Is it acceptable to use goats milk as a substitute where mothers breast milk is not available for their babies (from an ethical vegan perspective)?
Even expert nutritionists who generally adhere to a vegan diet/lifestyle sometimes seem to dabble in diary products such as butter or goats milk etc, Andreas Moritz was one of them, and another is Paul Nison who a few years ago was asked “why you don’t suck on your wife’s teat in stead of a goat?” Paul later defended his position in a video that will link here later. There seemed to be some legitimate claims in there so we made the following response:
Interesting topic. There is much that could be said on this. But I will speak in defence of the Woman. And against the sexploitation of females. The first thing I’d say about any animal product is that once you start promoting it, inadvertently or whatever, you are increasing the demand for that product. The vast majority of people don’t ‘own’ goats or know anyone who does, and therefore end up buying into this system of factory farming. So if we do not support factory farming then we need to discourage it. Demand = sexploitation.
It seems that people are easily mislead and tend to believe that goats milk has some exclusive nutritional properties which is false. And the idea that there is nothing wrong with drinking it on a regular basis is also misleading. It is high in fat and salt and will help to line your arteries with cholesterol. For women unable to breast feed, then maybe milk from another herbivorous animal will substitute. I imagine that shared breast feeding among women occurred more often in the past. I’ve seen photos of black house servants taking on this chore for their colonial keepers. It is only when we go on to exhaust this privilege of nourishing our young (on non-human milk) beyond the age of weaning do we begin to demand factory farming techniques and take on the associated illnesses of lactose intolerance or high salt/fat diets.
Dr. John deals with some important issues surrounding pregnancy and dairy: Dr. John McDougall: Pregnancy and Children
I wonder whether the lady could have put the question across less ‘offensively’ or whether English not being her mother tongue was a difficulty. Either way she made a point that needed to be made. But credit to Paul for seeking to that question some serious consideration.
None of our vegan mothers however have approved of non-human animals milk if not able to produce milk and instead advocate Soy based baby formulae. Parent support page.