Barking, Surely?

Heather Mills McCartney has urged people to drink milk from rats and dogs to help save the planet.

At Speakers Corner in Hyde Park, central London, she said: "There are many other kinds of milk available. Why don\’t we try drinking rats\’ milk and dogs\’ milk?"

Errm, how about this one? We\’ve bred, over the past few thousands of years, certain animals to be efficient at milk production. Cows, goats, sheep, camels….not only have we bred for volume of milk production but also for length of lactation: the production of milk carries on far past the weaning of the infants.

Another thing: how many rats would you need to provide the same volume of milk that a cow does? Err, if I\’m reading this right it\’s 8 grammes per day (1 gramme per pup with an 8 pup litter). Again, if I\’m reading this right then a cow produces 7,000 kg of milk in a year (I\’m sure that milk production figures vary wildly but that\’s the first figure I found). That\’s near enough 20 kg per day (actually slightly higher for the period of lactation but still….).

So, to produce the same volume of milk we either need one cow (plus associated calf) of we need 2,500 rats plus their associated litters.

Errm, average weight of cow, 1,400 lbs.

Weight of female rat, 200 grammes. Or fo 2,500, 500 kg, or 1,100 lbs.

Hmm. Now that does surprise me, that the total weight of rats is lower than that of a cow for the same volume of milk production. And no, I\’m not going to try and compare the feed requirements.

Still got that little problem of how to milk 2,500 of them twice a day though, eh?

13 comments on “Barking, Surely?

  1. “Step forward the first person with a rat milk allergy or intolerance.”

    That’ll be everybody then….! Bleurgh!

  2. Come on, guys, don’t you just love the idea of all those itty-bitty milking machines, and the Pied Piper serenading 2,500 rats into the milking hutches twice a day? Giving this woman any publicity at all comes perilously close to cruelty.

  3. Hold on a moment: rat lactatation is prompted by rats pupping. To supply the rat milk market there needs to be an over-supply of rat kittens, especially bucks . Thanks, Heather, for suggesting the invention of rat veal.

  4. Nix on the rat veal. Can’t you imagine what the EU Animal Welfare Regulation people will come up with, given a whole new and interesting species to play with?

  5. Countingcats,

    Fraid your wrong there too – Red Dwarf had dibs on Dog Milk back in series one; it was the last of the milk they had on board and it lasted forever – because no bugger would drink it!

    Thanks for that – you just have to cry at the insanity sometimes that these “celebrities” come out with…I’ll wait for Neve Campbell to posit that cats can be used as an alternative to turkey at Christmas.

    Chewy!

  6. At least going by the Metro article I read, she said this amongst a bunch of stuff advocating Veganism. Errr, how is substituting one milk for another (and as Tim points out, a notable increase in the total number of animals being exploited) improving the lot of animals. Bloody wierd.

  7. “Errr, how is substituting one milk for another (and as Tim points out, a notable increase in the total number of animals being exploited) improving the lot of animals.”

    Well, not to defend the dozy mare, but she was implying that us drinking rats’ milk is no more illogical than us drinking cows’ milk.

    But then, she is a nutcase.

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