Respectful Insolence

Animal rights activists: Impossible to parody

I’ve written about their antics, both silly and vile, many times before.

Animal rights activists in general and PETA in particular. In doing so, I’ve come to the conclusion that they are so far off their rockers that they are simply impossible to parody. Just yesterday, to reinforce that point, PETA wrote an open letter to Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream. It has to be read to be believed:

September 23, 2008
Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, Cofounders
Ben & Jerry’s Homemade Inc.

Dear Mr. Cohen and Mr. Greenfield,

On behalf of PETA and our more than 2 million members and supporters, I’d like to bring your attention to an innovative new idea from Switzerland that would bring a unique twist to Ben and Jerry’s.

Storchen restaurant is set to unveil a menu that includes soups, stews, and sauces made with at least 75 percent breast milk procured from human donors who are paid in exchange for their milk. 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.

Using cow’s milk for your ice cream is a hazard to your customer’s health. Dairy products have been linked to juvenile diabetes, allergies, constipation, obesity, and prostate and ovarian cancer. The late Dr. Benjamin Spock, America’s leading authority on child care, spoke out against feeding cow’s milk to children, saying it may play a role in anemia, allergies, and juvenile diabetes and in the long term, will set kids up for obesity and heart disease-America’s number one cause of death.

Animals will also benefit from the switch to breast milk. Like all mammals, cows only produce milk during and after pregnancy, so to be able to constantly milk them, cows are forcefully impregnated every nine months. After several years of living in filthy conditions and being forced to produce 10 times more milk than they would naturally, their exhausted bodies are turned into hamburgers or ground up for soup.

And of course, the veal industry could not survive without the dairy industry. Because male calves can’t produce milk, dairy farmers take them from their mothers immediately after birth and sell them to veal farms, where they endure 14 to17 weeks of torment chained inside a crate so small that they can’t even turn around.

The breast is best! Won’t you give cows and their babies a break and our health a boost by switching from cow’s milk to breast milk in Ben and Jerry’s ice cream? Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

Tracy Reiman
Executive Vice President

We now know why PETA will never succeed at business. Even if human breast milk could be turned into decent ice cream (questionable at best, given that the fat in cream is what makes ice cream so–well, creamy, not to mention tasty–Ben & Jerry’s is a global company now. Where on earth would it get enough human breast milk to make ice cream? Nowhere, unless it started farming humans women like cows.

Wait, given that PETA considers animals of equal value to humans, maybe that’s what it would prefer. Whatever the case, you really can’t make stuff like this up. At least, I can’t.

Comments

  1. #1 Interrobang
    September 24, 2008

    I’ve never been so glad to be non-lactase-persistent in all my life…

  2. #2 Randall
    September 24, 2008

    I’m pretty sure PETA actually values non-human lives above human lives; they’d rather lose thousands of humans to disease than kill a few animals to learn how to cure that disease. And yea, we can’t guarantee that human lives will be spared by research, but even if you plug “animal_life == human_life” into your moral calculus, I’m pretty sure the numbers would come out in favor of animal testing.

  3. #3 Brian X
    September 24, 2008

    It wouldn’t be extremism without cherrypicked data, now would it?

  4. #4 Yoo
    September 24, 2008

    While I’m sympathetic to the cause of animal rights, the more vocal animal rights groups seems to be completely unsympathizable.

  5. #5 Dangerous Bacon
    September 24, 2008

    If Ben & Jerry’s has a change of heart and decides to start marketing human breast milk ice cream, what will they call the new flavors? Inquiring minds have already made a number of excellent suggestions:

    http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=484754

    My personal favorite thus far is:

    “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Mother’s”

  6. #6 tim gueguen
    September 24, 2008

    It seems someone at PETA is into fetishes, as I’ve seen art of women being milked in various places.(If you’re really desparate to see examples you can probably find them pretty quickly on Deviantart.) Or maybe they’re into old Harlan Ellison stories, because I’m sure it was Ellison that wrote a story I once read that had a dimensional traveller encounter a world where women bred to be mindless and with giant breasts were used as a source of milk.

  7. #7 SLC
    September 24, 2008

    I may be wrong about this but I seem to recall the Ben and Jerry sold the company some time ago and are no longer affiliated with it.

