October 3, 2008
Animal rights campaigners tout soy milk after China milk scandal
Animal rights campaigners are capitalising on the bad press tainted milk has received to urge consumers to substitute cow's milk for soy milk.
An animal rights group urged people to shift from cow's milk to soy milk on Thursday, 2 October 2008, saying that it was not only safe in circumstances of the contaminated milk and products from China, but also an act of protecting cows from cruelty.
Members of the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) Asia-Pacific, accompanied by a volunteer dressed as Santa Claus, went around Manila's Binondo district handing out some 500 packs of soy milk.
Senior campaigner for PETA, Ashley Fruno said melamine is not the only health hazard associated with milk. Dairy products contain no fiber or complex carbohydrates and are laden with saturated fat and cholesterol.
She was referring to a global pullout or even ban of milk and dairy products from China after thousands of children who got sick were found to have been fed milk laced with melamine, a toxic chemical used in making plastics. As scrutiny on milk supplies intensifies, even milk from a dairy in New Zealand was found contaminated.
Fruno added that cow's milk is sometimes contaminated with the animal's blood and pesticides.
PETA official Rochelle Regodon claimed processing dairy products from cow's milk is tantamount to cruelty against animals.
She said cows worldwide are artificially inseminated every year to force them to produce milk.
Regodon said the fact that human adults consume huge quantities of dairy products made from milk that was meant for a baby cow is illogical.
PETA said several studies have shown that soy milk contains about the same nutrients as cow's milk with 3.5 percent protein, 2 percent fat, 2.9 percent carbohydrates and 0.5 percent ash.
Soy milk can be homemade using traditional kitchen tools, or made with a machine. It is also readily available in groceries and stores.
Fruno also said soy milk costs the same as processed cow's milk.
Meanwhile, Citigroup said the present melamine scare will boost makers of soy milk and companies exporting powdered milk to China as consumers shun Chinese dairy products. Key winners are beverage, replacing some coffee demand to avoid mixed milk, or soy milk companies, the group said.