Udder Silliness
March 28, 2008 3:19 PM   Subscribe

Milk Gone Wild! From the fine folks at PETA. Be sure to watch the video (it's possibly NSFW, definitely weird).
posted by mr_crash_davis (107 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
White Gold will rock PETA's asses into intensive care over this.
posted by dogwalker at 3:25 PM on March 28, 2008 [7 favorites]


Kind of doubly, but it'll give people a chance to make awesome "udder" puns.
posted by Wolfdog at 3:26 PM on March 28, 2008


The weirdest thing is that that concept is probably someone's fetish.
posted by Memo at 3:28 PM on March 28, 2008


Interesting that PETA has to use sorta-nekkid-wimmins with Alec Baldwin's gravely alpha male voice to try to make their point. I guess one of the main voices for veganism have to pander to be convincing.

Anyway, I was immediately reminded of the Titté Brothers, so it was definitely worth it just for the laughs alone. I'm off for an egg- and butter-laden brownie with a tall glass of milk...
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:28 PM on March 28, 2008


"Buddy Icons" at the site are a touch NSFW... Can't view actual content, damn you WebSense.
posted by Pantengliopoli at 3:28 PM on March 28, 2008


Well I guess I was about done with the internet today anyway.
posted by shakespeherian at 3:33 PM on March 28, 2008


Yeah thanks PETA I have no idea what you're on about and I still don't care.
posted by nola at 3:33 PM on March 28, 2008


So milk is awesome, just like breasts?
posted by StrikeTheViol at 3:52 PM on March 28, 2008


The weirdest thing is that that concept is probably someone's fetish.

Probably?

So milk is awesome, just like breasts?

I think the idea is to, like, remind people that milk comes out of a cows breasts, which are just like a woman's breasts except on a cow.

But I really don't see what the big deal is. The fact that it comes out of a cows tit isn't only obvious to everyone it's also not gross to most people.
posted by delmoi at 4:00 PM on March 28, 2008


"Milk looks good on you. Hey - eyes up here, mister!"
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:01 PM on March 28, 2008


This oddly sexual and highly confusing campaign is actually slightly disturbing. Is PETA just trying to group things that are similarly abhorrent to them in a single message so as to make them both seem awful? Is drinking milk akin to the objectification of women to them? I'm not sure who they're trying to target and I'm fairly certain the mainstream public is not going to follow this. My bet is that they're going to find it in bad taste at first, and then after they grasp some of their message, they'll see it as self-righteous condescension and contempt for their lifestyle. Does PETA not care that people strongly dislike them, and do they realize this will probably make them even less credible to the public?

Are they against industrially produced milk or milk in general? I don't get it.

So if only baby mammals drink milk, that means that Humans are no exception and shouldn't drink milk because its abnormal - especially if the process of producing milk is so cruel to cows.

OK, I fully understand the cruelty and contamination parts, but humans have very different diets than just about all animals. How many other mammals drink beer or distilled liquors or take nutritional supplements? So if these things are bad and unnatural, perhaps we should completely ignore them too? Except PETA claims that Beer is healthier than Milk, so why not condemn beer also? What if we were able to get milk that was produced from brutalized animals, would it be so bad then?

I have absolutely nothing against vegans or vegetarians, but they really need to find better spokespeople. How are you going to win anyone over if you spit in their face?
posted by hellslinger at 4:07 PM on March 28, 2008 [6 favorites]


I really don't get this. Presumably they want people to drink less milk, right? Where was that message? I got nothing at all from the milk, since I was so busy thinking WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH THAT WOMAN'S BREASTS?!
posted by DU at 4:07 PM on March 28, 2008 [1 favorite]


do they realize this will probably make them even less credible to the public?

Is that even possible?
posted by oaf at 4:10 PM on March 28, 2008


Simultaneously put me off thoughts of sex and of Ovaltine.

Quite an accomplishment.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 4:11 PM on March 28, 2008


Holy shit. I team-taught before with one of the udderly beautiful models (and Buddy Icons) before she quit and moved to Hollywood for greener pastures.

(Heh. Greener pastures. Get it?)
posted by John of Michigan at 4:15 PM on March 28, 2008


This oddly sexual and highly confusing campaign is actually slightly disturbing. Is PETA just trying to group things that are similarly abhorrent to them in a single message so as to make them both seem awful?

Just another entry in their highly controversial "Pud for Cud" campaign, following on the hooves of last year's popular "Beefcake: It's What for Dinner," and the somewhat less well-received "Beauty and the Bestiality."
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:23 PM on March 28, 2008


I dunno. My uncle ran a dairy farm for many years (now retired). I spent many childhood days on that farm and none of cows were ever lame. Most were about as healthy as you can expect a cow to be given that they've been bred for a few hundred years into milk making machines. The only creature it seemed inhumane to was my uncle who never got to leave the farm because the cows had to get milked twice a day, 365 days a year.
posted by GuyZero at 4:23 PM on March 28, 2008 [8 favorites]


PETA? We need to follow the example of Aberdeen schoolchildren.

But they had to be rescued by two female police officers when the teenage pupils launched a violent protest of their own.

