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Breast Milk Headlines Explode After Ben & Jerry’s Letter

Written by PETA | October 10, 2008
From the ever popular Milk Gone Wild 2

So, last month we sent off a letter to Ben & Jerry’s to urge the ice cream giant to drop cow’s milk from its menu and start churning out recipes that use the only milk intended for human consumption—breast milk. It’s a pretty simple concept to grasp. I mean, you don’t see doctors taking newborn babes from their mothers’ arms and suckling them up to a cow in a “drinking room” next to the infants ward. C’mon! That’s absurd. Really.

Our letter to the company has garnered so much attention—and by that I mean impossible-to-walk-down-the-street-without-someone-asking-questions sort of attention—that stories about breast milk have been popping up everywhere! Not that we like to brag—OK, we love it!—but I do think our buxom beaut of an idea got the ball rolling.

Whether it’s Angelina Jolie breast-feeding for a W magazine cover, the illegal duplication of breastfeeding pictures of Jamie Lynn Spears (which has prompted a federal pornography investigation), or—my personal favorite—the guy-next-door who sells his wife’s breast milk for money (these are hard times, folks), stories about breast milk are spreading through the newspapers like a wildfire!

Of course, one of our favorite writings about breast milk appears in PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk’s newest book, One Can Make a Difference. Check it out: An entire chapter in the book focuses on how human breast milk is better for babies than cow’s milk is: A pediatrician in India in the 80s found that if she urged people to switch from formula and animal’s milk to human breast milk (she even started a human-breast-milk bank!), she could reduce incidences of diarrhea—which were leading to deaths! Deadly diarrhea—do you really think that does a body good? Neither do we.

Written by Jennifer Cierlitsky

Commenting is closed.
  • john says:

    How can I say this… that’s disgusting

  • Robert Durbin says:

    First of All get rid of that discusting pic From the ever popular Milk Gone Wild 2.  That looks like a tumer not a breast.


    You can get a women to produce milk but it takes time and even more so if she has never given birth.  If they do give birth and keep pumpping it from then on they can keep producing milk.  The PETA doesn’t have everything right with there Ideas. The Cow thing is what we do and love the milk and meat. But they did stumble on to something that should work. I came a cross a few stories some real and some scify about Human breast milk. Well I came up with my own idea about this hole thing on Breast milk Farm. A building in several parts that can handle several 100 females at a time. In one part there is a health department that checks the women for any thing wrong and puts them on a healthy diet. They keep tabs on all to check there milk, health, and any thing elss that may be wrong. Then they go to another room to be pumped. They could read, watch TV, exercise, or any thing elss that they want as long as the pumps are securer to there breast. If they have kids there are other rooms for them, a daycare for who ever comes. If they have a baby there is always a supply of milk, “Breast milk promotes sensory and cognitive development, and protects the infant against infectious and chronic diseases. Exclusive breastfeeding reduces infant mortality due to common childhood illnesses such as diarrhea or pneumonia, and helps for a quicker recovery during illness”.  The combined Super milk before and after testing would go to the daycare and to the next room that would bottle it and sent it to all the local stores an other Vader’s. The female that show up at this place would be taken care of in many ways and leave with some cash for there milk. Then once there milk starts flowing then they could do it any where with one of my portable breast pumps that you can wearer any where. Then just bring the milk to the building to be tested and put into the system. They would get some milk money for each drop off and new bottles to fill when they wish or can. This Idea benefits all females who wish to use it in many ways, It would boost the economy  $$$, national resources, provide a new resources for all, boost health and well-being of mothers, it helps children’s develupment, reduces the risk of ovarian cancer and breast cancer, increases family unity, and can boost a lot of other things. Who ever reads this can reach me at ******.

  • Julian says:

    Although I love cow milk ice cream just the way it is I’m just incredulous that they thought BJ should use human breast milk while soy or rice milk ice cream alternatives didn’t even come to be a thought in PETA’s mind.

  • Chelsey says:

    I’m not sure if anyone has brought up this point yet so I appologize if they have. I’ve read over everything PETA has to say on the matter but it still baffles me a little bit. PETA is so worried about the calf that is not getting milk from its mother that they are not even beginning to think about their own species. Women produce much less milk than cows do. This being said what about the human babies who are being deprived of their mothers breast milk because it is going to making other products instead of where it should be going. I understand their concern for calves but I would think up a better solution than that of using breast milk as it would be taking milk from a human child that needs it more.

