Does any human culture routinely do this? Typically taboos have some evolutionary basis. So what would that be? Does any mammal drink the milk of its own species, besides nursing?

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    $\begingroup$ I guess your question should be the other way round. Humans I guess are the only species that drinks milk after infancy. We drink cow/buffalo/goat milk. This is an interesting read regarding lactase insufficiency and gene-cultural co-evolution. americanscientist.org/issues/feature/2010/2/… $\endgroup$
    – Polisetty
    Commented Jan 7, 2018 at 14:31
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    $\begingroup$ I understand about lactose intolerance. And it is interesting that we drink milk from other species. But that is what brought me to the question in the first place. $\endgroup$
    – Karl Kjer
    Commented Jan 7, 2018 at 15:19
  • $\begingroup$ @KarlKjer As you explained to Polisetty, your question is not about human drinking milk of other species at adult age but in case it is of interest anyway, I want to point to the post Are humans the only species who drink milk as adults?. $\endgroup$
    – Remi.b
    Commented Jan 7, 2018 at 16:07
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    $\begingroup$ On might speculate that it's simply a matter of there being a very limited supply. But it does happen: search "breast milk cheese" for some examples. $\endgroup$
    – jamesqf
    Commented Jan 7, 2018 at 19:15
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    $\begingroup$ The title of your question specifically references humans, but then, in your question body, you mention mammals in general.. which are you most concerned with? $\endgroup$
    – user22020
    Commented Jan 8, 2018 at 20:17

1 Answer 1


Giving a woman food for her to inefficiently convert to different food is a waste of time and energy; it only makes sense for infants that can't eat much else (and even there, plenty of people find substitutes so the woman can get back to work).

Turning grass, which people can't eat, into a food people can eat makes a whole lot more sense.

  • $\begingroup$ I see your point. But in a capitalist society. if there were profit in it, it should happen. But it doesn't because ...ew... yuck. Why? $\endgroup$
    – Karl Kjer
    Commented Jan 9, 2018 at 0:37
  • $\begingroup$ @KarlKjer Humans were not capitalist for most of their history, which is the context in which they evolved. Only after thousands, maybe even millions of years under our modern capitalist society can you pose the question you have. $\endgroup$
    – Superbest
    Commented Jun 8, 2018 at 22:19
  • $\begingroup$ @swbarnes2 Well, it is also inefficient to feed grass to a cow and drink its milk, instead of just growing beans on that meadow and eating those, and yet dairy is a enormous industry. $\endgroup$
    – Superbest
    Commented Jun 8, 2018 at 22:34
  • $\begingroup$ You don't have to "grow" grass. It grows on its own with no effort. Crops take work. The fact that for millennia people who knew perfectly well how to grow plants did cultivate cows for milk is really good evidence that it really is worth the effort. $\endgroup$
    – swbarnes2
    Commented Jun 8, 2018 at 23:08

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