Smile Politely

News of Udder Importance

The Human Treat

Tomorrow Cold Stone Creamery will be giving away their indulgent ice cream creations to anyone who walks through their door in celebration of their seventh annual “World’s Largest Ice Cream Social” and to benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Yes, go there between 5-8 p.m. and you’ll get a three ounce serving.

My question: “Is the ice cream made with breast milk?”

No, really.

Yesterday morning, PETA sent off a letter to Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, co-founders of ice cream heavyweight Ben & Jerry’s Homemade Inc., and the content of the letter, according to PETA’s website, urges them “to replace the cow’s milk in their products with human breast milk.” PETA’s plea originated after news reports that Swiss restaurant owner, Hans Locher, was looking to purchase breast milk from nursing mothers and use the human-generated milk as a substitute for cow’s milk in 75 percent of the food he serves.

Despite the fact that PETA’s letter came four days too late — Zurich food inspectors had already stopped the restaurant because they found the human ingredient to be unauthorized for distribution — PETA points out to Cohen and Greenfield that if they make this switch over to breast milk, the cows providing the milk for the ice cream and the Ben & Jerry’s consumer would benefit.

Will Ben and Jerry’s bite? Slim chance.

But still, I’d love to try that flavor if they did. I’m female and capable of producing this natural nectar, which perhaps makes me more inclined to dig in for a scoop than a male might be. Or maybe there’s something remotely Oedpipal there. Possibly it’s just plain curiosity.

But the potential for such a product does raise an important question: What would companies call it? Perhaps Ben & Jerry would go with a really clever name like, “Teat Treat?” If Cold Stone Creamery carried a line, you might stroll to the counter tomorrow and say, “Gotta Have (T)it.”

Is our country, or any country, too uptight and unwilling to even give breast milk a chance? Probably so, and maybe I’m pushing it. But why can’t we rethink, whether or not we agree, the ways in which we receive nourishment? Milk is milk is milk, right?

Nourishment in Spears

Fine. I’ll drop the breast milk argument. But another story that made news alongside PETA’s plea was yesterday’s headline about Jamie Lynn Spears and the breastfeeding photo controversy. It makes for an interesting juxtaposition. On a basic level, society is telling us what is rational and irrational for nourishment and simultaneously, and ironically, that certain methods of providing nourishment are pornographic.

Not only was Spears breastfeeding the topic for conversation, but the media is making the claim that Spears’ breastfeeding photos could be classified as child pornography as Spears is still legally a minor in the United States. (Honestly, in this particular case, I don’t think it matters how old she is. I’m sure the issue of pornography would be pushed whether or not she is of legal age. It is, after all, a breast — oh my!) Therefore, anyone selling or buying the images of Spears could be a breach of federal pornography laws, and this could land either party in prison.

You tell me how in the world breastfeeding could be extrapolated as pornography? Sure there are fetishes and yes, the definition of pornography varies; however, if we are to at least approach the issue, let’s just go with the OED’s definition of pornography: “The explicit description or exhibition of sexual subjects or activity in literature, painting, films, etc., in a manner intended to stimulate erotic rather than aesthetic feelings; printed or visual material containing this.”

Most likely, Spears’ photograph, taken by her fiancé, did not intended to stimulate erotic feelings. Even if it ends up in the hands of the public, who’s to say how this image will affect people? Can you actually tell me that if I look at the image of Spears what I am feeling is related to my feelings if I view material intended to be pornographic? I’d go so far to say I’m invading her personal privacy, sure. But that’s a different story.

We live in a world where there are more important issues to deal with. That we are currently at the place where John Ashcroft can purchase $8,000 dollars worth of curtains to cover the “Spirit of Justice” statue’s breast? You see my point.

Honestly, why are we so afraid of (t)it?

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