Friday, May 23, 2014

Donkey milk please!!

Donkeys carry water containers in Kenya. ©The Brooke

There is a saying in Swahili Asante ya punda ni mateke...(The thanks of a donkey are his kicks)

As such there has often been a perception that the donkey is a very ungrateful creature. 

For this reason the donkey has been branded a beast of burden the world over suffering several acts of cruelty as they transport different farm and household goods.

A  recommendation  by the  Food and  Agriculture  organization that donkey  milk  be  used  to  counteract the global demand  of  cow  milk and other dairy products  is  certain to make  donkey  owners  more  kind   to  their  animals.

The UN food  agency  late  last year recommended more usage of  milk  from  a variety of animals including  camels, llamas and  donkeys  due to the increasing  high milk prices  especially in the world.

Apart from goat, sheep  and buffalos that  are  currently being kept in  different parts  of the world  for  provision of milk Fao recommends  that the  Alpaca, Moose, Reindeer and Yaks can also be  milked.

A camel herder milks one of his camels in Oman Photo: ALAMY
Rapid urbanization in  Africa and  the  growing  middle class  means that  more  people are  having an increase in their  disposable income  and as a  result  can a afford a change of lifestyle eating more  diary and  meat  products.

Fao predicts  that  by  2025 diary consumption in  developing  countries  will grow by  25  per  cent  because  of   population growth and rising incomes and  cow milk  which most people are currently  dependent on will not be  sufficient to  supple  the  most  vulnerable households.

Consumption of camel milk has been growing Ethiopia, Mali and Somalia and the trend is quickly picking up in Kenya. 

With their milk being fronted as more nutritious and healthy. Though it is not for the fainthearted, you will have a thoroughly cleansed stomach before your intestines get used to the milk.

Making a quick buck: A woman selling donkey milk to slum dwellers in Vijayawada. — PHOTO: V.RAJU
Its popularity has vastly spread that it is not common for one to order camel milk tea of the menu in a restaurant in Nairobi. Am guessing though in the next five years we will be doing the same for donkeys?

1 comment:

  1. It's so true and so sad that donkeys have suffered a lot all over the world, working all day long, carrying heavy burdens. Such a shame, they are trully wonderful animals! On top of all that the are so understimated. Why? Their milk is a gift of nature used in cosmetics. Who knows about that?