Why is human milk ick, but no cows' milk

…or milk from goats or sheep or whatever. Most animals are way more disgusting than most humans.

Human breast milk ice cream on sale in London

Would you rather eat human flesh or animal flesh?

They tell me I rather liked it when I was an infant.

Yup. It doesn’t quite smack of cannibalism, but is unsettling to think you’re ingesting something someone else’s body produced.* ::shivver::

*I will say I have tried my wife’s breast milk, trepidatiously, when she was nursing our kids several years ago. It seemed more watery and tasted sweeter.

Yeah ok, maybe that is it. But it’s not completely comparable as most people at some point in their life has survived solely on breast milk for many months. Few have survived on human flesh for longer periods of time.

Urine is sterile. Would you drink (human) urine?

(boy, I’m sorry I’m even bringing this up. I’m not going to come back here to read any replies…(runs from room)

Is it battered, breaded and deep fried? I’ll have seconds please.:p*

Has anyone had to or tried too?
*Not really.

Not when I came over. (You don’t by any chance smoke white owl cigars, do you?)

Disclaimer: No offense, fellow Michiganer! I apologize. I just couldn’t resist a joke and yet another drunken post for today.
(But what can I say - I hail from a region where the women replicate Da Vinci’s out of clothes dryer lint)

As infants, yes, people obviously live on breast milk, but that’s no longer possible after the first few months of life, and I think that, as a rule, humans tend to have an innate revulsion towards the consumption not only of human flesh, but towards anything that comes out of the human body (there are obviously some fetishistic exceptions). I think the revulsion of adults towards consuming human milk is just a subconscious extension of a natural aversion to cannibalism.

Cow’s milk is kind of gross. I’ll accept it as an ingredient hidden in other foods/drinks, but I don’t like to look at it.

WAG: Could it be that we have an “ew, no thanks” instinct towards human breast milk evolutionarily built into us, because if we didn’t, there wouldn’t be enough to go around for those who really need it (i.e. babies)?

I loved drinking breast milk. My wife would get really engorged and sore. She seemed to produce more than our little daughter could handle. I helped out gleefully. At fist it seemed thin and sweet but I got a taste for it. Did the same with the second child. But not as much. Her body seemed to sproduce a more proper amount. Just some massaging would ease the lumps. She had a pump too. If the pumped milk did not get used I would drink or cook with it. Not bad and seemed nourishing, helpful, free and only a little sexy if at all. But I would take what I could get during those times.

I have friends who don’t drink animal milk because they think it’s gross. They drink soy milk “because it’s soy bean juice, not mammalian baby food.”

They’re not vegetarians. Just think the idea of all milk is gross.

Is there any culture in the world that considers pig milk an acceptable beverage for humans? After all, a pig is just a domesticated artiodactyl like a cow or a goat.

Quite frankly, if we weren’t used to it and indoctrinated at a young age, we’d probably not drink it. We’d probably not eat meat, either.

But you know, I’ve been drinking milk from cows since I was young, and eating animal muscle since I was young, and so the instinct of repulsion so longer matters. It’s NOT a joke when I say I wouldn’t eat meat if it weren’t so delicious. When I think about it, it seems kind of barbaric. But, damn!, rib eye.

I think all kinds of milk is horrible. I have a really bad taste aversion to milk to the point where I don’t even like being in the presence of it. So to me they are both equally ick.

When I do the “squirt on the wrist” test when warming my wife’s milk for the little one, I usually lick it off and the taste makes me go “ewww!”

That said, I have used spare breast milk to make porridge with and it was fine. It was terrible in tea, though.

This is an interesting question, and one that not even anthropologist Marvin Harris’ theories of foodways don’t seem well suited to explain.

People seem to think it’s natural to think of human breast milk as icky, but consuming milk from other species (cow, mainly, but also goat. There have been horse-based cultures that even drink horse milk – although it’s a lot harder to collect.) is seen as not a problem.

In his taboo-breaking short story In the Barn*, Piers Anthony posits an alternate Earth in which varieties of humans are bred for milk production, and people in that reality cringe at the thought of consuming milk from ---- animals. Which would seem to me a more natural reaction. As Harris says of lactose-intolerant cultures in this world, “drinking a glass of milk seems to them as grotesque as drinking a glass of cow saliva”**

*It first appeared in Harlan Ellison’s Again Dangerous Visions and later in Anthonology.

**from The Sacred Cow and the Abominable Pig AKA Good to Eat, chapter on lactophilia and lactose intolerance.

I love dairy. I would drink milk from probally any mammal. It never occurred to me that human milk grossed people out. I consider it a rare delight.

I’ve had camel’s milk, not bad.