PETA is responsible for some weird stuff. Remember, for instance, the drink beer, not milk campaign? I am all for the ethical treatment of animals, but as a dairy farmer's daughter and once a pre-vet biology major... this is just far beyond the pale.
You can't make up stuff this bizarre (includes the text of the actual letter sent to Ben & Jerry's):
More over the jump.
PETA sent a letter to Ben & Jerry's (maybe their novel ice cream flavors led PETA to believe they'd be more open minded about the concept??) requesting they use human breast milk in their products. Apparently, it's all the rage in Switzerland. Or not.
And if that isn't enough, scare the people into it:
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.
Of course, PETA is notorious for trying to paint the dairy industry as a cruel and hostile world, and I do take issue with the factory farming aspects which have crept into the larger operations seen today, with the free stall facilities and all the crops shipped in. Cows aren't meant to stand on cement and man-made surfaces 24/7/365.
But I also know that in the grand scheme of things, dairy cows (especially on small farms like my father's) live healthy, decent lives and are cared for and about by the farmers who earn their living from them. You can't abuse a cow and expect them to produce.
Is there a case to challenge factory dairy farming? Of course. But using human breast milk in my ice cream?! Think of the volume involved. Can you imagine?! You think dairy farming is bad, wait 'til human breast pumps get involved. I don't see too many women lining up to donate to Ben & Jerry's. Can't you see it now? A woman and a friend standing in front of the freezer case at the supermarket. "See that Chunky Monkey? That's my breast milk someone's enjoying."
Human milk in my ice cream?! That's just wrong on so many levels. Maybe it's the fact that I was a bottle/formula baby. Maybe it's the fact that I see nothing wrong with drinking milk from a cow. Was I "designed" to drink cow's milk? Probably not. But you know what, it's darn tasty. Maybe it's the thought of extreme queasiness that I approach any human bodily fluid in my foodstuffs. Call me crazy.
UPDATE: Thanks for all the reads and feedback!
Apparently, I'm in the majority opinion, if the feedback received on their own blog on the matter and the overwhelming response on this online poll is any indication. And for those of you who think it was a "sarcastic" stunt on behalf of PETA, read the blog entry. They're pretty freakin' proud of themselves.