- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 16, 2000

Abe Rosenthal's column a nice addition to The Times

I was delighted to learn that Abe Rosenthal's column will appear regularly in The Washington Times.

I was director of the Polish Service of Radio Free Europe in the late 1950s. At that time, Mr. Rosenthal, as a young journalist, was the New York Times' correspondent in Warsaw. His courageous reports on the oppressive policy of Wladyslaw Gomulka's regime were beamed back to Polish listeners by Radio Free Europe and served our audience behind the Iron Curtain as a source of information, which was suppressed by censorship. I met Mr. Rosenthal several times in Vienna and in London, and I was greatly impressed by his brilliant grasp of problems. Mr. Rosenthal was expelled by the Gomulka government when he reported about a return to the Polish Politburo of an old Stalinist (Kazimierz Witaszewski), who became notorious for his repressive handling of workers and dissidents.

Mr. Rosenthal never accepted any compromise with totalitarian leadership.

JAN NOWAK

Annandale

A six-pack of responses to PETA's 'Got Beer?' campaign

In the article in which People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) announced its new "drink beer, not milk" slogan, dairy cows are mentioned as enduring tremendous suffering, and reference is made to the "cruel treatment of cows" on dairy farms ("PETA says 'drink beer, not milk' to prevent cruelty to cows," March 13).

I wonder how many PETA members or Times subscribers have been on a dairy farm? I do not live in a rural area, but I have been on two dairy farms and witnessed firsthand the life of a dairy cow. The cows ate, drank and roamed in their pasture in fine weather and ate and drank in a well-maintained barn in foul weather. They had plenty of food and water; they were kept clean; and all their medical needs were attended to promptly.

If you know animals and observe the average dairy herd, I would bet my bottom dollar you would see healthy, contented animals that voluntarily come back to the barn and their own stalls at milking time. Watch them; observe them. An unhappy, stressed cow will not be a good milker. PETA is way off base on this one. It neither understands animals nor cares about them. In the words of PETA's Bruce Friedrich, vegetarian campaign coordinator, PETA's campaigns are "catchy and attractive" and a way to grab people's attention." Translation: a way to get money. Knowledge of and love for animals doesn't enter the picture.

ANNE FLYZIK SCHAEFER

Harrisburg, Pa.

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Once again, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has, with methods that are offensive and even embarrassing to many of us in the animal rights community, managed to bring an issue onto the public table which previously had been discussed only in animal rights circles. PETA has risked rage and ridicule to open the door to dairy discussions.

As I read your front-page article on the "Got Beer?" campaign, I thought of millions of Americans who will not eat veal because of the cruelty involved but who probably had never before made the veal-dairy connection.

What is common knowledge only to the dairy industry (and published in Dairy Today magazine) is that mastitis, a painful inflammation of the udder, is rampant in U.S. dairies. This makes milking torturous for an estimated 20 percent of cows. All this for a food whose calcium benefits are compromised because of the excess protein it provides (which causes calcium to leach out of the body as it is excreted), a food to which a huge proportion of Americans have some level of digestive intolerance.

I truly sympathize with Mother's Against Drunk Driving, which says PETA is undoing some of its wonderful work. On the other hand, maybe its beef should be with the press, which gives the misdeeds of the dairy industry no air time or column space until PETA pulls a stunt like this.

KAREN DAWN

Pacific Palisades, Calif.

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Thanks for reporting on People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals' comparison of milk and beer ("PETA says 'drink beer, not milk' to prevent cruelty to cows," March 13). But please let me make an important correction: PETA isn't pushing beer. We have made a point of stressing that PETA recommends fruit juices, soy milk, mineral water and even soda over milk or beer. We've invoked beer in our nutritional comparison simply to make the point that milk is so awful for you that even a glass of beer certainly no health food itself would be a better choice than a glass of milk.

More and more doctors and nutritionists are recommending that we banish milk from our diets altogether because it's loaded with fat and cholesterol and has been linked to diabetes, heart disease, certain cancers and even osteoporosis, the very disease it's supposed to prevent. Even the world's most renowned expert on child care, the late Dr. Benjamin Spock, recommended that parents raise children on a diet free of cow's milk. Cow's milk, after all, is designed for baby cows, who have four stomachs, double their weight in 47 days and weigh 300 pounds within a year.

PETA urges everyone, beer drinkers included, to drink responsibly. Where milk is concerned, there's no such thing.

ALISON GREEN

Correspondent

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals

Norfolk

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In the March 12 article about drinking beer, not milk, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has obviously had one beer too many.

I was outraged to see your accompanying photo of a black man depicted as an ape on a poster designed and displayed by PETA. Insult is added to injury when I read that these posters are being displayed in bus shelters in D.C. These are the types of stupid, ignorant, insane actions that alienate the black community from traditional environmental and animal rights organizations.

Although I strongly support the first amendment, PETA's vegetarian campaign coordinator, Bruce Friedrich, should know that although he finds the poster "catchy and attractive," I find it racist in the extreme. The black German model and actor Mola who posed for the poster should know better than to allow himself to be used in such art, regardless of any intent to get people to notice them. I invite Mola and Mr. Bruce to carry those posters in Anacostia. I assure you they will be noticed.

NORRIS MCDONALD

President

African American Environmentalist

Association

Washington

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People for the Ethical Treatment of animals (PETA) correctly advocates elimination of milk from the diet. Why should humans be the sole mammalian species that drinks the milk of other species? Even our close genetic cousins the great apes do not drink milk after weaning. Suffice it to say, since milk drinking is unnatural, it is surely unnecessary for good health.

Worse, milk drinking actually endangers one's health. Lactose in milk wreaks havoc in lactose-intolerant people, concentrated protein in milk can damage kidneys and avert osteoporosis prevention and fat in milk can clog arteries. Furthermore, milk contains no fiber, excluding it from foods that lower cholesterol and prevent colon cancer. Finally, milk contributes to causing several diseases, among them respiratory allergy and inflammation, digestive irregularities and arthritis.

So, PETA's "Got Beer?" campaign, although not completely risk-free, makes sense, as milk is inherently unhealthy and beer is not.

DR. MURRY J. COHEN

Annandale

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Concerning the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals' (PETA) idea of drinking beer rather than milk, anyone who knows the first thing about dairy cows knows:

* If a cow isn't milked in time, she feels pain and bellows to be milked.

* If the market for milk decreases, many dairy cows will be slaughtered.

Is this ethical treatment? Sounds harsh to me. Perhaps PETA simply doesn't know much about animals.

W.J. BROGDON

Cape Carteret, N.C.

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