Why the shift away from veganism in the raw world?
As you may already have noticed, a big change has taken place in theraw food world, and this change is ongoing. More and more raw foodauthors, coaches and speakers are coming forward either to say they'renot vegan anymore, to publicly promote the health benefits of certainanimal products, or to warn that the vegan diet does not provide allnecessary nutrients so vegans must supplement. Taking into account those raw leaders who have never been completelyvegan anyway, we can now count very few raw food promoters who are100% vegan themselves and who also say that a 100% raw vegan dietprovides us with everything we need (i.e. that there is no need tosupplement). We decided a while ago that this phenomenon deserved acloser look, so we have been busy discussing this shift with ourcontacts and also investigating what may be causing it. Before going any further, we wish to acknowledge the gigantic ethicaland environmental justifications for avoiding animal products, and thefact that for many, eating these foods is not an option, regardless ofany alleged or real health benefits. And indeed this is whythere are passionate vegans who do not believe the vegan diet is ournatural diet, but who choose to stay vegan and supplement rather thanconsume animal products. Today we bring you the opinions of five people who are well-known inthe raw food community. This is a small cross section of the commentswe've collected, and it is representative of the answers we've beenhearing in response to our question, "Why has there been a shift awayfrom veganism in the raw movement?"
Fred Bisci is a nutritionist and food scientist. He has been followinga raw diet for over 40 years. He is vegan and believes a raw vegandiet can be the healthiest way to eat if people do it correctly, whichmeans monitoring their nutrient levels and supplementing wherenecessary. “What has come out is only the tip of the iceberg. Regardless ofwhether raw promoters are really doing what they're saying orcomprehending what they're doing, people shouldn’t just followblindly. There are many out there telling others their philosophy andtheir anecdotal stories about how to be raw vegan withoutunderstanding all the variables that apply to the physiology andchemistry of the human body. There are no two ways about it – a rawvegan lifestyle done correctly is fantastic. But we have to approachthis with as much science as we have available. People really have toknow what they’re doing when they’re 100% raw vegan long term. As the years go by, those on a vegan lifestyle have to watch out forB12 deficiency, and if they live in a cold climate, for vitamin Ddeficiency. People can also run short of trace minerals. When peoplecome to see me, the first thing I ask is whether they have had arecent blood work and if not I tell them to go get a complete bloodtest, including nutrient profile. In some cases people may have totake some B12 and vitamin D and mineral supplements. If they do this,animal protein is not necessary. This is how I live. For those whowant to eat animal protein, it must be clean, in moderation, and inthe context of a high-raw, plant-based approach. If someone has been eating raw vegan for 10 or 20 years or longer andthey go back to animal protein the possibility does exist that theycan develop a serious disease. I have seen it happen more times than Ilike to remember. If a person has truly been eating 100% raw, thelonger they do it the more risk they take by going back. You don'tneed to eat 100% raw vegan to live a long, healthy life. However, thislifestyle, for those who do it correctly, can produce optimalresults.”
Elaine Bruce is the founder and director of the UK Centre for LivingFoods and has been following Dr Ann Wigmore’s living foods programmefor over two decades. She is no longer vegan since being diagnosedwith an essential fatty acid deficiency, despite taking a daily doseof flax oil. “I recently went back to using a little dairy, specifically cottagecheese mixed with my daily dose of flax oil, in order to assimilatethis oil supplement which is so essential to a balanced intake ofessential fatty acids (EFAs). There is good research to support thismove, for example Joanna Budwig's work on flax oil, which underpinsthe more recent work of writers on oils and EFAs, notably Udo Erasmus,who acknowledges her work. My experience, though I was very reluctantto take this step, is feeling better balanced, and noticing that astate of occasional brain-fog lifts very soon after eating a littlecottage cheese with flax oil. It is difficult to take on board that our ideal of veganism, whileethically admirable, may in fact be injurious to health in the longterm. It's worth considering that we have only been experimenting withversions of the vegan diet for a few decades; not long enough to knowwhat the long-term effects are for most people. Another variable isour genetic type. Not all of us thrive on the same diet, and thisresearch also is in its infancy."