  8. #8 D. C. Sessions
    September 24, 2008

    Per straightdope:

    Jugs Desserts

  9. #9 bug_girl
    September 24, 2008

    I would have put your sentence as:

    “Wait, given that PETA considers women of less value than non-human animals, maybe that’s what it would prefer.”

  10. #10 HCN
    September 24, 2008

    Tim Gueguen wrote “Or maybe they’re into old Harlan Ellison stories, because I’m sure it was Ellison that wrote a story I once read that had a dimensional traveller encounter a world where women bred to be mindless and with giant breasts were used as a source of milk.”

    I was remembering that story too. But I don’t think it was written by Ellison, but actually in the anthology of speculative fiction called “Dangerous Visions”. Unfortunately the three volumes I have of those stories are elsewhere or I could find it.

  11. #11 Lorne
    September 24, 2008

    I don’t think PETA would have approved of some of the menu choices.

    Locher had planned to serve up human milk in dishes of soup, antelope steak with sauce and the classic dish of Zürcher Geschnetzeltes – bite sized pieces of meat in a creamy sauce. The Storchen, which coincidentally means Stork in English, would have served up these delicacies during a series of special offer weeks.

    However the idea got shut down. http://www.swissinfo.org/eng/front/Breast_milk_menu_too_titillating_for_diners.html?siteSect=108&sid=9744046&cKey=1221812344000&ty=st

  12. #12 Noadi
    September 24, 2008

    *sigh* More PETA showboating. I really despise PETA because they last thing they actually do is improve the lives of animals. If anything they make the lives of animals worse from backlash against their antics.

    I really do think a lot of PETA members hate themselves and their species because they do put animals ahead of people. This is made abundantly clear by the fact that they are against charities who provide farm animals to people in poor countries such as OxFam and Heifer International.

  13. #13 Eric13
    September 24, 2008

    OK, let me get this straight – PETA says it’s a bad thing to keep cows constantly pregnant so they continue to lactate, but it’s apparently OK to do that to humans??

    I think someone at PETA needs to be told that humans are mammals, too.

  14. #14 Robert Estrada
    September 24, 2008

    What basis do they have for statingthat human breast milk would be less problematic for the health of adults in the quantities contained in the imbalanced diet of so many?
    I gave up on tolerating their stupidity long ago.

  15. #15 JFox
    September 24, 2008

    The flavor name would have to involve A Clockwork Orange reference me thinks.

  16. #16 mba
    September 24, 2008

    If they really think it’s such a good idea, why not do it themselves? Then they could compete directly with those evil cow-milk ice cream companies and take them down! Why do environmentalists and animal rights activists always expect someone else to save the world for them? Lame. Come on, PETA, step up to the plate! Start marketing human breast milk ice cream. If you really had the courage of your convictions, you guys would start marketing an entire line of human breast milk products and get the whole world to switch. Can’t wait to see the commercials….but, in reality, they are cowards and won’t do it. So sad. They would rather complain about others.

  17. #17 llewelly
    September 24, 2008

    Or maybe they’re into old Harlan Ellison stories, because I’m sure it was Ellison that wrote a story I once read that had a dimensional traveller encounter a world where women bred to be mindless and with giant breasts were used as a source of milk.

    Sounds more like Piers Anthony’s In The Barn , which was published in Harlan Ellison’s Again, Dangerous Visions .

  18. #18 leigh
    September 24, 2008

    first things first, cows have approximately nine month gestation periods. then they are allowed to reach peak milk productivity before they are bred again- a few months. they are not “forcefully impregnated every nine months” as PETA would lead you to believe. the usual calving interval is over 12 months for a solid dairy management program.

    secondly, cows are not commonly milked during the last few months of pregnancy. it’s called drying them off and allows for regeneration of lactating tissue and eliminates the energy requirement for lactation, redirecting energy toward the growing fetus. oops, there goes that argument.

    i am concerned about what kind of human pathogens can be transmitted through breast milk though. and what about all those breast-milk deprived children??

  19. #19 The Perky Skeptic
    September 24, 2008

    I am a lactation-positive mom. I think breast milk is a wonderful, beautiful thing, and a great gift that a mother can give her child.

