Cows Mired in Manure: Billboard Asks, ‘Do You Know Where Your Milk Comes From?’

PETA Ad to Go Up After Closure of Dairy Farm Where Video Showed Lame and Emaciated Cows Wading Through Waste

For Immediate Release:
September 25, 2014

Contact:
Alexis Sadoti 202-483-7382

Charlotte, N.C. – As part of its campaign to inspire consumers to learn about where their food comes from and how the animal felt when he or she was alive, PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat … or to abuse in any other way”—is placing a new billboard in Charlotte that shows cows on a North Carolina dairy farm caked with and knee-deep in manure next to the words “Do You Know Where YOUR Milk Comes From?”

The photograph used in the billboard is from an investigation whose details PETA released last month, which revealed emaciated and lame cows forced to wade through their own liquified manure at a Haywood County, N.C., dairy farm. PETA’s investigation prompted Asheville-based milk processing and packaging plant Milkco, a wholly owned subsidiary of Ingles Markets, to sever ties with the farm, which has now sold all the cows used for dairy products and closed down operations.

“PETA’s billboard asks shoppers if they know where the milk that they buy comes from, as PETA investigations have found filthy farms where cows suffer from untreated illness and injuries and are treated like dirt,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman.. “Anyone who cares about good sanitation or animal welfare should dump dairy products in favor of healthy and humane soy, almond, or rice milk.”

PETA’s latest dairy farm investigation revealed that the farm’s waste pit had not been emptied for so long that excess waste rose so high that the cows waded through it up to their knees. It splattered onto the cows’ udders just before they were milked and left animals—some of whom suffered from emaciation and lameness—with skin ulcers and painful hoof ailments. Flies swarmed around the cows, who stood in their own accumulated waste while eating. At night, the cows had no grass, straw, or bedding to lie on to escape the manure.

The August 2014 inspection that followed PETA’s complaint corroborated the group’s findings, citing “excessive manure in the cowyard,” and warned the dairy operator—for at least the fourth time—to repair the milking parlor floor.

The only way to prevent dairies from making cows suffer in miserable conditions is to go vegan. Eating dairy products—which are loaded with artery-clogging saturated animal fat and cholesterol—is also bad for human health. Cow’s milk is the number-one food allergy in young children, and it has been linked to a variety of other health problems, including prostate and ovarian cancer.

For more information, please visit PETA.org.

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“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