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? If you'd like to read more awesome and interesting stuff, check out this unrelated (but not entirely random!) Techdirt post via StumbleUpon.

Filed Under: cheese, dairy, food, mammals, milk, pigs


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Jan 2015 @ 6:14pm

    Humans are the exception...

    Mammals generally don't drink milk when they're adults. We should be asking why anyone drinks milk as an adult, not why people don't drink certain kinds of milk.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      kyle clements (profile), 30 Jan 2015 @ 8:36pm

      Re: Humans are the exception...

      Mammals generally don't drink milk when they're adults. We should be asking why anyone drinks milk as an adult


      Most mammals generally don't have a space program or copyright/trademark law, either...

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        orbitalinsertion (profile), 30 Jan 2015 @ 10:43pm

        Re: Re: Humans are the exception...

        The also haven't evolved continued lactose digestion into adulthood like a sizable fraction of the human population has.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Jan 2015 @ 6:34pm

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Jan 2015 @ 9:07pm

      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.

      http://milk.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=000661

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 31 Jan 2015 @ 11:50am

        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).

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Jan 2015 @ 8:10pm

    There are quite a few animals (even insects) out there that drink milk as adults and from other species. Every day we're finding more and more of them which a quick google search will confirm.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Jan 2015 @ 8:41pm

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

    http://www.inhabitots.com/man-living-entirely-off-his-wifes-breast-milk/

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Rekrul, 31 Jan 2015 @ 12:45pm

      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.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 31 Jan 2015 @ 7:17pm

        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.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 31 Jan 2015 @ 7:20pm

        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.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    pcdec, 31 Jan 2015 @ 3:08pm

    I also think us humans should drink human milk, if any, as adults. I have never tried it. Supply is a problem.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 31 Jan 2015 @ 3:34pm

    There Is A Sheep’s Milk Industry

    Small, but it does exist.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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