emily Moran Barwick (BiteSizeVegan) on 06/14/15 at 10:43 pm

      Thanks so much for sharing this Francesca :) And I do think kids are so much closer to that love of animals than we are. Best to catch them there :)

  11. Vinna on 06/12/15 at 7:40 pm

    Actually not all farms take the calves away, I know because I’ve worked on dairy farms before and visited several, most often the cows are allowed to raise the calves and they allow the cows to get pregnant in shifts. So that if one was pregnant a few months ago, they are allowed a rest period so they are not constantly kept pregnant to make more milk. They are able to keep a large profit margin even in his way.
    Soy milk has a lot of dangers for babies, it can cause them to develop breast buds because it enhances the amount of estrogen in their blood, multiplying the residue left over from when they were in the womb, soy also has a compound in it that mimics b12 so it can make babies deficient. Also even with milk banks you don’t know how that mother had been eating before she donated, imagine getting milk from a mother that had eaten a lot of cabbage, you’d have a colicky baby and probably wouldn’t know why.

    • Emily Moran Barwick (BiteSizeVegan) on 06/14/15 at 10:46 pm

      thank you for your comment. “family farms” or ones that aren’t factory are less than a fraction of a percent of all farms, at least in the US. So even if A farm allows cows to keep their babies, they are still forcefully impregnating them [this is a kids post so I won’t use the R word but that’s what it is] and milking them, which is a great tax on their body, all of which is not our right to do.

      do you have any studies for the detriments of soy formula? the alternative is using a breast milk donor bank or cows-milk-based formula, which has WAY more of a hormonal whallop than any lowly bean could ever muster.

  12. Vinna on 06/17/15 at 3:37 pm

    You might be talking about a US perspective, but I’m talking about a global one, the cows are not forcefully impregnated, the genders are simply mixed and nature is allowed to take it’s course, at a certain time of the month it’s inevitable that they will conceive without any human interference. The “R” that you’re referring to is only in unethically managed farms. Milking a cow relieves the pressure in the udders which most times calves drinking alone is not able to do.
    The detriments of soy milk are outlined all over pubmed, medline, etc, you just have to look. Studies have shown that more kids get hormonal effects from drinking soy milk than from drinking cow-milk based formulas. There are also many other side effects from soy, some of which I already mentioned to you.

  13. Tara on 06/17/15 at 10:10 pm

    Wonderful! I have an 11 year old step-daughter and some nieces and a nephew so, I am always on the lookout for safe information that won’t get me in trouble with their parents.

    Kids deserve the truth early as possible. There’s no need to protect them from this. Once they learn about the animal-user industries as a teen from their friends—they might end up resenting their parents, like I did. Best to just embrace the process and explore the truth together as a family!

  14. Claire on 06/19/15 at 12:01 pm

    Really good video for kids — straightforward and honest, doesn’t talk down to them, and no scary pictures. I’m not a kid but would show this to all kids! Thank you.

  15. Linda on 06/20/15 at 4:56 pm

    I don’t know where you live, but in Europe we have SMA baby formula and that brand has a milk free formula for vegans or for babies that have a milk intolerance. It’s called, “Sma Wysoy Soya Infant Milk From Birth”.

    And I don’t know if you’ve ever had a child, but a baby doesn’t drink all of mom’s milk ether. And that can be very painful, but it goes away. But on the plus side I still have my baby, but most cows don’t have their babies.

  16. Kate on 12/19/15 at 2:22 pm

    Hi Emily! First of all, I’d like to express my appreciation and awe for being vegan and treating it as a way of life. I admire your noble purpose and also your vision of a cruelty free world in which people are living on a plant based diet and lifestyle. I’m actually starting to transition to being a vegan, in this case as a permanent way of life, since I tried before but decided to stop. I’d like to thank you for opening my eyes (and countless others’) to the harsh reality– and finally pushing us to make the change in ourselves, not only for our health but for the well-being of animals as well. You serve as my inspiration. Continue to be passionate, informative , creative, and undeniably entertaining. I wish you all the best. Sorry for the long message!

  17. Giovanna, age 7 on 01/24/16 at 10:41 pm

    I have a earth club and watched your video to tell people about. Thank you for making the video!

  18. Pippa on 08/14/16 at 10:37 pm

    Hi, I’m m vegetarian but I want to go vegan! I’m 12 years old and I’m scared that other people will find me weird or judge me and I’m scared that my friends and family won’t take me seriously, I talked about stop drinking milk and instead buying soya milk and also buying lots of fruit but my mum says that we can’t afford it and I don’t know what to do? Please help me! Thank you :D

  19. Ashlea Kung on 10/30/16 at 5:52 am

    i am vegetarian but sometimes i find it hard to keep it up is there any suggestions?? i just started this about 2 months ago and i already don’t drink milk or eat that much eggs, any suggestions would dooo

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