It goes without saying that the economic crisis has left everyone from automakers to financial services firms in shambles. But you might be surprised to hear who the latest victims of job loss are — dairy cows.
At a time when costs of all other foods seem to be on the rise, we saw the downward movement of dairy prices as the silver lining. But as industry conditions have worsened, hard-hit farmers have been forced to contemplate whether it would be more profitable to send their cows to a slaughterhouse.
Farmers have been struggling to feed their herds, as prices for milk are currently half of what it costs for farmers to produce it. With dairymen in such dire circumstances, industry insiders are estimating that nearly 1.5 million of the country's dairy cows could be slaughtered this year as a result. The falling milk prices were caused by a weakened international consumption, a stronger US exchange rate, and the melamine scandal that broke out in China last year.
This situation is disheartening, and I wonder how many people have taken notice of it. I'll certainly make an effort by continuing to support the dairy industry. What about you? Will this news affect your dairy-purchasing habits?