  • kate says:

    Jason if your a dairy farmer majoring in pharmacy and health studies your going to be severely disappointed for example milk is put in Ben and Jerry’s very fattening combine that with no exercise and you got yourself a couple of pounds plus there have been studies with supporting evidence hormones in pregnant or steroid given cows have caused breast cancer testicular cancer and prostate cancer these are problems with milk but on the other hand there are good things as well protein helps go stronger bones in women so you don’t get osteoporosis at a later age and also drinking skim milk helps you lose weight so there are your pros and cons also to Mellisa who said cows are hooked up to machines those are factory cows that are shot up with steroids not everyone supports those companies they are very evil people i support organic cow companies where they let the cows out and graze the milk in fact tastes a lot better and is a lot healthier for you then factory milk where they shove the cows into a tiny space keep them hooked up to a machine and hardly ever clean up their poo yes that means they poo on each other i also have no comment on the breast milk thing i think they should just replace the whole milk with skim milk from an organic cow company that way the farmers who are doing the right thing will get paid more and kids will lose a few pounds eating it sorry everyone for the long comment

  • sally, UK says:

    Has anyone read the British book ‘Your Life in Your Hands’ written by Professor Plant a woman who had breast cancer 5 times? The 5th time she was told she only had weeks to live. She did her own research a friend who was a Chinese doctor said they hardly had breast cancer in China until the new rich Chinese started eating a western diet the difference beef and dairy products!! Bingo! She became Vegan overnight and 6 weeks later the cancer had totally gone from her body!! FACT in the west 1 in 10 women get breast cancer. In far eastern nondairy consuming countries the rate is 1 in 10000! The thing in milk in any animalhuman milk too that causes the cancer is ‘Growth Factor 1’ naturally occurs in all milk is to make babies grow. The drug ‘Tamoxifen’ given to women with breast cancer works by trying to block ‘Growth Factor 1’. Dairy is also responsible for Ovarian and Prostate cancer and also linked to Bowel cancer. As for Calcium the countries with highest consumption of dairy have the highest rates of Osteoporosis!

  • Jessica says:

    Have we mentioned that human breast milk carried HIV and other such diseases far more severe and untreatable than that carried in cow’s milk. Additionally I’m sorry but who are these women ready to get this much breast milk sucked out. Well lets face it. The campaign is really for attention and well. Brava on that front.

  • Jeanette Horton says:

    I was a Soy baby. My mother was unable to breast feed. I think all of Ben Jerry’s products need to vegan there are a lot of ways to make ice cream without using and abusing the cows and goats. Besides that I would not drink another womans breast milk that is horrible.

  • A says:

    I have a few comments here first they tell you to switch your kids to cows milk for the all mighty dollar which most things come down to anyway! If we all switched back or breastfed longer they would lose LOTS of money and maybe we dry up at some point because our babies don’t need to eat breast milk forever Just like cows make milk to feed there babies. Second I think soy is just there to help lazy people stay veg. you don’t need soy to be veg. or vegan. plenty of other foods give you all you need. god forbid anyone make a decision in there lives based on logic …and not because the TV says so. wow we are a sad bunch of sheeple in this even sadder country.

  • Jenie says:

    The way I see the situation is that a cow’s milk is made for a baby cow. Biologically our bodies are not designed to digest the nutrients and enzymes found in cow’s milk because it is intended for a baby cow. This is why we see so many cases of individuals who are lactoseintolerant or who develop other severe allergies to dairy. However over time some of us have evolved immunities and have evolved to digest these nutrients and enzymes. Even though some of these compounds are great for our bodies it does not mean that we have any right to take that milk from a mother cow. There exist numerous plant sources in which these same nutrients can be found. What if we were to start milking human mothers and giving that milk to another species and the woman had no choice? The bottom line is that the animal’s rights are being violated even if there are some dairy operations that act humanely. Animals are not ours to use as we see fit and to please our every whim.

  • Milkman says:

    Let’s imagine A whole factory stuffed with women and vacuums attached to their breasts. Pump pump pump. Is that what we want it to be? Without cow’s milk what can we use as a substitute? Fair enough we can use human milk. But for how long? There is a limit. Unless you’re telling us to impregnate these women again and again just to extract milk from them? Do not forget people that milk is consumed not only by infants but by everyone. We need milk in our mashed potatoes coffee tea other beverages and many other dishes as well. So stop giving onesided arguments and take note that PETA is just making a STATEMENT. Nothing more. The human milk thing is just a tool to push their point.

