Unhappy Cows Aren’t Protected From Government Propaganda

The California Supreme Court denied certiorari in PETA’s lawsuit against the California Milk Producers Advisory Board over the marketing “Great cheese comes from happy cows. Happy cows come from California.” As a result, it appears that the case is dead. (You can find the appellate court ruling at People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Inc. v. California Milk Producers Advisory Bd., 125 Cal. App. 4th 871, 22 Cal. Rptr. 3d 900 (Cal. App. Ct. Jan 11, 2005)).

I’m not a member of PETA and I don’t always agree with them, but I think they are 100% right to have challenged this campaign. The case turned on a technical point about government immunity, but that immunity is the problem. I’m not sure we would all agree on what constitutes a “happy” cow, but I think the lives of most dairy cows (in California or elsewhere) would be considered “unhappy” by anyone’s standards. Thus, if cheese consumers fully understood the living conditions of dairy cows, I think the desire to consume cheese (or dairy products generally) would significantly decrease. Instead, a public entity is freely disseminating misinformation to create/prop up the demand for cheese. This is what I call propaganda; isn’t there any way to stop it?