Raw food author and speaker Dr Douglas Graham has been following a rawvegan diet for 30 years, and teaches that our natural and optimal dietis an unsupplemented, high-fruit, low-fat, 100% raw vegan diet. “Human beings operate under a comprehensive set of natural laws thatcan only be proven, never broken. When we make short-term lifestyle orfood style deviations outside of those laws, there is always a priceto pay, and the body will always let us know, via the creation andongoing generation of signs and symptoms, that something is amiss.Typically, when we follow a diet that is not taking us where we hopeand expect to go, we intuitively know it is time to change our diet.Incremental dietary improvements will result in proportional healthimprovements, but ideal health can only be achieved when we practiceand follow an ideal health and dietary regimen. It comes as no surprise to me that many leaders of the raw foodmovement are now openly admitting that they have been eating non-veganfoods. The writing has been on the wall for years. All one needs to dois look at the lack of results these leaders are showing in their ownpersonal health, notice how they go from program to program, or add upthe nutritional and calorie numbers and see that that they do not addup to healthy results. When I heard raw food leaders saying such things as, “calories are adead issue,” “don't crunch the numbers, just eat raw food,” “fruitsand vegetables are a waste of time nutritionally,” “you can learn tolive without eating fruit,” “each person has to find what works forthem,” and giving other scientifically unsound and unsustainableadvice, I knew it was only a matter of time till they would have toadmit that the program they were following was not working for them.The truth always wins out, and nature's laws cannot be ignored.”
Holly Paige, author of the upcoming book Food for Consciousness, waspreviously raw vegan and now follows and promotes a non-vegan rawdiet. “In my view, the simple explanation is that an increasing number ofpeople are finding out that raw veganism does not work long term.Contrary to what people hear when they first get involved, the rawmovement is littered with nutritional casualties. It was only a fewyears ago that substantial numbers of people started to go raw veganand it can take years for the symptoms of deficiency to show up. Asthere has been little information available about the potentialpitfalls of raw diets, it has taken a lot of time to find out andshare the information about how to avoid them – and they can beavoided for sure. Ironically many of the people who have spoken out have done so afterexperience of many years being or trying to be raw vegan. They were infavour of the ideal as much as anyone – they just found it didn't workin practice. In fact it was in dedication to the ideal that thepitfalls were discovered. The issues seem to be particularly acute intemperate climates and with children – there are too many to detailhere but a couple of the major ones are lack of fat-soluble vitaminsand B12. We do not need to throw the baby out with the bathwater. Theethical production of raw dairy products, for example, is easilypossible, especially if we are willing to engage in honest economics.”
Shazzie has been vegan for 25 years and raw for 10 but teaches that inorder to be healthy on a vegan diet, it is essential to take the rightsupplements. In her 2008 book, Evie’s Kitchen, she lays out thenutrients which are either absent on vegan diets, or hard to getenough of. “Of course we want to be compassionate to all beings, yet we can’tignore the fact that our species hasn’t evolved to be 100% vegan. Thismeans that if we choose to be vegan without supplementing (andespecially raw, eschewing all fortified cooked products), we miss outon vital nutrients such as B12, choline, vitamin K2 and vitamin D (insome countries) and we may be low in all B vitamins, DHA, minerals andother nutrients. I spent four years researching how to have a 100%vegan diet that would work long term (ensuring no deficiencies) forboth adults and developing children alike, and put the detailedfindings in my book Evie’s Kitchen. I did this because I want to remain vegan and I want the raw foodculture to have every chance of raising healthy children – vegan ornot. If you aren’t prepared to supplement yourself or your child, thenyou shouldn’t be vegan because the risk of deficiencies is too high.We are talking about more than vitamin B12 and it’s about time allvegan promoters acknowledged this for the sake of our futuregenerations of vegan children. I have spoken to many of the raw foodists who are turning to animalproducts, and the general consensus is they never had vegan ethicsbefore going into raw food, it’s just that some people were shoutingso loud about raw veganism that it appealed to their ideals ofpurification and detoxification at the time. Yet now they are awarethere are other, non-vegan ways of eating raw food, they’re giving ita go. Quite often they haven’t been supplementing in the way Irecommend, so the addition of animal products makes them feel betterthan being an unsupplemented vegan. Neither way is wrong, I just wantpeople to be healthy and happy.” We haven’t only been speaking to well-known raw food experts aboutthis issue. We’ve also been asking our friends, readers and customers.A surprising phenomenon we’ve uncovered is that many raw foodenthusiasts who identify themselves as vegans are in fact not totallyvegan. Whether it’s a free range organic egg or a little raw goat’scheese once a week or some fish once a month, these people think ofthemselves as vegan and will tell you they’re vegan – no doubtbecause, unlike the average eater, most of what they eat is completelyfree of anything animal-based and they wish to keep it that way. Thismakes us wonder how many more who identify themselves as vegans aredoing the same but not admitting to it. We have been collecting a vast amount of information, both scientificand anecdotal, on the topic of raw vegan diets and we’ll be back withmore of that information soon – next time with the focus on thescientific. For now we’re interested in what you think, so pleaseleave a comment on this post and let us, and other readers, know, andalso be sure to include any questions you’d like answered on thistopic.
