PHASE ONE OF THE KERMIT CURSE
Sheesh! He enjoys romantic encounters with a pig, which to me is not the "kosher thing" to do. In disgust, I've imagined the warped minds of those who created the abominable, yet, politically correct dating plan. Thank goodness for little things, like no children germinating from that cross-species relationship, or no "R-17" rated versions of his movies.
Perhaps my prejudice against this banjo-strumming, off-key-singing frog developed over the course of time. Having three children, now aged 13, 12 and 9, it was inevitable for me to accompany my kids to a generation of movies including "The Muppets Movie," "The Muppets take Manhattan," "The Great Muppet Caper," "A Muppet Christmas Carol" and "Muppet Treasure Island."
Three years ago Kermit was awarded the honor of being the keynote speaker at the graduation ceremony of my alma mater, Southampton College. At the time, I pondered the relative merit of my degree after Kermit was awarded the first ever doctorate of Amphibious Letters. Kermit received nation-wide publicity, and, for months after the act, I shuddered each time I was asked, "You went where?"
I remembered dissecting one of Kermit's relatives in my freshman marine science class. I still haven't forgiven my college for their lack of academic integrity by selecting a frog to deliver their 1996 commencement address.
Kermit was the first of the many Muppet characters made by Jim Henson.
Rumor has it that the frog was fashioned from Henson's mother's green
Maintaining great curiosity to discover the model for Henson's vision,
and possessing the International Wildlife Encyclopedia, a 20 volume
illustrated set of "all the animals, birds, fish, insects and reptiles
of the world" (or so each volume claims), I decided to spend an evening
reading and learning about frogs. There is, of course, the common frog.
Then, there's the hairy frog and the ghost frog, the marsupial frog and
the clawed frog. There's the arrow-poison frog and the meadow frog and
the gliding frog and the edible frog. Each one
possesses a descriptive name, color, and peculiarity. Not one frog
appeared to me to be cuddly, warm, or thoughtful.
This week I turned a special shade of green upon opening the Memorial Day issue of one of America's most-read magazines.
Kermit's likeness leapfrogs out of TIME magazine. By wearing his milk mustache, here is what America's best-loved frog has to say:
"Milk isn't just for tadpoles. Did you know 3 out of 4 adults don't get enough calcium? It takes at least three glasses of milk a day. I always keep some at my pad."
Who writes these ads? Tadpoles are hatched from eggs and survive on the yolk. Baby tadpoles do not drink cow's milk. All the fluid necessary for cellular development and growth is contained within that egg. Tadpoles need calcium, but they do not get it by drinking body fluids from mammals.
"These ads communicate there are some things you never outgrow, like
the need for calcium," says Kurt Graetzer, CEO of the Milk Processor
Education Program. "Your bones can continue to grow in density and
strength until about age 35. So, it's critical to get enough calcium to
help keep them strong."
A press release listed two contact names and phone numbers for this
advertisement. Mia McWilliams, 312/988-2425, and Ruthie Jones, 312/988-
2229. Each person is employed by BOZELL, the public relations firm
written about two weeks ago:
The Milk Mustache marketing campaign is jointly funded by the nation's fluid milk processors and America's dairy farmers, but government subsidies make us all partners in promoting the unhealthy milk message.
This year, the United States Department of Agriculture donated $200 million dollars to America's dairy farmers, despite the fact that the wholesale price of milk reached the highest levels in history. How soon we forget butter selling for nearly $11 per kg ($5 per pound). Our government purchased billions of pounds of milk and cheese for subsidized giveaway programs.
Many years ago I watched an episode of "Twilight Zone" in which aliens
came to Earth with a mission. Their manual, written in their native
script, included a plan on how they were going serve mankind. As humans
are being loaded onto a spacecraft, one scientist enters, stage left
with a copy of the manual. The look of panic on his face in the final
scene is synchronized with the signature Twilight Zone music as he
screams in vain: "This is a menu and cookbook! They plan to serve
mankind by eating us!"
Frogs and milk do not mix, of course. There has never been a case of a frog drinking cow's milk and surviving. That should be a lesson to humans.
I personally do not eat frog's legs. I would not eat Miss Piggy (not "moi"), or Fozzie Bear either (you know Fozzie, "Wocka, Wocka!"). I wouldn't even eat the Great Gonzo (and I haven't yet figured out what species he belongs to). My kids find Muppet animals to be cute critters, and we've decided to no longer eat anything with a face. Shouldn't you come to terms with this dilemma? If they're cute, and have feelings, how can you eat them?
My copy of "Larousse Gastronomique" (the classic French cookbook)
includes seventeen recipes for frog's legs, and every one includes cow's
milk as an ingredient. Whether they are sautéed in butter, or covered
with a mornay or cream sauce, this merger of cow and frog is unhealthy
for you, and darned lethal for Kermit.
KERMIT, wherever you are, run, hop, jump or leapfrog away as fast as you can.
Get rid of that milk mustache, it will not do your body any good. While the dairy industry might score points and get legs out of this ad, your legs are in extreme jeopardy. Be green, Kermit. Get rid of that milk mustache.
Robert Cohen author of: MILK - The Deadly Poison
Dairy Education Board
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