Thursday, October 16, 2008

Mama, Say It Ain't So

It has been quite awhile since I last posted, but inspiration has its own clock, I suppose.

Ultimately, when I read that the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is trying to force Ben and Jerry’s to forgo cow’s milk in favor of ice cream made from human breast milk, I could be silent no longer. What are they gonna call it? Your Sister’s Cherry—Garcia? Chunky Mommy? Peanut Butter D-Cup?

Branding issues aside, my opinion on this matter is not polemic. There is some merit to PETA’s case. For example, we finally have a cogent argument to persuade Bill Clinton to do a “Got Milk” commercial. Perhaps white mustache and white cigar . At 25-cents per 8-ounce serving, we are looking at a tremendous material cost-savings over bottled water during the upcoming economic nuclear winter, many unqualified observers are predicting. And imagine the self-serve possibilities—which would greatly reduce labor costs at most eating establishments as well.

I believe Ben & Jerry’s is only the beginning. What about picketing the folks at Yoplait until they offer a human replacement for their trademark brand? I humbly suggest “Yo Mama”. Natural food for the hood!

Imagine the opportunity to change the shape of the milk carton to more closely resemble the swelled-form of the nursing mother. Mrs. Butterworth went down this road with syrup, but “shapely and sticky” is no match for “milky white and wholesome”. I can envision legions of strippers with tattoos of missing children needled to their mammaries. I will try hard to not lose sleep over this image now that I said it out loud, but I bet we find more of them this way.

Still, we must remain cautious. The possibility of tainted Chinese milk will require close inspection of the source of imported dairy products. OK, let’s not always see the same hands. And please, no jokes about Mad Cow Disease being the new name for PMS. That is purely and simply disrespectful and I will have none of it.

Joking aside, the PETA people have a point about how we treat animals, but somehow I don’t think the solution is to herd nursing mothers into feedlots and force them to gorge on vegetable remnants until they burst with metabolized fats and proteins. (Oh no—another image that will haunt me the entire evening.) Turns out, Fresh Choice has been doing this for two decades without noticeable relief to our bovine cousins.

In the end, we should probably keep milking cows, sheep, goats, yaks, rabbits, whatever, while treating these lactose dispensers with more respect than—well—than we would treat the average nursing mother just trying to stop her baby from crying on the bus. Factory farms are a scandal, be they dairy- or meat-inspired. We are daily turning a blind-eye to a situation that none of us would put up with if it were occurring within our ability to observe directly—and it is time to observe directly. Perhaps that is PETA’s genius—create an image we want to observe to make us conscious of one we are ignoring.


Blogger Amy Andrews said...

Ok, the Fresh Choice quip got me to laugh out loud. Thanks.

9:08 PM  

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