Happy Cows Make PETA Sad
By Sean Carter

This article is being posted here with permission of the author, Sean Carter.

Sean Carter is a lawyer, comedian, public speaker and the author of
"If It Does Not Fit, Must You Acquit? -- Your Humorous Guide to the Law."

He can be reached at http://www.lawpsided.com.


Every so often, it is good to reflect on just how lucky we are to live in America. We are blessed to live in the richest and freest nation in the history of mankind. We are also lucky to be blessed with extraordinary amounts of free time.

Did I lose you with that one? If you are one of the millions of Americans working two jobs, selling Amway and committing an occasional armed robbery to make ends meet, then you undoubtedly disagree with this last statement. Nevertheless, it's true.

Although you may only get 1 hour of leisure time per decade, other Americans have nothing but time on their hands. How else would you explain an organization like PETA, People with Entirely Too much Access to free time?

According to their website, ihaveallthetimeintheworld.com, PETA and its members are committed to ensuring the humane treatment of animals. On its face, this seems like a perfectly useful pursuit of time. After all, the humane treatment of animals would only be opposed by someone who owns a slaughterhouse, a fur trapping business or, in my case, a dictionary.

According to Webster's Pocket Dictionary, "humane" means "pertaining to human values." In my equine view, it makes about as much sense to apply human values to animals as it does to apply for a mortgage if your credit is anything like mine.

I hate to be the one to break the news to PETA but animals are not humans. If animals were human, they'd all be out working two or three jobs instead of just hoofing around all day hoping for "humane" treatment.

More importantly, humane treatment leaves a lot to be desired anyway. If animals had a clear vision of what we do to ourselves in the name of nationalism, religion and matrimony, they would want no part of "humane" treatment.

Obviously, PETA disagrees with me. Therefore, they continue to fight on behalf of animals for the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of a decent credit limit.

Amongst PETA's current adversaries are Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, the animal trainer, Jack Hanna, and thousands of pet shop owners. And the latest enemy in this never-ending battle is the California Milk Advisory Board (CMAB).

CMAB is an association of California dairy farmers, which currently promotes its members through the use of a very imaginative "Happy Cow" campaign. In advertisements, "Happy Cows" talk, sing and dance about the praises of being a dairy cow in California.

On April 30th, PETA filed a complaint against CMAB with the Federal Trade Commission for deceptive advertising. According to PETA, cows don't really talk, sing and dance (at least, not always) and therefore, the ads are deceptive to consumers.

You just can't trust anyone anymore. I have seen these commercials on a number of occasions and never once considered the fact that I was being duped. After all, if you can't trust a television advertiser to give you a realistic portrayal of actual events, who can you trust? What's next? Are we going to discover that Keebler Cookies are not actually made by little elves? Say it isn't so!

PETA is claiming that the commercials are deceptive because conditions for cows are not better in California than in other places, and perhaps, actually worse. Under FTC guidelines, an ad is deceptive if "there is a misrepresentation, omission or other practice, that misleads the consumer." PETA claims that these ads mislead conscientious and compassionate consumers into believing that California cows are being treated better than other cows and therefore, these consumers are buying California dairy products to support the "good guys."

For the record, I am not making this up! PETA actually believes that consumers are more concerned about the condition of the cows that produce their milk than they are about whether the milk tastes good, is fresh or more importantly, is on sale this week.

As usual, PETA's grasp on reality in this case is about as firm as Rosie O'Donnell's thighs. Perhaps I'm not the typical consumer (i.e. I can read most of the food labels) but my number one concern when buying animal products is not how they are made. If that were the case, I would never buy sausage, hot dogs or chicken "nuggets."

Besides, the FTC has long recognized that not all claims made by advertisers are true. In fact, the FTC allows for a certain amount of "puffing" in the sale of products. And, obviously, PETA allows for a certain amount of "puffing" from its members. However, perhaps PETA members should start puffing something a little less potent.

Of course, I am not being completely fair to PETA. In fact, I should literally applaud their efforts to ameliorate the suffering of animals and make this world a better place. And I would do just that but right now, I'm off to my night job.

Thank you, Sean,
I know our readers will appreciate your work and your new book!



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