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Support Milk Not Jails

August 29, 2011

MILK NOT JAILS is a consumer campaign to mobilize NY residents to support the dairy industry and the long-term sustainability of the rural economy. It is a political campaign to advocate for criminal justice and agricultural policy reform that will bring about positive economic growth. MILK NOT JAILS insists that bad criminal justice policy should not be the primary economic development plan for rural New York.
MILK NOT JAILS has made significant headway over the past year, and we are now at a critical moment in our efforts to build a new urban-rural relationship in New York State. We have mobilized farmers to help us achieve our political demands and we are working with them to build a political line of dairy products. We hope to make significant policy changes in New York and create a new model for social change that other groups around the country can utilize.

But we need your financial support today to make this happen. Please make a pledge today to help us get a MILK NOT JAILS delivery truck and marketing materials. We must raise $22,000 in pledges by August 31, 2011, so make a donation today and please share this email with your family, friends, and neighbors.
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12 comments on “Support Milk Not Jails”

Yes, this campaign is a bit weird, no doubt. Yet, it seems like it’s aimed at a broad audience and it’s trying new tactics, which is interesting. Certainly not going to win any enthusiasm from the vegans.

As a long time vegan/anarchist/etc., I appreciate the solution based response to this problem they are facing, but to ignore the current and new victims a reliance on dairy farming would create is simply unacceptable. For further education on the expansion of the OTHER imprisonment that would be created with such a program, check out Eating Animals by Jonathan Foer. I hope this campaign fails quickly and something a lot more ethical and consistent is presented.

Genius. The growth in health care costs which will occur as a result of an increase in dairy consumption will do wonders for New York’s economy, as will the expenses incurred as a result of the widespread environmental damage which occurs wherever agribusiness does. Visionary thinking, this is. Have you done more than 10 seconds worth of research on this?
Let me help:

By supporting the dairy industry you are supporting the suffering of animals, not to mention that milk contains pesticides, pus (from widespread mastitis), hormones and other horrid things. I implore you to find an alternative cruelty free program.

Yes, it’s true. This is an idea that is formulated on a basis of either ignorance or unconcern of the consequences of factory farming ( or alternatively a naive view of who will tend to fill the niche being presented) terrible idea. It is, however, fascinating to look at and consider why the framers think it’s a good idea. This here is an example of the fundamental disconnection that exists between the red and the green. Isn’t it? Red pragmatism, here butting up in the comment section against green horror.

Swap one form of oppression for another? Dairy mother cows are repeatedly impregnated, have their babies torn away from them shortly after birth, and their milk yields are so high that they often suffer from mastitis and udder infections.
Not to mention milk production is horrible for the environment.

Yeah, I’m sure all the prison guards will love switching to slitting the throats of veal calves and pushing dying dairy cattle too broken and sick to walk with a backho to the slaughterhouse. Give me a break. Not only is this campaign offensive in its disregard for the suffering of non-humans but it’s downright creepy.

hi vegan friends!
milk not jails is not interested in expanding industrial farming or the dairy industry. we are looking to build coalition with other economic actors in prison towns in upstate ny, which just so happen to primarily be dairy farmers. this is our effort to start a conversation with them. we are working with a broad spectrum of small dairies, many of whom are transitioning to other agricultural production because the dairy industry is hurting them financially. we are working with dairy farmers who are transitioning to grow switch grass for pellet burning stoves and/or other more growth potential agriculture.
why are we called milk not jails? because we are trying to build coalition with people based on where they are at now. this is a strategic campaign, framing issues in a way to strike up conversation and generate feedback so we can figure out how to build a healthier urban-rural political economy.
we are really excited to get feedback from vegans about the problems with the dairy industry. just as many animal rights and local food activists may work on single issues and know little about the prison industry, many prison abolitionists have never examined agribusiness and the dairy industry. thanks for your thoughts, and we hope you’ll keep them coming!

Reading the comments leads me to question if the overly simplistic slogan “Milk Not Jails” has led to the sharp divide to those who appreciate the campaign and those who are strongly against it. This is a very complex issue that speaks about race and class, economics, politics, and land use, as much as it does animal rights.
Poverty in rural areas can be as intense as urban areas and I was given a harsh reminder when a friend in rural Wisconsin said that many of his peers ended up in the military or prison due to the lack of jobs and opportunities.
Writing from the dairy state (Wisconsin) it is easy for me to find common ground and solidarity with small-scale, family farmers and dairy farmers who are living off their land and fighting corporate power as hard, if not more so, than those of us living in urban areas.
No answer may be satisfactory to hard-core animal rights activists, but I invite people to spend time in rural areas with small-scale family farmers and listen to their perspectives as well.



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