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Attention, Please: California’s Cows Are Miserable

Written by PETA | April 13, 2010

What will it take to make California stop misleading consumers about its unhappy cows? Last fall, we filed a complaint against the California Milk Advisory Board (CMAB) for alleged false advertising, asking the Federal Trade Commission to make the CMAB end its misleading campaign, and big names like John Robbins and Ginnifer Goodwin have shown cows big love by writing to the FTC in support of our complaint. Now, PETA’s latest move in the pursuit of happiness for California’s cows is sure to turn heads in the state’s capital:


Happy Cows


Cows on dairy factory farms are not given much more than the numbered ear tag that’s used to identify them. PETA’s undercover investigation inside Land O’Lakes supplier Reitz Dairy revealed deplorable, filthy conditions for cows on the Pennsylvania farm, such as pens that were filled with deep excrement and cows who collapsed, becoming “downers,” but who were not given veterinary care or put out of their misery. Yet when this information was presented in a court of law, the judge found the owners not guilty after testimony that our heartbreaking photos and video footage showed “standard practices” for the dairy industry.

Drugged, over-milked, and kept in filthy, crowded lots, the typical California cow is anything but happy. Instead of encouraging CMAB to continue misleading consumers, take a minute to contact the FTC and then save a cow by downing a tall glass of soy milk.

Written by Logan Scherer

Commenting is closed.
  • Hugo says:

    Leave the cows alone! Eat what your body was designed to eat. An infamous body builder said “Only babies drink milk.”

  • ilona says:

    the british industry is no better and the government do nothing about it.. all they are interested in is lining their disregard and disrespect for life and they all these people who have the power to do something about it pretend to be “godly” going to church and stuff and refering to inhumanity! well where is their humanity once they get our votes.. huh . a good leader leads by example.. they need to get intouch with the reality of the animal world and the realism of the cruelty they are submitting upon these poor creatures

  • Oliver says:

    Can someone please tell me WHY ? I cant name just a singel person in my family or friend, that would treat animals like that…. And this is US.

  • Jean Cameron says:

    ALL sentient creatures deserve respect and a comfortable life … not just humans. Any creature that feels pain and knows fear is morally entitled to the same humane treatment we give give our fellowman. This is called “morality”. Too bad so many in our food industry see animals as “commodities” without feeling or entitled to respect. I gave up animal milk years ago and happily drink soy or almond milk.

  • Emelia says:

    I have been vegan for 5 years I will NEVER go back to milk. EVER. This is the billboard I have been waiting for!

  • Dan Luckwaldt says:

    Not sure how cows can be productive living in filth. My experience is that the healthiest most comfortable well fed cows are the most profitable. On my farm you won’t see poorly treated cows.

  • Paul says:

    If it is your choice to not eat meat or drink milk ok. But misleading people is wrong. Chloe says milk causes cancer. This is a false statement but nobody on the PETA side will correct her ignorance of the subject. “Happy cows” ads are as misleading as “PETA” ads. Cows are not as sentient as we wish for them to be. Livestock farms are managed very well yet most folks here will disagree as they have never been to a farm or understand the farmer.

  • Doug says:

    I am a large animal veterinarian from Indiana and there is not one of the thousands of cows we work with that wades in slop. Our cows are cooled with large fans and sprinklers when hot have fresh feed several times every day and are quite clean because the walkways and feed alleys are cleaned daily or more often. They are not mistreated or afraid. They do not appear to me to be unhappy.

  • Brent says:

    Has anyone even bothered to ask the simple question how does anyone know whether a cow is truly happy or not? In hot weather cows would love to lie down in slop because it keeps them cooler. They could care less where they lie down as long as it’s soft. I’ve seen it for many years… The only problem with slop is not the cows’ happiness but possible infections.

  • vana says:

    You stop drinking Cow Milk and cows will no longer be a part of this world. Don’t drink milk you will kill a cow…

  • Barbara Corson says:

    I have had a “family cow” for years. I truly enjoy interacting with cows and they seems to enjoy their lives too. I wouldn’t want to live in a world where there were no dairy cows but neither would i want to live in a world where there were only “factory farms”. remember that factory farms mass produce soybeans and rice and that is not good for the planet either. I think the best answer is to be a locavore eat local foods and take responsibility for what you eat whether it is animal vegetable or mineral.

  • Mary says:

    Milk does NOT save people. It just weighs on your conscience for life when you learn what happens to those poor sweet cows. Almondmilk is a great replacement for milk in fruit smoothies everyone!

  • carla says:

    Seriously John. Educate yourself. Your post was pathetic.

  • Joanna says:

    I have had good luck opening people’s minds to alternatives to dairy by cooking for my friends. Saying very little about the food until they ask me about it and then saying it ‘happens’ to be a vegan reciepe. By then they are already eating the food and enjoying it. Whenever my friends have sinus headaches and colds I suggest they try going dairy free for a few days to clear the congestion. I always speak about my own battle to get over the sinus infections and how the simple solution was to go dairy free. People will change when they are ready to change but having a few ideas about the goodness of vegan food and health benefits seeded in their minds is needed to start the process. I will be happy when the Dairy Farmers cannot sell their products like the sealers who cannot seal the hides of seals this year.

  • seth says:

    im confuzed on the fda thing i went to do it but it asks unrelatible questions whats with that?

