Ever since I was part of the Rosemary Hunter challenge, I've been associated with urine. I find this ironic, as the result of that test was NO urine, and I'd prefer to be associated with that. Nonetheless, I received this e-mail from Swift reader Michael:
I have no comment.
And that leaves it to me to comment. The item he had no comment on was this piece in the Telegraph UK concerning a new "cola" beverage that will becoming out soon. From the article:
It will be a revolution of sorts. The acceptance of cow urine as a potent medicine is increasing day by day and once it comes as a cold drink, its demand will definitely increase. It will prove and justify the high stature accorded to a cow in Indian culture.
While I have no reason to believe such a concoction would be harmful, I also have no reason to believe that there are any health benefits to drinking urine. Ayurvedic medicine is one of those "ancient wisdoms" that "western medicine" has ignored in favor of the bio-chemical complex or whatever. Ayurvedic claims to be able to cure cancer, and cow urine is part of that regimen. Believe me: if curing cancer were as easy as drinking urine, we'd see people in all cultures doing it.
Rather than focus on Ayurvedic medicine, I'd like you to consider something. Why not drink cow urine soda?
This drink is an interesting mix of cultures, where the ubiquitous soda of the west is being adapted to appeal to a new generation of Indians who find themselves in a world influenced both by ancient tradition and modern consumerism.
As a person of science, you understand that urine is sterile under normal conditions, and that its chemical composition isn't harmful. In fact, cow urine is probably less harmful than a standard cola product that many of us enjoy daily. A trip down the soda aisle of a US supermarket reveals beverages made from phosphoric acid, glycerol ester of wood rosin, and other unappetizing ingredients.
So what's the problem? It's simply that our culture associates urine with filth and disgust. Hindu culture does not.
So while I absolutely condem the unproven health claims, I can't condemn drinking cow urine. It shows how even skeptics can react with emotion, in this case disgust. And I'm not immune. I find the idea of drinking cow urine cola digusting, but I can't logically back that up. For all I know, I might like it. And you might too. If anyone out there ever tries it, please let me know. But don't expect it to cure your disease.