Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

July 23, 2021

The Milk System

Filed under: Counterpunch,Ecology,farming,food — louisproyect @ 3:28 pm


Thanks to my good friend Manuel Garcia Jr., I got a head’s up about a documentary titled “The Milk System” that arrived with zero publicity:

Everything you talk about, Louis N. Proyect, is here: the contradictions of capitalism, surplus value and the robbing of it, the precariousness of the actual producers of the surplus value, the necessity of continuous industrial growth, to “keep in place” despite being in a finite world, and thus consuming foreign resources by economic imperialism and ecological murder.

Manuel, as always, was right on the money. The film was made by Andreas Pichler, who grew up on a dairy farm atop a bucolic hillside that looked like the scenery in “The Sound of Music”. Wearing lederhosen, his job as a child was to walk the cows back and forth from pasture and to milk them. Conscious of sweeping changes in the dairy industry (the word industry is apropos), he decided to make a documentary that will help us understand why the big farms are getting rich as they torment animals and rob the soil.

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  1. Thanks, Louis, I’m glad you wrote about it, because you understand the whole picture. That documentary is very good about a world situation that is very bad.

    Comment by manuelgarciajr — July 23, 2021 @ 7:07 pm

  2. Good post. I quick regular milk out of cholesterol concern, and went to soy milk. Oat milk is ok with me as well.

    Comment by Shawn Britton — July 26, 2021 @ 1:55 am

  3. Animal free dairy — as opposed to dairy alternatives, like oat milk — is coming: https://perfectdayfoods.com/process/

    Public funding for open-access R&D would help speed the process along. You should read Clean Meat by Paul Shapiro, or Billion Dollar Burger by Chase Purdy. Good overviews of the emerging field of cellular agriculture.

    Comment by Jon Hoch — July 26, 2021 @ 2:09 pm

  4. Thanks, Louis, for another eye-opener.

    Having spent about one week each summer at our uncle’s Fairport, NY, dairy farm where he, his brother, and the “hired man” milked some 70-80 head a day, then, decades later assigned by CDC to several health departments in south Florida, I was somewhat awed but perplexed by what I learned about dairy-“farming” in south-central FL: In Okeechobee County to meet the program’s local contact, a public health nurse, chit-chatting with her, soon my brain went into high gear as she spoke of her husband’s job as manager of a local dairying operation: “Yeah, it’s a pretty large herd; they milk about 10,000 a day.” She only smiled when I cited that stat on uncle’s NYS farm. Thinking back now, that picture from 1985 mirrored accurately what industrial milk plants have become. Bill in VA

    Comment by William Boyd — July 27, 2021 @ 10:22 am

  5. Thank you for this recommendation, it was extremely insightful and jarring

    Comment by ravi (@ravi_t_rajah) — August 13, 2021 @ 4:27 pm

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