By Nini Worman
“On my aunt’s farm, you can squeeze the stomach of a cow and milk comes out. I watched it. The milk comes out right into a glass and you can drink it.” The 4-year old reporting to her friend might have also said that the cow she watched acted
calm and content. What did the cow have to complain about? She enjoyed a diet of grass (no grain—even
organic grains cause harmful effects on an animal’s health), and she was normally milked with a small,
comfortable machine that hung from a strap around her stomach. The teats of this cow fit into soft rubber
attachments, and she was not required to produce an excessive amount of milk, as a commercial cow is. And
the milk went directly into not a glass, but an enclosed pail, so it wouldn’t pick up much foreign matter.
Clean, healthy cows, such as the one just described, produce nourishing, delicious milk that needs no
further processing. As long as cows live in clean barns, spend summers grazing, and are well cared for, they
give milk that is perfectly safe for drinking.
“We let our cows dry off in the winter,” says Doug Flack, a dairy farmer and raw milk producer from
Fairfield, Vermont. “Lower-producing cows can live a long, healthy life. And good soil fertility ranks among
the most important aspects of bovine health.”