Speaking Out about almond milk

Cabinet_062_oreilly_sally_001Sally O'Reilly at Cabinet Magazine:

Dear WhiteWave Foods,

I am writing to complain about one of your products: namely, Silk Cashewmilk (with a touch of almond). I imagine that you receive many complaints about your use of the word “milk,” and frequent challenges to specify where exactly on the cashew nut the teats are located. This, however, is not a problem for me, since I simply mop up what I take to be a sloppy euphemism with a pair of quotation marks. No, what I wish to complain about is the recent redesign of your half-gallon “milk” cartons.

My bipartite beef with this redesign is 1) the reduction in realism of the illustration and 2) the stance of the nuts represented therein. To start with the latter point: I have come, in recent years, to identify with the two nuts who, like game siblings, plunge pell-mell into their fate. I hope that it is not an anthropomorphism too far to suggest that one splashes down as if propelled from a water chute, and the other arcs forward, as if diving headlong, emboldened by the first’s joyful splash. This is an image of excitement and of freedom (from what, I presume, is for the “milk” drinker to decide). In the new arrangement, however, the two nuts face one another, turning their backs on the world to assume a conservative relation based in partnering and stability. My concern is that here you are affirming and perpetuating recent troubling shifts in political attitudes the world over. Your open and energetic cashews have become inward-looking; even their spatial alignment is now in almost complete agreement with one another, as if no differently oriented nut would be welcome.

more here.