Monday, March 05, 2007

Scenes from New York

A friend sent me the link to this blog ...and the pictures paint a thousand words each. This is what it's like folks: Welcome to CAFO H-ll Part 1 ...and... Part 2

The pictures were taken just this past week.

It's enough to make you weep for those poor residents of Eden.

This isn't about a few cows wandering around dropping a few cow-paddies here and there. This is about millions of gallons of liquid waste being spread on acres and acres of land next to subdivisions. How many pets will be wandering through those fields? How many children play nearby? How many wells draw water for homes nearby?

It's not just the nauseating smells's also the thoughts screaming at the back of your mind every time you have to "THINK BEFORE YOU DRINK" ...while you and your family remain a virtual prisoner in your home until the smells subside -- if they ever do subside.

CAFOs are NOT farms. They are heavy industrial sized livestock assembly lines built to produce milk, eggs and meats -- complete with industrial-sized hazardous wastes.

Air, water, soil and wildlife all feel the impact. And yet, some people and politicians think the hundreds of homes and families living nearby don't. Du-uh!


Anonymous said...

wrong again CAFO's are farms-Family farms. thankfully we don't have cows urinating in the streams. Manure is so much more organic than commercial fertilizer

kmyers said...

A very close friend of mine recently said, "It's amazing how many people out there still have their heads up their BUTS (pun intended) on the issues relating to CAFO manure."

Whether any of us like it or not, CAFOs are here to stay. For crying out loud, stop pretending there are no issues relating to the toxins contained in the liquid slurry these CAFOs produce. Can't the experts and the owners work together to pinpoint the many problems associated with CAFO style farming and come up with positive pro-active environmentally sound and publicly safe ways to run the dang things?

I've mentioned this quote a gazillion times, and its worthy of a repeat here to your rediculous comment: "When science and business collide, ethics must rule."

Stop being part of the problem. Start being part of the solution.

And stop bashing family run farms. By your comment, are you trying to suggest they lead their cows to streams for a pee every day? Sheesh!!

Anonymous said...

If they used commercial fertalizer then you would still be complaining.

kmyers said...

In response to your comment regarding them using commercial fertilizer, quite frankly, yes, I would still complain... because this is simply the WRONG location to place a CAFO -- plain and simple.

Certain members of the BZA might disagree, but since at least one of them is a CAFO owner himself, that's hardly surprising.

Our house is surrounded on 3 sides by popcorn fields (rotated with soy beans) and the farmer uses commercial fertilizer every year. Not once have I ever complained, even when they crushed the culvert under our driveway.

He and his workers access their fields using our driveway during planting and harvest. In fact, they frequently leave their equipment parked behind our back yard so they can get an early start the next day because they know it will be safe here.

On at least 5 occasions they've driven over our front lawn with their heavy equipment leaving deep ruts behind. Again, we did not complain.

When the tornado tore through our front yard and plowed down a wide swath of his corn 4 years ago, we were on the phone to him immediately to let him know so he could contact his insurance company and gather important picture evidence.

Each year ...fall and spring... they take their soil samples. They determine as accurately as possible what the land needs to produce the best yeilds.

There is no such science to pathogen-laden, drug-laden, amonia-laden fermented CAFO waste. No way to know for certain what kind of weed control problem the waste might develop. No way to know for certain what type of fungus or crop disease problem might arise. And no way to know for sure what type of pests might be attracted to the fields carpeted with that untreated waste.

Earworms, cutworms, aphids, blue eye (from fungus such as Aspergillus glaucus or species of Penicillium), grey leaf spot (from fungus Cercospora zeae-maydis - now widespread in Indiana)... are just a few of the many pests and/or diseases corn farmers need to keep at bay.

Another serious threat to corn crops -- stalk rot which can be either soil-borne or air-borne -- can often occur as a result of stress after pollination.

Purdue U states: "Stress may occur from leaf injury due to disease, insects, hail, etc., or from poor soil conditions such as compaction, low K coupled with high N, or injury from root insects, stalk damage, etc. Frequently, severe cases of stalk rot occur through a complex of several stalk rotting organisms."

In my humble opinion, corn farmers using CAFO waste to fertilize their fields are playing a form of Russian Roullet with their crops.

You don't know for certain what kinds of weed seeds are in it, nor what kind of fungus and/or mold spores are in it, nor what kind of insects will be attracted to it, nor what kind of eggs those insects will lay in it after it has been spread and/or incorporated.

For the record, if just one manure spreader rolls even an inch onto the farmland adjoining our property, rest assured there will be complaints.

As much as you might like to believe everyone complaining about this calving CAFO are raving lunatics that hate farming -- they are not. Most of us have lived in complete harmony with the many crop farmers working the land in this region.

When you start throwing CAFOs into the mix, in an area they are so clearly not wanted, what do you expect?

Anonymous said...

How do you know a BZA member has a CAFO

kmyers said...

My husband told me one of them owns a hog operation off I-65

For your reading pleasure said...

Dave Williams said...

Hey Anonymous, when was the last time you heard about anyone dying as a result of commercial fertilizer being spread on a field? You may want to do some research about the e-coli outbreaks associated with lettuce and spinach grown in California. Guess what the source of the nasty bugs was? Yes, it was cow manure. That particular strain of e-coli is found in the digestive tract of ruminants (those are cows). Agriculture is changing, and the regulations have not changed accordingly - and they need to. Ask the people in North Carolina if they feel that CAFO-generated manure is a benign substance. Let me close with a quote from the statue of Emil Faber in "Animal House": "Knowledge is Good."

