Chicken-Fried News: Not milk? 

INGVARD ASHBY
  • Ingvard Ashby

Oklahoma’s official state beverage and drink is milk — because of course it is — but House Bill 2994, authored by state Rep. Jim Grego (R-Wilburton), would ensure that Oklahomans aren’t officially slaking their thirst with just any old kind of milk.

“Milk,” as defined by Grego’s bill, could legally only be “obtained by the complete milking of one or more healthy hooved mammals.”

In other words, plant-derived alternatives such as oat, soy and almond milk would have to be relabeled if the bill were to pass. While many news outlets, including national political news site The Hill, covered this blatant legislative attempt to curry favor with Big Teat, Janelle Stecklein’s story for CNHI deserves special credit for the headline “Lawmaker intolerant of lactose alternatives” and for noting that,  “Grego would not answer a question about what human breast milk should be called.”

Muskogee Phoenix’s editorial board, meanwhile, argued that rather than authoring this “nutty piece of legislation,” Grego might better help dairy farmers by addressing climate-change-induced flooding and the trade disputes and tariffs that are currently slowing down export rates.

In the unlikely event it passes, the law might change the wording on plant-based milk cartons and whatever godforsaken body-fluid Etsy knockoff people use to sell human breast milk, but milk from “cattle, water buffalo, sheep, goats and yaks … deer, reindeer and moose … horses and donkeys” could continue to be labeled as such. No word yet on how this law would affect Milk Duds, Milk of Magnesia and that part in Meet the Parents where Robert De Niro says, “I have nipples, Greg. Could you milk me?” but no amount of inconvenience is too great to avoid a future where we have to hear school children say, “Soy milk, rice milk, organic lemonade, ’round the corner gluten-free, fair-trade fudge is made.” 

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