Ale fails in cattle battle

April 14, 2000

An American animal rights group that objects to the confinement of cows to produce milk has been forced to end a national advertising campaign encouraging university students to drink beer instead.

The adverts were withdrawn from campus newspapers in the face of a widespread public outcry that they advocated underage drinking and drink-driving.

But the animal rights group, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, continued to promote beer over milk on its website, offering students free bottle openers.

"Drinking Responsibly Means Not Drinking Milk. Save a Cow's Life," the bottle openers read.

Peta's campaign contended that beer has healthy fibre and complex carbohydrates, and none of the cholesterol, fat, hormones, or antibiotics present in dairy milk.

Furious critics, principally the organisation Mothers Against Drunk Driving, said drinking was "the number-one drug problem among American youth".

Peta president, Ingrid Newkirk, responded: "Peta's aim was never to promote beer drinking." She said that Peta had sent a financial contribution to MADD.

MADD declined the donation.

Peta declared the controversial ad campaign a major success. It said 41,000 people visited its anti-dairy network in 36 hours.

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