Todd Hartley: I’m with Stupid
Let me preface this column by saying I have no problem with PETA, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, nor do I have any problems with vegetarians in general, as long as they grant the rest of us the right to eat meat.Whether we buy it at a store or hunt or fish for it legally we should be allowed to eat it without being given the Lisa Simpson guilt trip about our choice. Beyond that, all animals should be treated as ethically as possible. I absolutely agree.So when you read the rest of this, please understand that Im just reporting the facts. Im not passing judgement on anyone.My favorite PETA tidbit dates back a few years to when a TV news crew in some small town reported on a young woman, a PETA activist, dressed up as a giant carrot outside of an elementary school.The news segment showed the carrot woman chanting her pro-vegetable slogans and handing out flyers, and then the reporter lady interviewed some of the kids after they had walked past the massive tap root.One little boy stepped to the microphone with a big smile on his face, and the reporter asked him if he liked vegetables.Yeah, he said, nodding.Whats your favorite vegetable? the newslady asked.Chicken, said the little boy.Anyway, on to the subject.Imagine if you had just eaten a pint or two, if it was one of those kind of nights of Ben & Jerrys Cherry Garcia ice cream. And then suddenly Ashton Kutcher jumped out and told you that it was all made of human breast milk. I dont know about you, but I would probably hurl. Id vomit a little bit at the back of my throat at the very least.I mention this hypothetical scenario in light of the recent letter from PETA to Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, cofounders of the storied ice cream franchise, urging them to start using human breast milk instead of cows milk in their ice cream.The fact that human adults consume huge quantities of dairy products made from milk that was meant for a baby cow just doesnt make sense, said PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. Everyone knows that the breast is best, so Ben & Jerrys could do consumers and cows a big favor by making the switch to breast milk.Oh come on, PETA. You have to give us milk. People have only been drinking the stuff since the dawn of civilization. Where would we be as a species without the cow? Why do think its a god in India? Hindus dont eat them, and they dont ride them, so if theyre not revered for their milk they must have great personalities. Theres no other reason to herd them around.Imagine, though, if somehow PETA officials actually convinced Ben and Jerry to make the switch to breast milk. Do they not realize how much Ben & Jerrys ice cream is churned out every day, to every supermarket in America?You think the conditions are unethical for the poor cows who are just getting milked and not slaughtered like the steers? Wait until you see the conditions for the poor women of Vermont who are going to have to replace them. And my wife thought her boobs were sore feeding our boy for a year. What if she got a job as a milkee right out of college and worked straight through to retirement?The request was made because apparently a restaurant owner in Switzerland is going to start substituting breast milk for cows milk in 75 percent of the food he serves. So if youre just dying for a bowl of New England clam chowder made with authentic Cape Cod mothers milk, you may still be able to get it.I dont want to go starting an argument about whether or not its right to consume dairy products. Ill agree with PETA that all the cows involved in making ice cream should be treated humanely, but they have to let us have the cows. Thats a fight they cannot and, believe me, should not win.So trust me when I say Im not trying to say PETA is stupid. Its just that in this case, in one little regard, they were: Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield havent been actively involved with the company since 2000 and couldnt change the companys practices even if they wanted to.Consider your Phish Food safe.Todd Hartley went to the graveyard of dead flavors in Waterbury, Vt., to mourn his old friend Cool Brittania. E-mail him your comments at firstname.lastname@example.org
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For those of you who follow my monthly missives, and occasionally read between the lines, you may have noticed a trend toward a bit of cognitive dissonance and some internal conflict on my part.