dairy cow in a field In the dairy industry cows are routinely separated from their mothers - Media Credit: Terry Mathews / Alamy Stock Photo

New Lawsuit Challenges Dairy Company Organic Valley Over ‘Happy Cow’ Claims

Organic Valley has been accused of misleading consumers


2 Minutes Read

A new lawsuit has been brought against dairy company Organic Valley after it made claims that it treats its cows “with love.”

According to animal rights organization PETA, these claims are “false” and “misleading.” 

On behalf of California resident Amber Takahashi-Mendoza, the organization’s attorneys have filed a class-action lawsuit against the dairy company, citing evidence that it separates calves from “distraught” mothers, and then allows them to be raised in isolation “without vital socialization and natural sustenance.”

PETA claims this causes “immense psychological and physical suffering.”

In contrast, Organic Valley claims on its milk cartons that its cows are treated with the “highest standards of animal care.” Its website reads: “We’re committed to giving our cows happy, healthy lives, and it shines through in our products.”

It was on this basis that Takahashi-Mendoza paid extra for the brand’s milk.

“I am sure other people bought Organic Valley milk thinking its cartons promising humane animal care practices—not to mention love—meant it didn’t inflict some of the cruelest practices typical of dairy factory farming,” she said.

‘All babies need their mothers’

In order for a cow to produce milk, they must first give birth to a calf. According to Compassion in World Farming (CIWF), it is standard practice for a calf to be removed from their mother within just a few days (or in some cases, hours). Because they have strong maternal instincts, they find this process distressing.

“Both the calf and the mother will make loud calls, trying to locate each other after they are separated,” notes CIWF.

In the US, more than 226 billion pounds of milk were sold for human consumption in 2020. Organic Valley is a big part of the market. In the same year, it made more than $1 billion in sales.

“All babies need their mothers,” said Takahashi-Mendoza. “As a mother myself, I can’t imagine a greater trauma than having my newborn taken from me.” Her case has been filed in the Superior Court of California.

Millions around the world trust Plant Based News for content about navigating our changing planet & our role in it.

Our independent team of journalists and experts are committed to making an impact through a wide range of content—and you can help by supporting our work today.


The Author

Charlotte Pointing

Charlotte writes about sustainable beauty, fashion, and food. She spent more than 4 years editing in leading vegan media, and has a degree in history and a postgraduate in cultural heritage.

More by Charlotte Pointing iconography/arrow-right


Leave a Comment

Plant Based News Comment Policy

In short:- If you act with maturity and consideration for other users, you should have no problems. Please read our Comment policy before commenting.

Notify of
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Herb Parker
Herb Parker
17 days ago

Honestly written , very nicely done. Your doing heavenly work for all sentient life on this unique planet. Respect Charollte XxxxXxxx

Last edited 17 days ago by Herb Parker
Gary Gilden
17 days ago

It’s high time this kind of misleading lies we’re cancelled,and let’s hear the truth🤨

Lyn Pagan
Lyn Pagan
15 days ago

Well said they shouldn’t state these comments knowing they are not true. The same has happened with the ‘Happy Egg’ company. Anything to see more of your ‘products’ think of the animals your using.

Debra DeFurio
Debra DeFurio
13 days ago

This could not be any further from the truth! How can any cow be “Happy” in the Dairy Industry? This industry is one of the cruelest, plain and simple and I’m so happy that the truth is being brought into the light and that more people are consuming cruelty free milk like plant based!

Last edited 13 days ago by Debra DeFurio
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x