Written by PETA
Today, Mercy for Animals (MFA) released a new undercover investigation into New York's largest dairy factory farm, Willet Dairy. The footage that the group's investigator captured is strikingly similar to what we uncovered less than six months ago at a Land O'Lakes dairy farm and provides even more evidence that animals who are exploited for their milk suffer through sickening amounts of cruelty and neglect.
After watching this video, animal welfare experts and veterinarians have denounced the treatment of cows revealed in MFA's investigation, which include the following:
The truth about milk can be hard to swallow, but people owe it to themselves—and animals—to see what really goes on in the dairy industry. Tonight, ABC World News and Nightline will air footage from the MFA investigation as well as our Land O'Lakes investigation. Help us expose the dairy industry's "fairy tale" for what it really is—an unhappily-ever-after existence for cows and calves, from the moment they're born until they are slaughtered—by telling as many people as you can via e-mail, Facebook, and Twitter to tune in to what is sure to be a heart-wrenching exposé.
Written by Karin Bennett
Nothing ruins a road trip more than seeing an 18-wheeler driving down the highway crammed tight with animals destined for slaughter. From state to state, regardless of weather, animals are carted from factory farms and feedlots—where they suffer short, miserable lives—to slaughterhouses, where their throats are cut or they are scalded alive in baths of hot water. In transit, they are forced to face the blazing summer heat or freezing winter winds while being deprived of food, water, or rest—and sometimes they become the victims of highway accidents.
Today, we're thrilled to report that at PETA's request, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has instructed its 8,000 inspectors in procedures to help enforce the 28-Hour Law—a federal statute requiring that cows, pigs, and other farmed animals be fed, watered, and allowed to rest after 28 hours on the road. As a result of this regulatory nudge, transport conditions will improve for the estimated 50 million farmed animals who are annually transported for long distances and denied their basic necessities.
The FSIS's notice to its inspectors helps address the deplorable treatment of animals in transit from factory farms to slaughterhouses. A former pig transporter told PETA that pigs are "packed in so tight, their guts actually pop out their butts—a little softball of guts actually comes out." In hot weather, many cows who are on their way to slaughter collapse in the heat, and in the cold, cows sometimes freeze to the sides of the truck until workers pry them off with crowbars. Like cows and pigs, chickens are usually given no food or water and are shipped through all weather conditions. People who spot chicken-transport trucks on the highway frequently report seeing the heads of dead and dying chickens protruding from the crates.
We applaud FSIS for informing its inspectors of how they can report suspected violations of the 28-Hour Law for investigation. Of course, the only true way to prevent the suffering of animals used for food is to go vegan, but with these landmark actions, what was once a nightmarish and often fatal trip will hopefully become a little more bearable.
Written by Logan Scherer
A couple of months ago, we filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) urging it to make the California Milk Advisory Board (CMAB) stop misleading consumers about the way cows on dairy farms are treated. Now, John Robbins—son of the founder of the Baskin-Robbins ice cream empire and the Pulitzer Prize–nominated author of Food Revolution—has written a letter to the FTC in support of our complaint.
"As the only son of the founder of the Baskin-Robbins ice cream empire, I was groomed from an early age to take over the family business. However, once I became aware of the tremendous suffering of cows on dairy farms, the suffering of their calves, and the devastating impact that dairy production has on the environment, I instead committed myself to working for a more compassionate and environmentally responsible world," writes Robbins, whose decision to put his father's legacy to a compassionate cause has inspired many to ditch the pus for good.
Cows in the dairy industry do not typically wander along in green pastures like the Happy Cows ads would have consumers believe. The reality for cows who are forced to produce milk for human consumption is that most are crammed into huge sheds, where they wallow in mud and feces. They are forcefully impregnated again and again only to have their babies ripped away from them shortly after birth so that their milk—which is meant for their children—can be sold in supermarkets.
Tons of people have already taken action to help cows suffering on dairy farms—won't you do the same?
Thank you soy much!
Written by Logan Scherer
The only time I ever thought that I'd get the chance to say, "Holy cow," and mean it literally is when I talk about PETA's pope cow. Turns out I was wrong.
Moses the calf was born with the pattern of a cross on his forehead, inspiring the awe-struck owners of the Connecticut dairy farm where he lives to spare his life. Male calves born on dairy farms are usually destined to be sent off to veal farms and spend their short lives chained in veal crates that don't allow them space to take a single step in any direction. Moses' birthmark has spared him that fate, and he is being sent to a place where he can live happily and freely.
While Moses' owners are willing to spare his life—a miracle if we've ever heard one—this divine intervention has us crossing our fingers in the hopes that these farmers will save every one of their cows.
Curious, clever, and loving, every cow is a beautiful marvel. Like dogs who form packs, cows prefer to spend their time together, forging complex relationships. Mother cows are unendingly maternal and can be heard crying out for their calves days after they are ripped apart from one another on factory farms. Spare the life of an animal every time you eat by going vegan—you'll save more than 100 lives every year. Now that's a lot of miracles!
Think back to 1998, when Titanic spoofs were still topical and The Simpsons was only in its 10th season. Remember the Simpsons episode in which Homer discovers that Springfield's milk is supplied by a mafia-run underground rat-milking operation? Yeah, it was pretty nasty.
Fast-forward to 2009: Pharming, a Netherlands-based biotech firm, seems to be using The Simpsons as misguided inspiration for pharmaceutical development. Pharming has been running its own rabbit-milking operation for years. And now, with the recent announcement that Pharming has extracted a protein from rabbit milk for use in an experimental drug, Dutch farmers are prepared to start milking rabbits on a large scale.
