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Hot Topics: The Milk Wars

20 Jun 2024

Hot Topics: The Milk Wars

12:00pm - 1:00pm


Join us online for this summer’s Hot Topics in Environmental Law Summer Lecture Series, brought to you by the Environmental Law Center at VLGS. The series is free, open to the public, and includes a live Q&A with the audience.

This session, "The Milk Wars," will be presented by Iselin Gambert, George Washington University and VLGS Animal Law Distinguished Scholar.

Milk is one of the most ubiquitous substances on the planet—and perhaps one of the most contested. It is tied closely to notions of purity, health, and femininity, and is seen as so central to human civilization that our own galaxy—the Milky Way—is named after it. But despite its wholesome reputation, milk has long had a sinister side, being bound up with the exploitation of the (human and nonhuman) bodies it comes from and being a symbol of and tool for white dominance and superiority. The word itself, in verb form, means “to exploit.” It is also a word at the center of a decades-old, multinational battle taking place in courthouses, the halls of congress, on social media, and in the streets. This presentation explores the contradictions inherent in the substance as well as the word “milk” and examines the legal, political, cultural, and linguistic forces behind the “milk wars” between dairy milk and plant milk advocates around the world.  

Watch here!

Questions? Concerns? Contact Courtney Collins at