These people aren't raw foodists, they're part of the 'raw community'. Meanwhile, those of us on 80/10/10 are eating nothing but RAW FOOD. To my knowledge, if you're not 811, you're not telling the truth about your raw diet. Those people fail because their diets are inadequate. Then they bad mouth fruit...haha. It's a shame.
I find that people who are "experts" and in the media are typical your narcissists anyways. I also feel there are alot of people who want to become vegan/vegetarian mainly to lose weight, I think thats total crap vegan/vegetarian is a lifestyle not some diet fad, it's about making the world a better place one free of exploitation, slavery, murder and savagery. It's about living in peace with your surroundings and non-violence. If you want to go "vegan" because you hear its a great way to lose some weight then chances are you'll hear some evidence about how it's "unhealthy" for you and decide not to be a vegan anymore. There is alot of misinformation out there and large companies use that to exploit fear out of people. That's why you must believe that you are making the change for the reasons listed above because then it won't matter because you will know in your heart it's the right thing to do and find a way to continue. But ya that's how I feel about.
Thanks for the comments, interesting all. Most so far seem to be in the Dr. Graham camp.
One supplement that seems to be difficult to avoid if you're aiming for optimal health and you're living above 35 degrees latitude is vitamin D. It seems to play a large role in preventing about 17 different cancers, since it's a pleiotropic, seco-steroid hormone with wide-ranging effects on your DNA. You should be up around 50-65 nanograms/ml. I suppose you can get by with a lower amount, but there is a difference between decent health and optimal health. LOL. :)
Glad you liked my cabbage cups. I love having readers who appreciate the joys of simple food as much as I do.
A few days ago, blog reader Lisa sent me a link to this article, which details ongoing controversy about whether or not a 100% raw, vegan lifestyle is optimal. A few notable raw figures have recently announced that they’re adding small amounts of animal proteins back into their diets in response to poor bloodwork, or as a concession to personal preferences. As a result, various experts on raw and vegan nutrition have offered their opinions on whether or not the raw vegan lifestyle is sustainable, optimal, or even feasible.
I found most of the responses, with the exception of Doug Graham’s unintelligable rant, quite reasonable. But what strikes me as noteworthy about these revelations is the fact that the impulse in all cases has been to move away from veganism, rather than away from 100% raw diet. The response to certain perceived flaws in the raw vegan diet has been (in most cases) to eat raw dairy. This seems relatively common: in my own personal navigations through the raw community, I’ve known many men and women who ultimately felt that a 100% raw vegan diet was far too limiting, and chose to add either goat milk products or eggs back into their routines.
These are personal choices, occasioned by unique circumstances. I’m not familiar with the full range of health and psychological factors that prompted the decision to eat animal products again, and so I won’t comment upon the efficacy of the choice. I do, however, wish to offer an alternative course of action to anyone who’s been trying an all raw vegan approach, and is encountering either deficiencies or a sense of limitation.
The alternative? Rather than adding raw animal products to your routine (like goat’s milk kefir, raw cheese, or eggs), try adding a wider variety of cooked vegan foods to your diet. Many new raw foodists become unbelievably zealous about being as raw as possible, and in the process they eschew grains, legumes, root vegetables, minimally processed soy, and other mainstays of veganism. This, in conjunction with giving up all animal products, certainly can lead to feelings of deprivation, and it can, especially when paired with undereating, lead to nutritional deficiencies. (Note that I say “can,” not “will”–I know scores of vegans who are 90-100% raw at all times and feel and look incredible.)
