Edie Falco Tells Governor Cuomo: Don’t Bail Out the Dairy Farmers
In a heartfelt opinion piece in the New York Daily News, Edie Falco wrote that she does not want her tax money to go to prop up or bail out the dairy farmers of upstate New York, as Governor Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) has said he is planning to do with $25 million.
Read on and see what you think. After pondering the situation we agree with her idea that perhaps the Governor can support farmers who want to grow almonds or peas, to create a pipeline for alternative plant-based milk that would last longer than dairy and be healthier for us and the planet. Currently, dairy products like milk and eggs are being dumped by farmers, since lack of demand means it's all going bad. The closings of restaurants and schools, hotels and large office buildings have everyone suffering, and the dairy farmers are no different.
Edie Falco Writes:
"Like many New Yorkers — indeed, many Americans — I’ve looked to Gov. Cuomo’s decisive leadership during the coronavirus crisis. But his Nourish New York initiative, while well-intentioned, is a step in the wrong direction. With federal funds stretched to the limit, why would the governor squander $25 million to bail out the dairy industry, which is rife with disease and cruelty?
"Not only is dairy not "essential," factory farming, including dairy farming, is a breeding ground for disease. If the current pandemic has taught us anything, it's that raising and killing animals for food is a global health risk. The current crisis originated in a meat market. Swine flu and avian flu originated on factory farms in the United States. Sweet corn, New York State's proposed "official" vegetable, never sparked a pandemic.
People growing real food, vegetables and fruits that keep us healthy, deserve help. Milk, cheese and other dairy products have been linked to heart disease, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and an increased risk of breast, ovarian and prostate cancers. Cow’s milk is often foisted upon schoolchildren, even though it’s one of the primary causes of food allergies among kids, and millions of Americans are lactose-intolerant, including many people of color.
Consumers are getting it. Sales of oat milk shot up more than 300% as Americans stocked their pandemic pantries. Consumers are increasingly choosing cashew cheese; coconut-based ice cream; almond, hemp and macadamia milks; and other vegan options. According to Dairy Farmers of America, a dairy marketing cooperative, sales fell by $1.1 billion in 2018, yet sales of plant-based foods have grown 11% in the past year.
The dairy industry has long bombarded schools with misleading marketing. So most of us grew up not realizing what milk really is: breast milk produced by mother cows to feed and nurture their calves. Cows, who are smart and inquisitive, are also excellent mothers, given the opportunity, and their maternal instinct is just as strong as ours is.
On dairy farms, they never get the chance. They’re artificially impregnated and then forced to watch helplessly as their terrified babies — whom they carry for nine months, just like us — are torn away from them. This happens over and over again. Not surprisingly, mother cows desperately try to prevent this. On a dairy farm in Massachusetts, cows uttered such prolonged, agonizing cries when their calves were stolen from them that concerned neighbors called the police.
"When the mother cows’ bodies wear out from constant pregnancy and lactation, they’re sent to slaughter, just like cows raised for meat.
"With Mother's Day coming up, do we really want to support an industry that tears babies away from their mothers and discards animals who are no longer "useful," like so much trash?
"If we want to nourish New York and help the state’s struggling dairy farmers, Gov. Cuomo can put that $25 million to better use. Let’s help dairy workers retrain for jobs making the healthy plant-based milks that consumers actually want to buy and increase the availability of nourishing vegan options in our schools and food banks.