The Pursuit of (Bovine) Happiness

Published September 19, 2012

A lawsuit claiming California cows are unhappy was tossed out of court by a judge there.

The suit, filed by the group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), challenged rulings by the California Milk Advisory Board and the state Department of Food and Agriculture okaying the Board’s use of the advertising slogan “Happy Cows.”

PETA alleged when it filed suit, “most California dairy cows are subjected to physical and psychological pain and stress caused by intense and uncomfortable dairying practices, have a high risk of suffering from a number of diseases, and die prematurely.” As supposed proof of these allegations, PETA gave the court general scientific journal articles, but the judge ruled the studies were not evidence about the condition of California cows because they were not specific about where the subject cows resided. The judge also noted PETA had not provided any expert testimony on the subject.

No word yet as to whether PETA will be appealing the ruling, but it seems likely. Lawsuit Abuse Fortnightly has been reporting on PETA’s attempts to get rid of the “Happy Cows” slogan for almost eight years in various venues.

Source: Pete Winn, “Calif. Judge Tosses Out PETA Lawsuit Against California ‘Happy Cows’ Ads,” CNS News, September 6, 2012; Lawsuit Abuse Fortnightly #3-9, December 1, 2004