About 100 children, shouting "milk for the masses" and carrying banners, surrounded Mr Gifford and his "cow" partner and drenched them both in milk for about ten minutes. The police eventually intervened and escorted the
PETA members back to their car.

posted by liquidindian at 4:24 PM on March 28, 2008


I was gonna hit the "Flaggit-Dammit" button with abandon; who needs this exploitational, reactionary pandering wrapped in a lame joke masking the casual degradation of women?
Then I noticed it was from PETA.

???????

Who needs this GOOD CAUSE yet still exploitational, reactionary pandering wrapped in a lame joke...?
posted by Dizzy at 4:25 PM on March 28, 2008


This reminds me of something I've always wondered - do vegans breast feed their kids?
posted by pombe at 4:26 PM on March 28, 2008


How come PETA never uses black people in their ads? Surely they don't mean to overlook a demographic to offend. They could have a black person with a monkey on a chain, it'd be hilarious!
posted by bravelittletoaster at 4:31 PM on March 28, 2008


I don't get it. I am perfectly aware that when I drink milk I am drinking juice expressed from a cow's teats and I'm fine with it.

PETA: Drinking milk is wrong but exploiting women is A-OK!

This reminds me of something I've always wondered - do vegans breast feed their kids?

pombre: yes, breastmillk is considered vegan by almost all of the vegans I have ever met since it is designed specifically to be consumed by human infants and is beneficial rather than harmful. Not sure about their policy on toecheese though.
posted by LeeJay at 4:32 PM on March 28, 2008


PETA are like the most fucked up people to have ever organized. Who funds them?
posted by norabarnacl3 at 4:32 PM on March 28, 2008


Oops, sorry about messing up your user name, pombe!
posted by LeeJay at 4:39 PM on March 28, 2008


White Gold will rock PETA's asses into intensive care over this.

Wow. It's like Brad Roberts from Crash Test Dummies took acting lessons from Jack Black and then did an enormous pile of cocaine and talked twin Oprahs to play rhythm.
posted by cortex at 4:42 PM on March 28, 2008 [2 favorites]


I support much of what PETA has done in the past; I simply think this is a case of poor judgement.
But to call them "The most fucked up people to have ever organized?"
Would you care to expand on that, nora?
I'm truly interested in hearing your thoughts on this.
posted by Dizzy at 4:44 PM on March 28, 2008


Sure, you laugh now, but when stem cell research really gets going...
posted by peppito at 4:44 PM on March 28, 2008


Wow.... what was the point of that, I wonder? Plus, I love drinking milk. Mmmmmmm.... milky goodness, full of protein, calcium and general tastiness.

I'd drink it straight from the teat, if I could.

I don't see what this ad was supposed to accomplish. Ergo, it didn't accomplish much.
posted by MythMaker at 4:45 PM on March 28, 2008


Boobies.
posted by jonmc at 4:48 PM on March 28, 2008


There are some things for which I wish Tide made some sort of visual cortex detergent. This is one of them.
posted by not_on_display at 4:58 PM on March 28, 2008 [1 favorite]


Boobies.

Moobies.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:17 PM on March 28, 2008 [2 favorites]


Can someone explain to me why they claim milk has pus in it?
posted by konolia at 5:33 PM on March 28, 2008


More proof that PeTA has absolutely no clue how to communicate any message whatsoever. Every single thing they do that gets significant publicity only achieves ridicule, confusion, or both.

They are, in a word, ineffective.
posted by Mikey-San at 5:41 PM on March 28, 2008 [2 favorites]


It seems to me the larger point is pretty clear: Unless, unlike the majority of the population, you happen to patronize a small-scale farm, your delicious milk most likely comes from a systematically abused animal.
posted by xod at 5:45 PM on March 28, 2008 [1 favorite]


Augggghhhhh

AUUUGGGGGHHHHHH
posted by kittens for breakfast at 5:46 PM on March 28, 2008


Can someone explain to me why they claim milk has pus in it?

Because mastitis (udder infection) is a widespread problem in American milk production, and leads to a high somatic cell count in our milk. US standards for this are a lot more tolerant than European standards -- the maximum somatic cell count allowable by law is actually well into the "trouble zone". The milk producers claim that their processes get rid of somatic cells, though.
posted by vorfeed at 5:50 PM on March 28, 2008


"One culprit causing the hundreds of millions of pus cells in every liter of milk may be “bovine growth hormone,” the Monsanto chemical company’s growth hormone marketed as Posilac. Posilac is now widely used by dairy farmers to increase the amount of milk that their already overburdened cows produce. Because cows are not built to produce this much milk, they are prone to a painful udder infection called mastitis. When they are milked, pus and bacteria from the infection flow right along with the milk." -
posted by xod at 5:53 PM on March 28, 2008


How many other mammals drink beer...?

More than make it, not as many was would if they could get it
posted by IndigoJones at 6:00 PM on March 28, 2008


And you avoid this pus problem, which is exaggerated anyway, by supporting a local dairy. Which, of course, does nothing to placate PETA. That's just a bit of the emotionally provocative propaganda they use to scare you. Like some religions do about hell. But the milk is just really much better. Pretty much a whole nother beverage.
posted by dawson at 6:09 PM on March 28, 2008


Sometimes I don't like PETA.

