Thursday, January 14, 2010

Thought of the Day 2010 #11 - Milk Man

I don't recall if I mentioned this before, but it came up again. My step
daughter avoids milk because of something a teacher told her -- "Man is
the only animal that drinks milk beyond infancy."

While true for the most part, there are several things that immediately
come to mind. First, lots of animals would choose to drink milk if they
could. Cats love milk. Dogs love ice cream.

Secondly, and possibly most importantly -- man is the only animal that
has flown to the moon. Just a silly example of the underlying problem --
we're animals, but we're a bit different than the rest with cognitive
and physical abilities that most other animals would dream of having, if
they dreamed.

While I don't believe we need to drink milk and possibly there are
negative issues related to milk consumption, I find it a bit
shortsighted to make the animal-man direct comparison in order to make a
case against its consumption.


Gary said...

Good point. I do try not to drink too much cows milk because of the lactose. I think I read somewhere that humans can drink milk but some milks are better for us than others, and lactose is really an unnatural thing for us to intake. Some people can tolerate it fine but others can't. If I have too much tea in a day or a McDonalds milkshake (mmmm strawberry) I get a bit phlegmy.

I don't think we should stop drinking milk though, its very good for us and what else would we have on our cereals :)

me said...

Actually, Lactose is a natural component and is quite good for humans. But if you stop drinking milk it is the human that stops producing enzymes. So don't blame the milk. Also, most lactose intolerance is due to cow's milk. There are many other mammals milk that people drink. Here is a quote from Wikipedia:

The enzyme needed to digest lactose, lactase, reaches its highest levels in the small intestines after birth and then begins a slow decline unless milk is consumed regularly.[5] On the other hand, those groups that do continue to tolerate milk often have exercised great creativity in using the milk of domesticated ungulates, not only of cattle, but also sheep, goats, yaks, water buffalo, horses, and camels. The largest producer and consumer of cattle and buffalo milk in the world is India.[6]