Sunday, November 18, 2012

A Bowl of Cereal

After he finishes his grapes in the morning, Bow usually asks for cereal. Why? Because he sees me eating cereal. And while I realize that there are many arguments against the nutritious value of cereal for breakfast, I always give in.

Why? Well, because it would be two-faced to tell him he can't have cereal when I'm having it. And for sentimental reasons. Bow had a language breakthrough years ago that involved cereal. It was the "brown mouth" incident, and you can read all about it here:

So when I have cereal, Bow has what I have. When we have bacon and eggs, Bow has bacon and eggs.

I don't do well with wheat products, so the cereal I have is oatmeal based. But you might be asking yourself: aren't all chimpanzees lactose intolerant? The answer is: no.

When Bow was an infant, he was fed on soy formula, just in case. But as he grew older, and he started eating whatever we ate, it turned out he didn't have any problem digesting milk. I have a hunch that lactose intolerance is an innovation, and that the whole argument that we were never "intended" to drink cow's milk is a new kind of sophistry. If snakes can drink cow's milk, and they are not even mammals, there is no reason to assume the rest of us should not. Of course, if you have an allergy to cow's milk, you should probably not be drinking it. But that's something that people need to decide for themselves on a case by case basis.

Which is not to say that Bow and I drink that much milk. It is a very small amount that we put in our cereal, and we usually leave some in the bowl. We don't go around drinking glasses full of milk. We just don't want to, so we don't.

Anyway, Bow takes his time eating his cereal, and it seems to make him happy.


  1. I am glad it turned out Bow was able to eat milk. They also say you cannot feed a dog chocolate, but one of our dogs would eat it any time we turned around. Not mass quantities, but he turned out alright. He lived to be 12.

    1. Julia, funny your should mention that about dogs and chocolate. Before our family came to the United States, we always shared our chocolate with our dogs, and nothing bad ever seemed to happen to them.

      Later, when I heard that chocolate was poisonous for dogs -- and we only heard it in the US after I was almost grown-- I stopped sharing chocolate with dogs. But I can't help but wonder if it's the quantity of chocolate that Americans regularly eat that is really the problem.

      There is no doubt that chocolate can be poisonous for dogs -- and for humans -- if you eat too much of it. It can cause heart failure. But if you only eat about one or two squares of chocolate a day, then there is no danger of that to you -- or to a normal sized dog. I don't know about miniatures. I imagine they would be especially susceptible.

      Everything is poisonous in the right dosage -- even water. So the real question is: how much is too much?