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DailyDirt: Common Sense Ain't So Common

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Mammals drink milk when they’re young. Maybe there are some exceptions to that, but the examples of milk-drinking mammals are pretty easy to find. People are mammals, and so the cow milk industry is sizable: the US alone produced over 200,000,000,000 pounds of cow milk in 2013. In other parts of the world, goat milk is more popular (and there are a lot of other kinds of milk that people drink, too). Okay, so why doesn’t anyone drink pig milk?

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Comments on “DailyDirt: Common Sense Ain't So Common”

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Anonymous Coward says:

No Exceptions

There aren’t any exceptions to the young drinking milk. That’s how you define what a mammal is. I know there’s milk substitute, but I don’t think that’s the sort of exception that was being thought of.

In answer to a question in a comment above: Humans evolved to retain the ability to digest milk into adulthood, because milk is an incredibly useful form of nutrition. Milk became an available food, once humans started farming animals.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: The White Man's Exception

“In answer to a question in a comment above: Humans evolved to retain the ability to digest milk into adulthood”

Not true. Only some humans — in particular, those which historically raised cattle for milk (i.e., Europeans).

In regions like East Asia, which has never had dairy farming, adult humans are almost universally intolerant of cow’s milk.


Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: The White Man's Exception

Not only that, but pretty much all adult humans are lactose intolerant — it’s the bacteria in our guts that does the heavy lifting.

It’s the same reason termites can digest cellulose when most other creatures can’t.

The reason that humans who raise cattle for milk tend to be able to digest it is that they are exposed to the bacteria that digest it. Feed a lactose intolerant person a poopshake from someone who can digest cow’s milk, and they’ll likely pick up the ability to do so as well (as long as you give the bacteria milk soon enough to help the new colony breed).

Rekrul says:

Re: Re:

Then there are some people who go a little too far.

While I agree living exclusively on milk of any type is going a little too far, I’ve always wondered why there’s such a stigma attached to adults drinking human breast milk. We don’t find it disgusting for babies to drink it, and many people happily drink milk from animals, which are typically less clean than humans. So why is the idea of drinking milk from a human such a taboo?

For the record, I’ve never tried it myself, mainly because I’ve never had the opportunity. I’m not sure if I would, I just find it strange that most people consider it gross.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

” … human breast milk. We don’t find it disgusting for babies to drink it”

Some societies apparently still do, particularly in the 3rd world, where baby milk formula manufacturers such as Nestle through their clever marketing have convinced people that bottle-feeding a baby (with their product, of course) is a highly-desirable status symbol, while only the poor, ignorant, low-class people breast-feed babies.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

So why is the idea of drinking milk from a human such a taboo?

It seems that drinking any kind of human bodily fluid is considered taboo in Western society. Human and chimpanzee milk can spread the AIDS/HIV virus, so those are two animal species that you probably wouldn’t want to indiscriminately drink milk from.

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