11 thoughts on “Human Breast Milk Ice Cream

  1. Humans ARE animals! And we’re the only species repelled by the idea of drinking milk from our own kind but will happily guzzle other species’. Funny ol’ world.

  2. The ambivalent reactions are understandable. Humans are of course “animals” but more diversified than say a cow. While most of us are neutral about cows… any cow… we have likes and dislikes when it comes to other humans. Some people might be turned off by the thought of tucking into donor ice-cream, without knowing who exactly did the donating. Also human breasts have been sexualized to the point that some men would likely have difficulty thinking of breast milk offerings without sexual connotations creeping in. So it’s more complicated and this to some extent explains the eeewwww reaction or possibly the mmmmmm reaction.

  3. What worries me about this is that breast milk is, I believe, a very valuable substance. If some lactating women have more of it than their babies need, I wish they would donate it to babies whose mothers can’t produce enough, or whose mothers have died or are not available.

  4. @Introvertica and j: This is a good point. I hadn’t thought of it. There’s an epistemic/logistical problem, though, isn’t there? I mean: Is it common knowledge among mothers with a surplus of breast milk that it ought to be donated, and how to donate it? Are there structures in place to make it easy to get that surplus breast milk to someone who needs it? (These aren’t rhetorical questions; I really don’t know.) I guess what I’m getting at is that I suspect that the donors here chose to donate to an ice cream shop rather than to throw it out, not rather than to donate it somewhere more worthy. Of course, even if that’s true, it would do a lot more to excuse the donors than to excuse the shop owner, who after all is getting people organized to donate their breast milk.

    But, and I realize that no one has quite said that this stuff is worse than cow ice cream, even realizing that there are human babies not getting the human breast milk they need, the situation is worse for cows, *because you could say exactly the same thing for cows* along with everything else that’s wrong with the dairy industry. We’re only able to get milk from cows (or at least, enough to make a profit on) because we keep them in a constant cycle of pregnancy and giving birth. A dairy cow will only lactate if she has (relatively) recently given birth–and if the baby’s still around, the baby will drink the milk. So it’s standard practice to take the baby calves away from their mothers very soon after birth; veal and dairy are very closely connected. We only get cow’s milk for ice cream because we take that milk away from a baby cow who needs it–and because we take the baby away from its mother.

    I’m sorry for going on about something that’s veering off topic, and I don’t mean to diminish the importance of getting human breast milk to mothers and babies who don’t have enough, but I think it’s often too easy not to see what’s involved in regular old cow’s milk. I think Jay Cables’ explanation for the reactions in the video sounds right, but I wish there were similar semi-revulsion (at least) to cow’s milk too.

  5. (I’m putting this in a separate comment in case the moderators want to block it for self-promotion/spam.)

    Anyone interested might have a look at CowRibbon.com. Yet another ribbon-wearing campaign: this time cow-spotted ribbons, intended to be worn around Mother’s Day to show support for dairy cows, who after all are mothers. There are some cute videos on the site, too.

    Full disclosure: I’m one of the directors of Liberation BC, the group who runs the cow ribbon campaign.

  6. Agreed–we don’t consider how absurd it is that we’re the only adult animals who still drink milk, and it’s from another animal.

    I say we leave cows’ milk to cows and human milk to humans. I’m switching to soy!

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