why not just genetically engineer women for milk?
October 1, 2003 1:22 PM   Subscribe

"Bad taste science fiction?" In hopes of stirring debate and milking emotion on genetically-modified food, Mothers Against Genetic Engineering in Food and the Environment have placed seven billboards in New Zealand featuring a "modified" nude woman on a milking machine. A protest was also held in front of Fonterra's office, who own ViaLactia, a dairy subsidiary rumoured to have purchased patent rights for human DNA.
posted by myopicman (36 comments total)
Brilliant photoshop!!!
posted by filchyboy at 1:30 PM on October 1, 2003

I've seen japanese anime like that.
posted by stifford at 1:31 PM on October 1, 2003

I knew someone like that in college.
posted by alms at 1:43 PM on October 1, 2003

Why not just genetically engineer women for milk?

Uhh... labor laws?
posted by scarabic at 1:51 PM on October 1, 2003

I just spewed milk over the screen.

From where, I ain't sayin.
posted by stonerose at 1:52 PM on October 1, 2003

Aww, you mean I can't actually get me one of them four-breasted women yet?

posted by mr_crash_davis at 1:55 PM on October 1, 2003

Lemme guess. Not Safe For Work, eh?
posted by ZachsMind at 1:57 PM on October 1, 2003

Two hands.. four breasts... hmm... nah, that's just being greedy.
posted by Space Coyote at 2:08 PM on October 1, 2003

I walked past several of these posters this morning. Consensus in the office is that the designer severely misjudged the reaction of the average heterosexual male (and for all I know, lesbian): if two are good...
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 2:39 PM on October 1, 2003

> if two are good...

...and the geneticist is good, I want 2 for vanilla, 2 for chocolate and 2 for strawberry. Oh, and what's this milking machine shit? Where's that at?
posted by jfuller at 2:51 PM on October 1, 2003

Some quick-thinking vegans have already repurposed the smaller posters, writing "Milk is rape - go vegan" on them. When I first saw the posters, that's what I thought they were about.

"Whoa - where'd vegan anarchists get the money for nice posters like that?"
posted by wilberforce at 2:53 PM on October 1, 2003

I have to admit I really don't get it. Women already do produce milk, and last time I checked, no one was against its human consumption.

Is the comparison based on the fact that we wouldn't use genetic engineering to harvest more human milk for babies, so we shouldn't use it for harvesting more cow's milk for human consumption?

This scarcely makes any sense to me. There are a lot of practices in the milk trade that we would not allow to be applied to humans. And, as the vegans point out, the milk trade is already dirty and unhealthy even without genetic engineering.

Talk about a messy political statement. Protesting veal with the slogan "Why not eat your nephew?" is as non sensical as promiting cannibalism with the slogan "Your niece tastes just like chicken."

By dragging sex, feminism, and, unintentionally, veganism, into the mix, I think they've completely blasted the issue they intended to address out of the water. Whatever it was.
posted by scarabic at 3:06 PM on October 1, 2003

The sad thing is that there are perfectly good economic arguments for NZ to remain GE-free, the most important of which is that our access to EU markets could be severely compromised if we can't guarantee GE-free produce. Sadly, the anti-science fruitcakes who seem most vocal make me want to kneejerk the other way.

Four breasted women don't really lend anything to the debate other than some light relief.

jfuller, dairying is probably NZ's single biggest export industry. The milking machine is iconic here.

(This is surely a harbinger of pagan worship; Diana of Ephesus had many breasts (although some people claim that the oldest sculptures actually portray her draped with bulls' testicles)).
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 3:10 PM on October 1, 2003

I'm with i_am_joe's_spleen. More boobage is a bad thing? What were they thinking?

Of course we all know that the reality will be significantly different from the mamutopia they present.

Cows with ladies' boobies, anyone?
posted by Blue Stone at 3:14 PM on October 1, 2003

Sounds like they've managed to get a lot of attention to their organization.
posted by Joey Michaels at 3:31 PM on October 1, 2003

Yeah. What was the name of that organization again? I can't tell you. I can, however, tell you -- boobies!
posted by kindall at 3:52 PM on October 1, 2003

Exactly, kindall. Complicating matter is the fact that MAGEFE is the direct acronym for their name, though they go by MADGE.

what the fadge?
posted by scarabic at 4:15 PM on October 1, 2003

"Argh! Technology! Help, help!"