One of the reasons often cited for rejecting raw veganism is low levels of vitamins D or B-12. While it’s true that vegans can be susceptible to deficiencies in both of these, it is also true that simple supplementation can prevent them–a point which both Fred Bisci and Shazzie make in the article above. So, first things first: if you’re low in B-12 or Vitamin D, you needn’t feel pressured to abandon veganism! Seek out a high quality vegan or raw vegan supplement or multivitamin (I’m currently loving Garden of Life’s Vitamin Code line). This route is, in my opinion, ethically preferable to giving up on veganism, and I encourage you to consider it if you’ve been told that you’re low in either vitamin. I’ve been a vegan for years with consistenly high B-12 levels, but I know that this may not persist over the course of decades, and I’ll be happy to supplement if I need to.
But as I mention above, another common reason for giving up on the raw, vegan lifestyle is the feeling that one’s diet is simply too restricted and narrow. And it’s this concern that I really want to talk about today.
As you guys can imagine, I’m often asked whether or not I am, or think others should be, 100% raw vegan. The answer is no. Do I believe that there are many people who can and will thrive on a 90-100% raw vegan diet in the long term? Absolutely! I’ve met many who are. Do I believe that most people–women especially–are well suited to eat a completely raw and vegan diet forever? No. This is partially psychological: most women I’ve met and counseled ultimately feel limited on a 100% raw and vegan protocol, and the sense of limitation can spur on unhelathy or disordered eating habits. As for the nutrition angle, it’s tough to make broad statements, because women’s bodies differ so dramatically, but most women I see feel best if they continue to eat some cooked foods, in addition to raw ones. This has certainly been true for me.
So what does this have to do, exactly, with “the shift away from veganism in the raw world”? Well, it seems to me that the problems underlying this shift and the problems I’ve encountered as a nutritionist are one in the same: a feeling that the 100% raw, vegan diet isn’t varied enough to be sustainable. And if this is the concern, an increase in cooked vegan foods may be the answer.
It’s interesting: people who are interested in raw veganism tend to fall into two camps. Some were preexisting vegans who became gradually intrigued by eating more raw food. And some are are former omnivores who were interested in the idea of raw food itself. I would say that most raw vegans I’ve met–and that’s most, not all–fall into the latter category. They were generally healthy eaters, though not necessarily vegans, who were attracted to the idea of “raw” more than the idea of veganism.
Not me. Veganism was an important part of my life long before I got interested in raw foods. When I started eating more raw, my goal was to boost alkalinity and digestion with more raw food, not to switch to an entirely uncooked diet. To this day, raw foods are only a part of my vegan lifestyle. Eating them has made a world of difference in my life–my skin, my energy, my digestion, my mental clarity, my moods, and my overall well being. I love preparing them and sharing them with you all. But they’re only one component–albeit a major component–of my well-rounded vegan diet, which also includes non-raw foods.
I’ve never stopped eating certain foods that are typically eaten in cooked form: grains, legumes, root vegetables, sprouted breads. Some raw foodists choose to sprout these instead; I don’t. (I actually find grains and legumes easier to digest cooked!) But regardless of how one chooses to prepare them, I believe that these foods–along with a combination of raw and cooked vegetables, raw nuts and seeds, sea vegetables, and fruits–is the key to a balanced vegan diet. They’re important sources of protein, minerals and nutrients for most aspiring vegans, and they lend a sense of variety and wholeness to a plant-based diet.
If a client who was trying to maintaing a 100% raw, vegan diet came to me with the complaint that he or she felt undernourished or limited, I would first ask a bunch of questions:
1.Are you eating enough? New raw foodists often overdo it with fasting regimes and abstinence–long before their bodies are ready for such measures. If you’re feeling tired or weak on a raw protocol, it may well be because you’re not taking in adequate portions of food.
2.Are you eating enough healthy fats? While I certainly believe that many new raw foodists overdose on fats in the form of nuts and seeds, I maintain that fats are important for energy and overall health. Avocados, coconuts, healthy oils, and nuts/seeds are all important components of brain function, immunity, hormonal balance, and reproductive health.
3.Are you eating enough variety? This is usually the crucial question. As dearly as I love giant salads–and boy, do I love them dearly!–man was not made to live on greens alone. Eating a variety of vegetables (in addition to grains, nuts/seeds, fruits, sea vegetables, and legumes) is important.
