Oh, man. I don’t know how these things happen but happen they do.
So PETA writes this letter to Ben & Jerry (specifically to them) asking that they make a specific maneuver to lessen human and animal suffering. All sounds good on the surface. Wait until you get to the meat of the article.
In the letter, PETA VP Tracy Reiman urges Ben & Jerry’s to use human breast milk instead of cow’s milk in their ice cream. Where do they get these ideas? Well in this case apparently there is a Swedish restaurant which will be serving dishes containing a mixture using 75% breast milk—or there would be if they had not been barred from doing so.
I really have to wonder if Ms. Reiman (or so many others) ever think these things through before they start acting. This is the horror we might imagine: an economy for breast milk that puts drug-addicted mothers in a position to get paid by starving their babies.
You can call me a specieist if you’d like, but given the choice between contributing to the suffering of cows and contributing to the suffering of humans I will invariably choose the cows. Yum yum, little moo.
The complaints that PETA cites in their letter (which appears at the bottom of the above linked article) all surround certain practices of factory farming. As is so often the case in animal rights claims, they have chosen too far an extreme path for their honorable goals—making those paths dishonorable.
I would like to see a great reform in farming practices, globally. I think we can improve the health of livestock and humans by making some valuable changes in how we view our relationships with food and food producing animals. This is something we have begun to address with our pocket books already: prefer buying organic and free-range styled foods, help to define these terms in legal documents, and keep track of where your money is going.
But please don’t fuck with my ice cream by using human breast milk.