Washington, District of Columbia—“The latest dairy industry promotions insist that cows are happy about being forcibly impregnated, injected with hormone and antibiotics, and penned in their own filth” says Davida Gypsy Breier, FoA Vegetarian Program Coordinator. She adds, “The California Milk Advisory Board, which ‘aggressively promotes dairy products,’ is trying to beguile the public with the idea that ‘Happy Cows’ are productive cows.” Previous multi-million dollar ad campaigns by Dairy Management Inc., the organization that promotes U.S. produced dairy products, have included “The Power of Cheese” and “Got Milk.”

Pizza Hut, the largest user of cheese in the world, and Dairy Management Inc. ran full-page ads in USA Today the week of May 27th playing on the idea that cows were feeling under appreciated by Pizza Hut. In the Pizza Hut response ad, which offers an “Apology to Cows,” Michael S. Rawlings, Pizza Hut President, pens a letter that says, “Now these industrious cows have made The Summer of Cheese™ a reality by giving us their very best, and without a single discontented ‘moo.’” One has to wonder if Mr. Rawlings has ever stepped foot in a dairy barn?

Davida explains, “These ads are just another attempt to deceive the public with ‘funny’ and ‘cute’ illusions about the inherent cruelties involved in the dairy industry.”

According to FoA, “Before the advent of modern factory farming, a dairy cow produced an average of 9,000 pounds of milk per year, but now the average is 16,000 pounds a year. Genetic manipulation, growth hormones, and intensive production techniques have made this increase possible. The cows are under constant physical and psychological stress and quickly ‘wear out,’ suffering an average of five years before they are killed. They often develop numerous health problems, such as metabolic disorders, mastitis, joint disorders, and a dairy industry disease called ‘Milk Fever.’ They are forcibly impregnated each year or until their milk production declines, at which point they are sent for slaughter. When grain prices rise, pregnant cows are often sent to slaughter to save money on feed. Most dairy cows end up as ground hamburger.”

Happy cows? Not likely.

Breier adds, “All of this suffering is completely unnecessary. Kale, broccoli, molasses, and calcium-fortified orange juice are better, healthier sources of calcium for the human body than cows milk.”

Friends of Animals is an international animal rights organization with more than 200,000 members.