PETA has launched a Christmas campaign, running something they call the “Santa Clause” ad. It encourages children to leave soy milk out for Santa this year, as they claim cow’s milk causes impotence and would leave Santa not so jolly. Some see the ad as controversial or in poor taste, but it may be one of those cases where any press is good press.
While there are benefits to drinking soy milk, except in the case of folks with soy allergies or women with certain aggressive cancers, PETA is making a very wide assumption here. The underlying aim is to scare people into abandoning animal products, but the campaign is not surrounded in complete truth. I am not entirely surprised given PETA’s sensationalistic nature.
The truth is, that hormones and antibiotics added to dairy products are not good for us, but not all milk contains it. If conventional milk is consumed regularly in large doses, it can contribute to weight gain, early onset of puberty and other issues. It is not good for anyone. However, when an organic, hormone and antibiotic free milk is consumed, none of these risks remain. So, in other words, if you are giving your children hormone free, organic milk, you have nothing to worry about. It is available at health food stores, and also check around for local dairies. Due to the popularity, some mainstream grocery stores stock the brands with larger circulation.
Some small scale dairies run by local families sometimes still sell cream on the top milk. In fact, one small local dairy runs and ice cream stand, and you can see their cows roaming around in the pasture, gazing away, behind a group of picnic tables. These farmers use selective breeding to increase a cow’s milk production or are just happy with what the cow produces rather than feeding the cattle antibiotics and hormones. Some small farms who cannot afford to process their own milk join up with others, too. It is a great way to support local farms.
Lactose intolerance is another issue that is sometimes brought up. I was considered lactose intolerant, and then found I was reacting to the hormones rather than the actual milk. By drinking organic and local milk, I can drink some milk, though I don’t often, or more so eat ice cream again. Another good bet is goat’s milk.
So, I am sorry to PETA that they will not have to be peddling an ad implying that Santa Claus needs to surf for Viagra online to hide the side effects of his habit from Mrs. Claus. I know that there underlying message is that using any sort of any use of animal products is negative. I suppose spreading half facts versus the truth gets people more in an uproar and that is probably what they prefer. I will drink my chocolate soy milk AND eat shovelfuls of double chocolate milk based ice cream.
It is a good idea, especially if you have children, to switch to hormone free milk. While you are at it, keep an eye out for your local farm stands and find out who sells cream on the top milk. It doesn’t last very long as it is not heavily processed, but is much healthier. And the farmer will know all the cows by name, too.