Wednesday, September 24, 2008

PETA asks Ben & Jerry's to consider using human milk...uh-huh

This is another of those "not-quite-sure-about-this" stories - at least for me, anyway.

At one time or another many of us have indulged in a Ben & Jerry's ice cream treat safe with the knowledge that the source of the dairy product came from cows. Seems that PETA - People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals - want ice cream lovers to have another choice, an unusual choice most would say.

Recently, PETA sent a letter to Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, the co-founders of Ben & Jerry's Homemade Inc. requesting them or at least asking them to consider replacing cow's milk with - wait for it - human breast milk.

There are some that must like the idea since a Swiss restaurant owner will begin purchasing breast milk from nursing mothers and substituting breast milk for 75% of cow's milk in the food that it serves. The idea, according to the PETA people, is to lessen the suffering of dairy cows and their babies on factory farms.

While this is a very admirable aspiration on the part of the organization for sure, using breast milk, at least in my opinion, isn't exactly the most practical idea.

Let's say...for the sake of argument or hypothetically, Ben & Jerry's decided to include breast milk ice cream on their menu. This would entail babies having to share their only food source, at least the new-borns, not to mention new moms having to produce a whole lot of milk to make it viable. One can only speculate that if breast milk ice cream caught on with the public it could start a new industry including breast milk cheese, breast milk yogurt... You get the idea. At some point down the line cows could become obsolete, which would please PETA, but end up as a Sunday roast or on the barbeque, something that PETA would not want.

For its part a spokesperson for Ben & Jerry's thought it was admirable on the part of PETA to draw attention to the issue, they (Ben & Jerry's) were of the opinion that a mother's milk is best used for her baby. Amen.

Read the letters from PETA and Ben & Jerry's response here:

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