  • jacqueline bird says:

    To the person who wants better tasting alternatives to cow milk I have one. It is Yu brand organic basmati rice milk. No sugar added. It’s totally delicious better than a lot of soy milks and rice milks I’ve tasted and better FOR us too. I pick it up at my local health food store. The website is Try it you’ll like it

  • chiliblomburger says:

    I am certain that PETA’s breast milk suggestion was intended to draw attention to our use of cows for their milk and the ridiculousness of that situation. There are plenty of alternatives yet the mainstream markets continue to participate in the torture of animals for food. The dairy industry not only holds cows captive but also treats their male calves like trash or sends them off for veal. Dairy cows are sent to slaughter when they no longer produceat a very young age which is a mere fraction of their natural lifespan. My family is vegan and we eat a wide variety of delicious foods. It is really a good feeling to know that your food isn’t produced in an environment of violence. Cows pigs chickens and turkeys all have feelings and intelligence at least equal to your pet cat or dog. Please think of yourself in their position for just a moment and you may realize that all sentient beings have the right to live without being held captive and killed for the unnecessary benefit of humans. It’s not as difficult as you may think to be vegan. The internet is loaded with great simple vegan recipes. Just take a look Peace.

  • Andrea says:

    I am a student majoring in animal veterinary sciences. We took a field trip a few weeks ago to visit a local dairy farm and I was very suprised to see the conditions a what is considered to be a progressive medium sized diary farm. I’m sure this farm was better than most but the conditions were still very sad. The cows certainly don’t seem to mind being milked but that is because their udders are so swollen with milk that they are uncomfortable until they are relieved of the milk. If you compare the udder of the dairy cow to the udder of a beef cow you can see that the dairy cow has been selectively bredt o the point where they are deformed by a disproportionaly huge udder. You would never see an udder that huge in nature. In addition the calves are separated from their mothers at just a few days old and have to be housed seperately in tiny stalls so they don’t injure each other trying to nurse on each other’s tails and ears. Basically the life of the cows is very unnatural and they are deprived of all their freedom and natural instincts as well as normal social interaction. When you think about live intelligent animals having their bodies turned into factories for our pleasure it seems incredibly arrogant of the human race to presume it is our right to do so.

  • . says:

    I didn’t mean for mothers not to feed infants their own breast milk I agree wholeheartedly with you on that. My point was that PETA presents studies saying one thing ie study in India from the eighties that is referenced in this article when there are much more studies in other countries supporting the mcmaster university study actually done in this decade saying chocolate milk is one of the best muscle builders out there.

  • Derek, MD says:

    Truth Ironic name…babies are not allergic to breast milk but they may be sensitive to certain proteins in the mother’s diet most commonly cow’s milk. Now to . you would have to have very little knowledge on this subject to think that a valid study exists that shows cow’s milk or formula to be better for an infant. Baby formula was invented in order to help feed premature babies but has evolved to encompass many different reasons many convenience related but I will stay away from venting on that subject for now. Soy formula is used in infants who are sensitive to dairy proteins…not breast milk. Also although I am a PETA supporter I take the opportunity to educate all sides on medical misinformationmisperceptions…especially when it comes to quoting “studies” one has stumbled upon through a Google search.

  • Truth says:

    Some people are allergic to Breast Milk… so they have to rely on formula or animal milk…

  • . says:

    Peta presents results but say very little else such as the name of the study or related studies. Then people who come to this website read these facts and believe them because they don’t know that there are many studies that actually have evidence supporting the opposite. That is why this website is one sided. Maybe I went too far in saying the arguments were one sided because here I am taking the opposite point of view but I am saying that the information introduced can be misleading to a reader who knows very little on the subject.

  • lynda downie says:

    by.says”As for coming to this site to be educated theres no point because all arguments here are one sided.” I don’t know of any site that is as fairminded as Peta in allowing people with various and often opposing points of view to post their comments including Peta bashers. Peta presents the findings of reputable scientific studies. Posters of all stripes are welcome to voice their opinions.

  • melissa says:

    no harm done at all. mr dairy farmer id call you by name but you gave none. i do have to agree with your observations on cows. the extreme cases are usually big business not a normal family farm. also i have to make a coment about the educational part. granted not as many people may understand things correctly and often people set in their ways are like talking to walls but there are those that you may touch that may be receptive and that may listen. for those few that may be for those few seeds that could germinate from what you plant i would never give up. also i have learned some things i have never known anything about ducks being force fed for their livers then i looked it up at a couple other sources and was amazed i never would have believed it but then iv never really been around many ducks except at parks.