    Nonetheless, my gut response to this PETA proposal was, “EEEEEEWWWW!!!”

  20. #20 Rebecca
    September 24, 2008

    It seems to me that there’s another big problem with PETA’s proposal. If we stop drinking cow’s milk, then why keep those cows alive? It’s not like farmers will just raise cattle out of the goodness of their hearts…

  21. #21 Jon
    September 24, 2008

    By the way, I wonder if PETA approved of Storchen’s planned menu. Mmmm – antelope.

    http://www.swissinfo.org/eng/front/Breast_milk_menu_too_titillating_for_diners.html?siteSect=108&sid=9744046&cKey=1221812344000&ty=st

  22. #22 DLC
    September 24, 2008

    PETA will do anything to gain publicity.
    And yes, it is their opinion that animals are either exactly the same as humans (in terms of rights) or better than.

    Rebecca: PETA would want the cows killed, because they are better off dead than providing milk to feed people.
    This is the group who committed a goodly number of unauthorized animal killings they termed “euthanasia” after having obtained the animals from shelters by fraudulent means.

    I have no respect for such groups.

  23. #23 Calli Arcale
    September 24, 2008

    OK, let me get this straight – PETA says it’s a bad thing to keep cows constantly pregnant so they continue to lactate, but it’s apparently OK to do that to humans??

    I think someone at PETA needs to be told that humans are mammals, too.

    Actually, this is their point, at least their point in reverse. If we won’t do this to human women, why will we do it to cows? That’s their point. You see, they are convinced that the rest of the world is so moronic that this has not already occurred to us. They want us to respond just as you have — by saying “well hey, that’d be inhuman” because then they can feel all self-righteous about us admitting that this is not a good life for a cow.

    After all, the real intent of all of their efforts is not to improve the lot of cattle. It’s to make themselves feel superior to the rest of us, and to get attention.

    Thing is, the rest of us understand that cows are not humans, and that the vast majority of dairy cattle are kept in very good conditions. How good? We’re talking massages, heated stalls, waterbeds, even chocolate or beer mixed with the feed on some farms. Robotic milkers that are so comfortable that the cow willingly goes up to it to be milked. (Some particularly high-tech dairies have entirely automated the milking parlor. The cow gets milked when she wants to be milked.) It’s a highly competitive business, and happy cows produce significantly more milk than stressed ones. (When I was lactating, I found much the same thing; on days when I was in a good mood, it was much easier to relax and let the milk flow. Another thing: being milked is actually enjoyable. I’m positive the cows enjoy it. There are lots of very happy hormones associated with the process.)

    At least they’ve finally given up the “veal calves chained in the dark” schtick, which was complete BS. (An old urban legend is that keeping them in the dark is what keeps the milk pale. It’s not. It’s the fact that the calf is still milkfed.) They’re still not completely right, of course. The farms I’ve seen, the calf is not chained inside a crate to small to turn around in. They are kept in small pens with a little hut (usually white plastic) for the calf to get shelter. The calf can leave the hut at will. It’s comparable to an outdoor dog run with a dog house at one end. Some dispense with the pens and instead have the calves tied up, but they still are allowed to enter and egress the huts at will. The purpose is to provide them shelter. Now, the farmers could treat them like steers and let them stay out in the field 24/7, but they tend to be rather sweet on calves and make sure they have some shelter.

    Of course, PETA will never see it that way.

    Mind you, as much as I think they’re loonies, once in a very rare while, PETA does some good for the world by finding something that actually is despicable:
    Owners of Iowa farm where PETA uncovered cruelty to pigs vow to fire abusive workers

    I don’t think it quite makes up for what they do to unwanted pets, but at least some good comes out of them occasionally.

  24. #24 Esther
    September 25, 2008

    I’m not surprised they turned to Ben & Jerry’s, which already has holier-than-thou pretensions regarding human health. I hate that some of their products state that their milk suppliers don’t use rBGH.

  25. #25 HCN
    September 25, 2008

    llewelly said “Sounds more like Piers Anthony’s In The Barn , which was published in Harlan Ellison’s Again, Dangerous Visions .”

