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No Justice for Cows in Pennsylvania

Written by PETA | March 19, 2010

Despite overwhelmingly sad video and photographic evidence of lame, thin, and downed cows left to suffer and die and a cow whose teat was banded and left to decay and fall off—not to mention expert testimony that all this constituted cruelty—a judge whose courtroom was packed with dairy farmers today found the owners of Reitz Dairy, a filthy Land O’Lakes supplier in Pennsylvania that PETA investigated last year, not guilty.


Conditions like these were defended as “standard dairy practice”!
Reitz Dairy


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PETA’s investigator found cows on this factory dairy farm collapsed, lame, and struggling to hobble through a deep soup of feces and urine in the perpetually filthy conditions. Cows suffering from painful infections and severe lameness were deprived of even basic care; dying cows were not even put out of their misery. PETA’s video shows injured cows as they are kicked, shocked with a high-voltage electric prod, and jabbed along the spine with the open blade of a pocket knife.

A little pat of butter? PETA has brought the abysmal conditions on this farm to Land O’Lakes’ attention, but the company is doing nothing to prevent such abuse and neglect on its suppliers’ farms and continues to buy from Reitz Dairy.

Cows are great mothers, loyal herd members, wise, and gentle. Studies show that they will sacrifice their own interests for the benefit of the group and that they communicate in subtle ways with facial expressions that we can’t even register. When they figure out a puzzle, such as how to open a tricky gate, they have a “eureka moment” and jump for joy.

Because cows cannot rely on the law to protect them, it’s up to every concerned person to take a stand—to vote against cruelty with our shopping cart. As this case has vividly demonstrated, milk, cheese, and butter do not come from “happy cows” who frolic in lush green pastures. They come from miserable cows confined to crowded, muck-filled barns—cows who are forcibly impregnated, only to have their newborns yanked away from them so that humans can drink the milk that nature intended for their calves.

That’s why we must continue to pressure Land O’Lakes to, at the very least, implement the 12-point animal-welfare program that PETA has recommended. And each one of us needs to “file charges” against factory farms every time we shop by refusing to purchase their ill-gotten products.

Written by Alisa Mullins

Commenting is closed.
  • Danielle says:

    It is sad. We need to take better care of the animals we kill for food even if our own safety is our only motive. But honestly how many people here are prochoice? Killing human children for the sake of carelessness is far worse than killing cows to eat.

  • Caren says:

    I kinda get a little bit of puke in my mouth watching this… If I had the room id rescue them… GO PETA!!!!

  • Colleen says:

    Perhaps everyone here should actually visit a dairy farm themselves instead of just looking at skewed pictures shown by PETA. Yes this is an extremely cruel act at this farm however it is not the norm on dairy farms. We actually appreciate our animals and treat them with respect. Don’t judge an entire industry by one picture.

  • christina says:

    this is sick… people should know that even drinking milk for these animals causes them much pain…. i hope the people who put these animals through this pain go to jail!!! they should realize what they are diong to these aniamls are wrong!!!! maybe if someone did this to their family they would understand…..if they had to go through this torute then maybe they would see…. but seeing this made me even more committed to my personal goal of being a vegan!!!!!!!!!

  • mike says:

    i fell bad for this animals how can someone let this happen.

  • Rad_Rosa89 says:

    That judge needs to open his eyes..

  • Andre Inglis says:

    Two words Go Veg.

  • Danielle says:

    Good on you PETA!! May Gd continue to bless you with strength and opportunity to help animals. I believe full hearten that this evil cruel act must stop now. I’m so surprised at this country allowing grown men taking their hostilities out on these defenseless animals. And how can their wives put up with that nonsense? It says a lot about womanhood if their own wives won’t put a stop to it. Then one of the farmer’s sons knifes a cow. How evil is that but I bet he has a girlfriend. I bring this up because as people we can do so much when reporting voicing monitoring just by asking questions and calling the proper authorities. I will research how we can unseat a judge in PA. He’s got to go and now!!! A sick individual. I will never buy LandOLakes never did in the first place but now for sure and will make sure my family doesn’t either as well as friends. Next I will ask questions of Horizon.

