Paulo Coelho

Stories & Reflections

And we survived…

Author: Paulo Coelho

I have received three litres of products that substitute milk.

A Norwegian company wants to know if I’m interested in investing in the production of this new type of food, because, according to the opinion of an expert, David Rietz, ‘ALL (the capital letters are his) cow’s milk has 59 active hormones and substantial amount of fat, cholesterol, dioxins, bacteria and viruses.’
I think of calcium, which ever since I was a child, I heard my mother say was good for the bones, but the expert anticipated my thought: ‘Calcium? How are the cows able to acquire sufficient calcium for their voluminous bone structure? From the plants!’

Of course, the new product is made from plants, and milk is condemned based on innumerable studies done at the most diverse institutes spread throughout the world.

And its proteins? David Rietz is implacable: ‘I know that people call milk the liquid meat (I never heard that expression, but he must know what he is talking about) due to its high amount of protein.

But it is the protein that makes calcium not able to be absorbed by the organism. Countries with a rich diet in proteins also show a high index of osteoporosis (lack of calcium in our bones).’

On that same afternoon, I receive a text my wife found on the Internet: ‘Those who are between 40 and 60 years old today drove cars with children sat lose on the back seat, having fun and jumping around.

I, for example, am part of a generation that built the legendary soapbox cars (I don’t know how to explain this to today’s generation – let’s say the ‘roller-skate wheels’ were metal balls fixed between two iron rings) and we would descend the steep streets of Botafogo, using our shoes as brakes, falling, hurting, but proud of the high-speed adventure.

Children were never right, they were always grounded, and that didn’t mean they had psychological problems of rejection or lack of love. In school there were good and bad students: the first went on to the next stage, the latter failed.

Psychotherapists weren’t sought out to study these cases – those who failed would just repeat the year.

And even so we survived despite some scratched knees and a few traumas. We not only survived, but we remember the time when milk wasn’t poison, when children would solve their problems without help, fight when necessary, and spend great part of the day without electronic games, inventing children’s plays with their friends.

But let’s go back to the initial issue of this column: I decided to try the new product that substitutes the killer milk. I couldn’t drink the second sip. I asked my wife and our housemaid to taste it without saying what it was, and both of them said they had never tasted anything so bad in their lives.

I’m concerned about the children of tomorrow, with their electronic games, parents with cell phones, psychotherapists helping out at every defeat, and – over all – having to drink this ‘magic potion’ that will keep them without cholesterol, osteoporosis, 59 active hormones, and toxins.

They’ll live with great health, considerable balance, and when they grow up they will discover milk (at this point, possibly an illegal beverage). Who knows a scientist of 2050 will take upon himself to rescue something that had been consumed since the beginning of times?

Or will milk only be obtained through drug dealers?

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