Editor's note: the original column concerning PETA campaigns can be found here.
PETA’s campaigns are intended to turn heads, make people laugh, or even make people angry, but at least get their attention (“Veganism losing sight of goals, becoming an extreme religion,” 7/6). Experience has taught us that provocative campaigns make the difference between keeping important yet unpleasant subjects invisible and having them widely seen. Our shenanigans consistently grab headlines, reaching audiences around the world.
PETA UK made headlines when it asked Londoners to try a new milk. People praised the creamy drink (which was actually soy milk) until they were told that it came from a dog. The prank was simply meant to remind people that, if the thought of drinking dogs’ milk makes them feel ill, drinking cow’s milk should, too. After all, there’s nothing “normal” about artificially inseminating a cow and tearing her beloved calf away from her so that humans can have the milk that nature intended for the calf. Humans are the only species to drink another animal’s milk, and cows’ milk is no more natural for us than dogs’ milk would be.
Dairy-free milks and other vegan options are a healthy and humane choice. Cash-strapped students may be happy to hear about a study showing that people can save at least $750 a year just by choosing plant-based foods. One family even saved enough money for a trip to Greece by going vegan. Many vegan staples are relatively inexpensive, especially when you consider that vegans don’t usually have to dish out money for statins or other medical expenses that result from eating animal-derived foods.
Kenneth Montville is the Manager of Education Outreach for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). He is a contributing writer.