  • Ceccilia Reyes says:

    Hello to all my brothers who are against the cruelty to our fellow animals.We are in very difficult times each time the human race exterminated itself. Man thinks that practice animal cruelty does not mean anything bad but actually the man does not accept or understand that it is exterminating itself.My brothers the human race is so cruel we know that man practices cruelty to the same man. While there are legislators who ARE NOT vegetarians while there are rulers who eat breakfast eat and dine flesh of any animal and while we have politicians with ideals CARNIVORES the animals continue to suffer and we will also suffer. I am Mexican you imagine how I feel living in a country where laws to protect animal rights are almost nonexistent. Some groups without intent to profit foundations and some pet food brands have joined forces and created shelters adoption and veterinary hospitals with volunteer doctors to cure the health of these beautiful creatures. But the cows chickens pigs goats baby sheep cows in the stables which are used as factories for milk … Who will rescue them and if I take into account that my country loves eat them and celebrates killing full of cruelty?? It’s really sad and hopeless and I know we have all felt helpless and really want to do much much more in favor of them. No matter what country it is if we dig a little is sure to find garbage violation of laws corruption politicians who only defend their own interests and only want to earn more money human and animal cruelty despair …It is natural and logical that we want the same treatment with cruelty couple all those involved in the cruel treatment to animals. Maybe we feel that it would be very fair. I do think it’s fair but … violence breeds more violence and cruelty generates extermination. PETA’s thank to work hard and show the reality as it is the world as it goes. I encourage you to be a responsible and compassionate human with animals and teach our children the love and respect them. Let’s make them a generation of change. Do not lose faith do not lose hope. One day soon all humans and animals live together and we will love and respect them all as brothers and not matter the species. Believe me we have much to learn from them their purity their dedication their loyalty their joy … Sending a big kiss to my brothers who love and respect to animals no matter what part of the world are.

  • Kathy says:

    WOW. What a world we live in. God help us all. We will surely suffer for this one.

  • Elease Washington says:

    this is so nasty. how can they do that to those poor cows raising them to only kill them. Those cows dont even get a chance to eat grass or smell fresh air. somebody needs to lock those people up and rescue those cows especially the one whos anus was falling out its butt.

  • Shelly says:

    What a shame… Those poor animals deserve fresh water warm sun green grass and most of all they deserve our respect. We’ll keep fighting with you PETA by being vegan supporting you and never being silent in our fight.

  • Steve says:

    This idea of possessing animals as if they were another material item like a car has to stop. Leave the animals alone you don’t need to make them a ‘pet’. The puppy mills are thriving with the idea of humans ‘creating’ breeds to capture in their house or apartment. For what? It’s also not the most sanitary life style to have and it ties you down so much It creates all these parasitic industries like pet veternarians and dog food manufacturers. Just leave all the animals alone. They know how to live and they don’t need man using them for entertainment companionship or food. Yes even using them for companionship is a selfish human act. Look at the tropical fish industry It’s all about the mighty buck and preys on the emotional immaturity of alot of humans. Dogs to a large degree are about ‘showing’ off to your neighbor how sophisticated’ you are. It’s an image thing that reflects just how shallow and superficial man is as a species. You can connect with animals by viewing them at a distance and being satisfied without having to ‘grab’ them.

  • Sanjay lawand says:

    I thanks Peta for making me aware of pain we give to animals. I get tears in my eyes for animals i pray god to stop all cruelty towards animals. I urged my students if u can not make good to animals its ok but atleast do not harm them. animals are not our slaves. Man used animals to his benefit. Peta u r donig excellent work but i find myself helplss in educating people and to stop cruelty Thanks Sanjay

  • Nilden Kireçte says:

    This is terrible! And it is in the U.S.? I am shocked. I cannot even imagine what they must endure here in Turkey. Plus thousands are slaughtered in the streets each year for the socalled sacrifice holiday which is still legal in all Muslim countries. It is a disaster and human shame.

