If it’s pink, please re-thinkPosted: April 19, 2010
If you care about clear water and being a good Earth citizen, you need to hear about industrial pig farms and the damaging impact to ground water and the huge mess the surface runoff causes. Then maybe you’ll put “stop buying pork” at the top of your “Be Good to the Earth” list.
Industrial pig farms manage all waste products by piping anything not attached to a standing hog into enormous plastic lined open pits called “lagoons”. What justifies calling something enormous? Eight friggen acres, that’s what! Evidently that’s what it takes to “hold” 25 million gallons. I grimly quoted the word “hold” because the hog waste only stays until there is a really bad rain storm and then the goo flows over the top, or worse, the earthen walls give way and let the Pepto-Bismol colored, sulfur-rich, bacteria-laden waste slurry out onto what ever the surrounding areas may be. This slurry is not only pee and poo. It’s also heavy duty pharmaceuticals, still-born and crushed piglets, and afterbirth. No wonder it’s red and not brown.
After a horrendous 8-acre red goo spill happened in North Carolina, the North Carolina Senate and House unanimously passed a ban on any new lagoons. Wow! Can you imagine being in the room when they all agreed? And they did it twice – the House and the Senate? Now we know how bad things have to be, to get all the politicians in agreement to fix a problem. Things have to be really, really, REALLY bad- runny, sticky, stinky, red goo (saturated with live bacteria) has to flood through woods, farm fields and into rivers.
What about those plastic liners? You would hope they don’t really want this stuff to seep into the ground.
I’m here to tell you even thick plastic can’t last forever, especially over acres and acres and left unattended. There isn’t any safety inspection at the bottom of the lagoons, like you do with any other safety liner. It’s a joke! I know lots of geologists and geophysicists who will tell you (at the drop of a hat) the Earth moves and rocks tear holes. There is nothing done to the pits and the contents – skimping on money may not be the only reason – how and who handles a gigantic pit of poisonous red goo like that? When someone falls into one of these things, they die and anyone who jumps in after them dies too. And that is another fact – I looked it up.
Industrial pig farms don’t have to pollute ground water and kill rivers, they can just hold surrounding farm-families hostage with the industrial-strength stink. Near another factory hog farm, eleven neighboring old-family farms jointly sued and after 10 years, they each go a million bucks. I like money, but not that much. But you know what? I don’t think 11 million dollars is going to make that top hog man cry too much. His company makes over 10 billion a year. That’s with a B – billion.
I hope that just because you don’t live near one of these incarnated hell-holes you don’t forget all about it. I implore you to keep these modern factory style hog farms in the front of your mind. Try living without that Easter ham or going without bacon for a year and see if you feel just a little better both in mind and body. That’ll be one small step for clean water activism.