PETA was on the receiving end of a Twitter hate storm after one of its discredited campaigns linking milk with autism remained on its website.
Twitter users reacted with fury to see the bizarre claims were still on its website – 10 years after it was discredited.
One wrote: “Why are you writing such unscientific and hateful things about autism?”
Another said: “As an autistic person, if @peta are going to insult me this much, I’m gonna send them a picture of every BBQ I make from now on.”
In 2008 the Autistic Self Advocacy Network fought and won to get a PETA billboard taken down after they linked drinking milk with autism.
In addition to the billboard, the campaign, titled “Got Autism,” also featured an article on Peta’s website, which still exists today.
According to Peta, “Anyone who wants to alleviate the effects of autism should try giving cow’s milk the boot and switch to healthy vegan alternatives instead.”
The organisation’s claims were based on two small studies, that looked at 20 and 36 children respectively.
Since then many studies have found the evidence linking casein-free (the protein found in milk) and gluten-free diets as a “treatment” for autism to be “limited and weak”.
But the campaign was accidentally brought back to life by Jack Monroe, an autistic British food writer who called on Peta to remove his recipes from its site.
Petra removed Monroe’s recipes from its site but has not taken down the original article.
Some of the tweets included:
Alan Smith @mralanjohnsmith
@peta just seen your dairy-autism meme. I appreciate it’s old. Can you take it down from the website and apologise please?
Unless PETA can provide definitive, scientific proof that dairy products have a link to autism, they should shut the fuck up.
oh peta just discriminate against a whole group of people by saying their autism is sad then blame it on milk when that’s clearly shite >:(
Hanna Fridén @HannaFriden
@peta Why are you writing such unscientific and hateful things about autism? Have autists ever done anything to you? What’s the reason?
LRT: Autism cannot be caused by dairy products. PeTA tries to fear-monger people out of using dairy with lies, which is disgusting behaviour
Phil Merry @PhilipGMerry
Shame on @peta for weaponising autism against parents for their own political ends. It’s absolutely disgraceful.
Jonathan Victory @victorybyname
As an autistic person, if @peta are going to insult me this much, I’m gonna send them a picture of every BBQ I make from now on…
I’m autistic and I’m able to cook for myself @peta
Might put some cheese on those tasty burgers, thereby giving myself more autism.
Ciarán O’Brien @Sarklor
My professional opinion as a scientist working with dairy and mental jealth on PETA’s claim that dairy causes autism:
Load of cunting wank.
Oh yes Peta, because my autism originated from a glass of milk.
Dan Clayton @Wiregoathanger
but peta is a horrible company for doing all these things I’ve got quite off topic the main point is it’s fine to have autism it’s just fine
Kerry Cakes Lovatt @kerrycakesl
Autism is different but certainly not wrong, and has nothing to do with diet! #ActuallyAutistic and have less wrong with me than peta does!
Thomas Fenton @TheOfficialFom
@peta Why reflect on Autism negatively, it is simply Beautiful individuality. And making thier mothers feel bad… Disgusting and wrong.
Skully Sully. @MemeGruntSully
Dear @peta Whoever creates your marketing campaigns, please fire them. Autism is not a plague. Far from it.