For Immediate Release:
March 20, 2023
Nicole Meyer 202-483-7382
Harrisburg, Pa. – Elder Vogel, a state senator from Pennsylvania, plans to introduce legislation limiting definitions of “milk” to exclude plant-based milks—such as oat, soy, and almond—so today, PETA rushed off a letter challenging him to live up to his truth in labeling comments and call cow’s milk what it really is: bovine mammary secretions.
“Since you’re a stickler for accurate definitions, the label ‘bovine mammary secretions’ should clear up any confusion as to what that white stuff from a cow is. Of course, cows aren’t the only animals who make milk for their babies,” writes PETA President Ingrid Newkirk, “and cows’ mammary secretions aren’t meant for humans any more than cat’s milk, rat’s milk, or bat’s milk is, and drinking it is just as ridiculous.”
How the dairy industry whitewashes its abuse of animals and its detrimental impact on the planet and human health are what truly mislead consumers, argues PETA, pointing out that the dairy industry forcibly impregnates cows and separates them from their babies, releases massive greenhouse gas emissions, and makes people sick—particularly in communities of color with high rates of lactose intolerance.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.
PETA’s letter to Sen. Vogel follows.
March 20, 2023
The Honorable Elder A. Vogel Jr.
State Senator for the 47th District
Pennsylvania State Senate
Dear Senator Vogel:
Greetings from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and our tens of thousands of members and supporters in Pennsylvania. We’re writing today with a recommendation for your milk definition bill. In the interests of honesty in advertising, it should call cow’s milk what it is: bovine mammary secretions.
Since you’re a stickler for accurate definitions, the label “bovine mammary secretions” should clear up any confusion as to what that white stuff from a cow is. Of course, cows aren’t the only animals who make milk for their babies, and if you actually think about it, their mammary secretions aren’t meant for humans any more than cat’s milk, rat’s milk, or bat’s milk is, so drinking it is just as ridiculous. According to Merriam-Webster, plant-based products that resemble and are used in place of cow’s milk are also milk. Another definition of “milk” offered in this dictionary is “to exploit.” It’s easy to see why when we look at the cruel dairy industry.
Using what industry insiders have called a “rape rack,” farmworkers sexually assault cows by impregnating them via artificial insemination to force them to produce bovine mammary secretions for their calves. Then, the mothers, who bond with their babies just as human mothers do, are heartbroken to have their calves stolen from them, often within hours or a day of birth, causing them both extreme distress. Ask dairy farmers, and they’ll tell you that mother cows can be heard frantically lowing for their calves for many days after this trauma.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 16.5% of cows used for their bovine mammary secretions suffer from mastitis, causing them pain and causing pus cells to contaminate their milk. It’s such an unavoidable part of the dairy industry that government regulations even allow a set amount of pus from infected cows in every jug of bovine mammary secretions. In addition, communities of color have the highest rates of lactose intolerance. Consumers are not in the least bit confused by vegan milks, but they have been misled by the dairy industry about the impact of cow’s milk production on animals, the environment, and human health.
PETA will support your bill to “clearly define milk in Pennsylvania” as long as the language is transparent, and the label “bovine mammary secretions” should clear up any misunderstandings. Thank you for your time and consideration of this important matter.
Very truly yours,