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it's officially official: California Cows are indeed happy. This, after a judge throws out a lawsuit from PETA trying to stop ads for California Milk which tout the fact cows are happy because they are treated well.
The lawsuit was filed last year by PETA and argued that cows were in fact not happy that farmers don't care, and that the Milk Advisory board is even covering up how horrible the conditions are.
But Judge Lloyd G Connelly saw it differently. According to CNS News:
Connelly held that state agriculture inspectors and the state dairy board had “extensive experience and knowledge that provides strong evidentiary support” justifying the dairy board's claims that California dairy farmers “are very concerned about the health, comfort and safety of their cows” and “adhere to some of the highest animal welfare standards in the U.S.”
This ruling leads one to believe that "Happy milk comes from happy cows," refers more to how they are treated as opposed to making factual health claims.
To which we say: No, duh. And then we add: It sounds as if PETA is up to it's old, stupid tricks.
As to the ruling, Martina Bernstein, PETA's director of litigation (whom I can only hope gets paid time and a half for overtime) said:
“The evidence shows that disease and suffering is rampant -- more than 30 percent of cows suffer from udder infections, painful swollen knees, and hoof disorders, such as foot rot, ulcers, and abscesses, resulting in lameness and premature death."
Sounds good, right? Powerful words. But Judge Connelly further ruled that not only are PETA's claims anecdotal at best, they didn't provide any sort of proof specific to the state of California. He furhter questioned whether their evidence was reliable compared to the scientific data supplied by the California FDA, and established veterinarians who inspect the farms.
Indeed, wrote Judge Connelly:
(PETA's) "Statistical surveys and studies may be more detailed and systematic, but the aggregated experience and knowledge of Department personnel provides comprehensive and reliable information relevant to the care of cows on California dairy farms.”
In other words, them cows be happy.