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Making ends meat: Dairy cow slaughter peaks as milk sales plummet

Next stop: slaughterhouse.

Next stop: slaughterhouse.

Dairy farmers slaughtered 30 percent more cows in January than in September and are sending the cows’ remains to the meat market to cut losses, the Associated Press reports.

The cost of producing milk is now double the price to consumers and the industry is having trouble keeping up. “This could destroy our dairy infrastructure,” Mike Marsh, CEO of the United Western Dairymen trade association, told the AP.

For a moment, imagine if the burden of Wall Street executives (and, hey, even that of dairy farmers) were alleviated using the same strategy farmers are using to lighten the self-imposed burden of their dairy cows. Those who proved to be worth much less than their paychecks could be sent off to slaughter and made into meat patties, or better, veal–us desk-tethered humans don’t get much exercise–and sold to feed all the people who are furiously digging through their purses for a few more cents to afford a can of chicken noodle soup at Gristedes.

And dairy cows aren’t the only bovines the farming industry is killing prematurely (by their standards). Bull calves shipped off to feedlots to reach a weight deemed appropriate for slaughter are also a liability to the cattle livestock industry; the costs of rearing the young cows are gaining on the returns. Farm Sanctuary is offering a $2,000 reward for information leading to the discovery of the party who dumped 30 bull calves on roads in San Joaquin County, Calif. Nearly 50 calves have been dumped on roads in that county since January.

Meanwhile, in Dabhel, India, where killing cows is illegal, five people were arrested on Tuesday, February 10 for cow slaughter.

4 Comments

  1. Comment by

    eatingconsciously

    on #

    maybe this is a signal that the system is collapsing! we can only hope ;)

  2. Comment by

    Joanne

    on #

    We should all take this opportunity to start up dairy campaigns.

  3. Comment by

    Brivari

    on #

    Don’t be too happy by all this…the entire agriculture system is collapsing due to drought and you can expect even vegan foods to cost double or triple, assuming you can find them at all. If you aren’t already planning to grow your own lettuce in a bright window be prepared to not find any later this year.

  4. Comment by

    Ric H in NYC

    on #

    Methinks emphasis of opposition to misuse of dairy cows as meat/bones/leather should be the parallel between human mothers & cow-mothers providing us milk. Set aside the issue of whether a cow should be enslaved to serve as a milk source: with a given that in practice she DOES produce milk which is consumed by humans, THEN SHE SHOULD BE TREATED AS OUR (surrogate) MOTHER, no less. Who but a demon would kill the mother that gave suck? Besides the bovine having been stolen at birth from parent, confined/imprisoned, enslaved, separated from her family, and usually fed grain rather than pasture grass. The look on her face when she realizes her fate in he slaughter-line is “?it’s come to THIS?!”. My family in France has milk cows; the family knows each one by name (from the pattern of spots). It’s OBVIOUS to the family. No they aren’t vegetarians, but a whole lot more IN TOUCH than city-folk. Who of you know what is a mud-room? They had a ring-down telephone, the only one in the village. Outhouses. Cold water. Wholesome, real. You’ve got divorces and abortions.

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