Okay. I know that’s kind of gross, but bear with me. Many vegans I’ve known profess they don’t animal byproducts because of the harm done to animals who have no say in the matter. They are vegans for political, not dietary, reasons. So I wonder, you think they’d eat cheese made from human breast milk? We’ll assume that the woman involved is being well-compensated, knows the risks/rewards, etc.
If there are any vegans out there, would you eat this? Let’s assume the cheese was actually tasty (a nice gruyere maybe) as opposed to what it would probably be, which is mostly whey with some curds.
For the record, I think I’m going to get a resounding chorus of "no"s. Not because of philosophies, just because, well, it’s sort of icky isn’t it?
…yet, I just devoured some sour cream, which I’m pretty sure is nastier. The human brain is a weird, weird place…
I once read that human breast milk cheese is made in Belgium and that it is very good and very expensive. No idea if this is true.
When I was nursing my kids I tasted my milk just to see what it tasted like. Compared to cow milk it was quite sweet and salty - Kinda like yogurt-covered peanuts. If that flavor came through in cheese it probably would taste pretty good.
A big AHA! moment for me at the time- no wonder humans like sweet and salty foods.
I’m just about through with that whole breastfeeding thing now and I have several bags in the freezer.
Anyone want to experiment?
I don’t taste any saltiness at all in my breastmilk. If anything in the world describes it to me it’s “cantaloupe nectar”. I bet it would be tasty in hot tea.
Don’t know about cheese though; my only experience with that is Kraft cheddar blocks.
Here’s the problem I could see with it: milk tastes like the mother’s diet.
With cows and goats this isn’t a problem. They’re in an enclosed area and they only eat what the farmers feed them. This tends to be the same thing from farm to farm which is why you can collect (relatively) small batches of milk from each farm and combine them all together at the processing plant without significantly altering the taste.
But with humans, we’re all free to wander around wherever, scarfing up chili-dogs or Ramen noodles or spicy Indian food or keeping to a Vegan diet. It becomes nearly impossible to mass produce breast milk in a single flavor.
What this means for the consumer is, even if you can get past the “icky” factor of buying Mom’s cheese, you still have no idea what you’re buying. Will this batch taste like nectar from heaven or the crud you scrape off the bottom of your shoe?
Or maybe you could mass produce it to a uniform taste. But how? By strictly regulating the diets of the milk givers. That means it must be written into the contract and it means more compensation for the donors. Thus, more cost to you, the consumer.
And in this case we must ask: what are the ethics of contractually obligating new mothers to a rigid diet even with just compensation?
Well then we get back to the Vegan point of view, which says “it may not hurt the animal, but I view the process as one that takes advantage of the animal and so I don’t support it.”
Then again, what do I know? I’m not even close to a Vegan.
Um, well, I would eat breast milk cheese if I knew the source, believed her to be reasonably disease-free (hey, few things jump the species barrier from bovine to hominid, but human to human? I guess there’s pasteurization…), & she were on a strict diet of insects while lactating.
I am not a vegan so thankfully I don’t have to contemplate the OP.
However, I joined the thread to note that vegans nurse their babies. That seems to argue that the don’t find the consumption of breast milk to be unethical. Otherwise they would prefer to feed some kind of vegan formula.
Also, I have an aversion to the smell and taste of egg, fish, beef and pork products. As a kid I used to eat chicken a lot, but then the blood vessels I’d see in it occasionally started to freak me out, so I just found it easier to eat vegan food. Less stressful. I figure that if I was “designed” to be omnivorous, I wouldn’t have such a difficult time eating meat.
I’m a vegan. I’m vegan because I don’t want to exploit the animals the way they do in the industry. If I were in India or something where some villager just milked their own water buffalo, I would not feel I needed to maintain veganism. But I’m not in India, I’m in suburban America where milk comes from groceries.
I would totally savor human breast milk cheese, or human breast milk yogurt, or ice cream, or you name it. A tall glass of human breast milk would be delicious. I guess I’m utterly baffled with incomprehension as to how anyone could find it icky. It’s excellent nutrition and meant for humans, I mean duh.