Breast feeding up to age seven .
A Time to Wean, (Breastfeeding Abstracts, August 1994). Here is part of her answer to the question of the "natural" age of weaning in humans:
According to the research of Smith (1991), many primates wean their offspring when they are erupting their first permanent molars. First permanent molar eruption occurs around 5.5 to 6.0 years in modern humans. It is interesting to note that achievement of adult immune competence in humans also occurs at approximately six years of age, suggesting that throughout our recent evolutionary past, the active immunities provided by breast milk were normally available to the child until about this age (Frederickson).
Our evolutionary past has produced an organism that relies on breastfeeding to provide the context for physical, cognitive and emotional development. The non-human primate data suggest that human children are designed to receive all of the benefits of breast milk and breastfeeding for an absolute minimum of two and a half years, and an apparent upper limit of around seven years. Natural selection has favored those infants with a strong, genetically coded blueprint that programs them to expect nursing to continue for a number of years after birth and results in the urge to suckle remaining strong for this entire period.
In her book, Breastfeeding: Biocultural Perspectives, Dettwyler theorizes that the six-year nursing practice for humans began to be modified, first by the use of fire for cooking (one-half to one million years ago) and then even more significantly by the domestication and processing of grains via pounding and grinding, both of which provided alternatives to uncooked vegetation and raw animal foods. It is interesting to note that the hunter/gatherer lifestyle represents more than 99.9 percent of human existence on earth and that agricultural societies have existed for only about the last 10,000 years.
The highest appeals court in France had upheld fines imposed on anti-Israel activists for "inciting hate or discrimination" during a demonstration promoting the boycott, I was reminded immediately of David's insight. For what the French court decision demonstrates — and too many people in the Jewish community, especially in Israel, still don't properly understand this — is that BDS is essentially a domestic form of anti-Semitism that attacks local Jews through the demonizing of the Jewish state. The only way for Jews to remove this stain is through publicly dissociating themselves from, and loudly condemning, the State of Israel. Quarantining Israel in order to eliminate it may be the stated goal of BDS, but its immediate and often only impact is upon those Jews in the vicinity of the movement's propaganda activities.
Here's the story of what happened in France. In 2009 and 2010, mobs of BDS activists began descending on supermarkets and forcibly removing Israeli products — many of which were available, for obvious reasons, at the kosher counter for Jewish customers. Video footage of one of these many supermarket invasions shows the protesters thuggishly chanting in favor of the boycott as they surround customers and staff, sealing off aisles where Israeli products are on sale.
By any standards of decency, these protests were both physically threatening and bigoted in their expression; few people would want to be caught in the act of purchasing an Israeli avocado by this rabble. In the eastern city of Mulhouse, 12 activists were charged with incitement after they distributed leaflets urging "Long Live Palestine, Boycott Israel," with another one warning customers that "buying Israeli products means legitimizing crimes in Gaza."
After a local court found in favor of the prosecution, imposing a collective fine of $14,500 plus court expenses, the activists took their case to appeal. It's that appeal that has failed in recent days. In ruling against the activists, who had based their case on freedom of expression, the court cited "the French republic's law on Freedom of the Press, which prescribes imprisonment or a fine of up to $50,000 for parties that 'provoke discrimination, hatred or violence toward a person or group of people on grounds of their origin, their belonging or their not belonging to an ethnic group, a nation, a race or a certain religion.'"
BDS is on pretty shaky ground with most of those categories. Ultimately, that is why it is now legally regarded in France as a form of hate speech — and while we live in a country that guarantees all forms of speech, that shouldn't prevent us from recognizing BDS as hate speech nonetheless.