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X-Listprocessor-Version: 6.0 -- ListProcessor by Anastasios Kotsikonas
X-Comment: Agricultural and Environmental Impact list
I am cross posting this because this is where the fight is. I have heard
that other countries have similar problems ie. a collective 5 mill tonne
heap of pig manure in the Netherlands.
Has anyone heard the joke about going to hell, and having a number of
options. One of the options was not hot, didn't give you any pain, and the
only clue you could hear was a lot of people murmuring "don't make a wave".
On accepting that option the person found themselves in a pit of sloppy,
vile smelling excrement, their feet cast in concrete, up to their ears,
and saying "don't make a wave".
Trying to tell people of the danger of eating meat which came out of a
feedlot (It lets fat get into the muscle and all of the anti biotics,
pesticides and insecticides are isolated into the fat for the animals
survival) is generally met with derision and ridicule. Trimming fat from
the meat is useless.
When I was on the Executive of the Meat Section of the West Australian
Farmers Federation growers were pushing for a premium price for feedlot
When the Australian Meat and Livestock Corporation approached the "Pritikin"
Longevity Institute in San Diego and asked what meat they should target the
American market with they were told that the only meat Americans should be
eating should be Australian Pet Food, as this was from the Northern Areas
of Australia where the cattle were free range and run without the aid of
any chemical interferance. This was in 1985/6.
I just returned from a car trip through
Kansas, Utah and Colorado and was able to see farm realities at close hand.
In the Denver press was discussion of trying to get congress to approve
funding for the Animas-LaPlata irrigation project in southwest Colorado.
Using taxpayer money, the well connected big boys are creating huge
hay-growing operations that rely on aquifer pumped water to turn arid cheap
Juniper/Sage prairie into valuble bright green acres of grass. The grass is
mowed and converted to pick-up truck sized bales that are semi-trailered to
feedlots. These operations are becoming larger and streamlined making an
efficient adjunct to the confined animal operations. It difficult to see how
smaller farmers could compete though one still sees them trying.
Across the plains, mile after mile it was hay field after hayfield grown with
machines for the purpose of providing animal fodder. Realizations of the
population crisis and the environmental costs of livestock have not had
noticible effect on resource utilization in the mid-west based on my tourist
Another article caught
my eye that ran in the Denver Post last week talking about the town of
Greely, Colorado which stinks. It seems the giant cattle feedlots that have
been part of Greely's economy for decades have become so disgusting that even
members of the Chamber of Commerce concede action is needed. Years ago the
odor ordinance was jiggled so that a citation for odor violation is issued
only if six independent complaints are received in the space of one hour.
Despite 350 or so complaints this year not a single citation has been issued.
When one sees the patchy despondent animals in vast clumps corraled under a
burning sun, standing aimless, and breathing their choking ordure-its
A recent publication by the Souther Environmental Law Center charted the
increase of hogs in North Carolina to 9+million from about 2 during the
period '83-'96. At the same time hog farms went from about 24,000 to 6,000.
Concentration in the livestock operations has bled farm communities and
created huge pools of manure waste. Increasingly the waterways of rural
American farmlands are poisoned locally so that processed meat can be
shipped worldwide. These practices are an ursupation of representative
government by the very largest corporate agriculture interests. The greatest
insult has been the suggestion that Americans don't care about saving the
environment as long as they can make a buck. Almost all the people I met in
the mid-west were concerned about the future and expected a calamity to
result from the restructuring of farm practice by corporate boardrooms. The
heart of America is being hollowed out by turning the land into an assembly
line. Bud Hixson
Vegetarians have "crossed over" and are willing to entertain the idea that
such creatures might have "identity" and might feel the immensity of their
suffering. To the carnivore, its just plenty of meat.
Agriculture is being abandoned to the industrialists because citizens are
not protesting in the faces of their elected representatives. A great
tradition and way of life for middle class people which strenthens our
democratic and independent-minded culture is being destroyed.