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donsu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 12:22 PM
Original message
Fecal Factories in the Heartland - Hogwash

http://www.counterpunch.com/stclair10272006.html


-snip-

Hog production is a factory operation these days, largely controlled by two major conglomerations: Tyson Foods and Smithfield Farms. Hogs are raised in stifling feedlots of concrete, corrugated iron and wire, housing 15,000 to 20,000 animals in a single building. They are the concentration camps of American agriculture, the filthy abattoirs of our hidden system of meat production.

Pig factories are the foulest outposts in American agriculture. A single hog excretes nearly 3 gallons of waste per day, or 2.5 times the average human's daily total. A 6,000-sow hog factory will generate approximately 50 tons of raw manure a day. An operation the size of Premium Standard Farms in northern Missouri, with more than 2 million pigs and sows in 1995, will generate five times as much sewage as the entire city of Indianapolis. But hog farms aren't required to treat the waste. Generally, the stream of fecal waste is simply sluiced into giant holding lagoons, where it can spill into creeks or leach into ground water. Increasingly, hog operations are disposing of their manure by spraying it on fields as fertilizer, with vile consequences for the environment and the general ambience of the neighborhood.

Over the past quarter century, Indiana hog farms were responsible for 201 animal waste spills, wiping out more than 750,000 fish. These hog-growing factories contribute more excrement spills than any other industry.

It's not just creeks and rivers that are getting flooded with pig shit. A recent study by the EPA found that more than 13 percent of the domestic drinking-water wells in the Midwest contain unsafe levels of nitrates, attributable to manure from hog feedlots. Another study found that groundwater beneath fields which have been sprayed with hog manure contained five times as much nitrates as is considered safe for humans. Such nitrate-leaden water has been linked to spontaneous abortions and "blue baby" syndrome.

-snip-

America is being ground apart from the inside, by heartless bankers, insatiable conglomerates, a president who lies by remote control.

We are a hollow nation, a poisonous shell of our former selves.
---------------------------------


yes
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MuseRider Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 12:28 PM
Response to Original message
1. True, we are being ground apart
by those who look for the most bang for their buck no matter what the cost to anyone else.

I farm close to a few small hog operations. Family owned. You would never even know there were pigs there. They are kept in small, clean buildings with outside space behind the buildings. They raise what they want to keep and some to sell for their earnings. They are being killed by the big guys with their massive operations that are unhealthy, unsafe, very very cruel and poisoning the planet.

I guess I wanted to just put in my :thumbsup: for family farmers. I could not raise living things for food but at least they do it with some consciousness about how and what they are doing.
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acmavm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 12:30 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. You are a family farmer? Aren't you on the Endangered Species list?
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MuseRider Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 12:36 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Yup but I am mostly
Edited on Sat Oct-28-06 12:37 PM by MuseRider
a hobby farmer. I raise horses (mainly I just keep them now since there is no good market for cutting horses right now in Kansas) and grass. I feed my horses and the cattle of other small farmers.

Where my farm is there are tons of small farms but nobody makes it their business anymore. They all have to work outside full time and then come home and do the hours and hours of labor it takes to keep up a farm. It is very sad.

Edit to add I am not really a family farmer, I am a lonely farmer because my husband wants nothing to do with it. I do it myself so I don't think that would qualify me in that category. :shrug:
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acmavm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 12:49 PM
Response to Reply #3
6. Oh, your edit is so sad. Has he given up? Or is it just a way of life for
you? Something you love and is part of your being? (Excuse me, not trying to be nosy.)

I only as because here in Nebraska you can't help but know someone(s) in farming. And it's something that's as much a part of them as painting is to an artist and performing is to a musician. And they are being cheated by the corporate farming operations who get tax breaks that the family farmer doesn't. And the family farmer isn't destroying our water supply.

Oh well, good luck.
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MuseRider Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 01:26 PM
Response to Reply #6
11. You nailed it!
It is essential for most farmers. I was raised in the city but my father had been a farm boy who never wanted to go back but made certain we experienced it. It stuck so when everyone else in my family was gone I pieced together the money that was left, invested it wisely (Clinton years) and bought this place. My husband would rather move to New York but he knows I can't not do this so out to the farm he goes as soon as the house is finished. He thinks he wants some goats ;). THIS should be fun!
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IntravenousDemilo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 01:18 PM
Response to Reply #3
8. If you're a hobby farmer and you raise horses, does that make them hobby-horses?
Seriously, though, the bank took our family farm about 20 years ago after a drought. Banks don't care about anyone, no matter what their advertising claims.
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MuseRider Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 01:28 PM
Response to Reply #8
12. I am so sorry to hear that.
You know, it is true that they do not care. They can sell that land so quickly and make so much money that they just do not see the humanity or lack of humanity that is going on.

Yes they are hobby horses, in fact I call them eating and excreting yard art. Love them.
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BeFree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 12:42 PM
Response to Original message
4. Eat mo' Pig!
People say I am a granola head 'cause I eat granola in the morn.

Wellll, I ask, what do you eat in the morn? Do you eat bacon? Then I guess you could say your are a pig head, eh?
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Generic Other Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 12:48 PM
Response to Original message
5. Sewage treatment seems as if it should be a priority
That's offal.
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Coventina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 01:24 PM
Response to Reply #5
10. *rim shot*
Edited on Sat Oct-28-06 01:26 PM by Coventina
on edit:

Can't these polluters be brought up on charges of violating environmental laws?

I don't understand how they can get away with this.
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bperci108 Donating Member (969 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 01:06 PM
Response to Original message
7. The Meatrix
http://www.themeatrix.com


Factory farming HAS to go. :puke:
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Warren Stupidity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 01:22 PM
Response to Original message
9. Large sections of North Carolina smell distinctly like pig shit.
Phew. It is the only area where I have unfortunately had the experience of being within smelling range of a factory pig farm.
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