Commentary: PETA’s misinformation

By Catrina Lambert / Staff writer

PETA has established a name for itself throughout the years as a rather unethical organization, through the use of slander towards meat eaters and their often gory advertisements, games. It seems that they’ll do anything to push their agenda, and very few non-vegans take it as a legitimate source anymore. However, there are many misconceptions spread by PETA, and these are harmful to those who believe them, those who hear them, and those whom it pertains to.

A big example comes from 2008, when PETA created an advertisement against cows being milked, stating that there is a link between milk and autism, specifically that milk causes it. They backed up their claims by stating that there were studies done that autistic children who had been put on a dairy free diet improved “dramatically,” yet did not source these claims. This claim harmed parents of autistic children and autism activist groups, who mistakenly took this advertisement to be helping their cause. According to an article in The Atlantic, “In 2008, when PETA first launched their Got Autism? campaign, ABC News states autism advocacy groups were split. The science is bad, but if cutting out casein might help children, then some parents were okay with the information being publicized. “There are not a lot of things you cannot control in autism, but you can control your child’s diet,” one parent said. “I think that anything that sheds light on the autism crisis is awesome.” Which is exactly why this campaign is so irresponsible.”

Dairy products are one of the items that PETA targets, who claim milking cows is absolute cruelty. While it is the unfortunate truth that some dairy farms treat their animals unfairly, a dairy cow does require to be milked. And if you look this up, you will find plenty of conflicting information about this.

The truth, however, is that dairy cows actually need to be milked to remain healthy. According to a dairy farmer on the farmer’s blog of “times union,” “It is very painful for high-producing milk cows to be milked even a few hours late. They will let you know about it too, bawling, stomping their feet and carrying on to express their discomfort. They can and do get mastitis, which is an infection in the udder, from not being milked and mastitis can kill them. It is not a pretty death.”

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