Then I read the things that people who don't like them say about them.

Then I notice who's saying those things, and what other causes and organizations they say the same sorts of things about.

Then I like PETA again.
posted by George_Spiggott at 6:11 PM on March 28, 2008 [4 favorites]


Milk can get pus in it when a cow gets mastitis. Unfortunately for PETA, this cow is taken out of the milking line until she gets better (usually treated with anti-biotics and then there is a with-holding period until her milk can be used for human consumption). So a human never gets the pus. The somatic cell count of herds (pus count, one could say....maybe) is monitored quite closely and if it gets too high the farm can't ship milk for sale.


Healthy cows give more milk then unhealthy cows. Farmers only make money with healthy cows. On a typical herd maybe 15% are culled because of foot problems (lameness). So I don't see how 40% at the plant are there because of that? If a cow can't walk on the cull truck, it isn't shipped for hamburger. There was this thing called BSE, downer cows stay at the farm. Before a cow is slaughtered at a plant a vet has to check it.


When cows get old and there milk production drops below a point where they are eating more than they are producing in milk, they get culled. Fact of business. It's too bad, but unless people are going to step-up and pay more than what she is worth dead as hamburger and steaks.....


The factoid about milking machines hurting/injuring cows....Sure it's true, but pretty rare and you then let the cow get better. Once again, if a cow hurts her teats or udder, she gives less milk. Thus the farmers try to minimize this.


Most of the things in the video are a bunch of .001% situations multiplied together.. Although I don't know anything about the veal industry, so maybe that is all true....But since they lie in other parts, I would assume they are lieing there too.


Cows give more milk if there not stressed, made as comfortable as possible, allowed to eat as much and when they want, and not subjected to uncomfortable environments.
posted by sety at 6:14 PM on March 28, 2008


Man, hot on the tails of that 'vegan strippers' thread, this has safely nailed home to me the confusion that PETA campaigns seem to suffer. I'm really not sure what their message is, and it only served to remind me of a dream I had after watching the movie version of The Island of Doctor Moreau, with buxom chimeras and all.

As for milking hurting cows: if I was made of delicious 100% pure Grade A beef, getting milked would be the least of my fears.
posted by cosmonik at 6:33 PM on March 28, 2008 [1 favorite]


As for milking hurting cows: if I was made of delicious 100% pure Grade A beef, getting milked would be the least of my fears.

Hmmm, death?
or torture?

Freedom of choice!
posted by brevator at 7:04 PM on March 28, 2008


Of all the things wrong in this world of ours, a glass of milk is not one of them.
posted by Ynoxas at 7:09 PM on March 28, 2008 [1 favorite]


Moobies.

Mooby's?
posted by jonmc at 7:11 PM on March 28, 2008


http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/18/business/18recall.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

On a typical herd maybe 15% are culled because of foot problems...
The factoid about milking machines hurting/injuring cows....Sure it's true, but pretty rare and you then let the cow get better....
Most of the things in the video are a bunch of .001% situations multiplied together...


Throwing around a lot of off the cuff numbers there. Do you have anything to back up those numbers?

But since they lie in other parts, I would assume they are lieing there too.

And why
should we trust the beef industry?
posted by brevator at 7:21 PM on March 28, 2008


shit.
please ignore that first line of my last post.
posted by brevator at 7:23 PM on March 28, 2008


PETA does nothing but hurt their cause. I'm sympathetic to animal suffering (as in I don't think suffering should intentionally be put upon the animal), but every time I hear about another protest where someone is yelled at for eating at a chicken restaurant or paint thrown on them for wearing leather just makes me hate them more. The more they insult the people that engage in activities they deem cruelty (eating meat, drinking milk, wearing clothes made from animals), the more I turn against them. If they were serious about cutting back or eliminating animal cruelty, they'd try to help people come to an understanding with them. As it is, by just yelling or creating division as seems to be their current tactic, they just isolate themselves and only convert a very few percent of their potential audience. Personally I think it's just a fundraising tactic to raise funds from their base and ignores the big picture.
posted by fishmasta at 8:23 PM on March 28, 2008


I don't see the video as divisive - it's funny.

sety, you did not address the use of growth hormones in the US dairy industry.

If "the somatic cell count of herds (pus count, one could say....maybe) is monitored quite closely and if it gets too high the farm can't ship milk for sale,"then how is it possible that "a human never gets the pus?"

Why is rGBH (Posilac) banned by the EU, the UN, Australia, Japan and Canada?
posted by xod at 8:31 PM on March 28, 2008


Freedom of choice!

