According to CBS New York, a lack of demand for their products is forcing the state’s dairy farmers to either shut their barn doors or leave the business altogether.
One dying dairy farm in the Catskills, The Diehl Dairy Farm, is only weeks away from going out of business because there aren’t any creameries nearby to buy its milk. More than 60 dairy farms have shut their doors in the past 40 years.
But the state’s dairy farmers are getting creative; some are leaving the business altogether and switching to something more profitable: beer. That’s right, according to a recent New York Times article, a number of dairy farms have become craft breweries.
According to a 2013 USDA report, dairy consumption has been on the decline for decades, with each generation consuming less milk than the one before. In fact, CBS New York reports that fluid milk consumption has fallen a whopping 37 percent since 1970.
A recent survey from agribusiness giant Cargill reveals that half of U.S. dairy consumers also use vegan dairy alternatives. With half of all dairy consumers using plant-based alternatives, the dairy industry is losing a significant portion of its business.
America’s largest dairy company is taking heed. Dean Foods recently issued a notice to dozens of dairy suppliers that it would end their contracts, citing overproduction of dairy milk due to lack of consumer demand. And Danone, a food company most famous for its yogurt, is investing up to $60 million in a plant-based beverage facility in Mount Crawford, Virginia.
What’s more, Elmhurst Dairy in Queens, New York, closed its doors after 90 years in business and switched to making plant-based milks!
While dairy consumption continues to decline and farmers are forced to turn to other industries, the plant-based market is thriving. A 2017 report by the Plant Based Foods Association and The Good Food Institute shows a more than 20 percent increase from the previous year in purchases of dairy alternatives, such as vegan cheese, ice cream, and yogurt, for a total of over $700 million in sales.
The decline in dairy consumption is great news for cows, who are treated as mere milk-producing machines, forcibly impregnated, and kept in terrible conditions. Shortly after calves are born, they are torn away from their mothers. Male calves are killed for veal. Females are forced into the dairy herd, trapped in a cycle of abuse for years until they are considered “spent” and sent to slaughter.
Heartbreaking, right? Just watch this undercover video from a Mercy For Animals investigation.
Fortunately, you can avoid drinking pus and contributing to this cruel industry by adopting a healthy and compassionate vegan diet. Click here to get started. And check out our Pinterest page for thousands of recipe ideas!
For a list of dairy alternatives, click here.