People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has reached a new low. The animals rights organization is asking college students to replace milk in their diets with beer.
"We are urging college students to put milk products out to pasture by telling them even beer is better for them than milk," said Sean Gifford, a PETA spokesman.
The group has released a nutritional comparison that suggests beer is better than milk because it has zero fat and cholesterol, and contains fiber and complex carbohydrates.
"Consumption of dairy is linked to the top three killers in this country: heart disease, cancer and stroke. Not only are dairy products horrible for human health, but their production is catastrophic for the environment and a living nightmare for cows and babies involved," Gifford said.
PETA is giving away bottle openers that say "Drinking Responsibly Means Not Drinking Milk--Save a Cow's Life" at http://www.milksucks.com, and the campaign slogan is, of course, "Got Beer?"
Asked if he thought PETA was sending an irresponsible message to college kids, Gifford brushed it off.
"Usually, we encourage them to show slaughterhouse footage at their student meetings, but that can be grim. This campaign is a titillating and provocative way to provoke discussion."
Not to mention binge drinking.
Who needs a vacation? Everyone, according to Santa Monica-based Escape magazine. On stands today, the April issue chronicles our "Vacation Starvation," reporting that most American workers get an average of eight days off, while Europeans and Australians receive four to six weeks of paid leave. In total hours, Americans now work two months longer every year than Germans, and two weeks longer than the Japanese, according to the adventure travel magazine.
Instead of merely complaining, Escape is proposing an amendment to the federal Fair Labor Standards Act that would give every American who has worked at a job for at least a year three weeks of paid leave, increasing to four weeks after three years. (Federal law does not require employers to give employees any paid leave.)
"We need a break," editor and publisher Joe Robinson said. "About half of all American workers now suffer from symptoms of burnout. It's a sprint to the death."
Escape has formed a committee, Work to Live, to lobby for the legislation, and http://www.escapemag.com offers a petition that can be e-mailed to friends, Congress and the White House.
"The topic has never been discussed on a national level," Robinson said. "With the full-employment economy we have now, employees do have clout. Employers need more incentives to keep employees on board and happy, and not running off to a dot-com. There is a demand for good employees and now is the time good benefits can be gotten."
The signature drive runs through the summer, when petitions will be turned over to local, state and federal representatives, Robinson said.
Maybe a presidential candidate should step up to the pro-vacation plate. A "Work to Live" platform would definitely get my vote.
Waiting in line outside a movie theater could become a thing of the past. First, they let us order tickets over the phone and retrieve them at the theater by presenting credit cards. Now, a new program will let us buy them online (at http://www.moviephone.com) and print them out at home.
Let's just hope the software is easier to use than the e-stamp program introduced a couple of months ago, which was supposed to make trips to the post office obsolete. My boyfriend has spent so many hours at the keyboard agonizing over the stamp-printing software, I'm afraid he's going to go e-postal!