Saturday, September 27, 2008

Human v Cow: Ongoing milk debate

Perhaps you've heard in the news this past week about the outrageous request submitted by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) to Ben & Jerry's ice cream's brand founders, Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, urging them to replace the cow's milk in its products with human milk. I am all for ethical treatment of animals (although I do eat meat and dairy products, wear leather, and yell at my dogs), but let's not sacrifice human milk intended to sustain babies for the sake of cows! As I'm writing this blog I feel a tad hypocritical... if a cow had the mental function of humans, how would a mama cow feel about shipping her milk off to feed humans? the question may sound obsurd, but is it really?

"The fact that human adults consume huge quantities of dairy products made from milk that was meant for a baby cow just doesn't make sense," said PETA Exec VP Tracy Reiman. "Everyone knows that 'the breast is best,' so Ben & Jerry's could do consumers and cows a big favor by making the switch to breast milk." I see Reiman's point, which is partially why my 15-month-old son still has not had cow's milk. I figure that at this point he is (more than) willing to have Mama Milk twice a day and there is no need to give cow milk, filled with hormones, puss, etc... Don't get me wrong- I love cow's milk and was obsessed, quite literally, while pregnant.

I digress. The point I want to make is-- that what is more important, more valuable and more enriching to society? A cow and it's milk used to feed it's young and produce fattening, artery-clogging delicious, intoxicating ice cream OR a Mama and her life-sustaining milk for her child (not to mention, calorie burning and cancer risk reducing for Mama)? Other benefits of cows include, the food-, financial-, and sustaining-source that cows represent to many Africans villages, and how just recently homes in an Eco-village of west Wales are making plans to use cow dung as a source of energy.

If nothing else was accomplished through this publicity stunt ethical call to action, breast milk was once again brought to light reinforcing it's importance in society, families, and the tummys of children worldwide!

*I have to give major props to PETA and Bill Maher for their stellar Breast Milk ad... check it out!