STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Got controversy?
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has revived its anti-milk "Got Beer?" campaign, with advertisements in four college newspapers Thursday urging students to abandon dairy in favor of the brewery.
PETA first came up with the slogan -- a spoof of the popular "Got Milk?" campaign -- two years ago, but it was retired after being criticized by Mothers Against Drunk Driving and other groups.
Thursday's quarter-page ad in Penn State University's The Daily Collegian features a silhouette of a beer bottle and reads: "Got ... beer?! Better than milk, find out more at MilkSucks.com."
"College students care about cruelty to animals, and they need to know if they're consuming dairy products they're promoting animal abuse and harming their own health," said Bruce Friedrich, director of vegan outreach for the Norfolk, Va.-based organization.
Lisa Ritchie, a registered dietitian and assistant professor of family and consumer sciences at Harding University in Searcy, Ark., said it was ridiculous to claim that drinking beer is healthier than drinking milk.
"I think, really, it is a stretch to say that beer is going to be better, that you can't drink milk responsibly," Ritchie said.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving, too, renewed its criticism.
"It's absolutely ridiculous ... it's an irresponsible, recycled publicity stunt that literally puts cows before kids. It's appalling," said Wendy Hamilton, president of MADD.
In addition to The Daily Collegian, the ad ran in student papers at Indiana University in Bloomington, Ind.; the University of Colorado in Boulder; and Florida State University in Tallahassee.
The campaign is targeted at the 10 schools identified by Princeton Review as the nation's top party schools. In addition to Penn State, Indiana, Colorado and Florida State, the list included Alabama, Buffalo, Clemson, Florida, New Hampshire and Wisconsin.
PETA also planned to run the ad at five schools Princeton Review identified as "stone-cold sober": Brigham Young, Wheaton College and the Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard academies. The Daily Universe at Brigham Young refused to run the ad.
Friedrich said those who focus on the pro-beer aspect are missing the point. He said that in addition to dairy products being unhealthy, the dairy industry is cruel to cattle.
"The animals are in chronic pain," Friedrich said. "Their babies are taken away from them within a couple days of birth -- often within a couple hours of birth -- and you can hear these animals, the babies and the mothers, wailing in agony."
Larry Hutchinson, a professor of veterinary science at Penn State, disputed that.
"There is some transient anxiety, both for mother and for baby," Hutchinson said. "But provided the baby, in this case the calf, is fed an adequate diet and provided for as far as environment, that period of stress is rather short lived, a matter of hours."
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