I Wrote a Letter to BeReal to Speak Up For Cows

Written by peta2 intern Katharine Hampton

That feeling when you’re posing for a photo and someone says, “Say ‘Cheese!’” 😔 We’ve all heard it (and likely said it) before, but the antiquated phrase brings up complicated feelings once you learn about the cruel practices of the dairy industry.

When it comes to cheese, there’s really nothing to smile about. Cows on dairy farms are treated like milk-producing machines, subjected to genetic manipulation, and pumped full of antibiotics and hormones to increase milk production. They endure painful conditions like mastitis and are often confined in filthy, severely crowded environments.

The stress and poor living conditions lead to diseases and reproductive problems, shortening their life expectancies drastically. By choosing dairy alternatives, you not only support animal welfare but also reduce your risk of serious health issues like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. 

Since BeReal uses the phrase “Say ‘Cheese,’” I decided to write the company a letter encouraging the use of “Say ‘Peace’” instead, which better aligns with Gen Z’s principles of compassion and equity. BeReal emphasizes honesty, transparency, and responsibility in its mission—so it makes sense for it to avoid perpetuating the dairy industry’s dark practices.

Language is important, as it shapes the way we see the world. Stating “Say ‘Peace’” instead of “Say ‘Cheese’” takes us one step closer to a more compassionate world.

Two students petting cow at Gentle Barn

Although words are powerful, actions are even more impactful. To help stop the dairy industry’s ruthless cycle of cruelty to sentient and loving beings, cut out dairy and meat from your life altogether. Start your vegan journey today!  

PETA-owned image of the Guide to Going vegan booklet from https://www.peta2.com/free-vegan-guide/

Text peta2 to 30933 for ways to help animals, tips on compassionate living, and more!

heart illustration

Terms for automated texts/calls from peta2: http://peta.vg/txt. Text STOP to end, HELP for more info. Msg/data rates may apply. U.S. only.