|By Robert Cohen Executive Director|
Optimist/Pessimist: Twin Sisters
This is the story of two Wisconsin sisters. Their father is a dairyman. I decided to write this column because yesterday a radio host asked whether I was optimistic that my notmilk mission would succeed in changing people's diets. I am often asked whether I am optimistic that all people will one day discover the truth about cow's milk. I share degrees of both optimism and pessimism. During the eight years that I've been investigating and publicizing milk issues, I have grown optimistic because so many doctors have come out of their proverbial closets by warning patients about the adverse effects of milk and dairy products on health. My optimism is reinforced by milk consumption data. Americans have been drinking less milk, year after year, since I've begun the NOTMILK movement. On the other hand, I am pessimistic when I see cheese consumption increasing. People do not equate cheese with milk. Dairy dollars fuel media bias, and the presentation of information is delivered to promote ice cream and cheese consumption. My optimism and pessimism temper each other, juggling realities into a constant seesaw/roller coaster perspective. I do not lose my passion to make a difference. Optimism and pessimism. Reminds me of a story: A Madison, Wisconsin dairy farmer was blessed with twin girls, but while they looked alike, his daughters developed completely different personalities. Rachel was the optimist, and she looked forward to the day when she would own her own dairy farm. Her bedroom was decorated with pictures of cows. She was a happy child. Rebecca hated life on the farm and was the family pessimist. She was guilty of over-analyzing issues and became easily depressed by life's realities. Her goal was to become an animal rights activist-attorney and live and work in the big city, Milwaukee. At the age of 12, Rachel became Madison's youngest dairy princess, winning the county title. At the same age, Rebecca became a member of PETA, and her favorite internet website was notmilk.com. One super-pessimist, wanting to change the world. The other, a rosy-optimist with the same values as her parents. Two extremes living under the same roof. Enough to drive a dad crazy. On their 13th birthday, while the twins were at school, the father loaded his pessimist daughter's room with hundreds of dollars of toys and games. The optimist's room he loaded with cow manure. That night the father passed by the pessimist's room and found her sitting amid the toys crying bitterly. "Why are you crying?" the father asked. "Because my friends will be jealous, and I'll have to read the instructions, and I'll constantly need batteries, and my toys will get broken," said Rebecca. Passing the optimist's room, the father found her dancing for joy in the pile of manure. "What are you so happy about, Rachel?" asked the father. The optimist replied, "There's got to be a cow in here somewhere!"
Robert Cohen, author of: MILK A-Z
Executive Director (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Dairy Education Board
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