This news may seem like it's from an alternate cartoon universe, but animal-exploiting companies like Pharming are constantly finding new ways to abuse female animals and their reproductive systems, sentencing millions of animals to confinement, misery, and death in the process. These profit-hungry businesses are willing to do anything to animals for money—no matter how much suffering it causes. Many people know that dairy farms forcibly impregnate cows over and over and rip their babies from them a day after they're born so that humans can drink their mothers' milk and the male calves can be sold for veal. Less attention is paid to the biotech companies that milk mice in order to extract a protein for human baby formula or genetically engineer goats to produce spider silk in their milk for use in parachute cords and bulletproof vests.
The easiest, fastest way to save lives is simply not to support companies that profit from cruelty to animals. Go vegan and shun any products that were tested on animals or that contain any animal ingredients. Remember that there is always a humane alternative.
Newsflash: Cows on dairy farms aren't happy. In fact, they are quite the opposite.
So how is it that the California Milk Advisory Board (CMAB) can continue to claim that the "best" cheese comes from California's supposedly ecstatic cows?
You know the ads—the one with a handful of free-roaming, robust cows cavorting sassily under a cheerful California sky? Apparently we're expected to believe that all cows used on dairy farms in California look like this …
… as opposed to this:
In the past, we've had some choice words on the subject of California's supposedly happy cows. In 2002, PETA filed suit against the CMAB for false advertising—but the California Supreme Court refused to hear the case on the grounds that as a government agency, the CMAB can’t be sued for violating California state advertising laws.*
But we kept fighting the good fight against the CMAB's false advertising with a series of "Unhappy Cow" demonstrations and public service announcements, including a few starring the man himself, animal crusader James Cromwell. And now, on the heels of our most recent undercover investigation inside a dairy farm, the time has come to return to the trenches.
We're filing a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, calling on it to make the CMAB stop lying to consumers about the way cows on dairy farms are treated. "Happy cow" ads mislead consumers into believing that California dairy cows are pasture raised, free roaming, and grass fed and live in conditions that make them "happy" (i.e., that they are well cared for, content, comfortable, and healthy). In reality, these cows are drugged up, over-milked, and denied even the most basic care. Doesn't sound like a "happy cow" to me.
Written by Amanda Schinke
*Let's put aside how alarming one might find the idea of a government not subject to regulation.
Oh, South Park. So irreverent, yet poignant! Consider last night's Whale Wars parody, in which Stan takes Captain Paul Watson's place in the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and steps up the conservationists' campaign in a way only possible through cartoon violence. (Yes, there were explosions.)
Amidst the world's rightful outcry at the injustice of whaling, Stan fights the good fight—protecting whales from senseless slaughter—and along the way finds out the real reason why the Japanese government thinks it's A-OK to attack beloved marine life.
More commentary—with spoilers—after the jump.
This week, PETA's cavorting cow has been urging people in cities across the U.S. to dump dairy from their diets with a not-so-subtle hint.
Why's this heifer in a huff?
Last week, PETA released undercover footage of cows who were kept on a Land O'Lakes supplier's factory farm in pens covered with feces. They were denied veterinary care and even kicked or stabbed with pocket knives when they were too weak to stand.
If dairy foods were deadly for your relatives, you'd want people to ditch it, too, right? Well, dairy foods have been linked to a slew of human health issues, including allergies, obesity, prostate cancer, heart disease, and autism.
Written by Heather Drennan
Here is a story that answers the question, "What's wrong with supporting 'free-range' farms?"
PETA caseworkers recently worked on a case in New Mexico involving a mother cow who suffered for days after she became stuck in the mud around a watering hole.
The cow was part of a small cattle herd living on a ranch. There was no caretaker residing on the property to watch over the animals. The cow was pregnant when she became stuck in the mud, and she was forced to give birth while she was trapped. Her newborn calf became stuck as well.
PETA contacted local authorities as soon as we were alerted to this cow's plight, but the officials refused to help the cow until they could locate the owners. The decomposing bodies and bones of other cattle around this watering hole were evidence that this was not the first time that the negligent owners had left animals to die. The owners reportedly rent the property as a place to "store" their cattle, and they don't make regular visits to care for them.
Luckily, a concerned individual in the region was able to free the calf from the mud and tend to his suffering mother—who was languishing in the blazing sun and was only able to move her head—while we continued to try to find her the help she needed.
Our calls to state and local authorities finally resulted in action, and the inspectors who were sent out to the farm were quickly able to euthanize the suffering animal.
This is not an isolated case. Animals on farms all over the country face starvation, disease, and exposure to all weather extremes. Farmers often consider these animals to be as disposable as light bulbs. It's not always profitable to monitor and provide specialized care for individual members of herds, and this can result in agonizing and lonely deaths for many animals.
Fortunately, this mother cow and her calf were spared such a fate thanks to the kindness of a caring citizen and PETA's intervention. Please, don't support an industry that treats animals as nothing more than parts on a cheap-meat (dis)assembly line.
Yesterday was a big day for the dairy industry. People across the nation were getting their first peek into what dairy farming actually looks like as media outlets covered PETA's recent, revealing undercover investigation into the putrid living conditions and the abusive treatment of cows on one Land O'Lakes supplier's factory farm. At the same time, PETA was dropping in on the first day of the World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wisconsin.
A couple of passionate ladies were on hand at the Expo to let attendees and passersby know that the dairy industry is dreadful for cows and disgusting for humans. Our undercover investigation revealed that cows at milking stations were caked in feces and urine. It also showed that many of these gentle animals had untreated abscesses that sometimes burst and oozed pus as cows were being milked.
After hearing stories like these, people in Madison were quick to take home copies of our "Vegetarian Starter Kit." Why don't you do the same?
Written by Shawna Flavell
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Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.