I know I don’t normally talk about stuff that matters (you know to, like, anyone else but me) but my husband told me about this thing he heard on NPR today and it just.broke.my.heart. Apparently the low milk prices that we’ve been rejoicing about for months is not really such a great thing. See dairy farmers are apparently having a hard time making ends meet and a lot of them are now being paid by a program called CWT (Cooperatives Working Together) to slaughter their cows. My first instinctive reaction to this news was disgust.
“Maybe I’ll switch to drinking only soy milk,” I commented, but then stalled immediately, “But would that even fix anything?”
How far down the rabbit hole of this problem am I really willing to go? Let’s be honest, me not drinking milk isn’t going to change anything. And if everyone joined me in my endeavor (or say a lot of people) would this help the problem or hurt it? If the dairy industry were struggling further, what would they do? Slaughter more cows? Or maybe free them?
And about that soy milk thing. How much do I really want to support the soy industry which is so closely tied to the corn industry (oh god don’t even get me started on the corn industry) because of the whole crop rotation dealio where farmers will plant corn for like one year and then soybeans the next to keep the soil fertile or something, I don’t know I’m not a farmer! Point is, ever since reading the first third of The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan, corn has been ruined for me. I still give it dirty looks when walking down the aisles of the grocery store. And I have to see it everywhere – not just in the fresh produce, canned veggies and frozen veggies – but everywhere. Because now I know just how many things corn is a part of in our diets, and other places, too. Seriously, corn might be slowly taking over the planet.
And then while I’m thinking about corn, I have to think about the beef industry and how all those poor cows are being force fed a diet that they were never intended to eat, and then killed when they are basically still toddlers. Eighteen months I think is the ideal goal? Disgusting. And since soybeans are being kept in business because of corn and both are used for everything, both, in some regard, are suspect. Right??
And the more of the book that I read, the more upset I got, and in the end I stopped reading partly because it was taking me freaking forever and partly maybe because I was tired of being upset. But I’m still upset. And now I have to be upset when I look at dairy products and man dairy products are like… my everything. I adore dairy. I love milk and cheese and yogurt and ice cream and milk chocolate and… Seriously? What am I supposed to do with this information?
This seems to be one of those areas where ignorance is bliss. Because, let’s face it. My husband will not be wooed into a vegan diet. We are probably not going to start growing all our own food (especially not in our third floor apartment). This situation will not take over my life, as much as it upsets me. I can’t afford an organic vegan diet even if my husband were game for it, and trust me, he’s not. Oh, don’t get me wrong. It bothers him, too. But this man is a carnivore. He’s not like his wimpy wife who detests working with raw meat and almost cries when she hears third hand sob stories about the dairy industry.
So you know, I probably won’t switch to soy milk, even though I already drink it once a day. And I’m not going vegan, at least not today. And I’m probably not going to go trying to free all the dairy cows from their respective farm prisons (but if I did, I’d totally free all the beef cows, too, and any other cow slaves, and we’d all run away together to some great cow worshipping island with all the great things cows love like grass and Chick Fil A‘s as far as the eye can see…). I’ll probably do nothing other than publish this blog post, but dairy farmers reading this, you should know. I’m a little disappointed in humanity right now and while it’s not entirely your fault, you are definitely not making me happy. You and corn are kind of at the top of my Naughty List right now.
*disclaimer* I don’t really know what I’m talking about and should not be held responsible for any foolish comments or hurt feelings. I don’t have a degree in anything useful to this situation and I didn’t do much research further than reading that article I mentioned and that first third of The Omnivore’s Dilemma. I’m just a bleeding heart with a blog, you know? Carry on…