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WTF?! Dairy Farmers Accused of Killing 500,000 Cows to Jack Up Prices

Factory farmers have built an industry around animal abuse, worker exploitation, and environmental destruction, so is it really surprising that they have been ripping their customers off of billions of dollars too? According to a recent series of court cases, that’s exactly what’s happened.

This week, trade groups and companies representing most of the U.S. dairy industry agreed to shell out $52 million to settle a class action antitrust lawsuit against them. The suit was filed after evidence uncovered by Compassion Over Killing showed that these groups—including the National Milk Producers Federation, Dairy Farmers of America, and Land O’Lakes—conspired for years to jack up milk prices, bringing in $9.5 billion in added profit.

How, you ask? By prematurely killing half a million young dairy cows and calves. This horrific plan, cynically dubbed a “herd retirement program, reduced the supply of milk, causing prices to spike in what the plaintiffs’ lawyer called a “classic price-fixing scheme.

The dairy industry is hardly an isolated case. Just last Friday, an eerily similar lawsuit was filed accusing more than 90 percent of the chicken meat industry—including companies like Foster Farms, Tyson, and Perdue—of systematically killing off chickens in order to boost prices by as much as 150 percent. Another class action filed against the egg industry back in 2008 on similar grounds is still pending, though several defendants have already settled for a combined total of more than $60 million.

The irony is that factory farming spokespeople justify their cruel and unsustainable practices as a way to keep food prices down, yet they’re going to absurd lengths to keep prices artificially high. The reality is that these industries care as little about their consumers as they do the animals they abuse. The only thing they do care about? Profit.

You can help take the profit out of animal abuse every time you sit down to eat by leaving animals off your plate. Click here for tips on how to adopt a compassionate plant-based diet.