The food essential to healthy development and growth of every infant mammal, including human infants, is produced for it in its own mother's breasts. The milk of each species differs widely from that of every other, as we shall show later, and each is especially fitted to meet the needs of the young of that species. The infant continues, for some time after birth to feed upon the substance of its mother.
We are prone to take it for granted that man began to feed cow's milk or the milk of other animals to babies shortly after Adam and Eve were kicked out of the Garden of Delight and that he has continued to do so ever since. We may even imagine that the practice is universal. We could hardly make a worse mistake.
We know for instance, that few Chinese and Hindoo mother's have cow's milk or the milk of other animals for their babies. We know that the North and South American Indians had no milk animals and their children received no milk after they were weaned from the mother's breasts. In many other parts of the world the same fact holds good.
So far as the record of history can show us, a man by the name of Underwood is the first to have risked the experiment of feeding cow's milk to infants. This was in the year 1793--only 137 years ago. This was before the invention of the rubber nipple and we may well imagine what a fine time he had feeding this calf-food to a human infant.
Prior to that memorable date--1793--if a mother died and left her child to be nursed, it had to be done by another woman--a wet-nurse--and not by the cow. Since then, the cow has not only become the foster mother of the American and most of the European portions of the human race, but we have developed the absurd notion that "a baby is never to be weaned." It must have milk, not merely through the period of infancy, as nature designed, but also throughout childhood, adolescence and adult life as well.
Milk is loudly proclaimed the one and only "perfect food" and from every direction we are urged to drink milk. It is the "perfect food" for the infant, the child, the athelete, the office worker, the invalid and for everyone. There is a strong commercial influence back of all this hue and cry about the magic virtues of milk, however. We need not take too seriously the mouthings of chose who are actuated by the profit motive.
Milk (cow's milk) is not the perfect food for either infant or adult. But we have so endowed it with super-potentiality that we even insist on nursing mothers also nursing. A quart a day, and even more, is sometimes prescribed for the nursing mother. This slavish adherence to milk has been brought about as the result of a frame-up between the doctors and the dairymen, of which, the following deem taken from the Ice Cream Field, (National Journal), of July, 1927, and entitled Dairy Council Plans Educational Work," is only partial evidence:
"Latest developments in the health education and increasing the use of dairy products in the nation's diet were discussed at the sixth annual summer conference of national and regional dairy councils at Buffalo, N. Y., June 11 to 13. Speakers at the conference included M. D. Munn, President; Dr. Charles H. Keene, professor of hygiene, University of Buffalo; Miss Mary E. Spencer, health education specialist, Washington, D. C.; Dr. W. W. Peter, associate secretary, American Public Health Association; Dr. H. E. Van Norman, president Dry Milk Institute; Clifford Goldsmith, writer and lecturer; Miss Sally Lucas Joan, health consultant, and officers and trained specialists of thc council organization.
"Many new posters, leaflets, exhibits, moving pictures, health stories, plays and other educational means of presenting the Dairy Council story of the importance of the 'protective foods' in the diet were presented and discussed during the conference. An analysis of the type of work being done by the council organization and how it helps the dairy industry was presented by W. P. B. Lockwood, New England Dairy and Food Council, Boston, Mass. Business sessions of the officers and women workers, as well as a special session on publicity methods, completed the conference program.
" 'The Dairy Council is reaching the point now,' stated Dr. C. W. Larson, director, 'where its corps of trained workers must devote most of their time to the preparation of interesting and instructive projects and material which can be supplied to schools and colleges, health and welfare organizations and similar groups to be presented by them in their own localities throughout the United Seates. Formerly, most of our time was spent in schod work. Now, that is only one phase of the enlarged activities of the Dairy Council.'"
This is a cold-blooded business affair which raises the cry of health as a means of increasing the profits of thc dairying industries and the doctors that are associated with these industries, and which unblushingly labels their propaganda, education.