Animal rights group PETA targets the Toronto Maple Leafs over sponsorship

Samer Dagher
July 4, 2024  (3:09 PM)

Toronto Maple Leafs jerseys with Milk sponsor
Photo credit: Sportsnet

PETA has criticized the Toronto Maple Leafs for wearing "Milk" ads on their jerseys, which promote the Dairy Farmers of Ontario.

Ingrid Newkirk, President of PETA, issued an official press release urging MLSE CEO Keith Pelley to remove the ad, arguing it promotes a polluting industry.
Here is the statement:
"Greetings from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals—PETA entities have more than 9 million members and supporters globally, including nearly 30,000 in Toronto. Our condolences for this year's devastating playoff loss. So many Leafs fans have now endured decades of heartbreak, watching a team with so much talent and promise fail to piece together a successful Stanley Cup run, so we're writing to you with a suggestion for shaking things up and getting a fresh start for next season—ditch your sponsorship from Dairy Farmers of Ontario. Please hear us out.

We hope you can appreciate the irony of an ice-based sports team accepting a sponsorship from the ice cap–melting dairy industry. Dairy farms are a significant contributor to the climate catastrophe. A 2018 study estimates the production of dairy milk to be around three times more intensive in greenhouse gas emissions than the production of plant-based milks. Global warming means more melting icebergs. Oh—and if you're thinking of making a switch to field hockey, cow's milk generally requires the use of nine times more land than any of the vegan alternatives. So that would be out.

Drinking dairy milk is like playing hockey on melting ice—it's not only counterproductive but also rather dangerous. NHL athletes have to be fast, agile, strong, and resilient, so they should avoid performance issues that can come with consuming cow's milk, which has been linked to chronic inflammation, heart disease, colon and prostate cancer, and the, ahem, embarrassing effects of lactose intolerance.

And cows suffer when they're treated like milk machines on farms. Mother cows produce milk to nourish their young, but their beloved calves are taken away from them within a day of birth, causing extreme distress for both, so that the milk can be sold for human consumption. It is common for the anguished cries of mother cows calling for their kidnapped calves to be heard for days. Dairy milk is meant for baby cows, not grown hockey players.

Sure, roster shakeups and a new coaching staff may improve the team's performance next year, but severing ties with the dirty dairy industry would be guaranteed to help protect the planet, improve human health, and spare gentle cows and their calves from being exploited, abused, and killed. Please, send the Maple Leafs' dairy sponsorship to the penalty box."

More updates to follow.
Source: houseofhockey
Animal rights group PETA goes after the Toronto Maple Leafs in a press release
Animal rights group PETA targets the Toronto Maple Leafs over sponsorship

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