If you thought the YouTube comments section is a septic tank, you’re in for a surprise. There’s a hog farm in North Carolina, where animal waste including aborted piglets from pregnant pigs falls through slits in the floor. The shit that’s collected like this on the floor is then flushed into a giant open air holding pond which creates a cesspool of untreated animal waste.
Animal Waste Lagoons:
Once in a while when the lagoon starts to fill up, the operators of the farm have to empty it out. And, because this farm has no waste-treatment system like how cities have for their human waste counterpart, its contents are liquefied and using gigantic hoses are sprayed into the air.
This mist of urine and feces is picked up by the wind and travels to the homes of nearby communities. The smell in the air is so horrific, people don’t step outdoors for extended periods of time when they “get wind” that these garden hose operations are underway. Talk about your neighbor’s shit being contaminated.
Because the contents of the pool seep into the ground, they affect the drinking water system. Because they mix in with the air, people in homes surrounding these farms experience respiratory problem, physical issues and mental issues like depression and aggression. Neighbors routinely die of cancer, and no one knows why.
Now, multiply this one farm by the 1000’s and imagine them as factory farms, America’s biggest secret – CAFOs. According to Wikipedia, a CAFO is a concentrated animal feeding operation which is an animal feeding farm in which more than 1000 animals are raised in confinement for over 45 days a year.
“It can, I think very correctly, be called ‘environmental racism’ or ‘environmental injustice’ that low-income people, people of color, bear the brunt of these practices.” ~ Steve Wing, Ph.D., associate professor of epidemiology, University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health
Hundreds of millions of chickens are improperly slaughtered each year resulting in fecal contamination of their bodies. On the production line, the chickens are hung upside down by their feet in shackles along a long winding conveyor belt, before being stunned into unconsciousness. They pass along sharp blades strategically placed to cut their jugular veins before they are moved methodically above machines that remove their feathers, heads, feet and finally the internal organs.
“High-speed machines commonly rip open intestines, releasing feces into the birds’ body cavities. Once upon a time, USDA inspectors had to condemn any bird with such fecal contamination. But about thirty years ago, the poultry industry convinced the USDA to reclassify feces so that it could continue to use these automatic eviscerators. Once a dangerous contaminant, feces are now classified as a “cosmetic blemish.” ~ Jonathan Safran Foer, Eating Animals
An animal farming nightmare:
Its time to become vigilant to the horrifying practices of raising animals by the meat producing companies. CAFOs are mostly only operated in neighborhoods of low income and people of color. “The lagoons are healthy if they’re bright pink in color.” This is what meat producers tell their share holders and anyone who’s willing to listen.
How can we fight terror outside of America, when we’ve our hands full fighting environmental racism? How can we fight for others’ human rights when our own right to live is being threatened in the safety of our own country?
Want to know how we got here? And how this madness is spreading to other countries in Eastern Europe, South America and Asia. Read about Factory Farming, an indigenous invention of the industrialized countries. A practice United Nations calls the “intensification of animal production was seen as a way of providing food security.”
The Environmental Working Group has a map of every home in North Carolina that’s located near a CAFO or a swine waste holding pond. Check it out here.