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Could you be friends with someone who works for a formula company? - Page 3

post #41 of 175
if it was just their job? i could be friends, yes.

so long as my beliefs were respected...

now if they BELIEVED formula was just as good or better or that breastfeeding wasn't THAT important? no. i couldnt.
post #42 of 175
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Collinsky View Post
I'm a hardcore radical unschooler, and one of my best friends, the goddmother of my eldest daughter, works for a standardized testing company. I am against vaccinations... and my other best friend works in a medical research lab, and some of the things she's been involved with have been vaccines.

So I assume that I could have a friend, even a very good one, who worked for a formula company. Or was an OB. Or a teacher. Obviously there would be areas where we weren't in agreement - which is where the principle of mutual respect comes into play. My friends are extremely respectful and supportive of my choices, and understand them. It is harder for me to be respectful of theirs, which is where you're at - but I think it comes down to some things:

What does she bring to your life, as a person? If she made you happy, before you found out about this... then it's not a deal-breaker, IMO.

What does she think about breastfeeding? Is she able to accept and support it? Is she negative about it? Is she curious and willing to learn more, or stuck in misinformation?

Is she involved in *marketing* the formula? That's where I'd have a big problem.
The problem would be not in that she works for formula and I breastfeed, which are contrary lifestyle points. The point is that formula companies often use marketing techniques that are harmful to breastfeeding and hurt nursing rates in countries around the world, which is morally wrong.

However, I just found out she is a chemical engineer in charge of quality control to make the supply is processed safely and remains free of contamination, so....I don't have a problem with that. She's not inmarketing, lol

I have to disagree with the "It's just a job" crowd. Since when does poverty or economic hardship give people license to ignore moral obligations? If a company comes upon hard times and needs to compromise morals or safety or be dishonest to keep income up, should they? I heartily disagree. But that is not an issue of lactivism, it is a philosophical issue, so...
post #43 of 175
DHs uncle works for Nestle and his wife breastfed their kids and theyre very supportive of our lifestyle. He is one of the nicest people I have ever known, genuine and caring and compassionate and a great family man. Thats what matters, not who he works for.
post #44 of 175
I think it also would depend on what she did for the company. Not all jobs are anti BF. Maybe I would have a hard time keeping my mouth shut if she worked in marketing the formula but if she is the one in developing then I wouldn't have much of an issue.
post #45 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrsfrazier View Post
The problem would be not in that she works for formula and I breastfeed, which are contrary lifestyle points. The point is that formula companies often use marketing techniques that are harmful to breastfeeding and hurt nursing rates in countries around the world, which is morally wrong.
This. I'm a teacher and have several homeschooling/unschooling friends. Unless you're an unschooler who thinks that all institutional schooling, ever, is bad, I can't see why this would be an issue, as there's nothing intrinsic to the teaching profession that says it HAS to stamp out kids' creativity or whatever else you may think is wrong with public schools (and trust me, there's a lot wrong with public schools). Ditto for being friends with an OB. There's nothing inherent about obstetrics that says its practitioners HAVE to be poster children for everything that's wrong with the medical model of care.

Working for a formula company, though, means you're working for a company that employs really bad marketing techniques, unless the store-brand formulas are really made at independent companies. But the big ones? I honestly don't think I could be friends with someone who works for Nestlé, MeadJohnson, or whoever makes Similac.
post #46 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by grumpyshoegirl View Post
Working for a formula company, though, means you're working for a company that employs really bad marketing techniques, unless the store-brand formulas are really made at independent companies. But the big ones? I honestly don't think I could be friends with someone who works for Nestlé, MeadJohnson, or whoever makes Similac.
Regardless, formula is necessary for the survival of many many babies and a paycheck is necessary for the survival of families - if Nestle was the only place that a mom/dad could get a well paying job that could support their family then what else would you expect them to do - go on public assistance just to stay away from big bad nestle? Just because a person works for a company means that they support every action of their employer.
post #47 of 175
Are there any totally, 100% moral professions?
post #48 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by TCMoulton View Post
Regardless, formula is necessary for the survival of many many babies and a paycheck is necessary for the survival of families - if Nestle was the only place that a mom/dad could get a well paying job that could support their family then what else would you expect them to do - go on public assistance just to stay away from big bad nestle? Just because a person works for a company means that they support every action of their employer.
IF Nestlé were the only place someone could work, no, of course I wouldn't hold that against them. I don't know of anywhere that's the case, though. (I DO know that there are places/companies like that, for example there are places in rural America where working at Wal-Mart is the only game in town.) In answering the OP's question, though, I just don't see myself becoming friendly with someone who worked for Nestlé. I just don't. YMMV of course.
post #49 of 175
Nope! Wouldn't hang with this person. And I don't have to justify myself either. Wouldn't hang out with someone who worked for a cigarette company either. Or a factory farm. $%&$ THAT.

