So here we go again - the brown shirts from the federal government are doing dawn raids on dairy farmers - treating them like the most loathsome of drug runners - because they're selling (pause while I gasp in horror)....raw milk.
FOR PETE'S SAKE, RAW MILK IS NOT POISONOUS!!!!!
Look, I just wrote an article on pasteurization for Backwoods Home Magazine. Prior to writing that, I never really paid attention to the debate between raw and pasteurized milk. I mean sure, I drink raw milk from our own cows - been doing that for eleven years now - and we're all healthy as horses. But with minimal research on the internet I discovered the various health issues behind pasteurized milk that has made thousands of people passionate about drinking milk in its natural state.
And here's the thing the Feds won't admit: IT SHOULD BE OUR CHOICE WHAT KIND OF MILK WE WANT TO DRINK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This is one of the most classic examples of free-market capitalism in existence - if the government would keep out of it, that is. If someone gets sick from drinking raw milk, he won't buy the farmer's raw milk any more. Word will spread, and boom - he's out of business. Make sense?
But the fact is, people are NOT getting sick from drinking raw milk. People WANT raw milk. Why is this concept so difficult to grasp?
In this country we've gotten to where we have a damnably skewed opinion about the benefits of pasteurization. As I point out in my article, the benefits of pasteurization are indisputable...but that doesn't mean properly-handled raw milk is some sort of poisonous brew that will make drinkers drop like stones the moment it touches their lips.
The ironic thing is this particular raid happened on an Amish farm. Putting aside the fact that I have great admiration for the Amish, I should point out that, assuming this Amish dairy is following the strictures of their faith by not using electricity, then they're milking their cows by hand. When you hand-milk your cows, folks, you know those cows. Intimately. (Trust me on this.) Every wheeze, every cough, every beginning incidence of mastitis, every injury to a teat, every damage to a hoof, everything. Your crouch next to an animal for fifteen or twenty minutes, your head pressed against a flank, and you can hear every digestive rumble from within. You observe (feel, actually) their behavior. Stare at their udder and hooves. You even observe the quality of their waste products. Believe me, if a cow is sick - YOU KNOW IT. So don't give me this bullshit excuse that raw milk is poisonous just because it's raw.
Contrast this with your average commercial dairy. While I have great respect for commercial dairies, let's face it - there are a lot of cows living in less-than-ideal conditions. By definition a commercial cow is a number, nothing more. They are milked by machines. They live in mud and manure, cheek by jowl with hundreds of other animals. They are not - cannot - be treated as individuals by farmers who love them.
The feds are conducting Gestapo-style raids on dairy farms which - I'll just bet - are squeaky clean from top to bottom. These farmers are giving the customers what they want. How's that for a concept????? They're not forcing people to drink (gasp) raw milk - they're giving them WHAT THEY WANT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Okay, I'll calm down now.