Will Local Public Schools Accept Vegan Milk Offer From PETA?

For Immediate Release:
September 2, 2022

Contact:
Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382

Detroit – With school back in session, PETA sent a letter today to Nikolai Vitti, superintendent of Detroit Public Schools Community District, offering to send him 1,000 cartons of vegan chocolate milk from Kiki Milk for free to be distributed to kids in his school district, where nearly two-thirds of students are economically disadvantaged. As PETA notes, dairy-free drinks are far better for animals, the environment, and children, including those who are lactose intolerant—they can get calcium more efficiently from tasty vegan milks and green leafy vegetables while avoiding all the fat and cholesterol in dairy.

“Young people care about animals, so their taste for cow’s milk would sour if they knew that mother cows and their calves are cruelly separated from each other forever on dairy farms,” says PETA Senior Director of Students Opposing Speciesism Rachelle Owen. “PETA is eager to provide students with delicious dairy-free milk that’s better for everyone, from cows to kids.”

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 Vitti follows.

September 2, 2022

Nikolai P. Vitti, Ed.D.
Superintendent
Detroit Public Schools Community District

Dear Dr. Vitti:

I’m writing as a former Detroit Public Schools student and on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals U.S.—PETA entities have more than 9 million members and supporters globally, including many thousands in Michigan—with an offer: We’d like to donate 1,000 shelf-stable, individually sized boxes of delicious, organic, and dairy-free chocolate milk for you to distribute to elementary students in the district. We hope this donation will benefit not only economically disadvantaged children but also those who are lactose intolerant or steer clear of dairy for ethical, health, religious, or environmental reasons.

As you may know, dairy-free chocolate milk is significantly lower in fat and calories than cow’s milk and is higher in calcium and iron, giving children the nutrition they need without contributing to the childhood obesity epidemic—thereby promoting wellness among your students. Because dairy is subsidized and fortified plant milks aren’t, children who eat dairy-free can be unfairly disadvantaged. Cow’s milk is also one of the primary causes of food allergies among children, and millions of other Americans—approximately 65% of the population, including 80% of African Americans, who make up the majority of Detroit Public Schools Community District’s student population—are lactose intolerant. 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. By comparison, the dairy-free milk we’re offering contains only 5 grams.

Dairy-free milk is also kinder to animals and the environment, both of which are increasingly important to young people. Like all mammals, cows produce milk to feed their babies. In the dairy industry, mother cows are forcibly impregnated over and over, and their beloved babies are taken away from them within hours of birth so that humans can use their milk, which is actually harmful 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 claimed in misleading advertising for decades.

I hope you’ll accept our offer of cruelty- and dairy-free milk for elementary students to try and consider making it an option for all students. Thank you for your attention to this matter. We look forward to hearing from you.

Very truly yours,

Rachelle Owen
Senior Director of Students Opposing Speciesism

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