For Immediate Release:
August 9, 2021
Tapi Mbundure 202-483-7382
Ithaca, N.Y. – For World Plant Milk Day (August 22) and given that the demand for dairy-free milk shows no signs of falling, PETA sent a letter to New York State Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Commissioner Erik Kulleseid this afternoon asking him to change Buttermilk Falls State Park’s name to Plant Milk Falls State Park at least for that day. The group has offered to contribute to the cost of new signage and to send delicious vegan milks for park visitors to enjoy if he agrees.
“Words matter, and the current name of this beautiful park is linked to an ugly industry that takes mother cows’ babies away from them so that the milk the calves themselves need can be sold,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “PETA hopes park officials will embrace a new moniker that celebrates today’s ever-growing taste for plant milks.”
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.
PETA’s letter to Kulleseid follows.
August 9, 2021
The Honorable Erik Kulleseid
New York State Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation
Dear Commissioner Kulleseid:
I’m writing on behalf of PETA and our more than 6.5 million members and supporters worldwide—including hundreds of thousands in New York—with a request: As more Americans fall for vegan milks and the number of vegans continues to climb because of ethical, environmental, and health-related concerns, will you make a bit of a splash by renaming Buttermilk Falls State Park as Plant Milk Falls State Park on World Plant Milk Day (August 22)? If you agree, we’d be happy to contribute to the cost of new signage and to send delicious vegan milks for park visitors to enjoy on that day.
We’re not trying to sour anyone’s day, but words matter and have the power to change lives. Humans are the only animals who drink the milk of another species—or who drink milk at all beyond the age of weaning. Cow’s milk is a primary cause of food allergies among children, and millions of Americans—approximately 65% of the population—are lactose intolerant. Studies have shown that milk from cows doesn’t actually build strong bones or deliver many of the other health benefits that the dairy industry has spent decades promoting in its misleading advertising. In fact, some plants—particularly vegetables like broccoli and kale—contain more absorbable calcium than cow’s milk.
Changing a name is a walk in the park compared to what cows endure in the dairy industry. As you may know, mother cows produce milk only after giving birth, so they’re repeatedly and forcibly impregnated to ensure that they maintain a steady supply of milk—only to see their beloved babies taken away from them within hours of birth. Cows are intelligent, sensitive animals who form close bonds with their young, just like human mothers. They’ve been known to search for miles and chase after vehicles, hoping to be reunited with their calves, and they’ve even hidden calves from farmers so that they wouldn’t be taken away.
Today, dairy-milk sales continue to decline, while plant-milk sales reached $2.5 billion in 2020—so we hope you’ll agree that it’s time to tell dairy to take a hike. We look forward to hearing from you. Thank you for your consideration.
Very truly yours,