<$BlogRSDUrl$> 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, August 06, 2005

Downwind in Mississippi - hog farming 

This is one of many articles on the problem with hog farming pollution. From what I have read it is really terrible to live near one of these places. At least all I have to deal with are the chicken houses and the application of chicken litter on fields occasionally. That's bad enough, but what these poor people, especially the little kids, suffer, is just horrible. There is no excuse for this.

The story describes a 5th generation farmer, certainly no animal activist, talking about how large hog operations have affected his family's life.

"The hardest thing I've ever had to endure as a parent," says Kennard, "is watching my sontrying to get air, and he can't." Kennard adds that though his 19-year-old has always had asthma, itgot much worse after Bill Cook Swine set up shop next door. The 52-year-old Kennard isnow battling Cook, a childhood friend who lives 13 miles from his concentrated animalfeeding operation, or CAFO. They have taken their feud all the way to the Mississippi Supreme Court,which ruled that Cook needed an air-quality permit from the state's Department ofEnvironmental Quality, in addition to the water-quality permit he already had, in order tooperate. The DEQ has not yet enforced the 1998 decision, and the facility continues to runfull bore. "I'm sorry to say it, but I'm selfish," says Kennard. "This wasn't a `let's clean up theenvironment' issue for us. It was a health issue."

The sad thing is that they are far from alone. This same story also says that:

Their concerns appear to be well founded. A study by the Iowa Center for Agricultural Safety and Health discovered that the air surrounding CAFOs contains concentrated amounts of more than 160 compounds, including hydrogen sulfide, ammonia, organic acids, phenols, and alcohols. According to research by the Mississippi Department of Health, acute exposure to high levels of hydrogen sulfide can cause loss of consciousness and even death. The report adds that symptoms associated with high levels of ammonia exposure include "severe irritation of the eyes, respiratory tract, and skin." The Iowa study found high rates of respiratory problems among the people who live near facilities with 4,000 hogs or more. The Kennards live next to 7,000 hogs.

I highly recommend this article. It may be a bit long, but it is definitely worth the read if you want a deeper understanding of this serious problem and why rural people are getting fed up with such operations. Even those who raise livestock don't like them. And I have lots of these just like it.

And that in itself ought to tell you something.

Activist propaganda - NOT!

Honest truth - YES!
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