Obviously, the fact that Kelis and I share the first three letters of our name means we are practically twins… however there are several rather important differences between the two of us. Unlike Kelis, my milkshake doesn’t bring all the boys to the yard. Mostly, this is because I don’t have a yard… (veg patch to the front, lawn to the rear… not a euphemism I promise) but also it would be unacceptable for me to have queues of men outside my house… I am a married woman after all. The last and perhaps more crucial difference is my unfortunate reluctance to make milkshake.
Now, I am yet to check in with ‘Our Kelis’ to clear up the ambiguity surrounding the mammal which provides the milk for said popular milkshake… let’s face it, it could be any of a vast number of lactating animals. I can definitely rule out human milk though right? That would be a disgusting thought wouldn’t it? A milk shake made from human breast milk?!!
If you found reading my last post a little uncomfortable, if I was insensitive or you were disgusted by my over zealous attitudes towards boobies everywhere… firstly I sincerely apologise, secondly- I advise you don’t read on… because as the title suggests, this one is probably going to get a little ‘wretchworthy’.
I’ve always been a bit of a questioner, much to the joy of my parents- and now my husband I’m quite sure. I question absolutely everything. Not in an aggressive way but in a – I’m at school, my class has been split in to two groups to debate fox hunting, I’m not sure which group I’m in yet; but I’m frantically searching my mind for what I could say for either ‘side’– kind of way.
Since the arrival of babies into my world, the view from where I stand has dramatically changed. I have begun to think critically about my own values, beliefs and opinions because I know that they will in turn impact on my children’s. It’s an odd thing to do- challenge your own thoughts- perhaps in a few years I will discover that this is actually the start of an underlying mental health issue- but for now, I’m finding it most interesting… so if you’re game, climb aboard…
This little pondering episode is brought to you by a small, perfectly innocent bar of soap. This soap; (papped for your viewing pleasure- see above) was bought for me as a gift. I was so pleased; I do love a nice soap.
As you can see; my new soap contains ‘10% Ass’s Milk.’
After tittering with my husband, (because my soap had the word ‘ass’ on it…) the argument with myself began…
Isn’t it weird that I think my new soap is luxurious because it has ass milk in it?! It’s also worth mentioning that soap made with cow’s or goat’s milk is also advertised as ‘luxurious’ due to it’s gentle nature and moisturising properties. I’ve never seen human milk soap for sale though. Even if I had… I almost certainly wouldn’t want to wash with it. I wouldn’t know whose milk went into the soap for heaven’s sake!!! She could be a real beast of a woman with horrific hygiene!
But ass milk? Now that’s different, I can’t wait to rub that into my skin!
This is where it gets tricky…
<Activate Fox Hunting Debate Neurons>
I’ve seen an ass (in actual fact I’ve seen a few; but now’s neither the time nor place…) I bet even the most beastly of woman is unlikely to be as unhygienic as the teets of ass; so why am I so uncomfortable at the thought of lathering myself silly with a human breast milk soap? Furthermore; Isn’t it strange that every day I happily pour cow’s milk into my tea, I splash it all over my cereal yet the act of opening my fridge and busting out a 4 pint plastic bottle of human breast milk seems horrifically unthinkable?
Then it occurred to me… bizarrely, as a species; we prefer to consume and use the milk of other animals rather than our own. Can you name another creature on planet Earth that does that?
Before long, all hell had broken loose inside my grey matter and I was busy considering dairy intolerance and allergy in human beings: It’s one of the most common allergies around, yet no one is entirely sure what causes it. I’m just going to throw this out there… but could it be that cow’s milk is actually made for… hold on to your hats… baby cows?!
This little gem of a thought was like cranial wind to a brainial fire, my mind was filled with questions about our muddy, multi-teeted friends. I began to wonder how many dairy cows there actually are in the world… so I asked Mr Google. Of course he didn’t know himself but he knew a man who did. Mr Dairy Co told me that in 2011 there were approximately 260 million dairy cows worldwide (obviously they are just the ones he counted and his figures don’t include the remote villages or the people who grow a couple for personal use.) Now, if we consider that the average dairy cow makes around 8 gallons of milk per day, and we tell this to Mr Calculator (also a fellow lover of 5318008)… He shares this little jewel of a factoid with us:
EVERY DAY we squeeze 2,080,000,000 gallons of milk from our planet’s cows… in words, Mr Google tells me that’s 2 billion eighty million gallons!! IN-SANE!!!!!!
It’s at this point I’d like to make a bold admission to you all…
I have tried my own breast milk…
I’m sensing your shudders so before you de-friend me on Facebook and permanently scratch me off your Christmas card list; let me clarify:
I’m NOT admitting to curling up with a warm mug of my own breast milk to watch ‘Call the Midwives’ or anything… but I have accidentally misfired and then without thinking licked it off my finger…I did cringe, but nothing terrible happened to me. For those of you intrigued but too embarrassed/ashamed to ask.. it just tastes like super sweet … milk?!
And so it was, that as the dust settled, the reason I don’t pour breast milk onto my cereal materialised:
It isn’t because it’s gross, it’s because frankly I’m not sure there are enough lactating women on the planet to accept the gigantuan task of expressing 2 billion eighty million gallons of milk from their collective chebs… for our brews, frubes and all things cheesy…every single blooming day!
Before you panic, you’re not going to see me in your town centre with a plaquard campaigning for human dairy farms. Nor will I be making my own breast milk soap or serving up slices of homemade breast milk cheese on a buttered Ryvita… but I can’t deny I do find human behaviour and attitudes (including my own) a bit odd sometimes.
I can hear you asking me… where are you going with this? Why are you telling us inappropriate facts about your misfirings!?
Current research is examining human breast milk in terms of it’s properties and abilities to treat and potentially cure diseases such as cancer, diabetes and arthritis. A team of Australian scientists have also discovered cells which have all the physical characteristics of stem cells within samples of human breastmilk… an indicator that perhaps it harnesses the power to treat diseases like leukaemia and Parkinson’s. For now you might be gagging over the prospect of ever consuming human milk, but maybe, just maybe… it holds magical powers beyond all our expectations… perhaps in future years we’ll be supping it like Yakult!!
In a world where the jobs my children will train to do are likely to not exist yet, where we need to find cures for diseases that threaten our existence…in a world that sometimes feels just a little bit broken; I think that my two little babies need to be as accepting of change and difference as possible in order to have any chance of succeeding in their life’s quest. I want them to question what we do and how we do it. If no-one questions, nothing changes, nothing improves.
In the not too distant future; the miniature human beings that fulfil my life will ask questions. Whether it’s why Florence at school has two daddies, why the lady in the supermarket is fat, why James has brown skin or why milk comes from cows… I’d like to be able to give them as unbiased and honest answer as possible.
As grown ups; at any given time we are surrounded by many little pairs of eyes and ears. There’s a good chance that those eyes and ears could be watching and listening. I’d like to think that the view from where my children stand in 30 years time is an HD, 3D, new and improved version of the one I have now…
Just a thought… but perhaps…in order to change and improve our actions, we need to challenge and improve our opinions first…
As always please share your thoughts and comments; make this blog come to life.
Fancy reading a pretty good summary about the current science surrounding human breast milk? Click Here!
Fancy singing along to ‘Our Kelis’? Click Here!