To the editor:
In your Jan. 18 edition, a subscriber wrote in an opinion titled, "Please stop consuming secretions from cows udders." Based on the letter writer's thoughts, it clearly reads as if the author has an alternative agenda against animal agriculture, not against milk and its many positive attributes. Let me present another side of the story.
Milk is nature's most perfect food. It provides the greatest variety of nutrients in a very dense food package. In fact, cheese, cows and humans went hand-in-hand from the beginning, according to a discovery by the United Kingdom's University of Bristol and first reported in the scientific publication Nature. The researchers did a chemical analysis to find that ancient pots were most likely used as cheese strainers around 7,200 years ago, in the sixth millennium B.C. That puts the artifacts very near the date when cattle were first domesticated.
It is true that the dairy cow has played and continues to play a very vital role in human society and continues to do so. One of the most famous quotes from our founding editor in 1885 reads as follows: "The cow is the foster mother of the human race. From the day of the ancient Hindoo to this time have the thoughts of men turned to this kindly and beneficent creature as one of the chief sustaining forces of human life." — W.D. Hoard
There are a whole host of positive health attributes that dairy brings to the table. The cornerstone is its calcium-building attributes for bone health. Scientific studies have also found that people who consume dairy in their diets have lower blood pressure, reduced body fat, less incidence of colon cancer and even fewer kidney stones. These studies have all been published in highly regarded scientific journals.
Dairy is in demand around the globe. As consumers' incomes grow, they immediately turn to dairy protein. It is estimated that by 2020, two to three times the annual milk production in the United States will be needed to meet growing consumer needs around the globe. Countries such as India, China, Pakistan, Brazil, Russia and Mexico will be the highest growth areas for dairy product consumption. People in these countries have come to know and appreciate the dairy products in human diets lead to healthier humans, especially in growing children.
Our human society has known for over 7,000 years that dairy products are good for you, despite what was printed in your paper on Jan. 18. Milk. It does a body good.
Corey A. Geiger, managing editor
Fort Atkinson, Wisc.