“Got Milk” now “Not Milk” in teen’s campaign to avoid dairy Monday’s (5.15.23) Washington Post article: “High School student sues district over dairy milk debacle,” (A-8) reminded me of the ubiquitous “Got milk TV ad campaign by the dairy industry” making us believe that milk was necessary for good health. Increasingly, studies show the opposite: cow’s milk is implicated breast cancer studies, and many populations are lactose intolerant, including 95% of Asian Americans, 60-80% of African Americans, 80-100% of American Indians, and 50-80% of Hispanics.
Despite widespread lactose intolerance, California high school student Marielle Williamson chooses plant-based milk as do many of her peers, and cites animal cruelty as well as impact on the planet from animal agriculture for this choice. Marielle sued her school district and the USDA for violating her First Amendment right to share information at school about alternatives to cow’s milk and concerns about dairy consumption.
Thanks to students for standing up for their rights—and for their concerns in protecting the planet. Many reports suggest cutting methane emissions from the agriculture sector, particularly meat and dairy production, as among the most impactful ways to slow climate change. Thanks, Marielle for leading the way. Every day is Earth Day!
Jane DeMarines Executive Director
Sustainable Earth Eating Bethesda, MD.
Climate Impacts of Dairy/Beef vs. Plant-basedAmount of water it takes to make 1 lb of beef: 1800 gallons.
Amount of water it takes to make dairy milk: cows drink 415 gallons of water every day.
Oat milk takes 145 gallons and an additional 4-6 cups of water from beginning to end.
$1 invested in plant-based meat reduces 7X more emissions than $1 invested in green building, and 11X more than zero-emission cars.