So it's animal freedom of choice now? Then what - health care, dental plan, right to life, right to vote? Ah on second thought, don't answer that.
posted by cosmonik at 8:46 PM on March 28, 2008


Your Walmart is rGBH free? You must live in Michigan.
posted by xod at 9:00 PM on March 28, 2008


Lots of animals eat meat.
We are animals.
We eat meat.
Frequently, there must be a beverage.
posted by bradth27 at 9:05 PM on March 28, 2008


And if that beverage can be a nice, cold glass of recominant bovine growth hormone found to have direct links to prostate and breast cancers, well then, that is just plain natural and delicious.
posted by xod at 9:23 PM on March 28, 2008


has it ever occurred to any of the PETA people that cows would be close to extinction if we didn't use them for meat and milk?

all this post has convinced me of is that i haven't had a hamburger for months and it's damn well time i did something about that
posted by pyramid termite at 9:31 PM on March 28, 2008


Burhanistan, Ha! That's pretty amazing. Yay for deregulation.
posted by xod at 9:33 PM on March 28, 2008


And if that beverage can be a nice, cold glass of recominant bovine growth hormone found to have direct links to prostate and breast cancers, well then, that is just plain natural and delicious.

xod, there's something out there, a disease, a machine, an accident waiting to happen, that's got YOUR name on it and it's going to get YOU sometime

you can live or you can worry - your choice
posted by pyramid termite at 9:35 PM on March 28, 2008


pyramid termite, presently, I'm smoking, drinking some wine and watching old Pixies videos. Oh yeah, I had a delicious 'Beef Bowl' for lunch, but thank you so much for your concern. I didn't know you cared!
posted by xod at 9:49 PM on March 28, 2008


has it ever occurred to any of the PETA people that cows would be close to extinction if we didn't use them for meat and milk?

What point is there in living if your only purpose is to be killed?

I don't agree or disagree, but I thought your statement was interesting.
posted by Mikey-San at 9:50 PM on March 28, 2008 [1 favorite]


And if that beverage can be a nice, cold glass of recominant bovine growth hormone found to have direct links to prostate and breast cancers, well then, that is just plain natural and delicious.

My milk is growth hormone free, thanks.
posted by bradth27 at 9:58 PM on March 28, 2008


pyramid termite, presently, I'm smoking, drinking some wine and watching old Pixies videos.

you couldn't get some young pixies to perform for you?

---

What point is there in living if your only purpose is to be killed?

you forgot kicking over the milk bucket - cows live for that - you could have asked my grandfather
posted by pyramid termite at 10:11 PM on March 28, 2008


bradth27, You're welcome. Sorry about the pus.

Kidding!

But let's all face it. Milk is disgusting.
posted by xod at 10:15 PM on March 28, 2008


What point is there in living if your only purpose is to be killed?

Well, the point is to be food for someone else. Such is life.
posted by bradth27 at 10:15 PM on March 28, 2008


But let's all face it. Milk is disgusting

Milk is delicious. Nothing better than fresh milk, cream floating on top, ice cold from the fridge.
posted by bradth27 at 10:16 PM on March 28, 2008 [1 favorite]


I know a guy who works for PETA (making and editing videos, actually). He told me straight up -- it's no secret -- that PETA's goal is to get as much attention and publicity as possible. Shock, horror, outrage, confusion, contempt -- all more valuable to them than educating or increasing understanding. He's a vegetarian-turned-vegan, and I guess he believes that the ends justify the means. But from my point of view (over on the liberal pinko commie fringe) it seems like PETA hurts the cause more than they help, and that they're more interested in raising money and self-promoting than in improving animal welfare. [not vegetarian-ist]
posted by junkbox at 10:22 PM on March 28, 2008


It is told that Buddha, going out to look on life, was greatly daunted by death. "They all eat one another!" he cried, and called it evil. This process I examined, changed the verb, said, "They all feed one another," and called it good.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:24 PM on March 28, 2008


The Milk Gone Wild website is not brilliant. The dairy assoc's 'White Gold' music video? You decide.

PETA's point regarding the grotesque ramifications of a 'barely legal' dairy industry seem valid.
posted by xod at 10:40 PM on March 28, 2008



/derail PETA story

My best friend in high school wasn't allowed to dissect the pigs we had in science class because his mother was an activist for PETA. One day she's at the local supermarket and sees a woman wearing a fur coat. Being civilized she waited until the woman turned her back and slipped one of these Mommy Kills flyers into the woman's cart. A few days later there was a PETA newsletter sent out and the Divisional head (or whatever they call themselves) wrote an opinion column in it addressing how she had been shopping and someone had put a PETA flyer in her basket and how proud she was that someone did it. She wanted to be sure and let whoever it was that had given her the flyer that she was wearing a faux fur coat. Of course my friend's mom was hugely embarrassed about all of this and then she realized the absurdity of a PETA leader wearing a faux fur coat, nothing quite like promoting something by association. My friend's mom never actively promoted PETA from then on and really sort of despises them now.

/derail

As for the FPP.
LOLPETA
Do any of those actresses actually put that video on their reel? I understand the plight of starving actors and all, but seriously, wearing prosthetic cow bits? Career advancing move for sure.

posted by M Edward at 10:52 PM on March 28, 2008 [1 favorite]


The White Gold -- One Gallon Axe Music Video Premiere upstaged everything that's where I stopped. thanks
posted by celerystick at 11:37 PM on March 28, 2008


What point is there in living if your only purpose is to be killed?

