11.23.2014

"I Think I Will Squeeze Those Things and Drink Whatever Comes Out..."

There was an edition of the comic strip Calvin and Hobbes a long time ago in which Calvin rhetorically reflects on the origin of drinking cow's milk, aaking, "Who was the first person to look at a cow and say, 'I think I will squeeze those things and drink whatever comes out?'"

It is one of my faves. I actually cut it out and saved it.

I gave up drinking milk a long time ago, for a lot of reasons, not the least of which was a preference for the nuttier flavor of almond or soy milk.

It was only after reading the Calvin and Hobbes strip that I really gave any hard thought at all to the nature and origin of dairy milk. It is pretty freaking weird, when you think about it, that people drink a liquid that comes out of the teet of a completely different species and is intended for infant bovines, not humans.

But no weirder I suppose than eating eggs, the infertile reproductive cells of chickens that arrive via their poop shoots (the reproductive and waste disposal aperture of most birds is one and the same, called the cloaca...google it if you need verification).

Anyway, I am on a plane from Chicago to LA, leg two of three of my marathon of air travel to Australia. I am trying to burl on through this four hour flight without napping, so that I will be tired on the much longer 16 hour transit from LA to Melbourne Australia. Thus, I ordered a coffee and asked for milk in it on the assumption that asking for soy milk would be a long shot (in hindsight, maybe not though, as soy milk has become more mainstream the past few years...oh well, too late!).

I thought the coffee tasted funny, but then I realized it was the taste of defatted bovine mammary exudate (skim milk) that made the coffee seem "off." I am so unaccustomed to milk anymore, especially skim milk, that it tastes as foreign to me as such a liquid is probably supposed to taste to everyone, were not most people (except the Chinese) conditioned to drinking cow's milk from an early age.

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