Our government must not be used allow any one kind of use or business to destroy the quality of life for others. Nobody believes in freedom of the individual more than me, but your freedom ends when it infringes on mine. There is clear and convincing evidence that industrial farming results in a product that is not healthy for human consumption. The conditions under which animals are grown are germ laden requiring massive use of drugs that end up in the meat products. As many of us go to great lengths to avoid this dangerous “food,” it is unconscionable for our government to work in secret to allow business to contaminate not only their own products but the water supply of others with drugs and filth from their operation. We, the people, have a duty to speak out against infringement of our rights by government especially when that government would allow others to take advantage of us.
The following column from a Jesup newspaper is one of very few addressing the issue. Sadly the writer uses his ink to make a personal attack on the governor. His bias does not negate facts that he addresses. As a libertarian leaning Republican, I think we should get the facts from all sources and speak out against all efforts to infringe on individual rights.
Published & posted by Emily Lewy
Industrial hog farms proposal making pork for somebody
The Georgia Department of Natural Resources is stacked with appointees of Gov. Nathan Deal.
As a congressman and now as governor of our state, Deal is not known as an ardent supporter of environmental causes. In fact, it appears he couldn’t care less about environmental concerns.
Look over his appointments to the DNR board to see how many board members have connections with any environmental concerns. Not saying the members are not good people, but look to see what qualifications they have to take care of Georgia’s environment, and look at the track record of the present board to see whether you think they are looking after the earth, air and water of our state.
With this board in mind, it comes as no surprise that the Industrial Farm megabusiness is busy trying to remove rules and guidelines meant to protect the citizens of Georgia. Take, for instance, the upcoming effort to remove restrictions on Industrial Hog Operations.
We’re not talking about old McDonald raising 50 or 100 head of hogs—or even 500 to 1,000 porkers. What this instance is about would allow Industrial Hog Operations with up to 12,500 hogs to no longer be subject to safeguards that up until now have been in place.
Neighbors downstream would no longer have to be notified that a huge hog operation is about to open upstream. Limits on open waste lagoons and spraying would be lifted. Buffers from private and public water wells or for schools or hospitals would not be required. No plans or financial capability would be required to take care of old lagoons once they are closed down.
When you consider hog operations, you have to consider hog wastes. Hogs live to eat. In fact, one hog produces the same amount of bodily waste as four humans, meaning 12,500 hogs would equate to 50,000 people. Imagine a city of 50,000 people suddenly and silently being located next to you or upstream from a nearby river or stream—and all their untreated sewers leading to an open pond next to your house. You’d probably raise a stink about it.
Industrial Hog Operations in some states operate with huge open lagoons where untreated waste is stored and then sprayed on area fields as a cost-cutting measure. What happens when the lagoons are full and several inches of rain fall? Ask most anybody in North Carolina.
The lagoons overflow. The runoff from the fields goes where it shouldn’t. After a hurricane passed over these types of hog operations in North Carolina, millions of gallons of hog wastes flowed into streams and water wells. Huge fish kills filled rivers and ponds. People were exposed to dangerous bacteria, and the coastal regions became the depositing grounds for tons of raw hog wastes.
That’s not even to get into the toxins involved or the lasting damage done to rivers and wetlands or the resultant problems in estuarine areas. And to the people and wildlife. And that is not to consider that this can and does happen with only local heavy rainfall.
Now, if the Georgia DNR board approves such changes, this could happen anywhere in Georgia.
But Deal’s board is concerned and wants to hear from you. In fact, members are so set on hearing from you that they have scheduled one entire single hearing on this matter. They have conveniently scheduled this one opportunity for public input for the middle of the workweek in nearby Atlanta. Obviously this was planned to be easy for all who hear about it to be able to attend.
In full disclosure, I am opposed to the Industrial Farm Complex that rules the food production and distribution in our country today. I am opposed to huge operations that treat chickens, hogs and cows with more hormones, antibiotics and sedatives than our human population takes. I am opposed to stuffing animals in close, filthy quarters just so we can have a cheap fast food “meal” available to our obese population 24/7. And I am opposed to making it easier to stink up and ruin our land, air and water just so some giant corporation can make more profit every “next quarter.”
I also oppose fat cats’ being secretly served political pork at the public expense. The public good will not be served by allowing these changes to be made. Our environment that is home for all of us will not be protected or enhanced by opening it up to become the cesspool for hog wastes. In fact, other than huge Industrial Farm companies and the political palms that they grease, I can’t think of anything that would be served by such changes. Something about this whole idea smells worse than a hog pen—for 12,000 hogs.