Will ‘Healthy Kids Meals’ Hold the Milk?

PETA Calls On Baltimore to Ban Cow’s Milk Alongside Sodas and Other Unhealthy Drinks

For Immediate Release:
July 26, 2018

Audrey Shircliff 202-483-7382


Now that the Baltimore City Healthy Kids Meals bill has banned sodas and other sugary drinks from children’s menus at restaurants, PETA sent a letter today urging Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh to extend that ban to cow’s milk, which is loaded with saturated animal fat and cholesterol and contains no fiber or complex carbohydrates.

“Cow’s milk has been linked to everything from acne to allergies to constipation to ear infections,” says PETA Executive Vice President (and mother) Tracy Reiman. “PETA is urging Baltimore to protect both cows and children’s health by putting milk on the banned list right alongside sugary sodas.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—notes that beverages made from soy have as much protein as but less sugar than cow’s milk, and they spare mother cows the trauma of their calves being stolen from them so that their milk can be consumed by humans instead.

For more information, please visit PETA.org.

PETA’s letter to Mayor Pugh follows.

July 26, 2018

The Honorable Catherine E. Pugh

Mayor of Baltimore

Dear Mayor Pugh,

On behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and our more than 6.5 million members and supporters worldwide, including thousands across Maryland, I’m writing in response to the recently enacted Healthy Kids’ Meal Bill banning sugary drinks from kids’ menus at restaurants. We applaud you for taking action to protect children’s health and encourage you to take it one step further by also banning cow’s milk, which unlike plant-based beverages, contains no fiber or complex carbohydrates and is full of saturated animal fat and cholesterol.

While banning sugary drinks from kids’ menus in restaurants makes sense, allowing kids to consume a product that’s linked to a host of illnesses and conditions—including acne, food allergies, bloating, constipation, and ear infections—seems counterintuitive when 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. By comparison, newer pea-protein options have 10 grams of protein, compared to 8 grams in cow’s milk, and no sugar. In addition, milk is one of the two most common allergens affecting young children, and 75 percent of the world’s population experiences symptoms of lactose intolerance.

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 does not build strong bones or deliver many of the other health benefits that the dairy industry has used in misleading advertising for decades.

Considering that 6 percent of Americans now identify as vegan and that 36 percent of U.S. consumers prefer nondairy foods to dairy items, it makes sense also to ban cow’s milk from kids’ menus. We look forward to hearing from you. Thank you for your consideration.


Tracy Reiman

Executive Vice President


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