PETA has now formally taken a stand on ice cream. In late September they sent a letter to Ben and Jerry of Vermont ice cream fame urging the use of human breast milk in place of the bovine variety. The letter was sent after Storchen restaurant in Winterthur, Switzerland declared they would be using 75% human breast milk. PETA rightly argued that if the eternally ‘neutral’ cheesemakers can take a stand on this issue, so can we.
Still, I have personal problems with the thought. Despite distance, eating such ice cream invariably brings to mind another woman’s breast. The thought creeps me out. Granted, there’s nothing appealing in thinking about a cow’s teat when I’m eating, but somehow the other one is just more disturbing. And then there’s the invariable thought of the woman behind the breast.
What kind of woman would be giving up her breast milk for ice cream? Is there a high likelihood of disease transference? What about drugs? Putting aside the fact that the potential milk donor may or may not be a heroine addict, what about legitimate medical dosages and even over-the-counter medications? What kind of nebulous drug interactions could take place in a vat of donated human breast milk? Just how much would they be able to even test for, let alone remove?
Even in ideal cases, there are questions. What kind of raging hormones am I likely to get dished out with my butter pecan? What if the milk donor of my scoop, despite the fact that she is perfectly healthy and completely drug free, lost her baby and feels depressed every time she has to pump? Am I getting those hormones along with my Chunky Monkey?
On that note, how much different is it from what we’re currently getting? What kind of antibiotic and other medications are we getting secondhand in our ice cream even from cows? What if all the cows are depressed, as PETA would allege, from losing their own children or even from poor living conditions? Just was IS in that second scoop of rocky road?