Anonymous said...

Hey Dave-more people die from lung cancer due to smoking, maybe we should ban cigarettes. You are far more at risk of health problem sitting in a bar than from a CAFO. Your logic does't work. Also the Spinach scare was traced to wild pigs. Some thing you have no control over.

kmyers said...

To Anonymous. Actually, the "wild pig story" was the initial theory investigators pinned the spinach E. coli outbreak on -- but, from what I've gathered, further tracing of the particular strain of E. coli lead to water that was being used to irrigate the spinach, which they claim was contaminated by an E. coli strain that was further traced to CAFOs in that region.

There's more to this story. I'll be back next week with links to further investigations on the subject, since it appears you only saw the initial investigative research.

You will note that quite frequently, environmental and/or crop damages that are even the slight bit close to being blamed on a CAFO are often covered with a different "story" ...frequently blamed on wildlife. Whether they cry it's "wild deer peeing in the water" or it's "wild birds pooping on the beach" ...if it's anywhere near a CAFO, you can almost bet they'll come out with yet another wild animal story ...often ignoring any attempts to investigate if, just maybe, the problem actually came from the nearby CAFO or its so-called manure.

Quite frankly, even the uninformed public is getting a bit tired of the "wild animal" theories. Food safety is becoming a much bigger deal than it was 10 years ago.

As for your cigarrette comment, I'm personally trying to quit that disgusting habit -- 9th try (maybe that's why I'm a bit grouchy lately, my apologies to all visitors of this blog) -- and I agree -- let's ban the dang things!!

But the govt. would lose far too much in tax income if they just banned the suckers, now wouldn't they?

Just like they'd probably lose too much if they just banned CAFOs. hehehe

For the record, cigarrette smoking is the leading "preventable" cause of lung cancer.

Interestingly enough, according to the American Lung Association, Radon is considered to be the second leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S. today.

Radon gas can come up through the soil under a home or building and enter through gaps and cracks in the foundation or insulation, as well as through pipes, drains, walls or other openings.

Radon causes between 15,000 and 22,000 lung cancer deaths each year in the United States -- 12 percent of all lung cancer deaths are linked to Radon.

It's estimated that nearly 1 out of every 15 homes in the U.S. has indoor radon levels at or above the level at which homeowners should take action.

On another note, Alan Levin, MD, of the University of California Medical School states: "Most cancer patients in this country die of chemotherapy. Chemotherapy does not eliminate breast, colon or lung cancers. This fact has been documented for over a decade. Yet doctors still use chemotherapy for these tumors. . . Women with breast cancer are likely to die faster with chemo than without it."

His opinion is echoed by Ralph Moss, former assistant director of public affairs at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) who states: "In the end, there is no proof that chemotherapy actually extends life in the vast majority of cases, and this is the great lie about chemotherapy, that somehow there is a correlation between shrinking a tumor and extending the life of a patient."

Here's a few statistics for you to ponder...

Among the diseases and disorders that have risen alarmingly in this generation:
Autism rates up 1,000 percent; childhood asthma up 200 percent;
male birth defects up 200 percent;
leukemia up 62 percent;
childhood brain cancer up 40 percent;
pre-term birth rates up 23 percent;
infertility up 5-10 percent;
birth defects up 3-5 percent;
sperm counts down 1 pecent per year.

Dave Williams said...

Your argument regarding cigarettes, while compelling, is a perfect example of Ignoratio elenchi (also known as irrelevant conclusion or irrelevant thesis). That is the logical fallacy of presenting an argument that may in itself be valid, but which proves or supports a different proposition than the one it is purporting to prove or support.

We are talking about the problems caused by CAFO operations. If you want to logically and factually refute our claims as to the problems they generate, I would be more than happy to engage that debate.

By the way, I do not visit bars, so I am not exposed to the smoke there. That is my choice. Inhaling the hydrogen sulfide and methane generated by the 8,000 hogs that just moved in next door was not my choice - and that is the problem.

kmyers said...

Well said, Dave. Considering the size of the hog CAFO in your area, ammonia emmission spikes are another threat to nearby residents. I hope they at least have a monitoring program and public early warning system in place.

kmyers said...

Some blog comments got "stuck" in my blogging software. About 6 or 7 comments disappeared, then reappeared just a bit ago. One of them was from "for your reading pleasure" and it was a link. I'll post it again here in link format.

Here's the link.

I believe the link above will answer to the question regarding one of the BZA members owning a hog CFO or CAFO.

You'll want to scroll down to find the "Small Hog Operation" subsidy on the list of $157,310 worth of USDA subsidies the gentleman has received.

Also, you might find it interesting to check out the "Programs by Year" link. You'll notice the bulk of those subsidies were paid out to him between 1999 and 2005.

You can draw your own conclusions.

He was the BZA Board Member who treated the residents with such contempt during the Swine CFO hearings. I recalled being quite appalled by his outrageous callous treatment of so many warm hearted, caring, loving people.

He wasn't quite as contemptuous at the poultry-to-calf CAFO hearings, in my humble opinion. But then, many of the residents for those meetings had lawyers present.