Afraid of Autism? PETA Has the Cure!

milkPETA has been dropping jaws with its vegan activist campaigns for years now, but its latest move is causing an absolute firestorm. They've restarted a previous campaign to try to push the point that there's a link between autism and dairy products, in an attempt to scare people into going vegan.

Back in 2008, they put up an offensive "Got Autism?" billboard in Newark, New Jersey that ended up getting pulled by the advertising company hosting the billboard.

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Now, PETA is claiming not that dairy causes autism, but that it exacerbates it. Clearly, there's been much fuming over that assertion. In response to the brouhaha, PETA Excecutive Vice President Tracy Reiman released the following statement to io9.com:

PETA's website provides parents with the potentially valuable information that researchers have backed up many families' findings that a dairy-free diet can help kids with autism. Dumping dairy—the consumption of which has also been found to contribute to asthma, constipation, recurrent ear infections, iron deficiency, anemia, and even cancer—is a healthy choice that the late Dr. Benjamin Spock recommended for all families, and it also spares mother cows from being repeatedly impregnated and forced to produce milk for humans after their calves have been taken away from them so that they will endure the same fate. Cow's milk might be the perfect food for baby cows, but it might also be making kids sick.

It's one thing to encourage families to make healthy choices that benefit their overall wellness and keep disease at bay. It's another to make sweeping statements that play on parents' worst fears -- that something seemingly everyday and benign as milk or ice cream could be promoting autism.

Parents of kids with autism have enough on their plate without having to worry about unfounded research. This seems like nothing more than a conspiracy theory. With hope, parents see this campaign for what it really is: hurtful, manipulative fear-mongering.

What's your reaction to PETA's claim?

 

Images via PETA.org & bluewakiki.com/Flickr

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