Lawsuit Blows Lid off ‘Happy Cows’ Ads

Published by PETA.

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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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“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

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind