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On Human Breast Milk Ice Cream

Human breast milk ice cream. That’s got to need some hyphens. All those nouns in a row can’t be correct.

Yesterday morning, on The Today Show, Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford were talking about the PeTA request that Ben & Jerry’s ice cream use human breast milk.

I thought that was fantastic! As expected, though, humans were all "grossed out" by the notion of consuming the breast milk of their own species and would rather consume that of cows. It would be high comedy if it weren’t so pathetic.

The Ben & Jerry’s folks responded oddly with: "we believe a mother’s milk is best used for her child."

Hello . . . Hello . . . .

Is there anybody in there?

Just nod if you can here me . . .

Isn’t cow’s milk meant for somebody? And isn’t that somebody a calf and not a human?

Gifford and Kotb were visibly disconcerted with the ice cream idea. Gifford asked what’s wrong with cow’s milk and don’t they just take it from the cow, who’s producing it anyway. Kotb said she thought PeTA has some kind of video that shows there’s some suffering going on there and Gifford said they’d look into it and then they moved on.

I’m sure The Today Show‘s producers have been deluged with videos and e-mails about all of the suffering necessary to "produce" cow’s milk. Or at least I hope so (, if you’re so inclined). But what struck me was the conditioning. What struck me was the knee-jerk response that human breast milk is for some reason yucky and inappropriate, yet cow’s milk is fine.

I think I’ve been vegan too long; this looks bizarre to me.

What do you all think? Did you like PeTA’s way of bringing attention to this topic? And what do you think of Ben & Jerry’s embarrassing response? I actually like the idea of this campaign because it’s about the idiocy of a use of an animal, and in my mind the conclusion is inescapable: drinking the milk of another species–meant for the baby of that species–is, as Paul Reiser once said in Mad About You, "wrong all over the place."

What kind, if any, effects the campaign will have I suppose is the big question. But the notion of waking Americans from the trance of their conditioning is a worthy goal.

11 Comments Post a comment
  1. Roger #

    Must be a generational thing but I do not get the mindset of young Petaphiles. Have they no concerns ~at all~ about sexualised violence against women?:

    "***DEMO IDEA***
    Now how about setting up demos promoting "breast milk" drinking around the country – I'm thinking booths where voluptuously well endowed vegan women wearing tiny tight tees (tease!!!), willingly showing a little "wet and hardened" milking nipple action (underneath and through the clothing), giving the male passers by a shot of their "freshly squeezed" concoction!!! An optional alternative would be to serve "it" with "freshly brewed and squeezed cafe au lait"!!! Or, how about having a few "grown-ups" sucking on fake milking breasts in public, inviting passers by to join for a little "pacifying" sucking session. Of course, readily available "milking" woman would be standing by!!! hahaha I suppose there ain't no law keeping over-aged people from public breast feeding, is there? hahaha The municipalities and media would go nuts, not to mention the men!!!

    Awesome work!!!

    Nathalie, Ottawa, Canada!!!"

    September 27, 2008
  2. Roger, maybe that's why I like this idea. It's not a typical PeTA campaign like your idea. (Though I don't know all of the specifics of what they're doing so I could be wrong.)

    UPDATE: Roger just said it wasn't his idea–it was PETA's!

    And here I was, excited to agree with them on a campaign.

    September 27, 2008
  3. Fredrik Fälth #

    Looking at the PETA blog comments makes me lose hope in humanity. Some people actually think PETA is serious about human milk ice cream and give all sorts of arguments why this is a bad idea. How can anyone be so clueless? Then again, PETA HAS done a lot of strange things, so maybe this is what we would expect.

    Still, this is the best PETA stunt in a long time and it gets a lot of attention. You can just hear the simultaneous cognitive dissonance from millions of people when exposed to the breast milk ice cream idea.
    "Human milk?? That's gross!"

    September 27, 2008
  4. How fitting that the ad features Bill Maher as their spokes-manchild. Yeesh.

    September 27, 2008
  5. How fitting that the ad features Bill Maher as their spokes-manchild. Yeesh.

    September 27, 2008
  6. I think PETA should have created a webpage for the letter, wherein they made the introductory text about human breastmilk in a small font and the bulk of the letter – the important stuff about the cruelty of dairy – in large, bold font. And we all could have submitted that to Digg, StumbleUpon, link to it, etc. etc. etc.

    It always seems like PETA plays the game well, they just don't nail that final nail in the coffin. I think the're just a little to scatterbrained and do too much by committee to get it really done well.

    September 27, 2008
  7. Bea Elliott #

    I saw PETA's human breast milk campaign on both CNN and MSNBC. I had mixed emotions – anger that the media severely lacked coverage about PETA's recent pig-torture video at Hormel. And disappointment that PETA was at yet another "stunt". But this one does strike a funny bone – it's clever. I hope it encourages many to examine the truths and myths about "cow dairy" as they cringe at the notion of "human dairy".

    People recoil at the mention of something repugnent – like human breast milk… many also wince at "tofu". I've seen the reaction many times concerning tofu and *soy*: "EEwww that's disgusting!" BUT – blood vessels, scar tissue, fat, veins, cancers, turmors, infection, growths (and sometimes feces) from tortured, murdered animals is somehow: "appetizing"… r-i-g-h-t…

    And I agree Elaine, PETA could stand restructuring – they've got too much going on, (a lot that's expendable and ineffective)… and dare I say "counter productive"? But hopefully with some aggressive follow-through this presentation of *human dairy* might prove to be a worthy effort. One can only hope.

    September 27, 2008
  8. I think many Modern Western humans are disgusted by the idea that they have leaky, decaying bodies just like any other animal. We shield death, injury, mutilation, warts (and all) ourselves that we've grown accustomed to thinking we're beyond all that. I'll be doing a post on veg*nism and disgust in the next month or two, but until then…

    You should check out my latest post. Lot's of people don't realize that not only do humans drink the milk of the young of other species, they also breast feed the young of other species.

    September 28, 2008
  9. Bea Elliott #

    I have seen many news stories of dogs who nurse kittens, cats who have nursed puppies and now Adam has shown that people have nursed non-humans – all that is well and good. This generosity cannot be "forced" as in the way "The" dairy industry does to billions of cows daily.

    Everytime I hear that cows "give" milk – I just want to scream! Happy, innocent kids (of all ages) order their delights at Baskin Robbins, oblivious to the imprisonment and slaughter of baby calves. I am glad whenever I see attention called to this most barbaric, horrific, dirty, vile, evil and contemptable practice! Dairy sucks the bottom of the scuzz barrel. Rant concluded.

    September 28, 2008
  10. That's a great post, Adam!

    September 28, 2008
  11. Thanks, Mary!

    I'll keep the posts coming. I just hope they're not too long for the average web surfer.

    October 3, 2008

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