An anti-trust lawsuit was filed in 2011 alleging several of the nation’s largest dairy producers conspired to inflate prices on milk by killing hundreds of thousands of mother cows. Now, the lawsuit has been settled for an astounding $52 million.
We don’t want to bore you with too many details, so we have provided links with more information at the bottom. Basically an organization called Cooperatives Working Together (“CWT”), which is funded by its members (mostly large dairy farms or cooperatives) offered money for farmers to kill their cows in what was called a “herd retirement” program. In fact, in 2005 CWT determined that it’s funds would “primarily be devoted to the retirement program” presumably because of the early success of the program and the large number of farmers had signed up to participate (by “participating”, they agree to send their cows to slaughter even when they are still producing milk).
With so many cows being sent to slaughter, the number of cows, and thus, milk production, declined which falsely inflated the price of milk nationwide.
The Fair Oaks Farms Connection
Fair Oaks Farms, who proclaims they are committed to “excellent animal welfare standards” is not named in this lawsuit, but they are connected to the defendants in a very concerning way.
One of the co-defendants in the lawsuit, CWT, is made up of a group of dairy farms. One of it’s members is Select Milk, who owns Fair Oaks Farms (see: www.selectmilk.com). So presumably money from Fair Oaks (through Select Milk) was going to fund CWT. By CWT’s own analysis, milk prices rose after each one of these “retirement programs” went into effect, thus raising milk prices that benefited the entire industry, including Fair Oaks.
The Bloody Dairy Industry
The dairy industry has shown itself to be one of the cruelest on the planet. From repeated forced impregnation to maternal deprivation to the fact that baby male dairy cows end up as veal and mothers are slaughtered once their milk production declines. The dairy industry is full of horrific practices, so it really comes as no surprise that they were sued for price fixing by means of slaughtering half a million innocent mothers.
What You Can Do
If you want to stop supporting the dairy industry because of the cruelty involved and their unscrupulous practices, there are many kinds of delicious, nutritious plant based milks available. Soy, almond, cashew, coconut, hemp, pea protein and other types of plant milks are available at most local grocery stores. If you try one and don’t like it, try a different one. We promise you will find one you love!