  • chloe says:

    Now you know where cancer comes from… Anyway profits SUPERCEDE kindness sympathy is always at the bottom of the “foodchain”. Let’s not forget human population is multiplying as we speak…

  • Rolf Guyer says:

    Milk is gross. Want cow pus with that? Unfortunately demand fuels this injustice. Even worse is the negative impact it has on the health of those that consume dairy. It’s not as if there aren’t alternatives. People are so conditioned the mere mention of an alternative like soy or rice milk elicits a highly negative response. They won’t even try it. Sad…

  • S. Bellue says:

    To John J. If milk is so good do you believe that dairy farmers especially those that run dairy factory farms have the right to harm animals? No animal deserves to be treated this way. Maybe if we could legally abuse people the way animals are tortured abused maybe it would cause a change of heart in most people specifically those that feel animals are objects not sentient beings.

  • natasha sirugo says:

    I have always been a fan of PETA however had no idea what they did to milk cows until now. The ugly truth revealed! My son already drinks rice milk I think my daughter and I will be joining him for now on. I will also be writing to the FTC..Thanks for the info!

  • Natasha says:

    This is exactly why I became vegan myself almost a year ago. This is absolutely despicable and horrific. More people should know about where their milkdairy products are coming from. Ignorance is causing so much animal suffering.

  • Lauren K. says:

    Theres some bogus poster in my school with cows on a green pasture with the saying “Drink Milk!” on the top. Every time I see it I die a little as the memories of the footage I’ve seen of the simply disgusting conditions these poor cows live in resurface in my mind.

  • Letizia Stanghellini says:

    Facts like this ones are the very reason why I became vegan 3 years ago. We owe it to these cows. My heart is to them and to the killed calves. The thing that is most upsetting is that people should know the truth about the milk they drink! Not fair to the cows and to consumers.

  • John J says:

    What? Now milk is wrong? Please stop the madness milk products save millions of children around the world everyday!

  • JEN N. says:

    This advertising is completely misleading!! It’s trying to convince ignorant consumers that they can “feel good” about the way animals on factory farms are being treated when nothing is further from the truth! What deceat!!!

  • Katherine says:

    I’m glad PETA’s doing something about this I was upset about it and didn’t know what to do until I read this. Since the ads are shown in places which are unlikely to be selling California milk and California milk cannot be identified by consumers in those places the sole purpose of the ad must be to mislead us as to the animal’s living conditions.

  • Nikki says:

    This is sick and very cruel no animal deserves to be treated that way!

  • moo.lennon. says:

    california the ghetto country in process of becoming better…long way.milk is nasty i mean if u think about it” how would u like somebody to squeeze ur nipples so someone can drink it and say im healthy!” thats favorite?coffee soymilk33

  • annie michaux says:

    Please end this pain! Would you live in these conditions? GOD created these animals to help us! We should respect them and then we respect ourselves!

  • judy says:

    Standing in feces is not fun for anyone! Cows either! Don’t you know that’s good for their milk production! Yuck! Where’s my ricemilk?!?!

  • Kat says:

    Thats why i’m vegan. treatment like that is just wrong. not okay.

  • Ashley Jade says:

    Every time I saw one of those sic commercials “voting” for a cow to “win” the “right” to be “happy in California” it sickened me. I know the truth. People are so brainwashed and refuse to educate themselves on what is really happening because then they would be forced to change. How could any sane person not want to know the TRUTH and do something about it? The money makers do everything in their power to make us look like the “crazy” ones. GREED!!!

  • Cat! =^-^= says:

    As much as I really abhor the dairy industry I think the responsibility lies with the consumer. The dairy industry like most other businesses is just trying to make money. Isn’t the first and won’t be the last case of fraudulent advertising. Consumers need to be more conscious of their own health and be smart enough to discern all the information they receive about what is and isn’t good for them. I think anyone who falls for colorful advertising and takes it for fact is already doomed.

  • Debra says:

    I just contacted the FTC and it only took about 5 minutes. Well worth it to get these false ads off the tv. Happy Cows are happier when we’re not drinking their milk!

  • Lori says:

    I find it so hopeful that advertising is now starting to be held accountable! WE have the right to KNOW!!!

  • Izzy says:

    Veg for life!!! We need to depend on animals for life. Its been almost a year that i havent. Never felt better

  • Michelle says:

    It is so difficult to convince people that milk is actually BAD for them. I try and try. The PR by the dairy industry in cahoots with the government has so many people believing that they need milk to survive. They start with the kids in school for goodness sake! They need to toss that awful food pyramid and get real! Milk is one of the worst things in the world for a human body!

  • Heidi says:

    I just submitted my complaint to the FTC!

  • luisa gonzalez says:

    This is a horrible practice please stop!

  • Masha says:

    It’s horrible that the judge can’t see what’s happening. For once he should look out of the law and into the real world.

  • tamra franze says:

    This practice is completely disgusting and inhumane. Why do you think this is OK to do to animals.

  • Rafay says:

    this is horrible!! PETA is doing a great job … how can i work with PETA?

  • sherry says:

    yeppers on the soy milk….conditions are horrible

  • Joanna says:

    Since going dairy free I have better health too. No colds or sinus infections in two years and counting. I like whole grain rice milk in place of milk tahiniseseame butter in place in butter almond and hazelnut butter in place of cream chesse sun dried tomatoe paste in place of chesse on pizza coconut milk frozen to make ice cream. Yum Yum you just don’t need milk. And don’t belive organic milk is any better. Its still cows being separted from their babies and milked to death so you can eat an unhealthy food. California Cows are soooo unhappy.