Well, what's the point in living at all if you're only going to die in the end? I pray our bovine milk-bearing food units are not that existential.

LOLPETA

Now that's a LOL we can all agree on!
posted by cosmonik at 11:41 PM on March 28, 2008



Well, what's the point in living at all if you're only going to die in the end?


Freedom, dignity and a chance to minimize suffering.
This is what animal rights are about. This is what human rights are about.

If you like milk and meat, it is possible to get each from a farm where the animal had a good life and a humane death.
posted by brevator at 5:00 AM on March 29, 2008


"Freedom, dignity and a chance to minimize suffering."

Well...if you're saying that's applicable to my point (re. point in living if you're going to die), then it's applicable to your "What point is there in living if your only purpose is to be killed?" upthread.

You answered your own question! Congrats.
posted by cosmonik at 5:28 AM on March 29, 2008


The fact that it comes out of a cows tit isn't only obvious to everyone it's also not gross to most people

Most people get really grossed out when a woman breastfeeds her child when the child gets older than three years old.

So,

A human child drinking human milk is gross.
A human child drinking milk that comes from a cow's udder is perfectly normal, even encouraged and expected.


My own counter argument to the cow's milk issue:
I've heard that genetics has a lot to do with it. The domestication of cows and the usefulness of milk as a protein source lead to encouragement of a gene allowing humans to digest milk beyond childhood age. There are many places in the world where most people don't have this gene and as a result they do not drink milk past childhood.
posted by eye of newt at 8:55 AM on March 29, 2008


Most people get really grossed out when a woman breastfeeds her child when the child gets older than three years old.

This has a lot more to do with sexual taboo than with anything to do with milk. I don't think it's unreasonable to suggest that the social strangeness of non-infants drinking human milk, straight from the breast or otherwise, is more a secondary result of the sexual minefield of incest taboo than it is any inherently objectionable notion.

So:

A human child drinking human milk is gross.

More like "a human child, significantly out of infancy, suckling his or her mother's breasts, verges into sexually taboo territory." The milk isn't the key issue, there.
posted by cortex at 9:16 AM on March 29, 2008


More like "a human child, significantly out of infancy, suckling his or her mother's breasts, verges into sexually taboo territory." The milk isn't the key issue, there.

I disagree. If you saw a bottle of human milk in the store (no breasts involved), you would get totally grossed out. Why? It is human milk, not cows milk! We are humans, not cows! Nevertheless there would probably be a riot.
posted by eye of newt at 9:51 AM on March 29, 2008


More like "a human child, significantly out of infancy, suckling his or her mother's breasts, verges into sexually taboo territory." The milk isn't the key issue, there.

It should be noted that milk, especially in the case of cows, is partially used to fatten infants. So not only are we a species that drinks the milk from another species, we are the only species that drinks milk beyond the age of infancy.

Interestingly, the first time I saw this argument wasn't from PETA but whatever the magazine for Mensa members is. Yet if drinking milk is wrong, I don't wanna be right.
posted by champthom at 10:07 AM on March 29, 2008


I disagree. If you saw a bottle of human milk in the store (no breasts involved), you would get totally grossed out. Why? It is human milk, not cows milk! We are humans, not cows! Nevertheless there would probably be a riot.

You disagree, but you don't explain why you disagree. Asserting that "it's human milk" does nothing to explain why human milk should be objectionable, especially when you acknowledge that its unobjectionable for infants to consume it. Unless the argument is something like that babies are so helplessly stupid that we feed them terrible, socially unacceptable things out contempt, there's something other than milk at play here.
posted by cortex at 10:17 AM on March 29, 2008


cosmonik wrote: it's applicable to your "What point is there in living if your only purpose is to be killed?" upthread.

You answered your own question! Congrats.


I didn't ask that question.
And your reply is obnoxious.
posted by brevator at 10:28 AM on March 29, 2008


I don't know why drinking human milk is considered objectionable. But don't you agree that seeing a bottle of human milk in the dairy section of a grocery store would cause a riot? If you do, then what is your explanation? And if it is objectionable to drink human milk, then why is it okay to drink milk from other species than our own (even some animal as completely unhumanlike as possible--a cow)?

I suspect it has more to do with the fact that cows can produce a lot more milk than humans do, and the idea of human 'milk factories' is scary, but if you want to expand on your theory having to do with breasts and sexuality, I'm all ears.
posted by eye of newt at 10:35 AM on March 29, 2008


But don't you agree that seeing a bottle of human milk in the dairy section of a grocery store would cause a riot?

No. No reasonable person would think that people would actually be incited to violence by the sight of human milk in a store.

If what you mean by "cause a riot" is not that it would actually cause a riot but rather that people would object to it in some manner, I'd agree.

If you do, then what is your explanation?

