The Dairy Industry Continues to Plummet as Plant-Based Alternatives Soar

Despite the fact that consumers can get the daily recommendation of calcium, potassium, and protein from fruits and vegetables, the dairy industry has spent billions of dollars trying to convince you otherwise. But don’t fall for their shady ploys. In truth, we can get the same nutrients from fortified plant-based milk and whole, plant-based foods.

But as more and more consumers become aware of the delicious and nutritious plant-based alternatives, the dairy industry has started to plummet.

The End of the Dairy Industry

The dairy industry recently openly admitted that they see the rise of plant-based milk as a ‘serious threat‘ And for good reason. The plant-based milk industry is now booming with varieties like soy, coconut, hemp, quinoa and almond milk, in particular, has a market worth of $895 million alone, just shy of being a billion dollar industry. And almond milk is certainly deserving, with numerous health benefits, including its high protein, iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, zinc, vitamin A, B and omega fatty acid content. Almond milk also doesn’t contain any cholesterol or saturated fats.

The latest release dairy-free release, a milk formulated from pea protein, shows great potential for consumers looking to avoid soy as well as nuts. Plus, pea-protein milk has a much smaller environmental impact than almond and boasts more calcium and nutrients overall.

The dairy industry is scrambling to compete with the growing plant-based milk industry so much so that the dairy industry tried to convince the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that in order to protect the integrity of dairy, plant-based milk alternatives should not legally be allowed to call themselves “milk.”

But it’s not working. Milk prices have dropped by a third in the past two years, USDA data shows. What’s more, milk consumption in the United States has been steadily declining by 25 percent per capita since the mid-1970s. China, Russia, Venezuela and other importers scaled back their dairy purchasing in recent years due to domestic troubles. One of China’s largest processed food companies even recently announced plans to introduce a line of plant-based milk.

And with no one to buy the dairy products, some U.S. farmers are dumping millions of pounds of excess milk onto fields. As reported on Market Watch, in the Midwest and Northeast, nearly 78 million gallons of milk have been dumped so far this year, up 86% from the same period last year. Sadly, this cruel and wasteful behavior is not uncommon.

A History of Violence

And the dairy industry has a known history of unethical behavior, such as illegally jacking up prices. As Compassion Over Killing reported about the class action lawsuit, a trade group representing 70% of the dairy industry, including the National Milk Producers Federation, Dairy Farmers of America, and Land O’Lakes, created what it called a “dairy herd retirement program.”  The program involved buying out individual, often small, dairy farmers and instructing them to kill their entire dairy herds, mostly young cows. Why? To reduce the nation’s milk supply, thus artificially — and illegally — inflating the price of dairy products.

In all, this dairy industry program was responsible for killing 500,000 young cows and cheating millions of consumers — all to line the pockets of agribusiness giants.

“The biggest dairy producers in the country, responsible for almost 70 percent of the nation’s milk, conspired together in a classic price-fixing scheme, forcing higher prices for a basic food item onto honest consumers and families,” said Steve Berman, managing partner of Hagens Berman. The dairy industry was then forced to pay $52 million because to the class action lawsuit because of their attempt to cheat consumers.

The dairy industry has a long history of routine animal abuse. “Downed” cows who are too sick or injured to stand are left to suffer for weeks before dying, and newborn calves being forcibly dragged away from their mothers and killed or sold for veal production. After only a few years of repeated impregnation and nearly constant milk production, most cows are considered worn out by the dairy industry and are shipped to slaughter at a mere fraction of their normal lifespans.

Angel is a calf whom I found in a small confined pen at the back of a small closing dairy farm.  She would have been sold at auction to serve as a milk slave to a larger Dairy operation.   After four visits, I finally persuaded him to let us have her.  Miyiko and Michael Schinner, took her under their wings at their Sanctuary.  Angel now resides in freedom at Rancho Compasíon, a farm animal sanctuary in Nicasio, California.  Miyiko is also the famous vegan chef and Creator of Miyoko’s Kitchen vegan cheeses!  You can order her cheese online << click on link to order, and have delicious cruelty-free cheese shipped right to your door.

By simply choosing dairy-free alternatives, you can help stop the cruel dairy industry.

The Organic and “Free-Range” Myth

Many people fall for the “happy” animals on packages of dairy products, but don’t fall for the “organic” or “free-range” marketing ploys. Just like animals on conventional factory farms, animals on organic and “free-range” farms often spend much of their time confined to crowded sheds. Organic farms are also no different when it comes to polluting our land, air and sacred water.

Just like cows on factory farms, cows on organic farms are also artificially impregnated every year and have their calves taken away from them soon after birth. Also, cows on organic farms often aren’t given antibiotics, even when they are sick or when their udders become infected, a common occurrence, all because medicated animals lose their “organic” status.

Furthermore, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) requires animals on so-called “free-range” farms to have access to outdoor areas, but it doesn’t specify how much time they must be allowed to spend outside or how much space they should be given.

And the end of their short, miserable lives all end the same way: in death. Animals on “organic” farms are typically shipped on trucks through all weather extreme sometimes without food, water, or rest, to the very same slaughterhouses used by factory farms. The Washington Post recently published an eye-opening expose on how “organic” milk may not be organic, highlighting the failure of many farms to comply with organic standards set by the USDA.

If you truly want to be humane, the best way to do that is to leave animals out of the equation by choosing delicious dairy-free alternatives instead.

The End Is In Sight

With the combination of milk prices going down, consumers looking for healthier alternatives to milk, farmers not getting anything from the dairy industry (so much so that farmers in California are converting their dairy farms to almond groves), and now a general awareness of the dairy industry’s shady ways, the dairy industry has seen a major decline. This archaic industry is not completely gone, thanks to subsidies, but we are starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel.

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