Semiotic review of cultural references to Oxytocin.
a remarkable neuropeptide, barely nine amino acids long, yet implicated
in multiple roles from true love to mother-infant bonding and
The heartbreaking stories of atrocious CIA gulags
and torture camps yielded this remarkable quote from one of the torture
victims, a Canadian who had been sent to Syria:
The pain was so unbearable, he said, that "you forget the milk that you have been fed from the breast of your mother."
I was arrested by that expression (which is idiomatic in Arabic culture).
In Judaism, there is complex set of dietary laws called Kashrut that are observed by those who keep Kosher. The main rule is that meat and dairy are not served at the same meal.
This stricture comes from a strangely worded commandment:
Thou shalt not seethe a kid in its mother's milk.
milk is full of Oxytocin, the aromatic neuropeptide that warms the
cockles of the heart and mediates the bond between mother and child.
Oxytocin plays a signaling role in turning on the spigot for breast
Were a kid to be seethed in its mother’s milk, the
aromas would be apparent to the mama goat, who would be heartbroken at
the news of the airborne chemical messenger.
Carnation used to
advertise its brand of condensed milk as “Milk From Contented Cows.” A
distraught animal becomes gamey from the stress hormones released at
the moment of slaughter. That’s another reason that Kashrut calls for
swift and humane methods of slaughter. A traumatized animal is full of
And a discontented mother doesn’t lactate very well.
a kid in its mother’s milk is a surefire way to shut down the Oxytocin
production, which is gonna traumatize the remaining kids in the
And they can forget about their mother’s milk.