I DISAGREE with Lucy Stephens' article (Don't Blame Milk, The Press, June 8) and would like to "blame" milk for many problems.

I have been vegetarian for seven years. When I started my foie-gras campaign I met animal welfare activists who presented me with the real evidence on milk. I am now a committed vegan.

If you care about animal welfare, don't drink milk. Given the chance, cows nurture their young and form life-long friendships with one another. Most cows raised for dairy products are intensively confined and unable to fulfil basic functions such as nursing calves even for a day.

They are genetically manipulated and pumped full of antibiotics and hormones.

Their udders often become so heavy that they sometimes painfully drag on the ground, resulting in frequent infections - and antibiotics overuse.

If you care about your health, don't drink milk. Milk drinkers increase their chances of heart disease, diabetes, cancer and many other ailments.

A UK study showed people who suffered irregular heartbeats, asthma, headaches, fatigue, and digestive problems had "marked and often complete improvements in their health after cutting milk from their diets."

If you care about the environment, don't drink milk. Milk is an inefficient food source. It takes a great deal of grain and other foodstuffs cycled through cows to produce a small amount of milk. Not only is milk a waste of energy and water, its production is a disastrous source of water pollution. A dairy cow produces 120lb of waste daily, with no sewers or treatment plants.

If you care about your health, animals, and the environment, being vegetarian is a great start - but to really make a difference, go vegan.

Coun Paul Blanchard, Chaucer Lane, York.