Ants milk Aphids and Farmers milk Cows
Are humans the only specie that consumes the milk of another species? An in-depth look at why it is perfectly natural to keep cows on farms and milk them
We’ve all heard an argument against drinking milk that goes something like this:
Humans are the only specie that consumes the milk of another. Keeping cows on farms and milking then is unnatural. The milk is intended for the calf, not for humans just like human milk is produced for babies. We may be the dominant species but that does not give us the right to do whatever we want.
It’s an interesting point, but a pragmatic person would want to delve further into this discussion. I’ve made some points about why drinking milk is natural in a previous post, but I think there’s one reason why it’s perfectly natural.
Ants tend “herds” and “milk” aphids
Interestingly, we are not the only specie to have herds, and collect resources from them. There are certain types of ants that have their own herds that they milk, and care for. Humans are not the only specie to farm.
Ants are very clever creatures. They “milk” aphids for food, and in return the ants take care of the aphids. They basically have a mutually beneficial relationship with each other.
The ants milk the aphids by stroking their antenna on the aphids. The aphids then eject honeydew for the ants. The honeydew is high in sugar which ants obviously love. By taking care of the aphids the ants have a great source of food. The ants even make sure the aphids are fed. Eventually when the aphids run out of food, the ants will bring them to another area to where they can get food. The ants also protect their herds from dangers like dangerous predators like ladybugs, just like dairy farmers protect their herd from dangers. Dairy farmers and ants have a lot in common.
**Ants take care of aphids, and aphids provide the ants with food**
Humans and Cows, a mutually beneficial relationship
Just like ants have a mutual beneficial relationship with aphids; humans have a mutually beneficial relationship with cows.
We take care of the cows, feed them, and protect them from a dangerous world, and in return the cow provides us with nutrition. Not just any kind of nutrition though, but nutrition that is optimized for maximum absorption and effectiveness for our bodies.
The cow is often called the foster mother of the human race, and rightly so. She has provided us with a great source of nutrition. It is meaningful that the simple cow can do so much for society through our mutually beneficial relationship with her.
Are ants being unnatural?
Humans have been sustaining themselves with dairy products for thousands of years. In fact, humans were eating dairy products far longer than they were eating grains. Forming a mutual beneficial relationship with cows for food isn’t an original concept. Nature probably was using this sustenance model before humans even thought to domesticate cows.
So if at this point you still think it’s unnatural to milk cows, you probably should also tell the ants that they are being unnatural too. I’m sure they would love your input.
Photo courtesy of mattcolephotography.blogspot.com