Cows, Federated farmers, TPPA and Sustainability

The Editor,  The Wellingtonian,  Wellington

06 October, 2015

Dear Editor:

There are too many cows in New Zealand. The global dairy price ‘scare’ was illustrative of what happens when an economy is too dependent on one industry. And now Federated Farmers (FF) says it may be too hard for dairy farmers to implement much needed environmental controls (perhaps indicating FF’s new approach now that it has been knocked firmly onto its backside with a mediocre deal on dairy access in the TPPA!).

Why has dairy been thought to be so important? Dairy is probably the most intensive farming practice in the world.   This is consistent with the exploitation mentality dominant over the last hundreds or thousands of years and which has in our time been shown to be generally unsustainable. Those desperate to hold onto this dead “Exploitative Era”, and there are many, see dairy as a way to visibly push back at this reality. While this openly aggressive approach will support their political representatives in government (e.g. National) in the current political environment for a while, in the long run it would be wise to transition to a new cooperative mentality which would be survivable, and surely would require fewer cows.


Richard Keller

published 15/10/2015


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