(Note from Erin: I live a plant-based life that doesn’t include milk products. However, that doesn’t mean I believe the government should be able to prohibit people from buying raw milk or consume raw milk from cows they own.)


In the state of Tennessee, Senator Richard Briggs, who is a doctor, has filed bill SB0015. If passed, the bill will criminalize drinking milk from your own cow or other “hoofed” mammal. He claims he introduced the bill after a recent E-coli outbreak (that has not been directly tied to raw milk). It is shocking to me that a civilized society such as ours would attempt to control what a person chooses to eat or drink- especially if it’s something you have grown yourself.

The Bristol Herald Courier reported,

“In 2009, a bill was passed that allowed for individuals to purchase a partial interest in a dairy animal to obtain raw milk for their personal use. A new bill has been introduced for consideration to change state legislation that would make herd shares in a raw dairy herd illegal and take away yet another option for obtaining healthful food.

Statistically speaking, fresh unprocessed milk is safe. Many farmers who provide raw milk for herd share owners spend countless hours and dollars ensuring the health of their animals while also taking the time and money to have the milk tested on a regular basis to ensure its safety.”1

According to a blog on The Lunatic Farmer, “Safety is highly subjective. I don’t think it’s safe to drink 3 cans of Coca-cola a day, but that’s legal. I don’t think it’s safe to eat veggie burgers, but people do. If we’re going to pick and choose everything that could be unsafe and outlaw it, we might as well all go live in a bubble room and put on respirators. We pick and choose risks. Some eat at McDonald’s; others don’t. Some take the flu vaccine; others don’t. The critical thing to understand is that if the government is responsible for my health, then it necessarily has a fiduciary responsibility to penetrate every health-impactful decision I make in order to protect itself from economic liability.”2


Well put. (No, I don’t drink milk but that doesn’t mean the government should be able to tell people they can’t buy raw milk if they want to or drink raw milk from their own cows.)

If you live in Tenessee and would like to express your feelings on this legislation, please contact Senator Briggs’ office.

Email: [email protected]

Phone: (615) 741-1766



  1. Recuro
  2. The Lunatic Farmer