  • Robin says:

    Humans really are so despicable.

  • Rob says:

    The single biggest impact we can make on the monumental suffering that this video spotlights is to go vegan. Please if you are already vegetarian work toward reducing all animal products from your diet. Veganism for health for animals and for our planet.

  • Lisa says:

    Inform the media of these videos. Society will not agree with these disgusting people!

  • Lou Peluso M.Ed. says:

    I’ve been a vegetarian since 1980 after viewing Erick Wiseman’s 30 minute bw documentary entitled “MEAT”. That 30 minute film changed my life forever. I’ve entered a slaughter house here in PA in 1985 and saw the fear in the eyes of the cows before entering the kill shoot. It’s no wonder slaughterhouses are hidden from sight and “protected” by laws that are criminal in and of themselves. If animals could talk 98 of humans would be behind bars for the crimes committed against the most innocent of beings on this planet. The animals will reach Heaven long before any human will and that includes the Pope and all socalled “religious” leaders who tout that animals don’t have souls.

  • Patricia Compton says:

    I’m so glad they’re other people who feel the way I do about the abuses going on in slaugterhouses farms etc. I watched for the first time the dvd Earthings at the Great American Meatout event and I only got through part 3 of 5 and broke down in tears and disgust along with anger and more determination than ever to do my part to end the suffering. I wish that all of us concerned people could get together and march for the animals to let those in the world that close their eyes to cruelty know whats going on.Bless all of you who care maybe Peta can help us accomplish a march for animals. The judges are being bought not something new I’m sure.

  • Sham says:

    And they said they are HUMANS VERY SHAMEFUL.

  • Shari says:

    Was that judge paid off? Boycott them and put them out of business!

  • alissa says:

    sick sick what type of people do this their killers they have no right to take a life.

  • AAG says:

    I am so horrified at the violence cruelty and extreme pain that these gentle beautiful creatures have to endure when being murdered for greedy humans. This is the ugly side of capitalism. Go vegan it is a moral imperative!

  • NewFlower says:

    Ive always loved animals and had a pet throughout my life. At one time I had rabbits which were living in open space and shared my plate with me at the tablewere warm in winter and cooled down in summer but yet I still ate meatwore leatherdrank milk because I didnt know any better. Funny enoughi never bought fur and thought of ppl to be MENTAL if theyre wearing fur and even worse Chinchila fur! How far are humans going??! It took a few hrs to get through the Skinny B book which I thought wouldgive me some advice on healthy eating etc… I cant eat eggsmeat cheesemilk or anything for 2 days now and I will never EVER buy fur or any product which is tested on animals because I saw that video on here as well. I dont know how gullable I was to believe that the steak I once ate with soo much pleasure was actually coming from a somewhat happy cowa cow who lived properlywas fed properly and was killed properly if you can even say that I was just lying to myself because i thought that “IF MILLIONS OF HEALTHY ADULTS WITH NO PSYCHOLOGICAL CHALLANGES EAT MEAT THRIVE ON EGGS AND GULP DOWN MILKTHEN CERTAINLTY THE INDUSTRY IS HUMANE.” I JUST CAN NOT BELIEVE HOW STUPID AND ILL INFORMED I WAS. THANK GOD IM ONLY 25 NOW AND NOT IN MY 40s and have time to change the world around me. Im a new vegan THANK YOU PETA.

  • Stacia says:

    yes this is horrible and so unnecessarythis torture and murder is avoidable GO VEGAN.

  • Aline Andueza says:

    I’m really shocked everytime i see this kind of thing!! it’s so horrible how can someone do this! and there is some people who ask me why i became vegan. why don’t the world want to see all this terrible things??!!!