    Thank you for the literary reference. My 14 year old daughter mentioned this issue tonight (if she didn’t think so before, she is now positive that PETA is nuts). I told her about the story, and related it was by the same guy who wrote Xanth (some of which she and her brother have read). I also explained that I had read that story at around the time I was twenty years old and majoring in a very male oriented area (engineering) while being judged on the mammary abundance I inherited from my mother. At the same time I was dealing with a professor who assumed my homework was being done by my boyfriend (who is her father, by the way) I was being hit on by every other guy enrolled in the College of Engineering. I did not like being objectified, even if that was meant being considered to be a pair of boobs with a brain.

    (note: in the 1970s it was often thought that nerdy women majored in engineering to meet guys, the problem was that while the odds are good, the goods are odd… ;-p )

    (another note: this was the disco era, so prior to meeting my hubby I went to discos with a gay friend… we looked like a normal couple, except we both just happened to like the same guys… anyway, while he was away some gentleman would come along side and ask me my sign — er, sorry, don’t have one, I was born to close to the equator … then they would ask my my major — I’d say “engineering”, and when I turned away they would disappear!)

  26. #26 Dunc
    September 25, 2008

    I may be wrong about this but I seem to recall the Ben and Jerry sold the company some time ago and are no longer affiliated with it.

    I’m pretty sure you’re right about that.

  27. #27 Danimal
    September 25, 2008

    Since as you state PETA considers animals equal to humans, perhaps the need for icecream made of breast milk is that it will be made for cows. After all, if we can have icecream made of cow milk, in fairness cows should have icecream made of human milk.

  28. #28 bernard quatermass
    September 25, 2008

    “I was remembering that story too. But I don’t think it was written by Ellison, but actually in the anthology of speculative fiction called “Dangerous Visions”. Unfortunately the three volumes I have of those stories are elsewhere or I could find it.”

    I’m pretty sure it was “In The Barn,” by Piers Anthony (!), which appeared in Again, Dangerous Visions.

  29. #29 Der Bruno Stroszek
    September 25, 2008

    My slightly less literate association was the movie Borat, where he presents a senator with a gift of traditional Kazakh cheese, then, when the poor guy’s three chews through it, explains that it was made with his wife’s breast milk.

  30. #30 Adrienne
    September 25, 2008

    My personal favorites for name suggestions were “Sweet Mammaries” and “Nipple Ripple”. Oh, and “Dulce de La Leche League”, but that one’s a bit too long, IMHO.

  31. #31 David Marjanović, OM
    September 25, 2008

    I hate that some of their products state that their milk suppliers don’t use rBGH.

    All that hormone stuff is forbidden in the EU anyway.

  32. #32 Marilyn Mann
    September 25, 2008

    They are wackos.

  33. #33 Scott
    September 25, 2008

    Meh. I’ve seen stranger. Like this exchange I saw on a local news story about a PETA rally a couple years back:

    Crazy loon: Animals have exactly the same rights as people.
    Reporter: Exactly the same rights?
    Crazy loon: Yes, including the right to vote.
    Reporter: All animals?
    Crazy loon: Yes.
    Reporter: What about cockroaches?
    Crazy loon: Cockroaches have the right to vote, yes.
    Reporter: For President?
    Crazy loon: Absolutely.

    You could tell the reporter was unsure whether to keep talking or run for her life. The whole thing was so surreal it’s now etched permanently into my brain.

  34. #34 Dr. Kate
    September 25, 2008

    Personally, I liked Butterscotch Nipple and Thanks for the Mammaries.

  35. #35 Calli Arcale
    September 25, 2008

    Cockroaches have the right to vote? Wow. Well, I suppose at least the guy was consistent about his conviction that animals should have all the same rights as humans.

    Reminds me of Loretta in “Life of Brian”, a man who wanted to be a woman, and specifically wanted the right to bear children.

    “I want the right to bear children.”
    “But you haven’t got a womb!”
    “I know. But I still want the right.”

    (Or words to that effect; it’s been a while since I’ve seen it. Time to get the DVD out again!)

  36. #36 Arren
    September 25, 2008

    Sounds more like Piers Anthony’s In The Barn, which was published in Harlan Ellison’s Again, Dangerous Visions.

    Piers Anthony? In a Harlan Ellison collection?

