Whenever People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) goes down to defeat I consider it time to celebrate with a big steak. The radical organization last week failed in its two-year attempt to have the popular “Happy Cows” ads taken off the tube.
The award-winning campaign is sponsored by a state agency, the California Milk Producers Advisory Board, which credits the ads for record-level sales of California cheese and boasts two billion pounds of production last year. But PETA contended that the ads’ tag line, “Great cheese comes from happy cows. Happy cows come from California, was, well, bull.
Its lawsuit claiming most California dairy cows are kept in miserable conditions and therefore the ads are “unlawfully deceptive” was thrown out of lower courts, and the state Supreme Court has now refused to consider it. That means we can continue watching such hilarious scenes as two bulls checking out an alluring cow with one asking, as the lady walks by, “Hey, do you work out?” How California.
I’m no agricultural expert, but while PETA charges that most California cows are treated terribly, the ones I see are just like their counterparts in the commercials. On regular drives from the Monterey Peninsula to Southern California and back along Highway 101, I observe mile after mile of lush pastureland inhabited by cows that look much happier lazing in a field than I am navigating through traffic.
Also, again from a layman’s perspective, it would seem to make sense that keeping cows in horrid conditions would be self-defeating for farmers since contented cows would be more productive. And in any event, California cows have to be better off than their Wisconsin cousins who freeze through Midwestern winters.
While PETA’s udderly ridiculous crusade against the California cow ads is amusing, it’s also one of the few times its actions have stopped short of evil. These are the fanatics who provoked the anger of Jewish organizations, and others, by drawing a direct parallel between the killing of chickens and the slaughter of Jews in Nazi concentration camps. They referred to chicken dinners as “the Holocaust on your plate.”
PETA has also declared that if a cure for all diseases resulted from the death of a single laboratory rat it would be wrong, that it would oppose animal research even if it resulted in the elimination of AIDS and that theft, arson and property destruction are fair game in the pro-animal cause. And Republicans are called extremists for supporting tax cuts.
So outrageous are PETA’s rants, I once believed the whole thing was a gigantic hoax, the verbal equivalent of crop circles that pranksters lay down in fields overnight or film of Bigfoot which only exists because someone puts on a hairy suit. But no, it really exists, headquartered in a building in Norfolk, Virginia.
According to a recent report on PETA in a Virginia newspaper, The Virginian-Pilot, the organization’s elevator features a poster showing a pig and the caption, “He died for your sins,” touting a web site called JesusVeg.com. Apparently this Christian-offending outrage is meant to show that PETA is an equal-opportunity defamer.
The fact that PETA employees are screened for emotional stability is not only ironic but hilarious, given that it is made up of some of the strangest birds this side of “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” minus their charm. The Virginian-Pilot quoted a PETA staffer as saying she would not buy a Jennifer Lopez CD because the singer is “going to go out and buy mink eyelashes with the money from it.” Cue the “Twilight Zone” theme.
PETA’s raids on research labs, throwing fake blood at people wearing furs, setting fires on the steps of state Capitols and other similar acts amount to domestic terrorism. At least the time they wasted trying to convince Californians that our cows are unhappy may have distracted some of these lunatics from plotting more outrages for awhile.