  • . says:

    I think I did go over it a little to quickly Melissa and I apologize. No harm done I hope. On a separate note in reference to those who think all cows are forced to give milk until they die although true in some extreme cases it is wrong in the majority I personally know no one who gives there cows hormones and has there cows hooked up to machines all day. That is a rediculous overstatement so please get your facts straight. Most cows have a milker on them for a maximum of 20 minutes a day and they actually like getting milked. And as for coming to this site to be educated theres no point because all arguments here are one sided.

  • melissa says:

    in response to the dairy farmer with a major in pharmacy and medicine i am intimatly aquainted with human and animal health care i have worked and lived in both fields and if you had read in my coment i said abrupt cesation can cause problems. granted you may have read it quickly i am sorry if you miss understood what i had said. i never ment that if you just stopped milking a cow that the milk would just stop it has to be done gradually where the demand for milk is slowly decreased over time similar to natural weaning of young from a mother. but thank you for pointing out a flaw in my comunication i often forget the audiance i may be speaking to.

  • Lindsay says:

    I think it’s more that PETA is trying to make a statement than to actually promoting the consumption of breast milk. The fact is millions of cows are exploited through the factory farming system. And if you drink milk you are equally supporting the veal industry and the slaughterhouses. Plus it is completely unnatural to drink from the mammory glands of another animal pure and simple. We are the only species who do that. And to the person who said we need to make an equally delicious milk subsitute have you really tried everything? Because I was a huge milk lover and I’ve converted simply because I now actually prefer the taste of nondairy milks to the former. I think PETA is trying to make a statement albeit an incredibly bold one and if you really think about it it may change the way you viewing drinking any kind of milk at an adult age.

  • Jojo says:

    Right! Cause animal body fluids are so much better than human! I don’t know why people come to this website and not let it educate them. Please enjoy your puss bloodinfection steroids antibiotics and what ever else they put in there. Milk farms hurt and kill cows and their babies and that is the bottom line. This milk is not produced naturaly the cows are constantly impregnated and their calfs are taken away for veal or just to die. Then the mothers are given hormones so they produce 100 times the milk they would on their own. They are left hooked to these machines almost permantly that gives them infections. So the infection blood and puss are sucked up and sold to you as milk. Enjoy! Also when we have used up these cows so they can barley even walk we send them to slaughter for their retirement. Dairy and egg farming is as abusive as slaughter. Get you head out of the sand.

  • melissa says:

    thanks for letting me know about the soy icecream in response to the coment about the bursting uders all mamals can develope a condition during lactation called mastitis. it is basically an infection of the mamory glands due to in proper release of milk from the ducts. it is usually caused by improper weaning or abrubt cesation of milk removal. it can be very painful and if not treated properly can cause more serious conditions. true to the coment about supply and demand the milk will slow and then stop. but if not ceased properly can cause in a word an udder that looks like it could burst to condem someone for trying to voice a view that is well ment but uses incorect terminology is intollerant. gentle corection of language use by explination of what was miss understood gives a win win situation for us all

  • . says:

    Just pointing it out about Melissa’s argument although a cows udder may not ‘burst’ the cows health will be seriously affected and she will most likely get sick and may die depending on the severity. A woman’s breast isn’t affected a seriously because they don’t produce as much milk. Cows have evolved to produce more milk then in years before so to just stop all of a sudden milking a cow is nto a good thing. I’m all for the drinking of cow’s milk by the way the letter to Ben and Jerry’s is absurd and so unrealistic it’s funny I can’t help but laugh when I read it. There are actually studies that support the opposite of what they are saying especially in regard to the supposed health hazards. In conclusion milk is healthy for you and I highly doubt it is in any way responsible for obesity or any other stupid health risks that have been associated with it. Yours truly a dairy farmer majoring in pharmacy and health studies

  • jason says:

    sorry peta but i would never a another womans body fluid 1 i don’t know 2milk haven’t killled me yet 3 thats a sick idea to make ice cream from breast milk

  • suck eggs! says:

    sorry PETA i’ll take cow’s milk over human bodily fluids any day.

  • brandie says:

    How come they just can’t use soy milk? Ice cream already costs entirely too much what’s a few more dollars? You would have to go after a lot of different companies that use milk in their products to get what you want.

  • Rose says:

    Yes Melissa you can buy soy ice cream any flavor you want It taste just like regular ice cream

  • Kaffie says:

    There are many milk alternatives now. One of my fvorite brands is Tofutti. They sell cream cheese sour cream cheese ice cream etc. which are all nondairy casein free. They have many flavors of ice cream including vanilla chocolate strawberry cheesecake vanilla almond key lime etc. You can find these at whole foods chamberlins and supermarkets that have a green selection. I just had the vanila almond flavor and it was awsome. This is 2008 people there are tons of alternatives to dairy products out there.

