Archive for August, 2007

eric

Featured Blog: CAFO Hell

I was searching around for some information on Contained Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO’s) and came across this site. The mission behind the blog is to document people’s experiences that live around CAFO’s in New York State. When we drive out to AZ to visit my parents we pass these things in eastern California and in Maricopa, AZ. I have often wondered how people live around these awful places.

From CAFO Hell

The purpose of this blog is to document residential living near some of New York’s industrial dairy farms. These “farms” are called CAFO’s (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation) which confine hundreds and sometimes thousands of dairy cows packed together on a small tract of land. They store massive amounts of cow excrement in football field sized ponds referred to as “lagoons.” The manure is liquefied and trucked out to be spread on the fields, often close to residential housing. Contaminated run-off and extremly poor air quality are the results. Garbage flies and mosquitos reproduce in vast numbers. Property values plummet. Oppostion to this type of industrial agriculture is mounting nationwide. Stay tuned for more photos in the coming months.

eric

Repeat: Foot and Mouth Disease

sheep.jpg

Back in 2001, the UK had an outbreak of Foot and Mouth disease. This disease is highly contagious and can be fatal (however, rarely) to hoofed animals like pigs, cows, sheep, etc. Around 2,000 cases of the disease had been reported in the UK countryside and by the end of the “containment” around 7,000,000 sheep and cattle were killed in a psuedo-successful attempt to halt the disease.

Well, it appears the attempt to halt the disease wasn’t so successful. The disease has resurfaced and since last Friday about 200 cattle have been culled on two farms and the UK government has banned the movement of all livestock across Britain.

From Wikipedia:

Outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease have resulted in the slaughter of millions of animals, despite this being a frequently non-fatal disease. The destruction of animals is primarily to prevent the disease from spreading throughout herds intended for human consumption or producing milk. Due to international efforts to eradicate the disease, infection would also lead to trade bans being imposed on affected countries. Critics of current policies to cull infected herds argue that the financial imperative needs to be balanced against the killing of many animals, especially when a significant proportion of infected animals, most notably those producing milk, would recover from infection and live normal lives.

Gordon Nixon saw enormous suffering caused by foot-and-mouth when he was a slaughterman in the north-east of England during the 2001 epidemic. Read about his story hear. Farmers are extremely worried about this epidemic repeating itself.

More information:

What is Foot and Mouth Disease (bbc news)
A Farmer’s Story (bbc news)
Current Outbreak Linked to Lab (bbc news)
2007 UK Outbreak (wikipedia)

eric

Farm Subsidies Database

Want to see what your state/county receives in government farm subsidies? The Environmental Working Group has compiled a huge database that lists great details on who is receiving commodity based subsidies and the amounts they are receiving in your state.

About EWG

The Environmental Working Group is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to using the power of information to protect human health and the environment. To learn more about we what do—and the many issues like farm subsidies, cosmetics, tap water, organics, and non-stick chemicals that we research

View the database here.

eric

Video: Live Earth Impact

The Daily Show examines the environmental awareness that was raised by the Live Earth Concert(s).

Hi everyone! I haven’t posted in the last couple of days because Meg and I were camping/hiking in Sequoia National Park. It was really beautiful and peaceful….but now it’s back to the grind. I figured today was a good day to catch up on the news.

Humane Meat: A Contradiction in Terms- huge numbers of compassionate people have joined the ranks of the vegetarians. Some, however, have looked instead to meat from animals treated less badly, which they call “humane meat.” This raises three questions. First, is there such a thing as truly “humane meat”? Second, would consuming only humane meat satisfy the demands of ethical living? And third, do we, as individuals, have good reason to promote “humane meat” rather than vegetarianism? (huffingtonpost)

Even Kenyans Are Effected by Our Food Bill- As the United States Congress debates an omnibus farm bill, it is considering a small change that advocates say could make a big difference to the world’s hungriest people: allowing the federal government to buy some food in Africa to feed the famished, rather than shipping it all overseas from America. (NY Times)

A Factory Farm Near You- This is a good editorial from the NY Times and it includes a link that shows an interactive map of factory farms throughout the US…..Once upon a time, only a decade or so, it wasn’t hard to know where factory hog farms were because they were nearly all in North Carolina. But since those days, the practice of crowding together huge concentrations of animals — hogs, poultry, dairy cows, beef cattle — in the interests of supposed efficiency has spread around the country. (NY Times)

The Localvore’s Dilemma-  Sometimes buying local food helps in the battle against climate change. Sometimes it doesn’t. And sometimes, it’s just too confusing to decide. (The Boston Globe)

Internet Junk Food- Brands such as McDonald’s, Starburst, Haribo and Skittles are using the Internet to target children now that new rules from the media regulator Ofcom have made it difficult to advertise during children’s television. (Guardian Unlimited)

 

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