To the posters who mentioned that formula has a necessary place-- why yes it does. A very tiny number of children are born every year with a metabolic abnormality called classic galactosemia. They cannot digest breastmilk properly, so unfortunately it is poison for them. They need a special kind of formula that is completely lactose-free. This could be made by a single small factory, no problem, and distributed through pediatricians at no charge.

EVERY OTHER CHILD on the planet deserves real human milk, not some powdered artificial mock-up. Gratitude for big formula companies?!?!? Pshaw. Knock them down and build MILK BANKS.
post #50 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by shanti1 View Post
Yes I could. I guess it wouldn't even cross my mind not to be friend w/her because of who she works for. I have plenty of friend who work for the government....and i have a lot more issues w/our government than i do formula companies.

who you work for does not define who you are.
AMEN!!! lol!
post #51 of 175
Mmmm. I'd like to say that I could look past it, but I probably couldn't. And it wouldn't be directly related to her job at a formula company, but I get the feeling that if I befriended someone like that I wouldn't always know where I stand with her. I'm a "balls on the table" kind of person. Does she really support BFing, or is she trying to look past it so she can be friends with ME? Does she say to her DP "Gosh, that woman BFs all the time, give the baby a bottle already!" When her children ask her about BFing after seeing me BF, how does she explain it? As the optimal way to feed a child, or does she poo-poo it? Not knowing would drive me crazy and there would always be a distance between us.

But, in reality, I have a really hard time breaking off friendships. I think it's easier said than done to break off a friendship once it has started and has been going well up until this point.
post #52 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by Artemnesia View Post
Nope! Wouldn't hang with this person. And I don't have to justify myself either. Wouldn't hang out with someone who worked for a cigarette company either. Or a factory farm. $%&$ THAT.

To the posters who mentioned that formula has a necessary place-- why yes it does. A very tiny number of children are born every year with a metabolic abnormality called classic galactosemia. They cannot digest breastmilk properly, so unfortunately it is poison for them. They need a special kind of formula that is completely lactose-free. This could be made by a single small factory, no problem, and distributed through pediatricians at no charge.

EVERY OTHER CHILD on the planet deserves real human milk, not some powdered artificial mock-up. Gratitude for big formula companies?!?!? Pshaw. Knock them down and build MILK BANKS.
You do understand that there are children who are adopted who need formula, foster children that MUST be fed formula, women who have been sexually abused to the extent that they cannot breastfeed, children of working moms that cannot pump and yet must work to support their families, children of moms who must take breastfeeding-incompatible medications, many many more children rely on formula than those few with metabolic disorders. Donor milk is expensive, often hard to find, and not appropriate in some cases. If you eliminate formula, as you propose, making it available for only those babies deemed worthy by a medical condition you will find parents that will feed their children formula substitutes that will not provide the nutrients and calories that a growing infant needs. Children deserve to be fed nutritionally appropriate food and if breast milk is not available formula is a definite necessity.
post #53 of 175
While I agree that children deserve breastmilk, I really don't see how scorning all those involved in formula production serves lactivism as a movement.

It is food. Not great food. But food nonetheless.

Banked milk where I live is $11 a bottle (3oz). Reserved for preemies.
post #54 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by TCMoulton View Post
You do understand that there are children who are adopted who need formula, foster children that MUST be fed formula, women who have been sexually abused to the extent that they cannot breastfeed, children of working moms that cannot pump and yet must work to support their families, children of moms who must take breastfeeding-incompatible medications, many many more children rely on formula than those few with metabolic disorders.
Donor milk.

Quote:
Donor milk is expensive, often hard to find, and not appropriate in some cases.
In almost NO case is it "not appropriate." What isn't appropriate = feeding a baby mammal the dead, inert, doctored-up milk of a different species instead of the living biological fluid that child has a birthright to.

Donor milk is only expensive and hard to find because the government isn't doing the job that it should be doing. And it isn't doing it because people cling to the false, damaging, and ultimately death-causing belief that artificial milk is an okay substitute for breastmilk. It's not.

Quote:
If you eliminate formula, as you propose, making it available for only those babies deemed worthy by a medical condition you will find parents that will feed their children formula substitutes that will not provide the nutrients and calories that a growing infant needs.
The formula industry costs the US government BILLIONS of dollars every single year in additional medical expenses that are paid for by the taxpayers. That money could surely be put to better use on programs designed to help the vast majority of women NOT need the donor milk in the first place, as well as get it to those who do have a real need. People who need donor blood expect to get it, and generally do. Human milk is a birthright. The money is there to make the milk available. People aren't going to feed their babies strange homemade concoctions (as you suggest) if the milk is available. It CAN be done, and it SHOULD be done. The only reason it isn't done is the attitude that you are (perhaps unwittingly) representing-- that formula is widely necessary and "just fine."