    …..(IMHO) it’s akin to the Monkees’ Davy Jones appearing on a Lou Reed track – bizarre.

  37. #37 HCN
    September 25, 2008

    Arren said “Piers Anthony? In a Harlan Ellison collection?

    …..(IMHO) it’s akin to the Monkees’ Davy Jones appearing on a Lou Reed track – bizarre.”

    Not really, he has written a bunch of strange stuff other than the Xanth series, including the Incarnations of Immortality. A couple have been fairly sexually graphic (including one called Pornucopia). I am not surprised that he wrote “In the Barn”. His bibliography:
    http://hipiers.com/bibliography.html

  38. #38 Dianne
    September 25, 2008

    This is wrong in just so many ways…
    1. Human milk is considered a biohazard. Will all sources be vetted for freedom from known viruses? (At least with a sick cow there’s a chance that the pathogen wouldn’t be pathogenic to people.)
    2. The cannibalism taboo. It’s there for a reason. See kuru.
    3. The taste of milk changes depending on what the animal producing it eats. I don’t think the diners would appreciate their gourmet meal tasting like nicotine if a smoker donated.
    4. And speaking of taste (or lack thereof), breast milk is too sweet and not fatty enough for the average adult’s taste. (Don’t be alarmed: I only tried my own.)I suspect the Storchen’s customers would have been disappointed, if it had gone through.
    5. Shouldn’t the milk be used to raise baby humans? Cows are bred to produce far more milk than their calves need. Humans aren’t although they can produce a fair excess if well fed. But not enough to keep Ben and Jerry’s in business for any length of time. Even if all the human milk produced by every H sapiens on the planet were used, I have serious doubts about it being enough to keep Ben and Jerry’s in business (not that I’ve worked out the numbers). Cows are just better at over-producing milk than humans.

    Conditions for dairy cows should be better. Veal is bad. Breast milk is good for babies. But this proposal is just getting silly.

  39. #39 Ice Cream Lover
    September 25, 2008

    I’ll have sweet cream and colostrum flavor with heath bar mixins in a waffle cone please…make it 2 scoops

  40. #40 JSinger
    September 25, 2008

    We now know why PETA will never succeed at business.

    In fact, PETA is in business and is astonishingly successful at it. Given that your own business partner is best known for an attention-crazed jackass’ desecration of communion wafers, surely the concept of provocative publicity stunts doesn’t need to be explained to you…?

  41. #41 Orac
    September 25, 2008

    I didn’t approve of my “colleague’s” little publicity stunt and have said so before.

    Try again.

    As for “business,” the only “business” PETA is good at is snookering credulous idiots into handing over their cash in the form of donations. I was referring to a real business, which provides a good or a service in return for payment.

  42. #42 Natalie
    September 25, 2008

    I hate that some of their products state that their milk suppliers don’t use rBGH.

    Is the use of this hormone so important to you that not using it actually inspires hatred? I feel like I’m missing something here.

  43. #43 Shi-Hsia Hwa
    September 25, 2008

    @Natalie: since the use of hormones in animals is now banned, they and other food producers that label their products hormone-free are basically saying “We don’t do something illegal”, which is redundant and silly. If you walked into a shop and all the employees wore badges that said “We don’t take cocaine”, wouldn’t that sound fishy?

    Factual error: Few countries still allow veal calves to be raised in the torturous conditions described in the letter.

    PETA is sexist. They exploit women to gain cheap publicity – witness all their anti-fur protests with hot girls wearing just barely enough to avoid arrest for public indecency. (In case anybody can’t tell from my name, I’m female.)

    Oh yeah, and racist. Human milk with its higher lactose content would be BAD for me and a lot of other consumers of East Asian descent.

  44. #44 Keenacat
    September 25, 2008

    Not only for those of east asian descent… About 20% of the north european population have a more or less severe form of lactose intolerance. Being one of those people myself (with a more severe form), I can eat small amounts of ice cream if I take a lactase-pill (but still I have to expect at least some inconvenient symptoms).
    Breast milk would make ice cream a total no-go for me, I guess.

