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Thursday, February 14, 2008

Beer Not Better Than Milk and other obvious news.

PETA went more insane than usual for them back in 2000, when they tried to launch a "Got Beer?" campaign. Modern Brewery Age didn't find the endorsement helpful.

PETA argues that drinking beer is healthier than milk and that the daily industry is cruel to cows and calves.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving sent a letter last week asking PETA to pull the campaign for fear it will encourage underage drinking. Many college students are under the legal drinking age of 21.

"We're very concerned and appalled with it for the simple fact that underage drinking is the number one drug problem among American youths," said Teresa Hardt, a spokes-woman for the Irving, Texas-based group, whose mission includes the prevention of underage drinking.

The campaign also comes at a time when increased attention is being focused on binge drinking on college campuses.

"If PETA's misguided purpose is to denounce the dairy industry, they certainly aren't advancing their ball by advocating alcohol consumption by college students," said David Botkins, spokesman for Virginia Attorney General Mark L. Earley.

A spokesman said PETA will proceed with the campaign and that it does not promote underage or drunken driving.

PETA did not proceed with the campaign. The howls of outrage got it shut down almost instantly.

Never one to learn or apply common sense or good taste, PETA tried reviving the campaign in 2002. Jennifer Small at the Boston University newspaper had the sense to check the claim.
Regardless of what People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) claims, beer does not "Do a body good," according to Boston University Clinical Assistant Professor Joan Salge-Blake.

Salge-Blake said low-fat milk or skim milk provides an excellent source of calcium and vitamin D, which are especially important for college students to consume as their bones continue to grow. She said while milk is a good source of protein and rich in nutrients, the same cannot be said about beer.

"There are no ways in which beer is healthier than milk," Salge-Blake said. ... "[Milk and beer] shouldn't even be compared," said Salge-Blake, who is also the Dietetic Internship Director. "They have nothing in common except that they are both liquids."


Salge-Blake responded to the statement, saying PETA was only comparing it using facts that were beneficial to their claim.

"PETA seems to be saying that because milk has some fat and beer has none means beer is better than milk," Salge-Blake said. "But beer is full of calories, and all calories in excess will make you gain weight; any time you consume more calories than you burn off, you will gain weight."

PETA was lying through its vegan teeth, as always.

That campaign was equally short-lived. No matter how much college students might want the support of an argument that beer is good them them, or, minimally, better than milk for them, nobody can take such nonsense seriously.

They don't stop trying, though. Mike Simeone, of the Anchor, Rhode Island College's Student Run Newspaper, trots out many of the same flawed arguments in Beer Good for You?
According to Lisa Dorfman, MS, RD, CSSD, LMHC, a certified Sports Nutrition Expert and Sports Nutritionist at the University of Miami (FLA) , "Beer is sort of like a food drink because it's so filling. It's like bread because it's starchy and high in carbohydrates. Drinking 12 ounces of beer is the equivalent of eating two slices of bread, and the carbohydrates in beer, like those in bread, are used as an energy source for the brain, the blood and the muscles."

Beer can be considered a "food drink" because of the ingredients in it. Water makes up around 90 percent of beer. Barley is another component. It is a basic cereal grain which is malted. Malted means that a grain is brought to its highest point of possible soluble starch content by allowing it to germinate. Hops are an important ingredient. Hops come from the flowering hop vine and are used as a preservative. They are also used for their essential oils that add flavor (bittering hops) and aroma (aroma hops) to balance the sweetness of the malt. Finally, there is the yeast. This is the most essential part of beer because the yeast turns the sugars into alcohol.

These grains in beer can help protect you against osteoporosis and heart disease. Drinking a pint of beer can be substituted for a glass of milk. This is a boon for those who are lactose intolerant as they've found an alternative source of their milk vitamins as the ingredients in beer can help strengthen bones.

Simeone backs off from this argument later in the article when he notes that the only real science that exists makes the far more mild claim that non-drinkers have less chance to develop heart failure. This almost certainly comes from other life-style factors than the alcohol in beer, however.

And that's the bottom line. No matter how it's phrased that beer drinking in moderation is a pleasant activity that is associated with moderation in other forms of activity, beer contains alcohol and it it consumed primarily to feel the effects of that alcohol. Beer can never be confused with a healthy drink, nor does it ever come out on top of milk when the full run of nutrients are compared.

Never listen to PETA, never believe PETA, never support PETA. They are an embarrassment to vegans.

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