I grew up drinking and loving cow's milk. After breast feeding Porter and Campbell for eighteen and sixteen months, respectively, I happily transitioned them into a morning routine of cow's milk. My eldest (16), B, has long-loved a tall glass of the stuff with desert every evening. It has been in our lives, and it's a hard habit to shake. When my daughter, Campbell, now 4 1/2, first began breast feeding, the doctors suggested I supplement with formula because she wasn't thriving and she, in fact, was throwing up most of what I put in her. We determined that she had a dairy allergy, so any dairy I consumed was rejected by her body. Without passing judgement on those who choose formula for a variety of reasons, I was personally determined that no formula would enter the lips of my babies. And I knew I could make the sacrifices necessary to make that happen.
So I quit all dairy cold turkey, and I considered it an adventure. It was easy to give up dairy for my child, and it was fun to explore new options. I learned a lot, Campbell did better, and I discovered soy. I thought it a delicious miracle, and considered myself healthier for it. Soy has it's own issues, which I won't go into here, but suffice it to say that when I discovered those issues, I decided to take the next step in my journey. Enter almond milk.
Most of the milk I drink is part of my morning coffee. Soy in place of cow's milk was a creamy, delicious trade, and I felt healthier for it. Soy milk was sweeter than cow's milk, so I gave up sugar in my coffee. I stuck with it, even after Campbell gave up the breast. I just didn't enjoy cow's milk anymore, and it made my coffee taste rancid. The switch to almond milk was a harder sell for me. It just didn't seem as, well...milky. I tried rice milk and coconut milk and flax seed milk, which were even less satisfying. I finally settled on almond milk about a year ago, and I have since fallen in LOVE.
I have successfully converted my husband to enjoy almond milk in his morning coffee. On his cereal, he uses cow's milk and almond milk in equal proportion. With desert (taking it straight), he still succumbs to the cow.
B will drink whatever I put in front of him, but, as a teenager, he pretty much fends for himself most of the time. So when I pour him a glass, he'll happily drink almond milk. If left to his own devices, either because his brain cells have been sucked up by video games or because he likes it better or because he wants to spite me, or because his biological mother tells him I'm a hippy health freak, he'll pour himself an overflowing glass of cow's milk. Rebel.
The littles are now consistently drinking a 50/50 blend of almond milk and cow's milk. I gradually blended their cow's milk to reach that proportion, and they don't seem to notice it. But if I go a hair over 50% with the almond milk, it is promptly rejected, and fits are thrown. I'm struggling with just abolishing cow's milk altogether, or attempting to keep up the transition. They love their milk so. And I love beer. Best not to go cold turkey on either, for now. There might be fits.
I only purchase organic whole (less processed) cow's milk, so we're using the best of the worst, and I bake and cook with almond milk when milk is required. There we are.
This graphic that Allison's Gourmet posted is a fantastic summary of why almond milk is a much better choice for animals, the environment, and health:
I'd love to hear why you choose the milk you do.