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View Diary: Smithfield: HUGE victory for labor in the South! (153 comments)

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  •  On page 60 in McKibbens book, (39+ / 0-)

       Deep Economy, he states that the hog plants/farms in North Carolina produce more excrement than that produced by all the citizens of California, New York, and Washington combined. Then when you understand that 95% of this is collected in inefficient lagoons in just a few counties in Eastern NC, you can better understand the environmental impact on the rivers, streams, and water supply for hundreds of thousands of residents that must also endure the stench that floats for miles from the lagoons.
       For the health industry, we need to understand that the feed for these pigs is intensive and massive as they attempt to "grow out" their profit in weeks not months. As with large cattle confinement areas, the hogs are fed antibiotics and growth hormones that stay with the pigs until you eat them or goes into the groundwater with the other niceties of the excrement.
       All animals (including humans) have a natural mechanism to flush their bodies of too much food or chemicals that react badly with their developing systems. The buildup from all these chemicals in the water will cause cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and myriad other health problems for future generations of Eastern North Carolinians.

    The human race is truly the highest species on earth. No other species can procreate with the female on top.

    by NC Dem on Fri Dec 12, 2008 at 09:25:20 AM PST

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    •  time to go vegetarian to stop the pollution (9+ / 0-)

      Some people become vegetarians because they are against animal cruelty, and while I am also against animal cruelty, vegetarianism to me is also the lowest pollution way to eat.  Those who advocate for dairy and meat products have probably not lived downstream from 225 dairy cows like I have.

      The massive manure pits are truly toxic waste dumps- when will they be shut down?  I've heard that a body dumped in one of those pits will be dissolved in a few days- nothing but bones left.

      •  I grew up on a small farm... (24+ / 0-)

          in Moore County, NC. We had a few pigs and cows but we mainly worked with laying hens for eggs. I gathered 2,000-3,000 eggs every day. Chickens don't stop laying on Saturdays and Sundays. When we cleaned out the houses every year with a new batch or moving one batch to another more mature house, we manually pitchforked a 6'-12" mat of waste and shavings from the house and loaded it onto large flat trailers that we then pulled into the tobacco fields in late fall and early winter and spread the natural fertilizer onto the 50 acres of open land that would be used for tobacco the next spring/summer. We usually allowed 25 acres also open to lay fallow each year as we rotated the planting areas. Over time as most farmers were adding tons of NPK to the land, we used less and less fertilizer.

        The human race is truly the highest species on earth. No other species can procreate with the female on top.

        by NC Dem on Fri Dec 12, 2008 at 09:46:27 AM PST

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        •  Manure is an incredibly valuable resource (9+ / 0-)

          It has always been incredible to me that it is not only wasted instead of used as fertilizer, but actually turned into a pollutant.

          Natural fertilizer should be given tax advantages.

          Considering that it is so nicely concentrated in feedlots, there should be immensely profitable business opportunities waiting for gathering and distributing same.

          This would be a huge move away from oil, as fertilizer is oil, essentially.  Transportation (of the manure) would require (for now) oil, but the distribution of oil-based fertilizers do too.

          Big oil won't like it and changes will be necessary.  If recycling and composting of huge amounts of organic waste from cities could also be accomplished (and it could), it would drastically reduce the need for landfills.

          When I was a kid, during the Eisenhower recession, we raised some hogs.  When they were slaughtered, the old pen grew wild in tomatoes.  Those were some of the biggest tomatoes I have ever seen - and some of the tastiest.

          Garbage is too valuable to waste - the Japanese know that.  We can learn from them, and I have no doubt that we can come up with an idea or two of our own.  Our waste is ruining the planet.

          Ninth amendment: The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

          by UneasyOne on Fri Dec 12, 2008 at 11:56:31 AM PST

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      •  I did that 15 years ago. (23+ / 0-)

        I grew up in West Texas -- worked on ranches, ate meat, the works. But after a while, the hypocrisy of the rest of my liberal values punched the meateater in me right in the gut.

        The cruelty of the "industry" made me pause as did the strange dichotomy we as a society have drawn between dogs and pigs. I've spent a lot of time around both species, and as a rule, pigs are smarter and just as loyal and protective.

        I don't preach at people -- it doesn't work. I just try to get them to think a bit about what they're doing. I'm 6'1 and more than 230 pounds, (I'm a former jock) so people are very surprised to discover a non-skinny vegetarian. :)

        I'm an atheist, so there's no religious reasons either -- I guess I just would like to lessen the pain in the world.

        That said -- anything to help workers is fine by me.

        •  Well spoken, Chupacabra: (6+ / 0-)

          "I guess I just would like to lessen the pain in the world."

          Succinctly and elegantly stated.

          "YOPP!" --Horton Hears a Who

          by Reepicheep on Fri Dec 12, 2008 at 11:39:15 AM PST

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        •  Way to Go (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          oceanview, raincrow

          Stories like yours are so important.  Many thanks.

          Bottom line, why on earth would any of us inflict pain and suffering on an animal for no reason other than pleasure?  The fact is that we no longer need to eat animal flesh to survive.  In addition, it consumes massive amounts of fossil fuels and energy and... there are more health risks associated with the practice than benefits.  The reality of a 'slaughterhouse' is sickening and barbaric and cruel.  

          I am really happy for the workers and the precedent they've set, but pray that one day they can transcend this evil industry and do something better for the earth and themselves.  

      •  No cheese? :( (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        •  I have cheese about once or twice a week (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          hester, raincrow, joyful

          that we get from a family-farm friend of ours. He's a veggie as well and treats his very few cows almost like pets. It's unbelievably expensive per pound, but we're lucky enough to afford it. I know everyone doesn't have that luxury, so I don't begrudge anyone else their choices.

    •  Hogs are not fed growth hormones, for one thing, (7+ / 0-)

      and there is much more pollution caused by outdated and overworked municipal sewage treatment plants and septic tanks in eastern NC than by all the hog farms in North Carolina combined.

      I wish people would get their facts straight on this.

    •  That is so true. I used to drive to (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      oceanview, raincrow, Tennessee Dave

      Wilmington several times a week along 17.  The smell was just beyond belief.  I took to wearing a nose mask.  I am not kidding.  But, the past few years the stink is gone so I guess the hog farm went bust or moved.  Anyway, I can breathe freely again.

      Hang in, America! Our long national nightmare ends January 20, 2009, 12 noon EST.

      by incognita on Fri Dec 12, 2008 at 11:53:46 AM PST

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