People are grossed out by just about any food that is not commonly consumed in their culture. People would be grossed out by human milk in the store. People would be grossed out by cow's blood in the store. People would be grossed out by yak milk in the store. In other cultures, people might be grossed out by beef in the store, or by cheese in the store.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:57 AM on March 29, 2008


FWIW, I expect to see recombinant cows or sheep or, shit, yeast that give human milk sometime in my lifetime. Might make cereal more interesting.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:58 AM on March 29, 2008


I don't know why drinking human milk is considered objectionable. But don't you agree that seeing a bottle of human milk in the dairy section of a grocery store would cause a riot?

I suspect that one or a dozen or a hundred different people passing a bottle of milk in the dairy section of a grocery store would cause one or a dozen or a hundred different people to varyingly raise an eyebrow or harumph or not care one bit. If one of the harumphers were to call the newspaper and report the sale of human milk, that'd probably lead to some investigation and the result of that would probably lead to some protests and, assuming the grocer was a corporate chain and not some idiosyncratic sole-proprietor activist, the dropping of the product. Assuming someone managed to get human milk on the shelf at a grocery store in the first place, which seems unlikely given current social taboos.

Regardless, no: I don't think you'd have a riot. People don't riot easily, certainly not over weird food on a shelf at a store. I have trouble seeing someone bringing human milk to market in mainstream grocery stores in the first place, but I think it's more likely to generate mediocre sales, define a niche market, and prompt some NIMBY letters to the editor than incite panicked violence.

I suspect it has more to do with the fact that cows can produce a lot more milk than humans do, and the idea of human 'milk factories' is scary, but if you want to expand on your theory having to do with breasts and sexuality, I'm all ears.

Well, I suspect it has to do with all of the above, actually. If you can give me a reason to expand on the sexual taboo angle—tell me why what I've said so far doesn't make sense, undercut the incest-taboo problems with older children suckling and so on and the taboo associations that might stem from that to the idea of human milk as commercial product—I'll play along, but so far you seem to be just ignoring it.

If humans produced milk on the scale that dairy cows do, I think we'd have different attitudes about the acceptability of consuming it, yes. The "milk factories" notion has a scary, dystopian feel to it, but that's a matter of framing; sperm banks, after all, are "semen factories", but riots are few and far between there. That we feel less badly about systematically harvesting milk from cows than we do about theoretically harvesting it from humans is something that PETA is clearly (willing to claim to be) bothered by, but then PETA likes vaseline on toast. Their opinions are not something I'm inclined to spend a lot of time worrying about.
posted by cortex at 11:05 AM on March 29, 2008


I spent a decade as a vegetarian (during seven of which I was a pretty hardcore and outspoken vegan), and through each of those ten years, the permanent disappearance of PETA seriously ranked just slightly higher on my wish list than the permanent disappearance of factory farms.

I and many of my fellow veggies viewed vegetarianism as a philosophical undertaking, an attempt (and an ultimately pyrrhic one, I decided in the end) to reconcile individual choice with social forces and natural realities. If animal rights was a serious discussion, PETA was a frat boy barging in to the room and shouting "HOLY FUCK DUDE SLAUGHTERHOUSES!"

Their consistent inability or unwillingness to even touch other related issues (ie. sexism) didn't help either. I always viewed them as an absolute embarrassment to the cause, and I wasn't alone. They still strike me as a group for people who like to feel superior, not for people who want to make a difference.
posted by regicide is good for you at 11:41 AM on March 29, 2008


well, technically we do have human milk factories, although on such a small and discrete scale as to go largly unnoticed. Every major SICU has access to quantities of fresh breast milk, that often for medical reasons, cannot come from the mother.

However, if we did this to the extreme, it would be noticeable, and extremely uncomfortable, (and perhaps objectionable for the woman involved primarily rather than society in general). Human mammary glands could, in theory, expand to increase capacity if it were deemed necessary. Those of us who have nursed and used a breast pump know that the only limiting factor is demand and we have a life!

In fact, the only reason the "too posh to push brigade" don't "milk" human females on an industrial scale is, as cortex says, the sexualised nature of breasts in Western cultures (and they can afford to have a private supply!).
posted by Wilder at 11:53 AM on March 29, 2008


So not only are we a species that drinks the milk from another species, we are the only species that drinks milk beyond the age of infancy.

Both these points are issues of access and not anything else. Just about all animals of any age will happily and eagerly drink the milk of other species if they have access to it. It's just that not having opposable thumbs and a big human brain makes obtaining milk from other species rather tricky.
posted by biscotti at 12:44 PM on March 29, 2008


Cats love drinking cow milk beyond infancy. Mmmmm... creamy goodness.
posted by MythMaker at 12:53 PM on March 29, 2008


PETA does nothing but hurt their cause.

89 comments and counting. You sure about that?

Who funds them?

Me! Bwahahahahahaha!

No other organism on the planet drinks the milk of another species. Humans should not drink milk. It's about that simple, regardless of what you think about cruel treatment of animals.
posted by mrgrimm at 1:09 PM on March 29, 2008


But don't you agree that seeing a bottle of human milk in the dairy section of a grocery store would cause a riot?

damn, britney, what'd you do THAT for?
posted by pyramid termite at 1:53 PM on March 29, 2008


damn, britney, what'd you do THAT for?

