Religion Enters Political Debate over Milk

By Susan Jones Morning Editor, August 27, 2002

( – People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has launched an anti-dairy billboard campaign featuring a Madonna and her breastfeeding child.

“If it was good enough for Jesus…,” the billboard’s big lettering reads, followed by the tag line: “The breast is best.” The billboard directs viewers to an anti-dairy website.

The billboard, one of which appeared in upstate New York, has angered a Roman Catholic group, which criticized PETA for bringing religion into its dietary agenda.

“We don’t object to the picture of Jesus being breast-fed,” Catholic League President William Donohue told the Vancouver Sun . “But they’re using it to market something cheap.”

Donohue particularly objects to PETA’s attempts to elevate animals to “moral agents.”

Pro-dairy groups say the PETA billboard masks a radical animals-above-people campaign.

According to the Center for Consumer Freedom, “People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and its affiliated medical front group, the misnamed Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, have long been at the forefront of anti-dairy scare campaigns.”

The Center for Consumer Freedom represents a coalition of restaurant operators and others who have banded together to defend Americans’ right to a “full and varied menu of dining options.” The group’s website says it stands up for common sense, personal choice, and liberty.

The websites of PETA and the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) stand up for animals, strongly advocating vegetarianism and criticizing any dietary choice that falls outside that heading.

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