Thursday, March 10, 2011

Milky Madness.....or ....not?

This is what we all need to be consuming now......or IS it?
According to PETA, the milk mustache (if from cow's milk) is to be avoided at ALL costs!

Now, a respite and break from the serious stuff...

Sections of the blogosphere are all 'a-twitter' as news recently broke about an Englishman selling human breast milk ice cream. London-based ice cream maker Matt O'Connor recently launched "Baby Gaga," a flavor made with human breast milk, he was hoping to start a conversation.

Seems like instead, a whole war of words (and legal threats) have erupted.

According to O'Connor:

"I come from a family of Irish dairy farmers. We used to milk the cows every morning at 5 a.m., and keep impregnating them every five months so they would keep producing milk. That was floating around in my head -- why are human breasts sexualized, rather than being seen as biological feeding instruments?"

Good question! But maybe you ought to ask breast-exploiting capitalist Americans about that, who earn billions promoting breasts as sexual objects. Anyway, don't want to get too serious here, lest my tea-bagging bro denounce me as "anti-American".

How popular is the 'Lady Gaga' brand? In late February, O'Connor sold out his entire first batch made in a single day. (There was a brief interruption when the Westminster Council health inspection team whisked the last few scoops off the shelves for safety testing - but it was since deemed safe and will be back on sale shortly). Meanwhile, Lady Gaga's lawyers have threatened an injunction for copyright infringement, an action he compared to the behavior of a "playground bully or despotic dictators like Colonel Gaddafi or Robert Mugabe [rather] than an artist celebrating artistic freedom."

Well, errr...maybe that's going a tad overboard.

Some may think O'Connor is some kind of genius but at least capitalizing on the name (if not the substance) isn't really new. Bob Muscarella, who founded Mother's Milk Ice Cream Co. 10 years ago, told a columnist that every time there's something in the news about it, like Baby Gaga ice cream or PETA's invitation to Ben & Jerry's to use breast milk in their products, he gets a windfall from his mugs, t-shirts, intimate apparel and whatnot. Who'da thought? And he's not even selling the real stuff.

Speaking of that PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) invite, they had asked the former Vermont ice cream makers to begin using breast milk in its products instead of cow's milk, saying it would reduce the suffering of cows and calves and give ice cream lovers a healthier product.

According to a PETA letter to the company founders :

"If Ben and Jerry's replaced the cow's milk in its ice cream with breast milk, your customers — and cows — would reap the benefits,"

Thus wrote Tracy Reiman, executive vice president of the animal rights advocacy group. She said dairy products have been linked to juvenile diabetes, allergies and obesity. (Though these are more likely the whole fat products, as opposed to fat free, praised in an issue of Psychology Today (Nov.-Dec., 2007, p. 61, Health Forum: 'The Human Kindness of Milk') as "the ideal food to re-shape bodies, especially those of women."

The Psych Today bunch may be on to something, or maybe they've correctly predicted most Americans' revulsion to the idea of consuming any breast milk (as adults) in any form. Penny Van Esterik, a professor of anthropology at York University who's written extensively on lactation and is an activist with the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action, asserts it's no surprise that ice cream made from human milk causes discomfort. She claims: "It demands the linkages between the sexual and the maternal."

But it may be more fundamental than that, involving a taboo....cannibalism.

As psychologist Norma Bentley put it: :"There's a sexual kinkiness to it, almost a kind of cannibalism. It's like consuming part of someone's body -- yet eating human flesh is almost universally condemned."

Well, hadn't thought of it quite that way until I read that.

Meanwhile, author Carol J. Adams (The Sexual Politics of Meat: A Feminist-Vegetarian Critical Theory) and a vocal advocate of veganism isn't the least happy about this development and sees ardent capitalists exploiting humans yet another way:

"Eating meat and ice cream is a privilege of being a human being who can oppress other animals. It comes as no surprise to me that we take something oppressive -the extraction of milk from a cow -- and extend it to women!"

"Breast-feeding creates a relationship between two people," says Adams. "Eating human milk ice cream doesn't create that relationship, it's just treating it as an ingredient."

Citing a familiar vegan principle, she calls drinking any species' milk "symbolically infantilizing."

PETA is still not having it, and prefers humans go to the natural source from their own species, rather than raid the bounty of other animals. This applies to the milk ice cream, as well as cheese, including goat cheese.

According to one PETA link:


Why is it that, as adults, we find human milk distasteful, but we find animal milk palatable? Humans are the ONLY species who drinks the milk of another species. Now that's distasteful!! So, if you were looking for a perspective even higher on the "gross-o-meter" than cheese made from human milk-you just found it!”

Hmmmm.....maybe this is one more reason to just stick with almond milk, and no cheese!

(Apologies to all my Wisconsin Cheesehead friends!)

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