The dairy industry is inherently cruel. Cows are kept pregnant—often in cramped indoor confinement—for most of their lives, and they have their calves taken away forever within a day or two of birth. Many of the male calves are raised for veal. And, since a cow’s milk yield declines with each passing year, nearly all of these animals are sent to slaughter at less than half their natural life expectancy.
On top of all this, there’s a good reason why many children don’t want to drink their milk: cow’s milk just doesn’t taste that good. Try a few vegan alternatives and you’ll likely consider them far more delicious. Vegan milk can be made from nuts, soy beans, hemp seeds, rice, or coconuts. And it’s widely available in chocolate, vanilla, plain, and unsweetened varieties.
In the 1990s, vegan milks were such a tiny niche market that they were sold only in shelf-stable aseptic juice boxes. But as demand for this product has exploded, it’s become viable to package vegan milk in conventional paper milk cartons, and sell it in the dairy section alongside conventional milk. But shelf-stable milk remains widely available, and it’s a good thing to keep on hand for camping trips and for emergencies. Note that once you open it, you need to keep it refrigerated and finish it within a week or so.
If you like nut milks, be sure to try making your own. It’s much, much cheaper than commercial options.
Popular Vegan Milk Brands:
- Earth Balance
- Blue Diamond Natural
- Pacific Natural Foods
- So Delicious
- Trader Joes
- Zen Soy
- 365 Everyday Value (Whole Foods Brand)