Indianapolis 500 has been around for more than a century, and like many entrenched cultural institutions, it has developed a range of exotic traditions. The most famous ritual is the winner of the race given a bottle of milk in the winning lane, took a sip and poured the whole thing over their heads. Now, a bunch of eccentric doctors are working to put an end to this practice.
Indianapolis star reported that the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine purchased billboards near the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and sent a letter to the race’s president to stop the milkshake tradition. The nonprofit group advocates for the widespread adoption of plant-based diets and an end to animal testing in medical research. However, neither mission was used as the rationale behind the campaign.
Dr. Victoria Othersen, a “plant-based” Indianapolis suburban physician, falsely claimed in the letter that there was a link between dairy consumption and prostate cancer in the letter. She also said that the celebratory gesture encouraged the Indy 500’s mostly male fan base to drink milk because it was “very manly doing”. This claim is frankly ludicrous. There are no scientific studies that directly link dairy consumption to an increased risk of cancer. Also, the idea that splashing a creamy white liquid on yourself is extremely masculine is also hilarious.
The track has no plans to stop handing out a bottle of milk to the Indianapolis 500 winner. The tradition dates back to three-time winner Louis Meyer a bottle of buttermilk please after his second victory in 1933. Meyer says that growing up, his mother told him to drink skim milk to cool off on hot days.
This practice became a tradition throughout the 1950s with funding from the dairy industry. However, winners can no longer drink skim milk in the winning lane. Drivers can choose a preference skimmed milk, two percent milk, and whole milk, but the Indiana Dairy Association refused to allow motorists to choose skim milk. Modern buttermilk is really disgusting and is only used as a cooking ingredient.