By Robert Cohen Executive Director Text Only

Optimist/Pessimist: Twin Sisters

Optimist/Pessimist: Twin Sisters

This is the story of two Wisconsin sisters. Their father is
a dairyman.

I decided to write this column because yesterday a radio
host asked whether I was optimistic that my notmilk mission
would succeed in changing people's diets.

I am often asked whether I am optimistic that all people
will one day discover the truth about cow's milk. I share
degrees of both optimism and pessimism. During the eight
years that I've been investigating and publicizing milk
issues, I have grown optimistic because so many doctors have
come out of their proverbial closets by warning patients
about the adverse effects of milk and dairy products on
health. My optimism is reinforced by milk consumption data.
Americans have been drinking less milk, year after year,
since I've begun the NOTMILK movement.

On the other hand, I am pessimistic when I see cheese
consumption increasing. People do not equate cheese with
milk. Dairy dollars fuel media bias, and the presentation of
information is delivered to promote ice cream and cheese
consumption. My optimism and pessimism temper each other,
juggling realities into a constant seesaw/roller coaster

I do not lose my passion to make a difference. Optimism and
pessimism. Reminds me of a story:

A Madison, Wisconsin dairy farmer was blessed with twin
girls, but while they looked alike, his daughters developed
completely different personalities.

Rachel was the optimist, and she looked forward to the day
when she would own her own dairy farm. Her bedroom was
decorated with pictures of cows. She was a happy child.

Rebecca hated life on the farm and was the family pessimist.
She was guilty of over-analyzing issues and became easily
depressed by life's realities. Her goal was to become an
animal rights activist-attorney and live and work in the big
city, Milwaukee.

At the age of 12, Rachel became Madison's youngest dairy
princess, winning the county title. At the same age, Rebecca
became a member of PETA, and her favorite internet website

One super-pessimist, wanting to change the world. The other,
a rosy-optimist with the same values as her parents. Two
extremes living under the same roof. Enough to drive a dad

On their 13th birthday, while the twins were at school, the
father loaded his pessimist daughter's room with hundreds of
dollars of toys and games. The optimist's room he loaded
with cow manure. That night the father passed by the
pessimist's room and found her sitting amid the toys crying
bitterly. "Why are you crying?" the father asked. "Because
my friends will be jealous, and I'll have to read the
instructions, and I'll constantly need batteries, and my
toys will get broken," said Rebecca. Passing the optimist's
room, the father found her dancing for joy in the pile of
manure. "What are you so happy about, Rachel?" asked the
father. The optimist replied, "There's got to be a cow in
here somewhere!"

Robert Cohen, author of:   MILK A-Z
Executive Director (
Dairy Education Board

Do you know of a friend or family member with one or more of these milk-related problems? Do them a huge favor and forward the URL or this entire file to them.

Do you know of someone who should read these newsletters? If so, have them send an empty Email to and they will receive it (automatically)!