Coalition building fail

I was able to stop by the raw milk rally today after all. It was a small but enthusiastic group of people dedicated to defending the rights of consumers and farmers to exchange a natural product despite the government’s warnings of its dangers. It was a fun event and it was a pleasure meeting the people involved in this “raw milk rebellion.” Plus I got to enjoy another small taste of Hedgebrook Farm’s fresh, tasty milk.

One of the women there, happy to hear that I’d just written an article in favor of legalizing raw milk sales, asked me what other topics I cover. “I write often about the rights of smokers to enjoy tobacco,” I replied.

“Oh,” she said, suddenly dubious. “I used to know a tobacco farmer, and I understand that it’s his livelihood, but that’s a tough thing to support…”

Consistency is a rare thing.


10 thoughts on “Coalition building fail”

  1. I still don’t get this. Why raw milk? I thought pasteurization was a good thing that stopped people from getting sick…

  2. It does. But it also changes the taste of milk, not necessarily in a good way. Some people also believe that the bacteria killed during pasteurization are beneficial for human health.

  3. Hey, go easy on the raw milk gal, she is being consistent to her beliefs about pursuing a healthy lifestyle. She is only inconsistent if you are judging her as a libertarian. She is a health concious consumer and based on this identity, she is being consistent!

  4. Hi Kimberly,

    Thanks for commenting, and it was great finally meeting you at the rally.

    I understand your point, but raw milk is banned precisely because so many people consider it unhealthy. I wouldn’t ask or want the woman to take up smoking, but I think that given her concerns she should be wary of restricting consumer access to products on the basis of whether or not they are part of a healthy lifestyle.

    Anyway, I pointed this out because I thought it was an amusing conversation, not because I bear her any ill will.

  5. Just to clarify, I’m completely in favor of making raw milk easily available to any consumer who wants it. I was more trying to understand why any consumer would fall into that category. I guess it’s like The Washington Post: if you don’t get it, you don’t get it. And apparently, in this case, you can’t get it.

  6. Hi Jacob–I know you didn’t mean any ill will, and I don’t think the raw milk proponent was necessarily saying she would deny access to cigarettes, but I think she may have been referring to smoking in public places and such–where smoking becomes not a private matter any more, but an infringement on the clean air rights of others. Personally, I feel smoke is an assault on my lungs, no matter where it comes from, a grill, a smokestack, car exhaust or a cigar, cig or pipe. Its not like the smokers can keep it to themselves when they are out in public! That is where I think it differs from the raw milk issue–second hand smoke. I grew up in a smokers household–the smoker now has COPD. I only hope I don’t end up with the same. But freedom to purchase and consume, I think we can all agree on that.

    As for the safety of raw milk, the real issue is what is true about the safety of raw milk, and does the government have the truth? Raw milk drinkers would say the government is using 50 year old science, and out of touch on the issue. The public has been influenced heavily by govt statements to believe raw milk is unhealthy. I can tell you the government is wrong!
    See for the facts!

    Coalitions sometimes are formed on where we can agree and ignoring where we can’t! Regards!

Comments are closed.