Friday, July 22, 2011

Milk Board Pulls Sour Ad Campaign

After 10 days of running its sexist ad campaign, the California Milk Processor Board has withdrawn it.

Its campaign had featured men apologizing to their female significant others for offenses that weren't their fault. The kicker is that the women are PMSing. And, ha-ha, what guy can't relate to that, right?

Except don't women do most of the grocery shopping? The milk board actually thought this campaign would appeal to women?

Jeff Goodby, a co-chairman at Goodby, Silverstein, the advertising agency that created the campaign, told The New York Times that he was "surprised" by people's reactions.
[He also said that] "in no way was this done cynically" — that is, designed to provoke consumers deliberately in a way that would generate publicity for the product.
Either Goodby's ad agency isn't very good, or he's lying. Most women--and likely most men--could have told him the ads were offensive.

A day after the campaign was announced, Carol J. Adams wrote a blog post about it that's definitely worth reading. Of the ad campaign, she says the following:
All this to promote a product that actually helps deplete calcium from women's bones rather than strengthening them. And contributes to the ongoing medicalization of women's lives.
Milk contains cholesterol and saturated fat, which can lead to obesity and heart disease and lots of pills and surgery.

If you want to reduce your PMS symptoms, try eating a plant-based diet. I used to have days where I was doubled over, rocking back and forth on the floor, because my cramps hurt so bad. Not being fond of pills, after years of this I finally gave in and would down a Midol when the cramps came. After going vegan, though, I found that I didn't need the Midol. I still have cramps, but they're just a minor discomfort.

The milk board's campaign was odd, too. The average person consumes cow's milk, so shouldn't the average woman's PMS already be reduced? The study the board cites is a 1998 one that says that calcium and vitamin D help to reduce PMS symptoms.

Women don't need to consume milk to get those vitamins and minerals. Leafy greens are full of calcium, and you have vitamin D right outside your front door (ie. the sun). But if that isn't enough, soy milk and other plant-based milks are fortified with both, allowing you to get what you need to reduce PMS symptoms while avoiding the antibiotics, hormones, cholesterol, and saturated fat of animals' milk.

(Sexist ad courtesy of the California Milk Processor Board.)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Martosko Out, Coggin In

Registered dietitians Jack Norris (from Vegan Outreach) and Virginia Messina have just published a book about nutrition for vegans called "Vegan for Life," and they list "Digging Through the Dirt" in the list of resources at the end of the book!

As you've probably noticed, work and slacking have taken their toll on "Digging." But I owe it to Jack and Ginny--and to my other blog readers--to begin posting regularly again. And what better way to start than by giving you an update on the man I love to hate: David Martosko?

If you follow you should--you'll know that Martosko was either fired or quit from the deceptively named Center for Consumer Freedom, likely due to his penchant for drinking and driving. ( is opposed to and keeps tabs on the CCF's I didn't post anything about Martosko's departure because, other than, I didn't have any proof that he actually left. But now I do.

Martosko is now the executive editor for Tucker Carlson's Republican political Web site, "The Daily Caller." Asked by Media Bistro about Martosko's police record, Carlson said this:
David's not the only person in this office who's been arrested, by the way, and I've made it clear to the staff that anyone who judges him for it can leave.
I think people deserve second chances--yes, perhaps even people who risk others' lives because they drink and drive. But what about judging Martosko for his other acts? Like misinforming the public. Defending animal abusers. Combine those things with his drinking and driving, and you get one sleazy, selfish jerk.

As for who has taken Martosko's place at the CCF? says it's Will Coggin, arguably even more vile than Martosko.

A 2007 graduate of William and Mary, he was already causing controversy during his college years.
As a freshman, he co-founded the conservative student group Sons of Liberty. Among this group's claims to fame was an affirmative action bake sale held in 2004. According to news reports, prices were 50 cents for "Black/Hispanic/Native American," 75 cents for "White/Asian/Indian" and $1 for "Human (if you prefer to be judged by the content of your character, rather than by the color of your skin)."
In 2006, as editor of the libertarian student publication "The Remnant," Coggin printed the name of a rape victim and called her a "wannabe victim" and "con artist."

Public-relations guru Rick Berman, who created the CCF, was probably drooling as he read Coggin's resume.

I'll miss Martosko, but I'm sure we'll meet again online. As for Coggin, you have small shoes to fill.

(Photo courtesy of