  • victoria says:

    stop being mean to them ppoor inisint animals

  • Michele Cardinali says:

    i don’t know how people are able to do and cause such horrible cruelty i feel terrible just watching the video. We must do something about it and fast. Much are suffering every second..

  • keith says:

    I read in the UK plans are forging ahead to start a factory farm for cows that will number and house some 12000..what hope is there when big $ are at greedy corrupt companies..who actually control Governments..

  • Patrizia Baschiera says:

    I’m shocked my heart is broken into pieces.

  • Kaleigh Starr says:

    Everytime I see something so cruel so heart wrenching I am proud to say I went Vegan. Animals shouldn’t have to go through that. Animals were given a life so why can’t they live it in peace? I just don’t get people these days.. The time to act is now!

  • Roxanne says:

    I can’t believe that these corporations and factory farm employees can’t realize that these animals have eyes that can show emotion they feel pain they have hearts that beat.

  • victoria says:

    people need to stop treating these poor animals this way. i hate the people that do that to them they need to be put in the pain these poor inisite animals are in.

  • Urmil says:

    This is shameful. public has to be informed. Majority will say this is wrong

  • sabita patwardhan says:

    Absolutely horrific but not news or any surprise. Not only are animals treated this badly but I want to inform those who do not know about the following In order to give milk continually a cow has to have calves. The male calves are taken from their mother after 12 days and slaughtered and the milk sent to us. The calves used as key. Humans only need milk when their own mothers give milk. Calcium is there in lots of vegan foods.

  • zeeke says:

    im ashamed to animal community that i belonged to human race… how sad…

  • Eu-chan says:

    Holy mackerel!Are they insane?! They hurt animals for no reason if they want to gain a nice production they should wait for the next season then that’s the time they get products… forcing cows just to get the products ASAP? i don’t think sothey should wait until the next season of production if they want a better business

  • Dorian Benavides says:

    People make me sick! Someone once told me animals had no sence of time i said really? is that why your dogs know when you get home? She also said they didnt have souls i said and yet you believe that we came from animals? animals are just as aware as people are why should they get treated like this?

  • T says:

    Horrible and sad

  • Adam Kurta says:

    I’m not shocked by anything anymore. Unfortunately the world can’t even understand the concept of human rights. I stand firm in regards to the animals. I’m fighting the good fight but realistically the chance of ending suffering in animals is about the same as ending our use of oil.

  • Christine Roletter says:

    Disgusting. I can’t believe that we as humans can do this to animals. It’s cruel and heartless. I have ZERO respect for the people involved in this inhumane torture.

  • NT says:

    This is SHOCKING! can we appeal?

  • bailey says:

    Wow I cannot even believe my eyes. Until happening upon this site I was wholly unaware of the horrendous abuse that cows have to undergo. A soup of feces? What kind of psychos are churning this butter? A stop must come to this as it should have years before. We can take a stand against Them as they have done so much unfair damage against cows.

  • Karen Parker says:

    If they are going to have dairy farms and slaugter for meeat which is not going to change they can at least give the animals a decent life with no cruelty Cruelty free is a good thing. Its sick what is going on in some places

  • Nick says:

    This actually brought a tear to my eye. This is absolutely just…Seeing it happen I mean I’m already a vegan but it’s things like this that just further your belief in what you’re doing. If there’s any other vegans YOU’RE NOT CRAZY despite what the general public would like you to believe. Good for you for not conforming to societal norms. This disgusts me. They should be ASHAMED for doing this. And this is what people eat and drink? Thank you PETA god knows how much worse this world would be without you!

  • Sara says:

    This is absolutly rediculous. I hope whoever is doing this horible cruelty will eventually get arested. I wish this type of suffering to animals would just come to and end.

  • John says:

    Unfortunately corrupt judges collude with criminals in this country. These judges need to be removed and jailed. They are not upholding the laws of our land.

  • Brien Comerford says:

    The Human race is a profound disgrace evidenced by our sadistic mistreatment of animals.

  • abby says: