Stefanik’s Chocolate Milk Bill Prompts PETA Push for Vegan Milk

For Immediate Release:
March 17, 2022

Megan Wiltise 202-483-7382

New York – After Rep. Elise Stefanik proposed federal legislation that would require all schools to offer chocolate milk, PETA sent her a letter today urging her to promote vegan milks instead, many of which come in a variety of flavors, including chocolate, noting that cow’s milk is one of the primary causes of food allergies among children, millions of Americans are lactose intolerant, and the dairy industry is cruel to mother cows, whose calves are taken away from them shortly after birth so that their milk can be sold for human consumption instead.

“Every carton of chocolate milk is packed with sugar and cruelty to cows, who cry out for their stolen calves for days on dairy farms,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “PETA is calling on Rep. Stefanik to reconsider her dairy-peddling bill and instead promote vegan milks, which are better for animals and healthier for children.”

The group points out that soymilk has the same amount of protein as cows’ milk—but it’s free of saturated animal fat and cholesterol and has 2 grams of fiber (cows’ milk has none). In addition, vegan chocolate milk has nearly half the sugar of chocolate cows’ milk and is kind to cows. A PETA exposé of a facility in Stefanik’s district found workers electroshocking a cow in the face and hitting cows with poles and a cane, among other forms of abuse. It’s standard industry practice for cows to be artificially inseminated—workers insert an arm into the animals’ rectum and a metal rod to deliver semen into their vagina—and to be sent to slaughter once their bodies wear out.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat or abuse in any other way”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

PETA’s letter to Stefanik follows.

March 16, 2022

The Honorable Elise Stefanik

U.S. House of Representatives

Dear Rep. Stefanik:

I’m writing on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals—PETA entities have more than 9 million members and supporters globally, and PETA U.S. is the largest animal rights organization in the world—in response to your proposed legislation that would require all schools to offer chocolate milk. Instead of pushing chocolate milk—which contains no fiber or complex carbohydrates and is full of saturated animal fat and cholesterol—on children, we urge you to promote only vegan milks instead, many of which come in a variety of flavors, including chocolate.

Besides humans and some domesticated cats, no species drinks the milk of another species or drinks dairy milk beyond infancy. Cow’s milk is one of the primary causes of food allergies among children, and millions of Americans—approximately 65% of the population—are lactose intolerant. Dairy has been linked to acne, bloating, constipation, and ear infections, and by comparison, vegan soy-based drinks pack the same amount of protein as cow’s milk but have 6 fewer grams of sugar as well as 2 grams of fiber (as opposed to none in dairy milk). The American Heart Association recommends that kids between the ages of 2 and 18 consume fewer than 25 grams of sugar per day. Just 1 cup of chocolate dairy milk contains a whole day’s worth of sugar. Vegan chocolate milk contains nearly half that amount.

In addition, we have exposed stunningly cruel conditions on dairy farms all around the world—including at one in your district, Adirondack Farms LLC, where an undercover investigation revealed routine abuse and neglect of cows. PETA recorded that workers beat cows with poles and a cane and burned off calves’ sensitive horn tissue, leaving them screaming in pain. Like all mammals, cows produce milk to feed their babies. In the dairy industry, mother cows are forcibly impregnated over and over, and their deeply loved babies are taken away from them within hours of birth so that humans can use their milk, which is actually bad for human bones. Studies have shown that milk from cows doesn’t build strong bones or deliver many of the other health benefits that the dairy industry has used in misleading advertising for decades.

Today, dairy-milk sales continue to decline, while plant-milk sales are expected to reach almost $3.7 billion by 2025—so we hope you’ll consider rescinding your proposed bill and backing vegan businesses instead. We look forward to hearing from you. Thank you for your consideration.

Very truly yours,

Ingrid Newkirk


For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind