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Skeptics and ‘The White Stuff’: Promotion of Cows’ Milk and Other Nonhuman Animal Products in the Skeptic Community as Normative Whiteness

Corey Lee Wrenn


This article discusses a dairy advertising campaign featuring skeptic Derren Brown.  I explore the various health claims made in the ads as well as a report Brown featured on his website that claimed consumption of cow’s milk is linked to longevity.  I discuss how dairy consumption is largely linked to race and ethnicity.  It is a practice enjoyed primarily by European whites as most nonwhites are lactose intolerant. Lactose intolerance is a normal biological process associated with weaning, but it is medicalized and made deviant because it is not part of the white experience.  I also mention comments made by Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins that normalize Western diets with unsubstantiated claims.  This article takes a critical look at skeptic leaders who have failed to address misleading information perpetuated by exploitative animal product industries.


Advertising, Colonialism, Dairy, Food, Health, Lactose Intolerance, Race, Science, Skepticism, Veganism

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7358/rela-2017-001-wren

Relations. Beyond Anthropocentrism
Registered by Tribunale di Milano (04/05/2012 n. 211)
Online ISSN 2280-9643 - Print ISSN 2283-3196

Executive Editor: Francesco Allegri
Associate Editor: Matteo Andreozzi 
Review Editors: Sofia Bonicalzi - Eleonora Adorni
Editorial Board:
Ralph R. Acampora - Carol J. Adams - Rod Bennison - Matthew R. Calarco - Piergiorgio Donatelli - William Grove-Fanning - Serenella Iovino - Joel MacClellan - Dario Martinelli - Roberto Marchesini - Alma Massaro - Barbara Muraca - Serpil Oppermann - Simone Pollo - Paola Sobbrio - Kim Stallwood - Sabrina Tonutti - Jessica Ullrich - Federico Zuolo