Potent Potables
Debating the point of drinking urine
Published November 11, 1999 in Whoa!

Hank Hyena is and remains my favorite writer of all times.

See also...
... in the Whoa! section
... from November 11, 1999

His latest article (The Totally Recycled Beverage) lost me, though. When I read about New Guineans who sodomize children for "education" it was valuable food for thought on cultural differences. When I read about intersexual babies subjected to wanton sex change operations, it called my attention to a major injustice. It was titillating, all right, but it had a point.

But what is the point in the urine drinking story? Repulsion from urine is instinctive, just as we quickly let a red-hot plate go if we touch it by mistake. Basic instincts don't lie; if our body says "bleagh!" to the smell of urine, it has a reason. Mankind survived for millions of years thanks to this system of bodily feedback; not science or Buddhism or some other religion. Those only seek to explain it.

I'm not against articles with raw scatological (or other) shock value, but I need a point, the reason why I should read the facts presented. (Like, to get a better grasp of the world, to get me to revise my preconceptions, that kind of stuff.) Without a point, the world's most shocking facts are only noise, like MTV or supermarket tabloids.

Please, put some deeper point in the articles, again... you are so good at that. If someone asks why, I asked for it, OK?

Honolulu, Hawaii

Dear George,

I'm sorry that you found the pee-guzzling article hard to stomach. Personally, I believe the topic is extremely newsworthy, because if urine is a super-medicine as various healers have claimed for thousands of years, its free availability to everyone would be invaluable in our age of expensive medicine. I'm hoping research gets done on this topic in the future, so that we can all benefit from its curative properties, if there are any.

I don't think your theory that because pee smells bad it therefore must be unhealthy has any credibility whatsoever. There are numerous delicious poisonous mushrooms, and I swallowed some very tasty Ant Bait when I was young that nearly killed me. Broccoli is loaded with vitamins for anyone who eats it, even George Bush, who can't stand the taste. Goldenseal is a foul-tasting plant that is regarded as one of the most useful herbs.

Imagine this scenario: What if urine had extreme healing powers, but this knowledge was kept from us by doctors to enhance their own financial gain? Perhaps doctors also convinced us that it is filthy and tastes terrible! Your abhorrence, I am also sure, is based more on psychological barriers than pragmatic experience.

Please drink your pee with some apple juice, three times a day for a week, and let me know how you feel. Maybe the claims of urine therapists are bogus, but... maybe not. Drinking it certainly didn't kill off its greatest adherents, the Chinese (1.3 billion) and the Indians (1 billion).

Hank Hyena