Human. Breast. Milk.
In my ice cream.
The letter specifically reads:
September 23, 2008
Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, Cofounders
Ben & Jerry's Homemade Inc.
Dear Mr. Cohen and Mr. Greenfield,
On behalf of PETA and our more than 2 million members and supporters, I'd like to bring your attention to an innovative new idea from Switzerland that would bring a unique twist to Ben and Jerry's.
Storchen restaurant is set to unveil a menu that includes soups, stews, and sauces made with at least 75 percent breast milk procured from human donors who are paid in exchange for their milk. If Ben and Jerry's replaced the cow's milk in its ice cream with breast milk, your customers-and cows-would reap the benefits.
Using cow's milk for your ice cream is a hazard to your customer's health. Dairy products have been linked to juvenile diabetes, allergies, constipation, obesity, and prostate and ovarian cancer. The late Dr. Benjamin Spock, America's leading authority on child care, spoke out against feeding cow's milk to children, saying it may play a role in anemia, allergies, and juvenile diabetes and in the long term, will set kids up for obesity and heart disease-America's number one cause of death.
Animals will also benefit from the switch to breast milk. Like all mammals, cows only produce milk during and after pregnancy, so to be able to constantly milk them, cows are forcefully impregnated every nine months. After several years of living in filthy conditions and being forced to produce 10 times more milk than they would naturally, their exhausted bodies are turned into hamburgers or ground up for soup.
And of course, the veal industry could not survive without the dairy industry. Because male calves can't produce milk, dairy farmers take them from their mothers immediately after birth and sell them to veal farms, where they endure 14 to17 weeks of torment chained inside a crate so small that they can't even turn around.
The breast is best! Won't you give cows and their babies a break and our health a boost by switching from cow's milk to breast milk in Ben and Jerry's ice cream? Thank you for your consideration.
Executive Vice President
Rather than comment on my feelings about this letter, I decided it would be best if I, on behalf of Messrs. Cohen and Greenfield, responded in kind.
Dear Tracy Reiman,
With specific regards to your letter to the Ben & Jerry Homemade, I felt obligated to respond to the idea of replacing bovine milk used in the making of their ice cream with human milk instead.
While it is an incredibly intriguing concept, I feel that you have quite possibly lost your fucking mind.
Forgetting the absolute silliness of asking a major corporation to replace a food product - which, incidently, human beings have been consuming for as long as mankind has learned to domesticate animals - with HUMAN milk, I would like to address the impracticalities of what you've asked this corporation to do.
You use, as an example, a solitary Swiss restaurant that is paying human volunteers to donate their breast milk so that they can make sauces for their dinner menus. While I believe this is a novel innovation on the part of the Swiss, the fact that you have extrapolated this concept to be used by a corporation that uses more milk in a day than this restaurant would in five years shows your complete and utter (udder?) ignorance and stupidity. Perhaps you should have directed this to the Swiss chocolatiers, as I'm certain you would enjoy milk chocolate made from human breast milk?
Do you intend for this major corporation to then reduce itself to relying on the good graces of female volunteers to fill their milk vats? Perhaps, instead, you envision deprived women in third-world countries lining up by the thousands, on a daily (if not hourly) basis, in order to donate their limited quantities of breast milk such that this corporation can meet their distribution goals?
You voice such concern for the state the cows exist in, and for that you should be applauded. You should, however, be bitch-slapped, several times in fact, for your implied suggestion that while it is deplorable for cows to exist in these conditions, it would be perfectly acceptable for human women to take their place. Perhaps we, as a nation, could enact a mandatory government draft - conscripting women by the thousands, in the name of public consumption - to volunteer for Milk Duty. These women would then spend, say four years of required service at the pumping stations to supply the needed milk for companies such as Ben & Jerry's to survive.
Conversely, as we seem to now be a nation of conquest - as evidenced by our soon-to-be annexation of Iraq, Afghanistan, and in the upcoming years Iran - we could instead enact slave labor camps. As you care only for the state of cows, you may be happy to know that there are very few cows in these countries; we could, instead, relocate our dairy factories to these otherwise useless nations and chain their women to these machines, creating a Nike-like cheap labor that would suit our digestive American needs.
I would not, myself, go so far as to suggest the methods by which these women would remain in a state of pregnancy - which, as you so pointedly noted, would be required in order for the women to consistently produce the milk needed. However, should the need arise I would be more than willing to volunteer my own services in this regards. No payment would be necessary, and travel to remote locations would not be a concern.
Of some concern, however, would be the potential "taint" posed by, shall we say, less sanitary women and the milk they would in turn produce. Perhaps B&J could enter into the drug trade, as I'm certain a large percentage of the women volunteering their services would already be some form of substance abuser. Kill two birds with one stone, as they say; Ben & Jerry Crack Houses could become a new franchise and source of income for the company.
I do have some trepidation; the costs of these enterprises would likely increase the price of ice cream tenfold. However, by putting the label "organic" on each carton, it by default enhances the quality of the product and guarantees the ice cream's inclusion on the shelves of Whole Foods. Price, as we already know from current Whole Food shoppers, would then not be a concern.
As I'm more than certain Ben & Jerry's is strongly considering your suggestion, may I be so bold as to further compliment your idea by proposing names that the company could use, in their new Breast Milk line of ice cream flavors?
Brownie Brown-Eyed Susan
Tropical Fruit Melons Medley
Bouncing Berry Betties
Traffic Light Triple Medley
Around the Globes
Bananas 'n Bongoes
If I may be so bold, I would like to finalize this letter by sending you several mops; by now, after reading this document, your floor must be flooded with the dripping sarcasm it has left. You may also find the wooden handle of the mops very helpful, as the stick you already have up your butt is by now completely splintered by your tight-assedness.