Want to read more about the questionable health claims for milk?  

Try Worrying About Milk  by Will Hively. 2000.  Discover 21 (8):  44-51



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Got...Beer?! IS BACK

Two years ago, PETA got a rise out of everyone from dairy farmers to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) with its tongue-in-cheek advisory to college kids that ounce for ounce, beer packs more nutrition than milk. Now, a new Harvard study has topped off the debate with damning words about dairy products and a raised-glass salute to beer. The debate is about to spill over onto school campuses once again.

Click to view.When PETA pulled its “Got Beer?” Campaign because of public outcry, the uproar from college students was deafening. Most felt that PETA was caving in to members of the older generation who doubted the students’ ability to understand the message behind the stunt. Now, with scientific evidence mounting that beer has health benefits previously unrecognized and with dairy foods’ being implicated in illnesses ranging from diabetes to cancer, PETA will revive the campaign with an advertisement in campus papers, as well as with “Got Beer?” bottle openers and beer cozies, which it will distribute through its College Action Campaign.

Fanning the flames of the revival is an August 13, 2002, Wall Street Journal article, which reports that beer “delivers protection against major ailments such as heart attacks, stroke, hypertension, diabetes, and dementia.” According to Eat, Drink, and Be Healthy: The Harvard Medical School’s Guide to Healthy Eating (2001), moderate alcohol consumption “protects against heart disease and ischemic strokes, and mounting evidence [shows] that it protects against diabetes and gallstones.”

The same book devotes a chapter to debunking the myth that dairy products are necessary or even helpful, pointing out that the United States tops both the milk consumption and bone fracture charts and citing a Harvard study that showed that “women who drank two or more glasses of milk a day were at least twice as likely to break a hip or forearm.” The authors note that as few as two glasses of milk per day have been shown to double a man’s risk of developing prostate cancer, and that three-fourths of the world’s population does just fine on a diet free of cow mammary secretions.

The dairy industry spends more than $300 million every year to convince people to drink gallons of the white stuff, but PETA’s sentiments are with savvy health officials who warn that dairy products have four major drawbacks. Milk and cheese: 1) are loaded with fat and cholesterol; 2) are frequently contaminated with pesticides and drugs; 3) are linked to obesity, heart disease, and certain cancers, including prostate cancer and breast cancer; and 4) may even cause osteoporosis, the very disease that the dairy industry loves to use as a selling point in its ads, because the excess protein in dairy products leaches calcium from the bones.

Unlike beer drinking, dairy consumption also hurts animals. More than one-tenth of the average herd of cows is dead before the age of 2 from illness or injury inflicted down on the factory farm, while more die in transport and the rest are ground into cheap meats. Dairy cows are artificially impregnated, not a comfortable experience, and have their calves torn from them within days of birth—causing acute distress for both mother and calf—so that the milk they need can be sold in the supermarket. Many male calves are crammed into tiny veal crates, a type of confinement so cruel that it has been banned in the U.K.

“Beer in moderation is good for you, while even one glass of milk supports animal abuse and harms your health,” says PETA’s Director of Vegan Outreach Bruce Friedrich. “The fact is that you can drink beer responsibly. The same can’t be said of milk.”

United States Department of Agriculture Nutritional Data for Milk and Beer

MILK (I cup, 2% milk)
BEER (I cup)
Fat (g)
Fiber (g)
Sodium (mg)
Cholesterol (mg)
Calories from fat (%)

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, 501 Front St., Norfolk, VA 23510; 757-622-PETA