Wednesday, September 24, 2008
I agree with Peta that there is scant evidence that consuming cow's milk is necessary to sustain a healthy life-style (so long as you get your calcium elsewhere).
However, the Peta folks are off their rockers if they believe that human strangers' milk is a "safer" alternative to bovine strangers' milk, and ought to be used in Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream. BSE notwithstanding, humans are immune to most pathogens (as in Johnes Disease, Bovine Enzootic Leucosis, Bovine Virus Diarrhea) that primarily use farm animals as hosts. No matter how much we try to emphasize our differences between one another, humans have very similar immune systems. Therefore, we are much more susceptible to catching anthroponotic, rather than zoonotic infections (While HIV can be transmitted to nursing newborns, it is somewhat, but not definitively, unlikely to be transmitted through drinking human milk that has already been collected).
Additionally, for bovine diseases that can be passed to humans, it is considerably easier to control infections that erupt in populations of cattle, rather than humans, who don't have a friendly farmer to supervise, track, and test them in herds (although I suppose that such actions are what Peta objects to most, in the first place).
Additionally, if people think that the hormones they inject cows with are bad, are they really ready to ingest some of the medications transferred to breast milk, such as Phenobarbitone (anti-convulsant), Dothiepin (anti-depressant), Promethazine (anti-histamine), Doxycycline (antibiotic), and a myriad of recreational drugs?
I don't know about the rest of you ice cream enthusiasts, but I don't want my Cherry Garcia to require a visit to Quest Diagnostics before it makes it to my freezer.