No! There is no nutritional need for humans to eat any animal products; all of our dietary needs, even as infants and children, are best supplied by an animal-free diet.
Cows’ milk is suited to the nutritional needs of calves, who, unlike human babies, will double their weight in 47 days (as opposed to 180 days for humans), grow four stomachs, and weigh 1,100-1,200 pounds within two years. Cow’s milk contains about three times as much protein as human milk and almost 50 percent more fat.
The consumption of animal products has been conclusively linked to heart disease, cancer, diabetes, arthritis, and osteoporosis. Cholesterol (found only in animal products) and animal fat clog arteries, leading to heart attacks and strokes. The rate of many cancers—including colon, breast, cervical, uterine, ovarian, prostate, and lung—is highest in regions where meat consumption is high and lowest where meat-eating is uncommon. A study of more than 25,000 people found that vegetarians have a much lower risk of getting diabetes than meat-eaters. A South African study found not a single case of rheumatoid arthritis in a community of 800 people who ate no meat or dairy products.
There is no physical reason for humans to eat animal products. Cutting animal products from your diet is healthier for you, the animals, and the environment. Learn more about the health benefits of a plant-based diet at PCRM.org.