Glass of Milk
|Nutrition Facts:||Milk, 1% fat
Amount Per 1 cup (244 g) Calories 103 % Daily Value* Total Fat 2.4 g 3% Saturated fat 1.5 g 7% Polyunsaturated fat 0.1 g Monounsaturated fat 0.7 g Cholesterol 12 mg 4% Sodium 107 mg 4% Potassium 366 mg 10% Total Carbohydrate 12 g 4% Dietary fiber 0 g 0% Sugar 13 g Protein 8 g 16% Vitamin A 2% Vitamin C 0% Calcium 30% Iron 0% Vitamin D 0% Vitamin B-6 5% Vitamin B-12 18% Magnesium 6%
Milk is a white liquid that has a lot of Vitamin D. Milk is made specifically for newborns who can't eat anything else, but for some reason some adult humans like it, it's used to make foods like ice cream and cake which taste really good.
Milk goes through quite a few different process. First, it comes out of cow breasts. Afterwords, it is heated to kill bacteria; a process called pasteurization. Then it is creamed and homogenized. And then it goes to your local Wal-Mart. It is a white to yellowish off-white liquid rich in Fat and protein, there's some Sugar but unless it's sweetened with extra sugar the sugar won't harm you. 
Humans are unusual in that many human populations with a strong herding tradition retain the ability to digest milk through adulthood, especially lactose (milk sugar). This feature has independently arisen several times in different populations through different genetic mutations, and is thought to be the result of famine — milk-producing animals could eat food that humans could never digest, and milk presented a means to convert some of that food into a form usable by humans. Those that could not effectively digest milk were simply less likely to live long enough to reproduce.
Milk is best had fresh and raw, shortly after being milked from the animal, with the cream skimmed off and used elsewhere. Unfortunately, thanks to modern food industry, it goes through quite a few different processes that ruin the flavor and, for better or worse, alter its nutritional profile. Not long after milking, milk is pasteurized, heating it to a point where bacterial proteins denature, and often irradiated to be doubly certain. It goes on to have the fat extracted in an ultracentrifuge, so that "fat free" milk meets advertising guidlines, and milkfat is then added back in controlled amounts to generate 1%, 2%, and 3% (commonly labelled "whole") milk. Afterwards, it goes on to be homogenized, so that the milkfat stays in suspension, and therefore making the homogenized milk more appealing on store shelves than virgin milk with rising cream. Finally, Vitamins D and A, typically derived from sheep wool or pig skin, is added to stave off such diseases as rickets; this policy was initially adopted to supplement the diets of those too poor to have access to proper nutrition, but it has been maintained to this day as the Western Pattern Diet has long since lost any semblance of nutritional balance.
The overwhelming majority of milk consumed in the World comes from cows who were forced to live under barbaric conditions in feedlots or Factory Farms. Not only has milk demand gone up with a rising population, but is now being consumed in greater quantities than ever before in human history thanks to heavy advertising and plummeting costs.
The ethics of drinking milk
Vegans refuse to drink milk in order to not support cruel factory farms.
However, it may be ethical to drink milk. Dairy cows on average produce about 6 or 7 gallons of milk a day, or about 23-26 liters. A person who drinks milk would drink far less than that. Because of this, at any given time, it takes a fraction of a cow to provide for the milk needs of one person.
There are also the health effects of becoming a vegan. Vegans may not get enough of nutrients such as Vitamin B12. Vegans may be doing more harm to themselves than good they are doing by boycotting milk producers.
Still, if you chooses to drink milk, you should still make an effort to buy milk products that are produced as ethically as possible. Never buy common brands of milk that have nothing indicating that their cows are ethically treated. Be sure to do research on different brands to find the most ethical farmers available.
- Milk is a mammalian secretion used for feeding infants, and from an evolutionary perspective, is derived from sweat. (Indeed, in some non-placental mammals, such as platypuses, milk is secreted though ducts in a mother’s skin, in place of sweat. Mammary glands may be thought of as highly specialized sweat glands.) Don't let all that put you off, over evolution milk has changed radically and now is much better for you than sweat.