This year, dairy farmers will be facing yet another financial blow as the price of milk drops to a new low. In 2014, the price farmers received for milk reached a record high with an average of $23.53 per hundred pounds of milk. Alternatively, this year the milk price dipped to $14.57, 38 percent lower than the 2014 average. Because of this fluctuation, which has resulted in dairy farmers barely breaking even after all is said and done, many have to decide: is it worth it to continue?

We think not. Dairy is dying out and for good reason. In the past, when matters of nutrition came up, milk was touted as one of the must-haves when it came to a healthy and balanced diet. As much as the dairy industry would like you to believe that this is still the case, research suggests otherwise. It is widely known now that an adequate amount of calcium can be achieved simply by eating vegetables like kale, collards, mustard greens, turnip greens, bok choy, broccoli, fortified plant milks, fortified juices, and firm tofu made with calcium-sulfate. With this many alternatives, how did the dairy industry bamboozle everyone into thinking we needed milk for calcium? Well, the fact that in 2015, the dairy industry spent almost $9 million lobbying to government officials is definitely a factor…

Year after year, the dairy industry bombards the government as well as school systems with money and grave concern for people’s health. What they don’t admit is that people would just do fine without milk! Considering 75 percent of people around the world are in fact lactose intolerant, the people who actually can consume milk safely with positive health benefits is the minority!

Now that farmers aren’t gaining much from the dairy industry, this could be a major turning point in the food space. With new food companies out new plant-based alternatives  to dairy every year, there are now options for even the pickiest of foodies. Some could argue that cheese is actually the only pillar left standing for the dairy industry. Oh wait… plant-based companies have also all but perfected vegan cheese. Guess it’s only a matter of time before consumers ditch dairy products altogether! After all, that’s the direction that trends are heading in.

“Non-dairy milk sales are up 30 percent since 2011, representing a $2 billion category, and growth is expected to continue outpacing dairy milk sales at least through 2018,” said Nil Zacharias, Co-Founder of One Green Planet, “There’s never been a better time to invest in this future.” Rather than lament the loss of dairy, perhaps this is an opportunity for dairy farmers to get into the milk alternative market.

We could look at this as a major loss for dairy – or a potential major win for a new industry. With the choice largely in the hands of consumers, we’ll just have to wait and see what they say. One thing’s for sure, though, the slogan “Got Cashew Milk?” does have a nice ring to it…

Lead Image Source: 5 Ridiculous Myths About Cow Milk