<$BlogRSDUrl$> The Cyberactivist

Behind the scenes of the fight for the protection of animals and workers and the preservation of the environment - my experiences as a Tyson slaughterhouse hanger/killer turned activist. Exposing the evils of factory farming, by Virgil Butler. If you have arrived here looking for the Tyson stories, view the early archives. Some of them are now featured on the sidebar for easy searching.

Saturday, September 20, 2003

Poop Power! 

I read a couple of interesting articles
yesterday that came in my PlanetSave
newsletter. But what interested me most
was that the related developments were
written about on the same day and the
articles appeared on the same page together.

The first one was entitled "Vermont groups
win federal grant to turn farm waste into

A coalition of Vermont groups has
won a $747,000 federal grant to build
technology that would convert manure
from small farms into methane gas.

If small farms could convert waste to
cheap, green energy, not only would
they manage their waste streams but
(they) will be more independent and
financially secure,'' said Dr. Guy Roberts
of the Intervale Foundation.
The foundation will use the funding from
the U.S. Department of Agriculture and
Department of Energy to build an anaerobic
digester to turn cow manure into energy
that could heat greenhouses and fuel
generators and refrigerators...

...The actual size of the pipes would be
roughly 30 feet long and five feet wide with
few moving parts. As the manure slowly
flows through pipes, the organisms living
in it convert the waste into methane. The
end product could be used to fertilize crops
because the processed manure has a high
concentration of nutrients. Anaerobic
digesters already are used on 30 large farms
with 300 cows or more in the United States...

...the Intervale model would convert waste
from small farms that have 45 cattle...

Then, right below that was an article about
the fact that "California has eradicated Exotic
Newcastle Disease...that paralyzes and kills
all bird species."

California is the country's No. 3 egg producer.
More than half the state's 12 million egg-laying
hens are in the quarantine zone. In 2001,
Riverside County led the state in production
with an egg crop valued at $56 million.

Newcastle disease ravaged California's poultry
industry in the 1970s, costing millions of
dollars to eradicate. It can be transmitted
through feces, feed, cages and other materials,
and can become airborne.

This time, California spent $160 million to
eradicate the disease, using thousands of
veterinarians from the state, federal government
and Baja California, Mexico. About 3.1 million
birds statewide were destroyed.

U.S. Agriculture Department officials believe
farm workers who keep cockfighting roosters
infected with Exotic Newcastle spread it to
egg farms. The infection can be carried on
people's clothing and shoes.

The federal government spent $11.5 million
from October to May to destroy 144,000
birds characterized as game fowl.

Hmmm... Maybe there is an Earth-friendly
way to deal with this issue after all. It
would be great news indeed if they could
prevent all those unnecessary cruel deaths
of the chickens (I mean, they have to suffer
a bit when they get sick) as well as some
of the pollution they churn out and turn
it into energy at the same time. Plus, how
long do you suppose it would take for
Newscastle to mutate somehow and start
infecting humans? These places breed
super-germs. It already mutated to become
air-borne. This is too similar to SARS...

Do we dare hope???
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