Since recently reading one of my favorite Author’s articles on the exact same topic of Happy Cows, I thought I’d put my thoughts down on the subject as well. Since the swindlers are advertising Milk now as well as Cheese in Happy Cow, California …. (actually those commercials are filmed in New Zealand). I am a little bit more frustrated about this entire fabrication.
Happy Cows come from California
The television commercial, “Happy Cows come from California” airs on National television at least daily, in several different scenarios. The central commercial is depicting female milk cows in a beautiful pasture scene talking about how wonderful their lives are in California, sometimes introducing a new cow from another state raving about the weather and how beautiful it is there. The ad goes on to claim “Great cheese comes from happy cows. Happy cows come from California” portrayed in big bold words on your screen.
Surveys have proven the effectiveness of the inclusion of animals into an advertisement, photo or commercial. (Think Geico/gecko or the Aflac duck). It draws the viewers’ attention to the ad by using a subject that creates an emotional response, as most people love animals. This ad is also playing on the heartstrings of people who are concerned with animal welfare but who are unaware of the reality of the dairy business. The industry that is spending billions of dollars on these advertisements appears to be trying to influence people into believing that their production of dairy is humane and safe. This could not be further from the truth. A huge percentage of people eat cheese, so their target audience is the general consumer, i.e. anyone who shops for and consumes food. This ad is also making an effort to ease consumers’ concern for ethics in dairy production practices.
The commercial is focused on an idyllic scene of cows in a grassy green pasture with rolling hills, a few oak trees scattered around for shade, a sunny day and blue sky with white puffy clouds and a red, old-fashioned barn in the background – typical of a Norman Rockwell painting. The cows are smiling and seemingly happy. All of the cows pictured are Holstein bred cows (black and white), which are the most common milk cow used today. They are exceptionally clean and give the impression of being well fed, both physically and emotionally, and appear to be living a life of bliss.
The Milk Advisory Board paying for these commercials is obviously trying to thwart any notion of abuse or misuse of these beautiful and peaceful creatures because evidence has proven otherwise. (1) This ad also appears to be a reaction to the many lawsuits filed against the industry for inhumane treatment by the groups attempting to hold them accountable for their actions. (2) This ad also appears to be a huge endeavor to keep afloat in a seriously drowning industry. The milk industry is experiencing a downturn in business as more and more dairy farms are closing regularly. (3) It seems that keeping cows alive and well enough to produce 100 times the milk that would naturally be produced for their offspring, with added antibiotics, bovine growth hormones and all the other foreign garbage they feed them is costing them a fortune. Cows continue to die prematurely at an alarming rate as a consequence of their maltreatment and the industries profits die right along with them.
False advertising is a crime, however, considering that the bovine sensibilities and pain thresholds are difficult to prove since they cannot speak, the milk industry, since winning one arm of the lawsuit brought to them by PETA, has the OK from the legal system to continue to air these commercials. The Milk Advisory Board is trying to appeal to their viewers sense of ethics and morals by relieving consciences for the consumption of inhumane animal products in an effort to help the industry look beautiful, kind, loving and oh-so responsible. Their appeal to consumers is an attempt to provide proof – via these commercials – that their dairies and products are safe and nutritious. That most consumers cannot live without the protein or outstanding health benefits they supply. Unfortunately they have reached deep into their pockets to put out some of the most blatant lies ever aired on television.
The fact that advertisers in all facets of our lives try to ‘trick’ us into buying their products by appealing to some deeply seeded need or deceptive emotional requirement is absolutely unethical. What is even more astonishing is that a large percentage of consumers fall for the ads. We all purchase products without further research, trusting that these companies deliver what they are selling. We as consumers have to learn that not a single ad on television in newspapers or magazines can be trusted.
The illegal ad practice known as “failure to inform” is what is being used in the “Happy Cow” commercials; however, there are probably a few others not identified. False advertising has become big business and a consumer nightmare.
The point is that it is shameful that this type of deceit exists at all. Most people like myself are easily fooled when it comes to merchandise that promises to make us look and feel younger, thinner, grow more hair, even have better sex. Most of these things tempt customers to purchase based on the premise that these products will work. Why? Because the advertisement stated that it would. I think as consumers, we have to realize that there is a heck of a lot of deception going on out there in the marketing and advertising industry.
What the Happy Cow commercials are selling is good clean dairy food, namely cheese. Dairy is a food that is very detrimental to the human body. The Milk Advisory Board knows this; they have all seen the reports, statistics and the evidence of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, obesity and a host of other ailments that their products cause. (4) But ethics and responsibility fly out the window when the bottom line is money. How much money can they make with these contemptible commercials? How many more people can they fool into purchasing their products? Plenty. Their ads are effective and their tactics are working. In researching some comments on this ad from Happy Cow websites, most people who comment state they “just love” these commercials. Some even believe that this is the life cows lead in dairy farms. Most don’t even get up or change the television channel when the ad airs. They think the cows and the scenarios are adorable and the ad is appealing to the audiences’ pathos and in many cases logos.
I think we must become smarter and wiser than succumbing to these deceptive advertisements. That is the bottom line in fighting this trickery, not buying the products that do not project truth, which fuels their pockets to do more of the same.
1. Advocacy for Animals;
2007 The big Business of Dairy Farming; Big trouble for cows
Unhappy cows come from California:
(http://tinyurl.com/yaj854o) or (http://www.unhappycows.com/)
2 UnhappyCows.com: 2010 PETA Takes “Happy Cows” Lawsuit to Higher Court. www.peta.org/feat/caldairy/index.html
3 Burnett, John – NPR
2009 Independent Farmers feel Squeezed by Milk Cartel
4. Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM)
2010 Health Concerns about Dairy Products