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Animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, use for entertainment, or abuse in any other way.

Lawsuit Blows Lid off ‘Happy Cows’ Ads

Written by PETA | September 28, 2011

After the Sacramento Superior Court ordered the spin doctors behind the blatantly false “Happy Cows” advertising campaign to hand over to PETA thousands of pages of records they wrongfully claimed were “trade secrets,” it became obvious why the agencies wanted to keep the documents under wraps.

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is required to ensure that the California Milk Advisory Board (CMAB) doesn’t make baseless (let alone outlandish) marketing claims. However, even though the CDFA searched thousands of records, it couldn’t produce so much as a single page that substantiated the ad claims. The CDFA and the CMAB have conspired for years to mislead consumers into thinking that dairy cows in California are somehow spared the horrors of the abusive dairy factory-farming industry

The documents also show that PETA’s campaign against the “Happy Cows” deception led to the ads’ demise, and the records support our claim that the CMAB’s newest propaganda, the “Family Farms” campaign, is just as tall a tale. We are working to have those ads pulled and sent into the deep recesses of the CMAB’s archives of lies. The judge also ordered the CDFA to pay PETA’s attorneys’ fees and costs over the wrongfully withheld documents.

Unless California’s milk producers are all auditioning for impostor spots on To Tell the Truth, they need to learn the difference between fact and fiction. You can avoid funding their lies by throwing the support of your dairy dollars behind real cruelty-free milks like rice, soy, and almond milk.


Written by Michelle Sherrow

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  • LORRAINE A. CRIMANDO says:

    I don’t believe we should patronize any industry in which animals suffer abuse. Until this moment, I didn’t know that dairy cows suffer so much. Therefore, I will no longer drink milk. It’s that simple. Making conscious choices is actually very easy. There are always alternatives that don’t have to involve another creature’s suffering. I don’t need anything so badly I’d support an inhumane industry to have it. I have every faith I’ll live without milk and feel really terrific that by doing this an animal won’t suffer.

  • S says:

    Isn’t this the campaign that was using ‘happy cows’ in new zealand that were made to look like they were the california cows. anyhow i will tell you that new zealand cows are treated horribly, calves separated from mothers, calves sent to slaughter, calves aborted to extend milking time and mother cows sent to slaughter at age five after being constantly pregnant. sick and twisted so i eat vegan and i thrive.

  • marisa says:

    To Shannon…You don’t have eat prepared vegan foods. Believe me, its much easier than you think. Eat lots of beans, nuts,salads, fruit etc. you can also try Vegweb.com for ideas. I really think you should try. Also, there are websites where you can purchase vegan treats as well. I bought some off of Veganstore.com

  • Steve says:

    “We buy milk because it’s a healthy source of calcium and vitamin D that we and our children need.” 100% incorrect – do the research…check out http://www.forksoverknives.com/ for starters…

  • Dan says:

    Tom- I know many people who shop ethically and go out of their way to support brands that treat their animals well. Milk is not a healthy source of calcium and vitamin D. The FDA told us that in school, however animal proteins such as casein in milk contribute to cardiovascular disease and cancer.

  • paula says:

    Anyone on p.e.t.a.knows that m.i.l.k (MURDER INDUSTRY LAME KILLING) IS JUST THIS ,MILK IS FULL OF PUSS,GROWTH HORMONES,ANTIBIOTICS,AND CAME FROM COWS THAT WAS CONTINUALY IMPREGNATED BY ARTIFICIAL MEANS ,ENDURES A CRUEL EVIL LIVE FROM HUMANS CONFINEMENT ,AND A FOOL WILL BUY THIS ADVERTISING AND THE MILK.YOUR CHILDREN WILL REACH PUBERTY FASTER AND HAVE MORE COLDS,ECT. TRY SOY AND ALMOND MILK THAT HAS A LONGER SHELF LIFE AND INCREASE YOUR SPIRITUAL LIFE FOR FREE INSIDE YOURSELF.mOO mOO !!

  • Shannon says:

    I need to be a vegan, but it’s very difficult to buy vegan foods from where I live and vet expensive at that. Although I do eat small bits of vegan food I can purchase I actually can’t wait to achieve a full vegan diet. I hate what cows go through! We can easily consume calcium in other alternatives. Think about it, if us humans are drinking their milk, then what are their offsprings drinking? The whole reason for pregnancy? Errrrnlthing because they’re shipped away to slaughter for veal arrrrgggghhhhh. We dont need milk!

  • Jamie says:

    Milk is actually not good for you like we have always been told growing up. Watch forks over knives, there are doctors who have conducted extensive research on the affects of casein, which is found in milk. Casein can cause cancer.

  • Sandy Shade says:

    I think it is great-GO PETA. For the dairy milk drinker, get under the next cow you ride by, get under her and squeeze out your cereal milk, put your coffee cup under and get some cream. Humans are the only species to drink another mammals milk. Again suck a cow tit next time you need your milk.

  • Ben says:

    Good work PETA!

  • Kristin says:

    Tom, what is this “need” you speak of? You don’t “need” milk to survive. You can get your vitamins and calcium elsewhere, without contributing to the dairy industry. Let’s just call it what it is and say that you don’t “want” to find alternative sources, because, let’s face the facts…it’s a choice you make on a daily basis. Maybe you should start making different choices.

  • Laura says:

    @ Tom- Dairy free milks have been shown to be healthier, and soy milk has much more calcium, and less fat, than diary milk. The animal proteins in dairy also make our blood more acidic, leeching calcium phosphate from our bones to make up for, and re-alkalize, our blood. It has been proven that milk is not necessary, and actually detrimental, to the health of humands, young and old, despite what the dairy industry says. Dairy-free substitutes are much more beneficial. Also, although seeing singing cows on tv might not make anyone run out and buy a gallon of milk, it is extremely misleading about the sources of a largely consumed product, and if the truth about cows’ living conditions was shown, it is very likely that fewer people would be ok with buying the product.

  • Sharon says:

    @Tom, ignorance is not bliss. There’s nothing healthy about drinking cow’s milk.

  • Tom says:

    That’s just silly. How does one measure the “happiness” of a cow? Although the ad may have been pulled because of a PETA lawsuit, do you really think it makes any difference? I nor anyone I know buy milk because they saw a cow yodeling on television. We buy milk because it’s a healthy source of calcium and vitamin D that we and our children need.

  • kathy says:

    Thank you PETA! I stopped eating all dairy products for ethical reasons but the extra bonus is my health and fitness greatly improved.

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