I don't ♥ luddites.
posted by spazzm at 5:40 PM on October 1, 2003

Why not just genetically engineer women for milk?

I say take it a couple steps further, make the "udders" give beer, and engineer the vocal cords out. Then she's perfect.
posted by jonmc at 5:46 PM on October 1, 2003

I'm sure members of MADGE were arrested a few weeks ago for exposing their breasts in the New Zealand parliament gallery.

I think theres a pattern here and its boobie shaped!
posted by X-00 at 6:03 PM on October 1, 2003

What are these people thinking? Trying to figure out how to unhook one bra is bad enough! Four boobies just ain't worth that agony.
posted by fatbobsmith at 6:56 PM on October 1, 2003

We now know how attractive a model you can hire if you start going up to models and saying "we want to photograph you naked with a milking machine fastened to your tits, and by the way, we're going to add a couple extra hooters while we're at it."

Also, did you notice? The milking machine's hose goes nowhere. All that milk -- wasted! Sheesh, these people clearly know next to nothing about dairy farming.
posted by kindall at 7:01 PM on October 1, 2003

Kindall, I actually think she's pretty cute, so I must beg to differ. But apart from that, this article describes the model as the "niece-in-law" of MADGE's founder. So she's a volunteer. For crying out loud man, this is a small organisation in a small country, the production values are actually quite slick considering.

Zaftig, in more ways than one. ("Zaftig" is literally "juicy" for you non-Yiddish speakers).
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 8:25 PM on October 1, 2003

Bad taste science fiction? Been there. Done that. See In the Barn by Piers Anthony, in Again, Dangerous Visions, 1972.
posted by SPrintF at 8:32 PM on October 1, 2003

I have to admit I really don't get it. Women already do produce milk,...
From the site:
... to permit human genes to be put into cows so that cow’s milk is more like human milk ...
posted by dg at 8:51 PM on October 1, 2003

Hey, I didn't say she wasn't attractive.
posted by kindall at 8:59 PM on October 1, 2003

I think humans need to get over themselves.
posted by sharpener at 9:01 PM on October 1, 2003

aha - thank you dg
posted by scarabic at 10:14 PM on October 1, 2003


I am living in a little naive world all of my own. I did a search on "milking women" to see if I could find more information on this and discovered a world of porn that I never even knew existed.

Metafilter has opened another door for me.
posted by Joey Michaels at 11:08 PM on October 1, 2003

well, best to close that door as yer horse appears to be gettin' out.
posted by quonsar at 1:27 AM on October 2, 2003

Don't know why I was hoping for better than boobies jokes from this thread. Eternal optimist, me.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 1:42 AM on October 2, 2003

Here's the founder of MADGE in her previous incarnation.
posted by meech at 5:03 AM on October 2, 2003

Here's the founder of MADGE in her previous incarnation.
She was three people?
posted by zztzed at 6:12 AM on October 2, 2003

.. to permit human genes to be put into cows so that cow’s milk is more like human milk ...

I thought that was one of the anti-milk peoples arguments, the fact that cows milk is NOT like human milk. If it becomes more like human milk wouldnt that be a good thing then?
posted by Iax at 12:53 PM on October 2, 2003

SPrintF: Well done; I immediately thought of the same story.
(Hey, Harlan, where's The Last Dangerous Visions?
*ducks and plugs ears as Harlan goes apeshit*)
posted by languagehat at 2:21 PM on October 2, 2003

Well, I couldn't find the story itself online, but I ran across two opposing views. Pro:
I don't recall the name of the writer, but I do remember a nifty science fiction novella about a male (time traveller?) who ended up in a parallel time zone in which some "human" children were surgically treated and raised to be used as "cattle" (milk and by implication meat production). He is horrified and tries to save a baby (I think he fails), but when he gets back, he finds himself in an actual cattle barn and finds himself making disturbing equations.
Believe it or not, the author was Piers Anthony! Before the Brain Eater got him and turned him into a boring old sexist hack.

It was published in one of Ellison's "Dangerous Visions" anthologies, and I don't know where else. I think the title was "In the Barn."
And con:
But the big prize for the worst short story I have ever, ever, ever read goes to "In the Barn," by Piers Anthony - a lurid, slavering account of an alternate world in which women are used as milk cows. I wanted to take a bath after I read it.
posted by languagehat at 2:49 PM on October 2, 2003

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