a naughty photo

Surprised? Shocked? Well, there’s a chance that some 25% of visitors to this blog would have been if I’d posted the uncensored photo of one of my favourite goats from the days when we kept a dairy herd here at the farm. So, why did I post this “naughty” photo here at Burning Silo? Read on….

Today’s post at the Dharma Bums jogged my rather short memory and reminded me that there was something I had intended to write about over the weekend. As almost every one of you has no doubt read by now, the photo of a nursing baby and accompanying breast on the cover of the August edition of “Baby Talk” — a freebie magazine distributed at doctors’ offices, maternity stores, etc — has sparked quite an uproar over the past few days. This morning, I did a search for [nursing-baby-magazine-cover] and came up with what looks to be thousands of links to articles, blog posts and discussion boards. Apparently, a happy baby nursing on a woman’s breast is a rather controversial image! Whoda thunk, eh? Well, I for one — based on an incident that goes back a few years to when we showed our dairy goats at agricultural fairs and exhibitions.

You see, it seems that dairy goat udders are a “naughty” thing that some people just can’t deal with. I discovered this for myself while showing our goats at an exhibition in a nearby city. After the show and before loading up our truck to return home, we always milked our goats so that they wouldn’t injure their udders enroute. Away from home, most exhibitors hand milk their goats as few have portable milking machines — so we would usually milk our goats up on the tailgate of our truck. Vistors to the fair would often stand around petting the goats and asking questions about how much milk they give a day, what we feed them, what the milk tastes like, etc… This part of the day was always quite enjoyable as it gave us a chance to talk to the public about dairy goats and helped to change some people’s perception of goats as stinky, rambunctious creatures (which they certainly aren’t). Most of the time, the interchange was very positive. However, a particular incident does stick in my mind to this day.

I was busy milking one of our goats up on the tailgate of the truck – it might even have been Tamarack — the goat in the above photo. A few people were standing around asking questions — probably the main question everyone seems to ask — “What are those little things dangling from the goat’s neck?” (Answer: Wattles). A little boy stood quietly watching while I filled the pail with milk. All of a sudden, a woman marched up and grabbed the little boy by his elbow, almost twisting his arm off as she practically dragged him off his feet, while shouting back at me in a nasty voice, “You should be ashamed of doing that in front of people!”

I was so shocked that it left me absolutely speechless, so I wasn’t able to reply before she tore off through the crowd. I looked around at everyone standing nearby and they looked as surprised as me. Doing what? What “naughty” thing had I been doing in front of a bunch of people who came to an agricultural fair to see livestock? Was it the sight of a large and very productive goat udder that freaked the woman out and sent her off her nut? Was it because I was hand-milking the goat in front of a crowd of interested people? That must have been it! The sight of a person removing milk from a goat in the “old traditional way” that farmers have been using for at least a few thousand years — well, it’s a *shocking sight* that nobody should ever be subjected to. Yes indeed, farmers are obviously perverse people who should do the dirty deed of milking their goats (and cows) out of the sight of the morally superior general public.

Sheesh – and here I’ve been thinking that people like this woman were just one in a million. Turns out that, according to what I’ve read over the past week concerning the nursing-baby-on-the-magazine-cover, it may be more like 25 percent. I guess that I just never ran into them before because they’re not the type to come to an agricultural fair to see naughty goats with productive udders. How it is that someone can regard a photo of a nursing baby as something “naughty” that shouldn’t be seen in public is totally beyond me — just like I can’t see how hand-milking a goat in front of a group of interested people is something dirty and perverse. The only explanation that I can come up with for why it is that these people see something “wrong” in either of the above “cases” is that they have somehow managed to “eroticize” the milk-producing body parts of a woman and a goat into something that they are ashamed to look upon. What other explanation could there be? Theories anyone? Don’t be shy… post whatever you think.

Well, no insect photos today. It’s a wonderfully comfortable morning after many days of heat and humidity. I’m hoping to get some work done around here and also spend some time shooting insect photos. For anyone who happens to want an update, the Monarch caterpillars are doing very well. I brought another 10 indoors last night, so there are now around 40 in the living room. It looks like another is getting ready to pupate, and there are three more that are probably getting close as well. Last night, while walking around the yard, I found a couple of sad cases of caterpillars that were close to pupating but had been killed by predatory insects. I’ll try to do a post on that subject sometime in the next few days. In the meantime, back outdoors!

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12 Responses to “a naughty photo”

  1. dread pirate roberts Says:

    having hand-milked my own goats for many years, as well as the neighbor’s goats when they (the neighbors, not the goats) were on vacation, i can testify to just how sexy and naughty and titillating it is to have a handful of goat teat. cramping hands are really hot. how strangely exciting it is when the goat relaxes and lets out those little pellets, or demonstrates her kinky love by kicking me with those sensual cloven hooves. what excitement when the goat puts her foot in the milk bucket! and don’t get me started on bag balm.

