Friday, February 5, 2010

Desperate Measures

The poignant story of dairy farmer Dean Pierson is in the news today. Pierson was a second generation small time dairy farmer in New York State, who on Jan 21 systematically shot all 51 of his milking cows in the head and then committed suicide by shooting himself in the chest.

This type of tragic story always has many permutations. No doubt this individual was dealing with many personal and financial issues. He apparently saw no way out of his dire situation and chose to end his painful existence in the ultimate way.

The diary industry, whether on the mega scale of the giant cooperatives or on the more diminutive scale of Mr. Pierson, is a toxic environment for all concerned, especially the poor animals. Whenever animals are viewed as commodities, rather than sentient beings, people will do whatever they deem necessary to maximize their profit.

When prices on the world markets were high, dairy farmers massively increased their herds. Now that consumption is down, these same farmers are aggressively ‘’thinning their stock’’ since production costs are greater than what their product is fetching on the world market

This phenomenon may be classic economics 101, but it is destroying the fabric of this country

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