  45. #45 MD
    September 25, 2008

    I don’t know about impossible. There is a pretty good parody at

    http://www.animaldefense.org/

  46. #46 MightyLambchop
    September 25, 2008

    This reminds me of a business idea that a male friend of mine had. He thought it would be swell to open a human dairy farm to help out those women who could not or would not breast feed. Wet nurses for the masses!
    It was a pretty hilarious presentation he’d give since he was gay and willfully ignorant of the female body. He was droppin’ some bad, bad science.

  47. #47 Jim
    September 25, 2008

    I AM A PROUD MEMEBER OF PETA!

    People Eating Tasty Animals

  48. #48 Scott
    September 25, 2008

    Well, I suppose at least the guy was consistent about his conviction that animals should have all the same rights as humans.

    It was a woman, actually. Not that it matters, but just to be precise.

  49. #49 Esther
    September 25, 2008

    Natalie:Is the use of this hormone so important to you that not using it actually inspires hatred? I feel like I’m missing something here.

    No, it’s just that milk from cows treated with the hormone is indistinguishable from that of untreated cows, but you’ll find a lot of scare stories on the ‘net about how rBGH is the reason girls now get their periods at 8 and other effects of the scary hormones in cows’ milk. Of course, cows excrete hormones in their milk anyway, so there really is no such thing as “hormone-free milk”; and peptide hormones like rBGH or natural BGH get denatured by our stomach acid regardless.

    It annoys me in the same way ‘organic’ food does.

  50. #50 JSinger
    September 25, 2008

    I didn’t approve of my “colleague’s” little publicity stunt and have said so before. Try again.

    I came here via the sidebar, have no idea what you have or haven’t said on that subject, and wasn’t suggesting that you approved of it.

    I was merely expressing surprise that you seem to think the human milk thing is a business plan and not a Swiftian joke designed to win them exactly the sort of publicity you just gave them. Particularly since you’re part of a venture best known for doing exactly the same thing, minus the cleverness. You’ve certainly encountered the idea of making money via controversy, whether or not you supported it.

  51. #51 Mike Crichton
    September 25, 2008

    OK, let me get this straight – PETA says it’s a bad thing to keep cows constantly pregnant so they continue to lactate, but it’s apparently OK to do that to humans??

    It’s not, strictly speaking, required for a woman to be pregnant or have small children nursing to continue to lactate. I’ve heard of women whose partners are into that fetish to continue lactating for decades…

  52. #52 Erika
    September 25, 2008

    I nursed my daughter for 3.5 years. When she stopped taking expressed milk from a cup at 11 months I used my frozen stash to bake things like french toast for her. I’m about as pro-bf’ing as you can get…

    and when I first saw this, yesterday, I thought it was from The Onion.

    PETA is nuts, and the best response to their antics is to shake your head, laugh if you think it’s funny (which I do, in a “are they insane?” kind of way), and move on.

  53. #53 Natalie
    September 25, 2008

    Shi-Hsia Hwa, I assume you are talking about the EU or Canada. rBGH is not banned in the US, and I guess I just assumed that we were talking about the US. I wasn’t aware European milk sellers labelled their milk as hormone-free, which would be pretty stupid if the stuff is banned there.

    No, it’s just that milk from cows treated with the hormone is indistinguishable from that of untreated cows, but you’ll find a lot of scare stories on the ‘net about how rBGH is the reason girls now get their periods at 8 and other effects of the scary hormones in cows’ milk.

    IIRC, the labels in the United States have to include a disclaimer stating that no difference has been found between rBGH treated cows and non-rBGH treated cows. Then again, disclaimers are kind of bs.

    Personally, if I could afford non-rBGH milk I could, but that comes from a concern over the animal’s health, not human health (same reason I try to by my food local and/or organic when possible). I doubt the hormone does anything bad to people, but it can cause health problems for the cows.

  54. #54 Natalie
    September 25, 2008

    no difference has been found between rBGH treated cows and non-rBGH treated cows

    Gah, proofreading fail. That should read “no different has been found between the milk of rBGH cows and non-rBGH cows.

  55. #55 Eric13
    September 25, 2008

    @Callie – I think you missed my sarcasm (which is odd, I’m usually not that subtle). I know that PETA’s real attitude is exactly what you say, and that their main motivation is to stir up publicity. The better to dupe unsuspecting animal lovers out of money. I think the revelations about their euthanization of pets they “rescued” from shelters shows their true colors.

