Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Puh-leeeeeease Stop Lying To Me About CAFOs

Note to Indiana Politicians:

You know, I'm getting pretty sick and tired of Government officials and politicians who are trying to sell me on the benefits of hog factory farms by skewing statistics and/or outright lying about how these facilities operate in order to bring more and more of them into Indiana.

For one thing, stop telling me these facilities don't use a lot of water.

According to the Ontario Pork Association:

Water accounts for as much as 82% of the body weight in the 1.5 kg new born pig and declines to 53% in the market weight pig.

Keep in mind, the Belstra-Harper factory farm is a swine farrowing facility, meaning they are breeding/raising piglets -- a far higher amount of water will be required per pregnant and lactating animal here than in standard swine operations.

Here are the Industry Recommended Daily Water Requirments based on an efficient swine operation:

Growing Pigs - to 90 kg.(200 lb) require 1.8 to 2.2 litres per day @15 kg.

Growing Pigs - 6.8 litres per day @ 90 kg.

Sows Non-pregnant - 5.5 litres per day

Sows Pregnant - 5.5 to 9 litres per day

Sows Lactating - 17 to 22 litres per day

Naturally, the above requirments vary, depending on the amount of feed given. The recommonded water/feed ratios are:

Water : Feed Intake
10-22 weeks of age -- average intake of 2.56kg of water/1kg feed
16-18 weeks of age -- average intake 7kg of water/2.7kg feed

Don't forget the amount of water that will be required to clean cages/pens, irrigate land after manure application, etc., etc., etc.

You're allowing -- no, you're CONDONING -- the Belstra-Harper facility to park itself right on the doorstep of one of the few rich wetlands left in this sector of Indiana. Now, try for a minute to be honest and tell me... do you honestly believe this 2,500-head facility filled with pregnant and/or lactating sows won't be placing serious demands on water in this region.

How much of those wetlands will be disappearing altogether? How many of our wells will be drying up? How many ditches, streams and ponds will be bone dry (or polluted to heck) 5 years from now?

For heaven's sake, I'm no scientist, but even I can see the BIG picture here that you're so vehemently trying to evade and doing your best to ignore.

Pull your heads out of the sand and give them a strong, hard shake.

And while your at it, how about doing a little more research on the current fresh water crisis encroaching on our Nation.

And you tell me how good for our economy these facilities are. Well let's just look at that picture from the water requirements point of view, shall we?

U.S. Faces Day of Reckoning, New York Times - "The same amount of water it takes to support just 10 farm jobs can support 100,000 high-tech jobs, according to Peter Gleick, a water expert with the nonprofit Pacific Institute in Oakland, California"

As for the money these facilities bring into the economy -- oh, puh-leeeeeease! Do I have to call on the Freedom of Information Act to request the amount of subsidies factory farms in just Jasper County, Newton County and Benton County have relied on to stay afloat this past decade. Do you really want tax payers across the nation to find out how much of their tax dollars have been going to support facilities such as this one?

I really don't think you want that can of worms coming to the surface.

Speaking of worms, let's get back to that soil pollution issue...

Okay, I'm out of time tonight.

But I'll be back with more detail on that -- including the new study out regarding garden grubs, and how they are aiding in the spread of E. Coli thanks to factory farm manure disposal/application methods.

Until then -- just STOP lying, fess up to facts, and let's deal with real issues (not twisted statistics used only to support your own agenda) thank you very much.

*steps off soapbox and leaves the stage*

~ for now ~

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