  • kaffie says:

    Okay I first have to comment on what Ben Y. said. You obviously have no knowledge about anything you are saying. First humans get loads of antibodies stems cells and all the right balance of nutrients that they need from their own mothers milk not from a cow. Second the cows udders will never burst. Thats like saying a womans breast will burst if she stops breast feeding. The cows body will stop producing milk if has no reason the make milk. It works by supply demand like all other mammals. So why dont you get educated before coming here and spreading nonsense.

  • melissa says:

    I read thru most of the coments following the ben and jerrys innitial post about brest milk. it is novel to think about but totally not doable. breast milk is ment for children. i did think how i would feel if someone asked me to do such a thing and it really felt weard. i would not buy icecream made from breast milk. it illustrates a good point and way to picture yourself in the position of cows in positions of cruelty. I know myself that there is soy yogurt it is quite good. why could not a more acomplishable idea be suggested to a company that if given an idea it could use might act on it.. giving outrageous ideas does not build credability. i can imagine soy vanilla bean icecream does any company have that? im new to a lot of this and still learning about the expanse of food choies.

  • Nicky says:

    the truth of the matter is Cows are not relentelessly impregnated over and over again. If you keep milking the cow then the milk will keep being produced. My parents own a milk cow farm and they had as many babys as was natural for them. One or two ever couple of years.

  • mel says:

    I might be stating the obvious but people seem to fail to understand that the human stomach is not designed to digest the proteins and enzymes in cow’s milk. The medical industry is always toting how cow’s milk and dairy are necessary to maintain calcium. Cow’s milk actually upsets the acidity balance in the body and does more harm in the long term. Drink rice milk or soy milk they’re better for you and the cows! Please check out for more info.

  • Sara N says:

    OK I have to comment on this idea. Of course PETA is right that cow milk is intended for cows not people. It is not ‘natural’ for us to drink cow’s milk. Alright… eating soy meats and non dairy items are kind of unnatural too. I just think it’s a lousy criterion for why NOT to drink milk. Talk about cows hooked up to milking machines or injected with BHG talk about how the milk industry supports the veal industry those are more cogent better arguments in my opinion.

  • Sky says:

    I don’t know how serious this may be but it is a truth. Think about it Human milk is for humans just as cow’s milk is for cows. You should read up on the effects of drinking cow milk. It causes many health problems. I have been seriously considering going vegan however i think it would be too difficult a change for my husband and three children ages 16 to 2. I would have to do it first and and then slowly bring them in. And by the way I breastfed every one of them. It broke my heart when I couldn’t do it anymore. I received plenty of comments from people who disagreed with it. I even had to fight the jury management department beacuse they insisted I do jury duty although I was lactating and needed to be with my baby I lost the fight even with La Lech by my side. I know this demand seems odd but really cow’s milk is for baby cows goat’s milk is for baby goats dog milk is for puppies cat’s milk is for kittens etc etc etc. Since when were we told that we were in control and had the power to torture animals??!!! I guess if you believe in Karma that when you live your life bad you come back to be a farm animal to be tortured!!! Does that make you feel different about things?

  • Andrew Fisher says:

    This is crazy people are told to ween kids at the age of sixand even that is late nobody would want to go back to breast milk. And it does cows good to be milked of their utters would burst which inables then from having another calf it can ever kill them. So think about it next time the cattle need to be milked why not use what you have to do.

  • Ben Y. says:

    Make better tasting plain flavored non cow milk and I’ll convert. Only when that said request is met is when I’ll convert. Because there is only so much flavored soy milk one can drink before it becomes just as unhealthy as the cow milk I was trying to quit.

  • beth says:

    nobody thought for a second this was a serious suggestion.. cows are relentlessly impregnated after each having already given birth in order to start the pregnanncy cycle all over again in order for them to get the milk flowing AGAIN.. it’s a relentless cycle.. now.. if it were a human.. it’s obvious PeTA made this suggestion merely to get peopel thining about WHERE their milk came from .. if everyone was serious about these poor cows being perpetuated milked for their milk relentlessly until their bodies are literally haggard and can’t produce anymore milk then are sent to slaughterhouse .. everyone would stop buying and drinking milk!! and uhm. no… not purchasing and drinking human milk!! which is obviously totally infeasibly impossible unless you’re feeidng your own babies !!