The Year of the Pig | Bleader

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

The Year of the Pig

Posted By on 01.09.07 at 08:27 PM

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Seriously stomach-turning article in a recent Rolling Stone on the reeking hell that is industrial pig farming--specifically the toxic sewage dumps that are the byproducts of that savory Smithfield ham you may have enjoyed over the holidays. 

The effects of factory farming on the surrounding environment--and the people unfortunate enough to live anywhere nearby--are well documented by now (and that's not even getting into what the whole experience is like for the pig). But this piece, by Jeff Tietz, lays it all out in one revolting package.

Representative quote:

"Looking down from the plane, we watch as several of Smithfield's farmers spray their hog shit straight up into the air as a fine mist: It looks like a public fountain. Lofted and atomized, the shit is blown clear of the company's property. People who breathe the shit-infused air suffer from bronchitis, asthma, heart palpitations, headaches, diarrhea, nosebleeds and brain damage. In 1995, a woman downwind from a corporate hog farm in Olivia, Minnesota, called a poison-control center and described her symptoms. 'Ma'am,' the poison-control officer told her, 'the only symptoms of hydrogen-sulfide poisoning you're not experiencing are seizures, convulsions and death. Leave the area immediately.' When you fly over eastern North Carolina, you realize that virtually everyone in this part of the state lives close to a lagoon."

(Snagged from Michael Ruhlman's blog. I should maybe read Rolling Stone more often.)

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