That would be a predictable tactic, actually. Billboard-sized-celebrities already proffer bloody, skinned foxes, why not guerrilla supermarket placements of puppy dog steaks and celebrity breast milk? PETA often uses culture jamming tactics to make their points; most of the criticism here seems to revolve around that. 'I don't like their in-my-face-tactics.' Fair enough I suppose, but hardly substantiative.

I guess the alternative would be to try and produce an argument on the necessity of animal suffering for the sake of human survival or pleasure.
posted by xod at 2:55 PM on March 29, 2008


Wow. I love the vitriolic reaction from all the people who missed the argument offered by the piece. Don't ever change, internet.
posted by cytherea at 3:06 PM on March 29, 2008


Humans should not drink milk. It's about that simple, regardless of what you think about cruel treatment of animals.

Babies should not be breastfed. It objectifies the female body and is cruel and demeaning to women everywhere.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:28 PM on March 29, 2008


Wow. I love the vitriolic reaction from all the people who missed the argument offered by the piece.

I got the argument. Basically women should be objectified and sexualized to support a vegan lifestyle. I don't know that knowing that's the argument is vitriolic, I just give it the laughter and derision it deserves.

If you want to talk about animal suffering and so forth, that's fine, just don't be exploitive about trying to do so. Because I will laugh at the argument you're trying to make as the hypocritical and foolish argument that it is.

Tell me instead about industrial mistreatment of animals, and suggest thoughtful alternatives, like local, organic dairies and free-range farms. Don't treat your audience like they are mentally retarded and you just might make some progress.

Or keep doing what you're doing, whatever.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:34 PM on March 29, 2008


No other organism on the planet drinks the milk of another species. Humans should not drink milk. It's about that simple, regardless of what you think about cruel treatment of animals.

No other organism in the planet would think twice about killing another animal for food when they're hungry either - why should humans? Milk is delicious. Drink up.
posted by bradth27 at 8:04 PM on March 29, 2008



No other organism in the planet would think twice about killing another animal for food when they're hungry either - why should humans?


If you're going to kill and eat animals the way that other species do it, then by all means go for it.
posted by brevator at 8:31 PM on March 29, 2008


If you're going to kill and eat animals the way that other species do it, then by all means go for it.

Believe me, if bears could figure out how to use a rifle, they would. But see, they're too stupid. We evolved. We be smart and all that, so we learned how to do it more efficiently. Why chase an animal down and kill it with your bare hands ( something I have done before, and it's an awful lot of trouble) when you can just shoot them?
posted by bradth27 at 8:46 PM on March 29, 2008


I didn't ask that question.
And your reply is obnoxious.


A veritable comedy of errors, and my mistake entirely - I'd attributed Mikey-San's question to you, as you'd appeared to have taken his question on "what's the point in living..." seriously, and running with that particular flag.

I'd still say my point stands - re. point of existence being the same whether death is inevitable in the form of killage, or comes in a manner less malicious (such as the 'natural' death awaiting all beings who live long enough to meet it). Alas, this thread has moved far beyond that point.

Obviously that which I assume you found objectionable in my reply is no longer applicable, since as it happens you answered someone else's question (in addition to mine).
posted by cosmonik at 9:58 PM on March 29, 2008


Blazecock said: Tell me instead about industrial mistreatment of animals, and suggest thoughtful alternatives...Don't treat your audience like they are mentally retarded and you just might make some progress.

Word. I'd be much more interested in both the information and the alternatives, as opposed to trying to 'shock' me into changing how I view meat. As someone who is comfortable with animals suffering in order for me to enjoy eating them, I think I need to see/hear this kind of thing more than PETA's attempt-at-shock tactics, to at least understand the suffering I am causing by demanding affordable meat that I haven't killed myself.

Question for those against industrialised meat: is any level of animal suffering acceptable? Would you be okay with minimalised-suffering scenarios?

Or, as brevator suggested, just allow us to go out and kill animals ourselves:

brevator said: If you're going to kill and eat animals the way that other species do it, then by all means go for it.

Seriously? That's pretty cruel of you. Yes, it's less systemic, less 'wholesale', and affords prey the illusion that they're going to live - but it's also the case that kills are often less than clean, animals are fed on with their herd/offspring looking on, and can be still alive whilst being eaten. The fear they feel must be horrific. I'd say that hardly a role model for humane treatment.

Still, it might be a good model for meat consumption: if you want meat, you have to go to a specialised farm where you would walk out onto the paddock, hunt, kill and butcher the animal yourself. At least then you'd know what the animal is going through to bring you your food.
posted by cosmonik at 10:37 PM on March 29, 2008


It seems to me the larger point is pretty clear: Unless, unlike the majority of the population, you happen to patronize a small-scale farm, your delicious milk most likely comes from a systematically abused animal.

By the way, the point is bullshit. I grew up on farms, and worked in a dairy production plant for a number of years. Dairy cattle are treated pretty damn good, in most cases.
posted by bradth27 at 10:44 PM on March 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


So not only are we a species that drinks the milk from another species, we are the only species that drinks milk beyond the age of infancy.
posted by champthom at 12:07 PM on March 29


No other organism on the planet drinks the milk of another species. Humans should not drink milk.
posted by mrgrimm at 3:09 PM on March 29


This is patently absurd, and reflects badly on the people ignorant enough to repeat such embarrassing propaganda without even a modicum of thought.

