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Indybay Feature
Bay Area Group Exposes The Myth Behind California’s Happy Cows
by East Bay Animal Advocates (info [at]
Monday Apr 25th, 2005 1:02 PM
East Bay Animal Advocates (EBAA), a San Francisco Bay Area-based animal advocacy organization, unveiled the findings of its investigation of the California dairy industry.
The group’s graphic documentation ( available at ) reveals systematic animal neglect at dairy farms across the state. EBAA documented conditions at farm operations in five of California's top producing dairy counties (Merced, San Joaquin, Sonoma, Stanislaus, and Tulare).

Each year the California Milk Advisory Board spends $37 million to promote the Happy Cows marketing campaign.

“The Happy Cows advertising demonstration contrasts with the life of the modern California dairy cow,” states Christine Morrissey, director of East Bay Animal Advocates. “Despite exceptional economic and agriculture growth, California's dairy practices have a detrimental effect on animal welfare, environmental sustainability, public health, and occupational safety.”

In California, dairy concentrated animal feeding operations commonly confine several thousand cows on limited acreage. Cows are denied adequate protection from severe weather conditions. The pasture-less dry lot system increases the incidence of infection, disease and injury among the cow population.

According to California’s South Coast Air Quality Management District, California dairies pose a serious threat to humans living in surrounding rural communities.

In 2004, the California Pollution Control Financing Authority allocated $70 million in state bond funds to expand large dairy operations, which produce significant amounts of pollution from cow manure.

Founded in 2003, East Bay Animal Advocates is a nonprofit organization based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Through education and rescue efforts, EBAA works on campaigns to defend animals harmed in agriculture, entertainment, fashion, households, research and beyond.

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Comments  (Hide Comments)

by a right wing Republican
Thursday Apr 28th, 2005 1:17 PM
I think you guys have something here. Proving the happiness of a cow won't stand up. Probably neither will trying to sue our mammoth State of California for advertising.

But the above statement, "California's dairy practices have a detrimental effect on animal welfare, environmental sustainability, public health, and occupational safety" is an objective standard that can be measured.

I am a right wing Republican, and a meat eater, milk drinker, and cheese eater.

After getting into the "Happy Cow" debate, I can honestly say that my family buys our cheese imported from Sweden and other places where cows still run free, and we drink far less milk (using soy products, etc.).

So not all of us right wingers think that the biblical mandate to "have dominion over the animals" means to treat them with cruelty. In fact, the Scriptures declare that a "good man regards the life of his beast."

I think you will find a broader base of support if you stay on track to the above issues. Put something into a bill narrowing cruelty guidelines and I and my buddies will sign...
by crudo
(driller9 [at] Friday Apr 29th, 2005 11:02 AM
I agree, and that's coming from a anarchist, (

I think that while moralist arguments like animal cruelty are well based, and I think everyone can agree that hurting living things is wrong, in the end, cows dying isn't going to hurt US, as much as extream pollution and methaine gas.

Also, while we've got a republican on here. Another thing that shoud outrage you guys is the attack on the 'free market' in regards to large corporations destroying family farms, and creating environmental, animal, and economic problems that we face today.

For instance, we have a surplus of milk right now. The govt. actually pays farmers to produce less. However Monsanto and other big multinationals are creating hormones that no only allow large disease resistant bacteria to grow, but also create infections in cows utters that cause them to swell up, and most disgusting of all, create huge amounts of pus! Yummy! This is read on the milk carton as "bacteria" amount, or something to that effect. Gross.
by republican on the line
Saturday Apr 30th, 2005 8:15 AM
Yes, I would agree the governement should stay out. I mean, wouldn't it be nice if they paid me more to do less? What would I do with all the free time?

The republican party has it's problems. What worldview doesn't?

When I was an anarchist- it made me furious to watch punk bands that I respected go commercial, sell out to the corporate record labels, and basically contradict every song I had loved and made a part of my very identity.

Regarding animals though... in an evolutionary worldview, suffering is really just the strong dominating. I mean, does an alligator think about suffering as he holds his prey underwater? Or how about a pack of coyotes ripping into a deer? If this is wrong, why is it wrong?
by it's called projection
Saturday Apr 30th, 2005 8:48 AM
That's your problem. You are so unrealistic in your assessment of what goes on outside your skull that you think that "everyone" agrees with you. Nothing could be further from the truth. What you are doing here is called projection, which you'd know if you had ever studied psychology. You are projecting your beliefs onto others. It's a form of delusion.

You're belief itself is another matter. Even if "everyone" believed it, that still wouldn't make it true. When most people thought the world was flat, it was still almost sphere. In fact it is often the case that hurting living things is the sole and only way to prevent other living things from being hurt. If, for example, a mosquito infected with malaria, or even West Nile Virus, lands on your child’s skin, would you be wrong to swat it? Of course not. It’s rough on the mosquito, though. Poor little thing, it was only trying to make a living. But so what? Is your child’s life worth less than a mosquito’s? Only if you’re psychotic.

You would greatly benefit from thinking this stuff all the way through before you make such grand and sweeping proclamations. Your reasoning is deeply flawed. You are not only projecting, and fetishizing the life of the individual, which clearly flies in the face of the Natural order, but you are objectifying all living beings. No, all living beings are not the same. Yersinia pestis does not equal Beethoven. Even your own life is worth more than that of a rat. You, rats, cows and every Yersinia pestis alive today, all will die. Life is not a right. It is a privilege that is granted, but never for long, by an otherwise indifferent universe. Everything that lives, dies. Everything that dies, is consumed. That’s how life goes on. All life comes from death. That’s Nature’s way.
by well then!
Saturday Apr 30th, 2005 9:36 PM
So you want to take it to that level?

You never answered the question. You did state, "In fact it is often the case that hurting living things is the sole and only way to prevent other living things from being hurt."

So if I understand correctly you are saying is is okay for cows to suffer (it is often the case that hurting living things) that humans might avoid a painful starvation? (to prevent other living things from being hurt".)

Seems like you are inconsistent and contradicting yourself.

Once again, you use words like wrong. Why is something wrong in your view? Because society says? What if you live on a planet where everybody tortured babies? Would that make it right? Why is it wrong? Because you think so? What if you believe that 2+2=5? Would that make it correct?

It is obvious that you have never scored above a D- in debate class and/or logic. It is better to prove your point first, and then call your opponent names. When (as you did-yet I have not resorted to as yet) you name call first, without answering your question, it makes any intelligent hearer know that you are really floundering for an answer.

What the heck are they teaching you kids there in San Fran.?

Face it- the word wrong implies an objective moral standard. Without a standard, you only have 3 options...

1) Majority rules
2) Personal preference
3) Anarchy

In true anarchy, there is no wrong, just your preference over mine.

by right winger
Sunday May 1st, 2005 9:19 AM
It appears the the article " I think everyone agrees" was not directed toward me. If this is the case, I retract anything posted in response that applies.

What I would add, for the readers, is that there are two other options to findind a basis for saying that "suffering is wrong."

The three mentioned previously were.

1) What society says is right, is right
2) What the indivudual says is right is right
3) Nothing is right

Two more might be

1) What is legal is right. This also is a problem, for in some countries cannibalism and genocide are legal. In our application, suffering of animals is legal- and we are saying it is not right, so we have a contradiction.
2) To find a moral anchor timeless and unchanging outside the individual or the group.

I'll leave the reader to draw their own conclusions..

Suffering is not always wrong. Many people suffer a heart attack (the bodies warning system) in order that they may change their lives and enjoy many more years with their families.

Cruel, preventable, purposeless suffering is wrong, but this is based on my worldview.

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