Long Island’s ‘Carmela’ stars in Super Bowl ad that asks America to cut out the cheese


Actress Edie Falco wants you to reconsider ordering pizza on Super Bowl Sunday — or ever.

“The Sopranos” star and longtime East Northport resident headlines a provocative anti-cheese Super Bowl ad for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). For Falco, a longtime animal activist and a vegan since 2011, it’s a long way from her days cooking up cheesy baked ziti and lasagna as gangster Tony Soprano’s wife “Carmela.”

The commercial kicks off with Falco’s pleasant-looking character grabbing a block of cheese from the refrigerator as she preps a meal in her kitchen. Something is a bubbling and cooking on the stove, seemingly tomato sauce.

Then, two hardened men burst into her kitchen. They say nothing, and one snatches the cheese block from the counter. Falco’s character begins to panic, repeatedly pleading with the heavies not to take her cheese.

“That’s my cheese. Please don’t don’t my cheese away,” she says, smiling nervously at the thugs. Then she starts to beg: “Please don’t take my cheese away! Please don’t take — please don’t take my cheese away! Can I please have my cheese!”

Finally, she drops to her knees and cries, “My cheese. And I was gonna make pizza!”

The spot concludes with a moaning female cow, with demonstrably swollen udders, trotting in pursuit of a trailer being carted away by a truck with two baby calves in tow.

Dairy cows are typically separated from their calves shortly after birth so that the milk produced by the cow can be better harvested for human consumption. If the calf were left with the mother, it would consume much of the milk meant for sale.

PETA reasons that female cows live a life of abuse and exploitation for their milk.

“This particular ad moved me because I am a mom. But I don’t think you need to be a mom to understand that animals have emotional lives, and they care about their offspring,” Falco said in a separate video posted by PETA on social media.

“So many of us are in denial about what it actually takes to bring these particular foods to us,” she added.

“It is my hope that moms and all people will start to understand the ramifications of ripping offspring from their mothers and just how traumatizing that is, and to learn to not pretend it isn’t happening,” said Falco, a Northport High School graduate. “To take it into account when you make choices about what you buy and what you eat.

“Just don’t eat cheese — because every animal is someone,” she added.

In a statement about their intense Super Bowl commercial, PETA noted the horror that dairy farm cows typically go through.

“Cows produce milk for the same reason humans do: to nourish their young. Like humans, cows form strong maternal bonds with their babies and go to great lengths to protect them,” PETA said. “On dairy farms, workers forcibly impregnate cows so they’ll produce milk, only to take their calves away from them—typically just hours after birth—so that humans can drink their milk instead.

“Mother cows often call out for their calves for days after these traumatic separations … The dairy industry runs on cruelty. After stealing their calves, farmers hook mother cows up to milking machines at least twice daily so that they can steal their milk, too.”

John Di Leonardo, anthrozoologist and Executive Director of Humane Long Island, issued a statement about PETA’s commerical.

“Cows produce milk for the same reason that humans do — to nourish their young — but calves on dairy farms are abducted from their mothers when they are just one day old. Baby boys are often killed for veal and girls grow up to have their babies torn from them just like their mothers. All for milk and cheese.”

Top photo: YouTube still

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