Kidnapping and violence may be everyday things for fictional mob wife Carmela Soprano, but did you know that they’re horrifyingly real for mother cows? This year marks the 25th anniversary of the TV series The Sopranos, and PETA Honorary Director Edie Falco, famous for her role as Carmela Soprano, stars in our 2024 Super Bowl ad portraying the daily nightmare inflicted on mother cows in the name of cheese. The new ad was directed by DeMane Davis of Boston-based production company, Sweet Rickey; post-production was by EDITBAR, with Chris Carl as creative director.
Cows produce milk for the same reason humans do: to nourish their young. Like humans, cows form strong maternal bonds with their babies and go to great lengths to protect them. On dairy farms, workers forcibly impregnate cows so they’ll produce milk, only to take their calves away from them—typically just hours after birth—so that humans can drink their milk instead. Mother cows often call out for their calves for days after these traumatic separations.
If someone doesn’t immediately slaughter the calves, the females are doomed to the same miserable fate as their mothers and the males are sold into the veal industry, condemned to be chained up and malnourished for the remainder of their short, miserable lives.
The dairy industry runs on cruelty. After stealing their calves, farmers hook mother cows up to milking machines at least twice daily so that they can steal their milk, too. They exploit cows’ reproductive systems through genetic selection, despite the negative effects on the animals’ health. They use artificial insemination, milking regimens, and sometimes drugs to force them to produce an unnatural amount of milk—today, the average cow produces more than four times as much milk as she would have in 1950.
PETA’s investigations into dairy facilities revealed that workers electroshock cows in the face, hit them with poles and canes, and abuse them in other ways. Once their bodies wear out from repeated pregnancies, they’re sent to slaughter.
PETA’s ad will run the Saturday before the Super Bowl on CBS during Late News in northern New Jersey, where The Sopranos was set. It will also air live on YouTube TV, delivering more than 5 million impressions to people watching instant replays, game highlights, and other Super Bowl– and sports-related content.
Those Who Want Respect, Give Respect
Whaddya hear? Whaddya say? You can live without cheese—but calves need their mother’s milk. The surest way to respect cows and spare them pain and misery is to stop buying cheese and other dairy items and go vegan today. When you choose vegan cheese, you use your power as a consumer to show that you won’t support this horrific cycle of pain.