  2. burning silo Says:

    roger – Yes! You’ve just reminded me of all of those sensuous experiences — especially the pitter-patter of nannyberries falling and bouncing off the milking stand like hail stones off a hot tin roof. And the warm wash of milk over my face as a first freshener kicks the contents of the milk pail in every direction. And yes, the wonderful fragrance of bag balm camphor sticking with me for an entire day after massaging some chapped goat teats. How could I ever have forgotten how sexy it was to keep dairy goats!

  3. Lynne Says:

    Do you suppose the ignoramus at the fair thought it was a male naughty part? Hillarious responses!

  4. robin andrea Says:

    It’s amazing, isn’t it? I read some of the controversy around that baby at its mother’s breasts. It all seems so crazy to me. How did all this unhealthiness begin? By the time that woman grabs her son away from watching the goats being milked, the fear of the naked breast is already a part of the culture.

  5. Janet Says:

    The people who fear milking and nursing basically fear the fact that humans are animals. They want to think we are superior beings that exist outside of nature. The fearful people have created such a separation that their kids don’t even know where milk comes from. Nowadays they teach kids about “farming” by milking plywood cows. They probably have plywood goats too.

    Thanks for bringing back yet again for me a vivid memory of milking cows on my cousin’s farm in Maine as a child: feeling the warm teat in my hand, smelling the cow, smelling the hay, sitting in the barn early in the morning. There’s nothing quite like warm milk, especially when you squirt it all over yourself.

  6. Peter Says:

    I almost find it funny that anyone would object to the photo, considering the huge amounts of actual lewd material that can be seen just about anywhere, including many fashion magazines. To object to something so natural.. what a waste of time on their behalf.

    As for the goats, I enjoy your stories about them, including the one you wrote when your blog first started up. The “barn smell”, I find very refreshing, though most people don’t. Stacy and I always took a deep breath when opening a new bag of timothy hay to feed our rabbit.

  7. burning silo Says:

    Lynne – Well, you would almost have to wonder *what* she was thinking, although she would have seen my pail full of milk. Obviously, she was just an incredible prude.

    Robin – It’s hard to say how these weird attitudes get started. Tonight, my mother was telling me that when she was pregnant for the first time 50+ years ago, one of her aunts said that women who were very pregnant (like her) shouldn’t be seen outdoors or on the streets because they looked just like animals. That very much jives with the comment which Janet posted this afternoon – that some people don’t like to be reminded that humans are animals. Anyhow, as you’ve said, it’s almost too late by the time some woman grabs her child to keep him from seeing something as natural as a goat being milked. One has to wonder what kind of message her behaviour gave to her son. Very sad.

    Janet – I used to do a lot of agriculture education at one time — mainly developing ag-awareness programs for local fairs, etc… It’s quite astounding how little some people (not just children) know about where their food comes from. Glad to hear that this discussion about dairy animals brought back some nice memories!

    Peter – I completely agree. When I first read the story about the baby photo, I thought, “What???? Are these people nuts?!” In my opinion, the photo was very innocuous and, as you say, compared to what may be seen almost anywhere, it seems crazy that anyone would be upset enough to complain.
    I love the smell of barns, freshly mown or baled hay, and all that goes with farming.

  8. Laura Says:

    I think maybe some of your phymata pics should be censored.


  9. burning silo Says:

    Laura — lol..maybe they should! (-:

  10. JLLove Says:

    Great story! The women’s problem was all in her mind. And who would want to go there! Yikes!

  11. anthea fleming Says:

    I do sympathize. I recall the mother who, seeing a mare suckling her foal, said to her child, “Look, he’s having his bottle!” But at least she did not drag her child away.
    I also recall a British comedy film starring John and Hayley Mills – released in Australia as “Wedlocked”. In this some older man lecherously commented on a young girl’s figure – and his wife turned to the other wife present with the comment “Bottle-fed!”
    That magazine cover and the quoted reactions were reported here in Australia – generally in tones of amused disbelief. One popular radio reporter used it as a hook to hang a good interview with one of the founders of the “Australian Breast-feeding Association”, now 40 years old. It began as “Nursing Mothers Assn” back when newspaper editors would not allow ‘breast’ on the page, but I am glad of the name change because to me ‘nursing’ means running about with thermometer and bed-pan.
    Loved your insect pictures too.

  12. burning silo Says:

    Anthea – Thanks for posting your comments. Very interesting to hear how the media in Australia covered the story. I also agree with you about the term “Nursing Mothers” — always seems rather old-fashioned to me.