July 28, 2008

Some Pigs

Check out Honest Meat — a fine new blog I found via I Heart Farms. The author is Rebecca Thistlethwaite, and right now she is in the middle of three posts on CAFOs [confined animal feeding operations]: specifically, the pig factories of North Carolina's coastal plain.

I love bacon, but not so much that I can buy it in good conscience when pigs are factory-farmed and CAFOs are destroying the environment. Rebecca links to Waterkeeper Alliance's Rick Dove, who took the aerial photos for her posts, and who writes on the Waterkeeper site:
There are now approximately 2,500 industrial swine facilities raising 10,000,000 hogs in North Carolina's coastal plain. This is a radical change from conditions that existed prior to the mid-1980s. Then, there were approximately 24,000 family farmers raising a little over 2,000,000 hogs. Based upon a study of Dr. Mark Sobsey of the University of North Carolina that compared hog to human waste, these hogs are producing more fecal matter in Eastern North Carolina each day than is produced by all the citizens (combined) in North Carolina, California, Pennsylvania, New York, Texas, New Hampshire, and North Dakota. This incredible amount of fecal matter is constantly being flushed from the confinement buildings where these animals are kept under what are often grossly inhumane conditions. [Boldface mine.]
Rebecca writes:
This post is supposed to be about the human health problems with these huge hog factories. But if a hog farmer (or vertically-integrated pork corporation) will treat animals with complete disregard, how do you think they treat their human workers and neighbors?
[Like this, I imagine.] The Honest Meat sidebar is filled with books, farms, industry links and culinary sites. You'll find I Heart Farms, Honest Meat and other link goodness in the SHEEP, FARMS/RANCHES, GOOD EATS AND MORE section of this blog's right sidebar.

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