Encyclopedia of Food and Agricultural Ethics

Living Edition
| Editors: David M. Kaplan

Milk Production: Ethical Issues

  • Debbie J. CherneyEmail author
Living reference work entry

Latest version View entry history

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-6167-4_452-2



Cow’s milk, and the products therefrom, has been a staple in the human diet dating back 7500 years or more. Pure, healthy, and unadulterated, this has been the image of milk for a long time. In more recent years, milk and its production have come under increasing scrutiny. Pasteurization of milk and the movement in medicine to have single healthy foods to treat disease led milk to its rise to the top of the food pyramid. It did not hurt that milk helped to reduce the incidence of rickets at a time when incidence in urban areas was staggeringly high. In recent years, however, milk has been implicated in developed countries with diseases such as obesity and heart disease, environmental issues, and animal welfare and ethics issues. On the other hand, movement to natural and organic food has led to issues concerning food safety, and whether or not we were even meant to consume milk. Production of milk...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Animal ScienceCornell University, College of Agriculture and Life SciencesIthacaUSA