As a third generation farmer’s daughter, agriculture enthusiast and family member to multiple people with autism and on the autism spectrum, I couldn’t be more disgusted by your earlier campaign, that is gaining new attention.
For those of you who haven’t seen it, this advertisement, created by PETA, mimics the traditional “Got Milk” advertisements, using the phrase “Got Autism?”. The tag line reads “Learn about the links between the dairy products and the disease.”
It took quite a bit of digging, but I was able to discover that you do not claim dairy products cause autism. Rather, the claim is that children with autism should not consume dairy products as it worsens their conditions.
But really, how many people are going to dig deep to find that information? How many people are going to read past the advertisement and the tag line?
Not many. That was the plan, right?
In my opinion, this is just a fancy new way for you to scare people, who don’t know any better, away from meat and dairy products. After all, according to your website, it is one of your campaign goals to end meat and dairy consumption.
You claim that studies have been done that show there’s a link between dairy and autism, but both the studies that you cite are incredibly small and are not conclusive.
Your article closes with quite the kicker. “Anyone who wants to alleviate or avoid the devastating effects of autism should give cow’s milk the boot and switch to healthy vegan alternatives instead.”
To me, this sounds like you’re promising that avoiding milk will prevent autism. Which is first and foremost NOT TRUE and secondly, not something you can promise.
The bottom line is, we get it. You’re working hard to promote your cause, your campaigns and your hard work. But, as farmers, so are we.
Your company and your claims are one of the many reasons I have a blog in the first place. When people who don’t know anything about agriculture read your advertisements, see your distorted videos or hear a clip on the radio, it’s up to me and my fellow agriculture enthusiasts to set things straight. And trust me, we’ll continue to do so.
And while I acknowledge I’ll likely have to battle against your organization for the rest of my life, someone that should never, EVER have to face a battle with you is children and families with autism. I speak from personal experience when I say, they go through enough. Scare people and protect animals as you must, but do so without involving families who do not need any more complications in their lives.
I speak on behalf of fellow farmers, agriculture enthusiasts and families with autism when I request for you to remove these advertisements and campaign until there is more scientific research to back your claims. I can say with confidence, that I don’t see that ever happening.