|Copyright: The Dairy Education Board|
THE AGE OF DISCOVERY
MILK IS NATURE'S PERFECT FOOD FOR HUMANS
Historically, the greatest myths are the most difficult to dislodge from the collective psyche. Those who dispel myths are first labeled as fanatics. Throughout history, custom has rejected truth and punished visionaries. Schoepenhouer wrote:
"All truth goes through three stages. First it is ridiculed. Then it is violently opposed. Finally it is accepted as self evident."
In the year 1500, Christopher Columbus was thrown into chains for having proven to mankind that the world was not flat, thereby dispelling the greatest scientific and cultural myth of the second millennium. In between his third and fourth voyages to the New World, Columbus brought back a number of gifts to the Old World. Christopher Columbus had become a slave dealer, but his best known gift to Europe may very well have been disease called morbus gallicus, which infected millions. After much of Europe was overwhelmed, the affliction was renamed after a shepherd from Greek mythology who angered Apollo by not worshiping the gods. Apollo infected the air with noxious vapors and the shepherd broke out in ulcerous eruptions all over his body. The shepherd's name was Syphilis.
Many of Columbus's doubters went to their deathbeds still believing that the world was flat. To this day, there are still people who believe that same myth:
Galileo had turned his attention to a new frontier, the heavens, and in doing so, angered religious leaders. By placing lenses inside of a tube, Galileo's primitive telescope allowed him to discover four moons revolving around the planet Jupiter. His invention was destroyed and Galileo imprisoned. Man's laws gave this fanatic and visionary two choices: remain in prison or recant his discovery and previous testimony. Galileo had no choice but to exist in a world in which his truth became a threat to the men of his time. Dispelling myths has always been dangerous to one's health. Those who lead are often compared to Cervante's Don Quixote, who tilted at windmills.
The NOTMILK.COM website is a dispeller of America's greatest myth. Those who strongly endorse drinking body fluids from cows are the ones who most adamantly attack the author of those sites.
Ridicule and sarcasm pepper some of the more creative letters posted to the two guestbooks. Among the more than 1,300 letters are death threats and anti-Semitic comments that would make Hitler proud. Schoepenhouer's formula applies to the Dairy Education Board and the NOTMILK movement.
All truth must suffer the same indignity by skeptics who resist change, desiring to kill the messenger during their learning process.
The dairy industry recognizes that if mothers drink milk at home, then so will their children. Next year's advertising will target at-home moms. Just as their parents urged them to drink milk when they were youngsters, so will today's parents do the same to their kids. The dairy industry constantly markets and promotes their product with hundreds of millions of advertising dollars.
Out of the mouths of babes often come pearls of wisdom; out of the mouths of those who we respect often come the vilest of lies and the most myopic conjectures leaving mankind far from the truth.
Here is a list of eight of my favorite bloopers, as told by people society believed and trusted. I reserved the number one myth and betrayal for the last.
advised President McKinley to close that office in 1899
2) "That's an amazing invention, but who would ever want to use one of them?"
after trying the first telephone
in a hook-up between Washington and Philadelphia
3) "Where a calculator on the ENIAC is equipped with 18,000 vacuum tubes and weighs 30 tons, computers in the future may have only 1,000 vacuum tubes and perhaps weigh only 1 1/2 tons."
4) "The seat of the soul and the control of voluntary movement-in fact, of nervous functions in general, are to be sought in the heart. The brain is an organ of minor importance.
6) "I don't go so far as to think that the only good Indians are the dead Indians, but I believe nine out of ten are, and I shouldn't inquire too closely into the case of the tenth."
7) "I do not consider Hitler to be as bad as he is depicted. He is showing an ability that is amazing and he seems to be gaining his victories without much bloodshed."
8) "Milk from cows given supplemental bovine somatotropin is the same as any other milk. So, there should be no doubt in the minds of consumers that the milk they drink is just as safe, nutritious and wholesome as it has always been. Every issue and every question about BST has been thoroughly and carefully studied by the federal government and several independent scientific institutions. Consumers can continue to enjoy milk and dairy foods with complete confidence.
former Surgeon General
of the United States, February 6, 1994
Our comments on Koop's statement can be found in the following 45 referenced columns:
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