Yesterday, The Forbes Richlist of Billionaires was released. There are apparently 2781 people with a net worth of $1 billion dollars or more, with the richest being Bernard Arnault and Family of luxury goods manufacturer LVMH (think champagne, lots of it!).

The family have a combined wealth of $233 billion…that’s an eyewatering 233,000,000,000…

Not that we should criticise them, or any other of those on the list, they’re obviously doing something right !

And in this world of opportunity, you too could join them, if you know what people want and can supply it to them!

So let us take our hats off to these business people, and not be jealous of their riches or their lifestyle… they worked hard (or not) for their cash.

The problem I see, as I look down the list is the industries that on the whole, these industries are exploiting planet earth, its resources and the other species in order to sell products to you and me – and that’s where all this wealth becomes troubling – all $14.2 trillion dollars of it – which you remember is shared between only 2781 people.

As I said in the first paragraph, we must not criticise or demonise these people for their wealth, but instead we need to look at our choices as human consumers, and the impact and long term consequences they have.

Remember the way to bring down a muti billion dollar corporation is not by protesting, or levying heavy taxes, is to just stop buying their products. From 1.7 billion daily coke products served daily to zero ‘ in one day, all because everyone in the world decided to stop buying products from the coca cola company (don´t worry, the owners will still be wealthy).

For this article I would like to focus on companies whose wealth is built on animal products, and we start with number 26 on the list, Emmanuel Besnier, with a net worth of $25.5 billion dollars, whose company Lactalis is the worldś largest dairy conglomerate. The french, family owned firm has 85,000 employess and annual revenue of $30 billion dollars.

That’s a lot of cheese and milk, and cows who are forced to produce the milk for these products.

Of course there is no data on the number of cows who are employed on a slave labour basis, as that is unimportant to consumers, but without the participation of these cows in the enterprise, Lactalis group would have worlwide revenues of $0 billion dollars per annum, and without consumers purchasing these products which are wholly uneccessary to human survival (as the only milk necessary for humans is human breast milk, not baby food for another species).

Obviously, if there were no cows producing milk anymore, other billionaires in the world like number 2287, William Macmillan of Cargill Group ($1.3 billion dollars net worth), who produce agri feeds would lose a little bit of their wealth, as would number 26, Giovanni Ferrero, chairman of the family’s Ferrero confectionary business with worldwide revenues of $18 billion dollars. No milk – No Milk Chocolate.

Still it will be good for everyone’s health to lay off the chocolate…

But. And there is a big but.

If there is no more milk production, what about the 276,000 combined employees of Cargill, Ferrero, and Lactalis?

Obviously, many people will lose their jobs, even in businesses with diverse business interests. This will have the knock on effect of worldwide governments having to pay unemployment, and other benefits to those who have lost their jobs, which will have a knock on effect of the ex employees struggling to feed their families, pay their bills, etc…

So what’s the solution?

Well,either we make the cows partners in the business and assign them a profit share, or we just ignore them and keep using them for free, after all they are only cows, and we are humans, the most intelligent, and most dominant species on the planet, for now.

Chinese (Simplified)