by Jon Sanders
Research Editor and Senior Fellow, Regulatory Studies, John Locke Foundation
I’ve already explained why I think we have academic papers purporting to find the secret outrages in the nicest of places: white supremacism in enjoying yoga, racism in the mere existence of farmers’ markets, rape in eating cheese, racist and antifeminism in Greek yogurt, racism in pumpkins, genocide in canoes, and intolerable violence in common platitudes and speaking of golf and Christmas.
Also, I hold out hope on the possibility of another Sokal hoax.
That said, there’s a new paper forthcoming in the Brooklyn Law Review. It’s given the following keywords, and if you think the latter ones don’t really follow from the first two, you’re too logical and unimaginative for today’s academe:
milk, dairy, animal studies, critical animal studies, vegan, veganism, law, rhetoric, food studies, critical food studies, race, gender, feminist legal theory, critical media studies, media studies
Also, the same applies if you thought the recent General Assembly session’s debate over almond milk was silly.
Give this abstract a read. Here are a few snippets:
Milk is one of the most ubiquitous and heavily regulated substances on the planet – and perhaps one of the most contested. It is tied closely to notions of purity, health, and femininity, and is seen as so central to human civilization that our own galaxy – the Milky Way – is named after it. But despite its wholesome reputation, milk has long had a sinister side, being bound up with the exploitation of the (human and nonhuman) bodies it comes from and being a symbol of and tool for white dominance and superiority. …
This article argues that while plant milk should not be legally prohibited from being called “milk,” it may not be a word worth fighting for given the entanglements of milk with the oppression and exploitation of women, people of color, and nonhuman animals. It explores plant milk’s potential as a “disruptive milk,” one that can break free from the exploitation and oppression long bound up in dairy milk, and argues that an act of verbal activism – replacing the “i” with a “y” to create “mylk” – may present plant milk advocates with an opportunity to reclaim and reinvent the word for the “post milk generation.”