Even in the mainstream media, there are several stories a year about "gorilla mother nurses orphaned tiger cub" or similar. I have personal knowledge of a deer faun nursing from a cow heifer.

Full grown dogs and cats will gladly and eagerly lap up cow or goat milk given the access to it.
posted by Ynoxas at 1:09 AM on March 30, 2008


Not only all that, but any biologist will tell you that symbiotic relationships between species is staggeringly common.
posted by Catfry at 2:02 AM on March 30, 2008


Ants milk aphids. Mmmmm, tasty honeydew.

It's not that uncommon a thing, and certainly not unique in the animal kingdom.
posted by MythMaker at 8:54 AM on March 30, 2008


Believe me, if bears could figure out how to use a rifle, they would.

The difference between how animals and humans get their meat comes down to a lot more than using a rifle. When I said "If you're going to kill and eat animals the way that other species do it, then by all means go for it," I meant you should go out and hunt it. Look it in the eyes and kill it. Use a rifle if you like. I'm fine with that. What I'm not fine with is getting a "nice" piece of factory farmed meat that never had a chance to truly live-- that lived and died suffering.

Seriously? That's pretty cruel of you. Yes, it's less systemic, less 'wholesale', and affords prey the illusion that they're going to live - but it's also the case that kills are often less than clean, animals are fed on with their herd/offspring looking on, and can be still alive whilst being eaten. The fear they feel must be horrific. I'd say that hardly a role model for humane treatment.

Yes, but at least until the time of death they lived a free life. They weren't kept in cages and force fed their brethren or pumped full of hormones. I'm not a hunter, but in my estimation it is much more ethical than eating factory farmed animals.

No other animals factory farm their food, only us. And if we ever find ourselves at the mercy of a species that does factory farm I guarantee the "moral complexities" will become quite transparent to each of us.
posted by brevator at 9:12 AM on March 30, 2008


No other animals factory farm their food, only us. And if we ever find ourselves at the mercy of a species that does factory farm I guarantee the "moral complexities" will become quite transparent to each of us.

I guess this is what it all comes down to for me - they are animals. They are meat. They mean nothing else to me.
posted by bradth27 at 9:51 AM on March 30, 2008


No other animals factory farm their food, only us.

wrong
posted by pyramid termite at 11:50 AM on March 30, 2008


The natural lifespan of a non-CAFO (Confined Animal Feeding Operation) dairy cow is 25 years; the average lifespan of a factory farm dairy cow is 4 years. Continuously impregnated artificially, milk production is also augmented by the use of hormones and antibiotics to 10 times normalcy, enabling the statistical fact that there are 40% fewer dairy cows in the U.S. than in 1950. Male offspring are typically penned for veal. At age 4 the cow has been exhausted of its maximum milk output and is sent to slaughter. As pointed out in the video, a significant number are, at this point, seriously ill and unable to stand or walk. See also: Video Reveals Violations of Laws, Abuse of Cows at Slaughterhouse, Washington Post, January 30, 2008.

Several studies connect abuse of antibiotics in factory farms to resistant strains of bacteria such as E. coli and salmonella. "Antibiotics are dispensed constantly through the animals' feed. Twenty-five million pounds of antibiotics are fed to American livestock annually. This is about 70% of the total amount of antibiotics produced in the U.S. each year and eight times more than the amount used as human medicine." Estimates of Antimicrobial Abuse in Livestock, Union of Concerned Scientists, January 2001.

In the U.S., four companies produce 81 percent of cows, 73 percent of sheep, 57 percent of pigs and 50 percent of chickens. [U.S. National Farmers' Union].
posted by xod at 12:14 PM on March 30, 2008


brevator said: When I said "If you're going to kill and eat animals the way that other species do it, then by all means go for it," I meant you should go out and hunt it. Look it in the eyes and kill it.

We're in agreement on that point. It seems what you find most objectionable is the systemic nature of the it, the industrialisaton of meat supply. I feel similarly uneasy about it, only not to the same extent - and as much for selfish reasons as for humane ones.

"I'm not a hunter, but in my estimation it is much more ethical than eating factory farmed animals."

Well then you're just trading off: a more enjoyable life for a more gruesome end. Whether that's worth it or not is entirely subjective.

No other animals factory farm their food, only us.

Burhanistan's comment above goes equally for farming as it does for milk consumption. Because animals don't do it, we shouldn't do it? Does that include talking & computer use?
posted by cosmonik at 3:54 PM on March 30, 2008



No other organism on the planet drinks the milk of another species. Humans should not drink milk.

Then we shouldn't farm either. It's unnatural!
posted by dawson at 6:09 PM on March 30, 2008


No other animals factory farm their food, only us.

wrong


Um, that relationship sounds a lot more mutually beneficial than factory farming. I suppose you might argue that it's closer to traditional farming, which is entirely different.
posted by brevator at 8:40 PM on March 30, 2008


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