Oftentimes, a client who has been complaining of being stuck in a rut with raw foods will agree to eating a few more cooked meals weekly, with legumes and grains. The result is an immediate increase in energy and mood–if only because said client feels grateful to have more food options. And if she can maintain a sense of balance by eating raw and cooked, she’s far more likely to thrive on a vegan diet in the longterm.
Every body is different. Some people who hit a rut with the 100% raw vegan diet really do believe that they’re in need of animal protein. But to those who find themselves in this situation and wondering which course of action to take, I’d say this: expand your veganism before you turn to animal products again. Try eating a wider variety of vegan foods, even if this means eating some that are cooked. It may be the key to sustaining a mostly raw, all vegan diet in the long run, and it will save you the ethical and nutritional ambiguities of eating animal products once again. Your body, the planet, and animals will thank you.
And to any of you who have been diving whole hog into raw veganism, remember: you’re aiming to create a lifestyle for yourself that’s sustainable not just for a month or a year, but for the rest of your life. Think carefully about how narrowly you want to set your parameters. There can be huge pressure, as one enters a mostly raw or all raw lifestyle, to give up a huge number of previously cherished foods. Always be smart about maintaining a diet that’s feasible and, most of all, pleasurable for you! If this means maintaining some variety, please do. Be gentle and realistic with yourself; you’ll be grateful later.
i feel like reflecting.
i loved every word from this whole forum. very thought provoking.
i completely agree, everyone should listen to there bodies...and their heart. as i am only one, person and only experianced what i feel , and what feels good and healthy and spirtiually sound to me, isn't he same as everyone else.
i do think there is a bunch of narsissitic experts out there, that don't know anything, except that because they have failed....and that because they are "experts" that this way of living is unhealthy....but only because perhaps they wanted it to fail. i, mean wouldn't that be easier...if your heart wasen't in it for the right reasons?
if you feel good about what your doing, and continually feel alive...yessssssssssssssss, if you notice something is lacking...i'm completely positive with the right amount of research , and passion, one could live raw. and completley diciplined, and enjoy a healthy life for the sake of it as well.
although... if needed with supplemintation or, enjoy some cooked vegan foods, or. if need be, for your own health and/or body type/ or because of lack of knowldge then ....take the doctors orders as last result and drink the goats milk. ...or whatever...yah still gotta live.
i'll requote these last 2 sentances form achin70, because.. i like 'em
Always be smart about maintaining a diet that’s feasible and, most of all, pleasurable for you! If this means maintaining some variety, please do. Be gentle and realistic with yourself; you’ll be grateful later.
thanks for that mega article.
i think i'll probably reread this a few times.
Since everyone is throwing quotes around I'll add one of my own. This is from the french Philosopher Pierre-Joseph Proudhon.
I were asked to answer the following question: What is slavery ? and I should answer in one word, It is murder, my meaning would be understood at once. No extended argument would be required to show that the power to take from a man his thought, his will, his personality, is a power of life and death; and that to enslave a man is to kill him. Why, then, to this other question : What is property? may I not likewise answer, // is robbery, without the certainty of being misunderstood ; the second proposition being no other than a transformation of the first ?
"I’ve never stopped eating certain foods that are typically eaten in cooked form: grains, legumes, root vegetables, sprouted breads. Some raw foodists choose to sprout these instead; I don’t. (I actually find grains and legumes easier to digest cooked!) But regardless of how one chooses to prepare them, I believe that these foods–along with a combination of raw and cooked vegetables, raw nuts and seeds, sea vegetables, and fruits–is the key to a balanced vegan diet. They’re important sources of protein, minerals and nutrients for most aspiring vegans, and they lend a sense of variety and wholeness to a plant-based diet."
That's how I'm going with it achin- mostly raw fruit and vegetables with some cooked legumes, pulses, nuts seeds, sprouted breads and cooked root vegetables. An example of how I plan to eat- breakfast fruit or fruit smoothie or sprouted bread with raw nut butter, lunch- mixed salad with some mixed beans or nuts and one or two fruits, dinner- stuffed pepper salad with hummus, or lentil stew with big mixed salad. Salad dressing- olive oil,lemon juice and paprika. Fruit whenever I feel like it for snacks. In the winter some organic vegetable and pulse based stews for dinner. I think this is wholesome and balanced- I want to be on a wholefood vegan diet, free of preservatives and additives with about 70% of it raw.
