New Paltz Farmer Planning to Sell $15 Gallon of Milk
Would you buy a $15 gallon of milk? One Hudson Valley farmer is banking on it.
The dairy industry is in trouble. Thanks to changing tastes, consumers have been pushing yogurt, cheese and milk to the side in favor of plant-based alternatives. Some tout the health benefits of these dairy substitutes, while others have made the switch for ethical reasons.
One Hudson Valley farmer in says he's ready to save the dairy industry by producing the country's first "ethical" gallon of milk. In an interview with Vice, Nimai Pandit says that he plans to produce milk for people who care how it's produced. Pandit and his wife own a 90-acre farm in New Paltz. Gopal Farm's mission is to treat the cow with respect. Even their name, Gopal, means "Friendly Cow" in Sanskrit.
Pandit plans to produce his ethical milk by completely transforming the dairy process, treating the cows with "respect." And that doesn't just mean giving them a cozy barn and good food. Everything about the milk-producing process will need to be changed.
Currently, female cows are artificially inseminated to get them to produce milk. Deemed unethical, the cows at Gopal Farm will get pregnant the old-fashioned way. And after that process is complete, the male cows will not be slaughtered for food, as is the usual practice, but will remain as residents on the farm until they die of old age.
Some vegans say that it's cruel to take the milk from a cow that's supposed to go to its offspring, so Nimal plans to allow the calves to continue to feed from the cows. He says that there's an abundance of milk, and he will only harvest it after the offspring has had enough to drink.
This and other cow-friendly procedures aren't cheap. That's why every gallon of milk will include enough money to help fund a "401-K" for the cows, allowing them to remain at the farm even after they are no longer a part of the milk production process.
Skeptics say that this is a lot of work and expense for an idea that may not even be appealing to vegans. Even if Pandit can convince animal lovers that his milk has been ethically harvested, will they still want to drink it? And will they be willing to spend $15 for it?
Pandit believes that there is a market for ethical milk, and he's literally betting the farm on it. What do you think? Would you pay extra for milk if you knew it was ethically produced? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below or on our Facebook page.
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