Tasked with the unenviable but necessary task of counteracting anti-dairy propaganda from animal rights activists, medical researchers are beginning to repeat a worthwhile mantra: kids need milk, kids need milk, kids need milk (close your eyes and say it ten more times…).

According to research just published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, children who don’t drink milk are 350 percent as likely to have broken arm bones by age six. In addition, they are dramatically shorter in stature than kids whose parents regularly give them dairy products.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and its affiliated medical front group, the misnamed Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, have long been at the forefront of anti-dairy scare campaigns. PETA’s latest stunt involves a billboard depicting a breastfeeding Christ child and the name of its anti-milk web site.

In a statement about one such billboard that appeared in upstate New York, a spokesman for the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights openly castigated PETA for bringing religious politics into the battle over Americans’ diets. “We don’t object to the picture of Jesus being breast-fed,” League president William Donohue told the Vancouver Sun, “but they’re using it to market something cheap… Animals are entitled to our protective welfare, [but] they are incapable of possessing rights because their inability to think disqualifies them as moral agents. That’s one thing the leadership of PETA has in common with their precious salamanders — an inability to think.”