There is no way I ever would eat meat- not eaten it since 1986! I don't like the smell, texture and taste of it, never mind my ethical stance on it.
That sounds good, Greenwood. Personally, switching from 100% raw to having a baked sweet potato and plain steamed vegetables for dinner every night has made a world of good difference, whilst bringing nothing bad. My cravings are gone and my emotions are stabilized, while I still eat a healthy, clean, mostly raw diet. You certainly can overeat fruit--anyone with a past of binge eating disorder will tell you how. You can overeat anything, and a low-fat whole foods vegan diet is so much easier with some cooked vegetables, I've found.
Ceidren, what do you mean by "overeat" on fruit? Do you mean overeat on calories or overeat in one sitting?
I was a binge eater/bulimic for years and yet I find it very difficult to overeat on fruit in terms of calories. I have eaten too much melon before (the dreaded melon belly), but it was simply from eating too much in one meal (melon is very water-rich and so low in calories), not from calories. That's why I stick with only dense fruits for my breakfast and lunch meals, where I get in most of my calories.
Once I'm satiated from, say, a meal of bananas, I'm completely full (about 1000 calories or so). I have absolutely no desire to eat another bite of anything for several hours.
"That sounds good, Greenwood. Personally, switching from 100% raw to having a baked sweet potato and plain steamed vegetables for dinner every night has made a world of good difference, whilst bringing nothing bad. My cravings are gone and my emotions are stabilized, while I still eat a healthy, clean, mostly raw diet. You certainly can overeat fruit--anyone with a past of binge eating disorder will tell you how. You can overeat anything, and a low-fat whole foods vegan diet is so much easier with some cooked vegetables, I've found."
What I have plannned will work for me I think- tommorrow is shopping day at last!! (It is governed by my unemployment money- which is called dole here). I think different people respond to different ratios of fruit and veg- I have every respect for those who do 80 10 10- but I couldn't mostly live on fruit- the taste is too sweet for me- I like fruit but can only manage about 5 pieces a day eg- 1 banana, 1 mango, 1 pear, handful of cherries, 1 kiwi fruit. I drink plenty of watered fruit juice throughout the day. I haven't got a big sweet tooth preferring savoury tastes.I was always the one to go for the sandwiches, crisps, pizza slices and nuts at parties/dos than the cakes!
I mean we all have preferences to taste- some people really prefer and enjoy foods with sweet tastes and some prefer savoury non- sweet tasting food- I am the latter. There are plenty of natural wholesome foods with both sweet and savoury tastes.
Swayze, I did mean in one sitting--eating until you are way past full, and feel sick/uncomfortable. I certainly overate in that way on just fruits sometimes in the past, and that's generally what I think of when I see the word overeating (and I remember the acid reflux, bloating, and pain...) But most of my calories come from dense fruits eaten at breakfast/lunch, as well--I don't consider ratios to be overeating.
I think my body does have a preference for savoury/grounding foods--but it doesn't want fat anymore, so I'm glad I can make vegetables palatable by just cooking (without the avocados, acids, salts, oils, garlic...) Because I need them more than I do lots of light, watery fruits.
I can go crazy on fruit. I keep eating like almost every half hour, sometimes every five hours if im at work. Ive been continouisly eating alot of grapes, I feel like I want some cooked quinoa, or cooked veggies. I cant eat raw veggies, because its hard to digest,, I had raw corn tomatoe, and parsley, but im fed up on just fruit. I had mung beans sprouted . I cant stop eating!
I really love cooked broccoli or peas:) I wish I can eat that with fresh fruit. What is wrong with eating cooked broccoli or peas, or quinoa? If you eat them plain all organic,with no salt etc. whats so wrong with it.
Sweet like you, I like a little cooked food- but only wholefood and not processed rubbish! I've read that artilce before achin- I think you have posted before that you have a little cooked wholefoods also? For me it is important that I get all my minerals, vitamains etc and not additives, preservatives and have wholesome nutritious vegan food.
When I had the food intolerance test it was revealed that I was intolerant to eggs and milk products (which I suspected and cut out by going from veggie to vegan last year) but not goat's cheese/milk- the lady doing the test saw that goat's products would actually be "good" for me, but I wish to stay vegan.She told me goats lactate all the time and that they don't have their babies taken away to produce milk like cows, but I'm dubious on that.