    As for them occasionally getting something right, the old expression “even a broken clock is right twice a day” comes to mind.

  56. #56 leigh
    September 25, 2008

    my issue with rBGH isn’t really related to the milk itself. personally, i’m against it because of the huge advantage it gives to the massive corporate farms. family farms can’t compete with that, and they’ve got enough disadvantages stacked against them as it is- from tax breaks only going to the bigger guys, to shipping charges being different for the smaller producers. but now we’re vastly off topic.

  57. #57 Noophy
    September 26, 2008

    As someone who grew up on a Dairy farm in Canada, has family that still runs chicken farms, and dairy farms, I can honestly say most PETA stuff is insane. I know the regulations are different up here, but I would not trust anything they say, just as I would not trust anything that a young earther tells me about science.

  58. #58 Heather
    September 26, 2008

    My husband used to put breast milk in his coffee and tea because we could not fit any other beverage in the fridge when I was pumping…and hasn’t touched a drop of any sort of milk since. I suppose he never stopped to think that cow’s milk is, well, cow’s milk. I think that is the point of that stupid letter, right? I am certain they are not serious, but why not? Is it more or less disgusting (or equally) disgusting to drink the milk of your own species?

  59. #59 Alison
    September 26, 2008

    The author you’re looking for is Joanna Russ. I read that short story, as well as her novel “The Female Man”, and wasn’t terribly impressed. (And this was back in the early 70′s, when she was supposed to be provocative and intellectually challenging. . .and I was in Junior High!)

    As for breast milk. . .well, you’d have to find women not only willing to do it, but also willing to eat the same thing at every meal for the entire time they’re lactating. You don’t want to put milk from a woman who’s had cavatelli and broccoli, and a large salad with balsamic vinaigrette, into any kind of dessert product.

  60. #60 docgrumbles
    September 26, 2008

    Um…if we actually did this… wouldn’t human women eventually be pressured to be pregnant more often just to keep up with the demand??? Great – more unwanted children – excellent solution.

    Effin’ ridiculous.

  61. #61 Metro
    September 26, 2008

    Y’know, I hate the white nazis more than PETA, but it’s a damn close-run thing.

    PETA distributed cards blaming meat and dairy for everything from cancer to sunspots outside a local high school, ignoring the fact that as many as one in four girls coming out of that school were anorectic.

    They claim to be “for the ethical treatment of animals,” but what they mean is “everyone must go vegan.”

    They interfere in cultures where getting enough to eat is often more the problem than the nature of the beast eaten. In Korea they’ve apparently managed to push through a law against eating dog–a traditional and harmless dish that North America should really take up. They also piled onto the US initiative to forbid the eating of horsemeat (which leaves the question of whether they consider it “ethical” to feed surplus horses to surplus dogs).

    @Scott: Clearly cockroaches must have the right to vote, if only in Florida. Bush got in somehow.

    But it’s an ill wind …

    This provides me with the opportunity to pimp one of my favourite sites: Steve, Don’t Eat It!, from The Sneeze, which bills itself as “Half ‘zine. Half blog. Half not good with fractions.”

    If you go there, be sure to read all the entries ( I especially commend the entry on natto). However, don’t do it at work. Your hysterical laughter will get you fired.

  62. #62 DuWayne
    September 27, 2008

    Arren -

    Anthony is most famous for his Xanth novels, but has actually written a whole hell of a lot of other stuff. Most of his non-Xanth stuff is very adult oriented, with a lot of fetish oriented sex. He has also written a fair amount of straight up horror.

  63. #63 DiscoveredJoys
    September 28, 2008

    Of course some varities of cows have been bred for their milk production…

    I don’t think I want to write any more.

  64. #64 Lucario
    October 1, 2008

    I stopped listening to PETA’s agitprop when they Godwinized their argument with their “Holocaust on Your Plate” camplaign about 10 years ago. This most recent stunt proves that PETA has probably jumped the shark. How low can they go after this?

    Not only is this stupid, it borders on exploitation: They’re essentially suggesting (in a roundabout manner) that the poor mothers of the world should deprive their kids of nourishment just to make a quick buck on some novelty frozen treats. Sick, PETA, just sick.

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