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Byron Shire
April 14, 2021

The dangers of dairy

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 Desmond Bellamy, PETA Australia

A widely available Queensland dairy brand, Kenilworth Dairies, had to recall several of its products this month after they were found to be contaminated with the E. coli bacteria, which government website Healthdirect says can cause serious illnesses, including pneumonia, meningitis in newborn babies, and haemolytic uraemic syndrome, which damages the blood cells and can cause the kidneys to fail. E. coli is also often caught from meat.

While the world’s attention has been vaccines to stop the virus that causes COVID-19, a more serious threat looms – ‘superbugs’ or bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics. Dangerous new diseases with the potential to become pandemics have become four times as frequent in the past half-century. E. coli is one of the bacteria listed on the World Health Organisation’s list of ‘critical’ threats, due to its resistance to a large number of antibiotics, including those which still work on most other bacteria.

A pandemic of resistant superbugs is the nightmare of every health department on the planet. And we know now that at least 75 percent of emerging infectious diseases “jump species” from other animals to people. The perfect environment for these bugs to evolve is the filthy, cramped cages and pens in which billions of animals suffer miserable lives and die agonising deaths each year for meat, dairy and egg production.

We can try closing the world economy every time a new pandemic pops up. Or we can just close down the root cause – animal abuse – and move to a healthy, sustainable and compassionate vegan lifestyle.

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  1. E Coli contamination is common in leafy vegetables and sprouts especially when organically grown. Are we to cease eating completely?

    Vegan lifestyles are not always healthy. Indeed many vegans have suffered from malnutrition.

    • And your ‘Vegan lifestyles are not always healthy. Indeed many vegans have suffered from malnutrition’ research is from where?

      A vegan lifestyle like ANY lifestyle needs balance – vegans just don’t choose to eat death as part of their ‘lifestyle’.

      My sister (Rachel Jeffery – an Accredited Practising Dietitian and Accredited Nutritionist), is highly qualified and she has assured me that if I choose a balanced vegan diet there will be no problems – she’d know, she’s qualified.

      Can you give me the name of the dietitian that you consulted please?

  2. Indeed the word “balanced” is vital in any discussion of diet. It is well established that vegans need to pay much more attention to consuming foods which will provide their complete needs. In particular iron (the iron is vegetables is far less available than in meat), calcium, B Vitamins (especially B12), Vitamin D, zinc and Omega 3 fatty acids. They must also pay attention to consuming sufficient of the nine essential amino acids which are already balanced in meat but require a variety of plant sources. Anyone who is contemplating a vegan lifestyle needs to understand this and actively ensure they are getting complete nutrition.

    Veganism is definitely not always healthy. Many people who try abandon it because their body eventually tells them they are suffering from malnutrition and starts craving foods that will provide what is missing in their diet. Sure it may be because they didn’t do a great job of ensuring their nutrients but they are none the less suffering from a form of malnutrition not encountered in more typical diets. Veganism doesn’t suit everyone.

    What I really object to is the pretense that a vegan diet is healthier than a balanced diet that includes meat and dairy. It is a myth often promulgated by vegans such as the author of this letter. The fact is that humans evolved over tens of millions of years with an omnivorous diet. We owe much of our success as a species to that ability to consume a diverse diet. The genetic changes that allowed humans to continue to digest milk into adulthood arose around ten thousand years ago. Their descendants came to dominate the populations of much of the world so it was clearly a very successful adaptation.

    By the way, I can assure you that baking and boiling does indeed kill the organisms you consume as does crunching them up and dropping them into a stomach full of concentrated hydrochloric acid. Death has always been an integral part of life.


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