Quote:
Children deserve to be fed nutritionally appropriate food and if breast milk is not available formula is a definite necessity.
There is no good reason that breastmilk cannot be made available. It is the one and only nutritionally appropriate food for human infants who do not have classic galactosemia. There are no benefits to breastfeeding, only risks to artificial feeding. Please read the book "Milk, Money, and Madness" (Baumslag) for much, much more detailed information. By the middle of that book you may be thinking about these issues in a very different light.
post #55 of 175
My MIL works for Nestle in Canada. I'm sure she has absolutely no idea about the Nestle boycott as the part of the company where she works has nothing to do with formula. She's an extremely wonderful woman, has worked for the company for 25 years and they have been incredibly good to her. Last year she was diagnosed with cancer (thankfully it was caught early and she's fine), this year she needs her hips and knees replaced. They have been amazing about supporting her, both financially and in many other ways.
While I may not agree with some of Nestle's policies, I would never consider not being friends with someone who worked there. There are other battles that are far more important to fight.
post #56 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by Artemnesia View Post
In almost NO case is it "not appropriate." What isn't appropriate = feeding a baby mammal the dead, inert, doctored-up milk of a different species instead of the living biological fluid that child has a birthright to.

Donor milk is only expensive and hard to find because the government isn't doing the job that it should be doing. And it isn't doing it because people cling to the false, damaging, and ultimately death-causing belief that artificial milk is an okay substitute for breastmilk. It's not.
This is the kind of hard core lactivist attitude towards formula and those that use it for whatever reason that turns people off. Many mama's here have no other choice than to feed their children formula, it is just a fact of life, and for you to say that formula is not an okay substitute for breastmilk is insulting.
post #57 of 175
Yes, I certainly could. I however couldn't be friends with someone so judgemental that would consider not being my friend simply from where I worked. I have very good friends that do not see eye to eye with me on some things but also respect my views and opinions.

It sounded like many of you assumed that because this woman works for a formula company she must be anti-breastfeeding or think it's disgusting and so on. Maybe she has/does/will breastfeed her own children. Put it into perspective, she isn't on the street selling illegal drugs or anything remotely even close.
post #58 of 175
IME, there is not THAT much donor milk to go around, hence the high price, low availability.


I know I had a good supply with both DD's. But it all went to my own nurslings. There wan't much more to spare.


Anyway...if I forsake my friends for every objectionable thing they did, I'd be one lonely woman.
post #59 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by TCMoulton View Post
Many mama's here have no other choice than to feed their children formula, it is just a fact of life, and for you to say that formula is not an okay substitute for breastmilk is insulting.
No I don't think it's a good substitute for breastmilk. Frankly I'm really shocked that so many posts in this forum defend the product. Formula use carries serious risks to both mother and child. Formula is neither the same as, nor just as good as, breastmilk. Therefore it is deficient, incomplete, and inferior. That's a statement of fact.

I think the mothers who had no choice (or maybe got formula thrown at them instead of help?) but to feed formula deserved a much, much better alternative. Denying the truth to make people feel better only helps to perpetuate the problem. Some might think it's helping or being diplomatic but I think it's part of the problem not the solution.

I'm really shocked by the fact that I have encountered so many posts that seem to be perpetuating the cultural myths that hinder rather than help to promote a breastfeeding culture. Very strange and disappointing.
post #60 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by Artemnesia View Post
No I don't think it's a good substitute for breastmilk. Frankly I'm really shocked that so many posts in this forum defend the product. Formula use carries serious risks to both mother and child. Formula is neither the same as, nor just as good as, breastmilk. Therefore it is deficient, incomplete, and inferior. That's a statement of fact.

I think the mothers who had no choice (or maybe got formula thrown at them instead of help?) but to feed formula deserved a much, much better alternative. Denying the truth to make people feel better only helps to perpetuate the problem. Some might think it's helping or being diplomatic but I think it's part of the problem not the solution.

I'm really shocked by the fact that I have encountered so many posts that seem to be perpetuating the cultural myths that hinder rather than help to promote a breastfeeding culture. Very strange and disappointing.
yeah, everything you say is right, and yet...the fact of life as it exists TODAY is that formula is necessary for many mothers. it may be incomplete, deficient, and inferior--but it's the best substitute for breastmilk there is.

frankly, i can't believe you can so confidently say you would never befriend someone who worked for a formula company. as a PP pointed out obliquely, there is NO JOB ON EARTH that is above reproach. NONE. name me one. the fact is, all of us are implicated in something that is morally debatable, or that someone disagrees with. all of us. every day.

of course i would be friends with someone who worked for a formula company (assuming they're someone i'd want to be friends with otherwise)--it's not the same thing as being a nazi. and you know what? maybe formula company workers (gasp) also need friends!
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