Scientists finally get off their butts to study the effects of farm runoff on our goddamn water »
It’s not that they don’t care! It’s that the extreme weather has increased runoff to a degree so alarming that scientists thought, Gosh, maybe now is the time to see what the effects of like seven decades of industrial agriculture has had on our waterways. NPR has some pretty delightful (horrifying) quotes:
Agriculture is the nation’s leading cause of impaired water quality, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
"It’s been happening for years," says [Bob Broz, a water quality specialist with the University of Missouri Extension]. "The problem is now we seem to be seeing more of these more intense rainfalls. And that, in turn, creates a huge amount of nutrient loss."
"There’s the direct impact on the aquatic ecosystem," says [Bob Lerch, a USDA soil scientist]. "And then there’s the downstream impacts on say, drinking water, or a reservoir, or a recreational [body of water]."
Want to freak the fuck out about whether the next generation will even understand the concept of “tap water”? (Potable water from … the government? Available to all of us citizens for a nominal fee? Go on, old person, tell me another ridiculous story about life before you ruined the planet for us.) Read the article at The Salt blog.
[photo by Penn State News via Flickr]
L’Oréal wants to end animal testing in the cosmetics industry! »
Ecouterre brings us news that L’Oréal, the world’s largest cosmetics company,* is partnering with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to “expand the scope of the federal agency’s ToxCast assay tool, which screens environmental substances for potential human toxicity.”
L’Oréal already tests with “reconstructed human tissues, automated platforms, and molecular modeling,” using a ToxCast program would make the process faster and even safer. Someday we will live in a world where everything you apply to your face and hair and skin and nails is 100 percent cruelty-free, you guys! We can beat our faces without benefiting from bunny torture! And we’ll all look as perfect as Rachel Weisz!
*They own so many beauty companies, it’s bonkers.
This week’s Animal News You Can Use: A Paul Shapiro Production! »
It’s Paul Shapiro's Animal News You Can Use! Yay!
I’m on CNN Headline News tonight with the wonderful Jane Velez-Mitchell talking about agribusiness efforts to ban undercover investigations at factory farms. You can watch the segment here. Please forward it to friends!
The NY Times had an interesting story about the rise of vegan bodybuilders. (For some reason they failed to interview me… :- )
Here’s a very touching story about the last hen to be confined in a barren battery cage in the UK. (The EU law banning barren battery cages took effect Jan. 1. The US will soon have a similar bill introduced in the Congress that much of the animal movement is rallying behind and much of the agribusiness industry is trying to kill—stay tuned!
Finally, you know something’s messed up when the chicken industry is trying to fight the EPA’s upcoming dioxin limits by saying they would essentially render its product “unfit for consumption.”
Video of the week: Top picks of the cutest farm animal videos of the year!
Industrial farming is killing the oceans »
Remember how the ocean’s fucked? It’s still fucked, especially in France, where the beaches are unfit for human presence because of “Up-stream releases of manure from intensive farming that overload the near-shore waters with nitrates.” It causes growth of a seaweed that releases a toxic gas!
Farm effluent is so amazing. It creates dead zones in places like the Gulf of Mexico and the Chesapeake Bay, which now covers 83 miles of that body of water. Back in December of 2010, the Environmental Protection Agency proposed a plan “to dramatically reduce the levels of nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment that states can allow in the bay from municipalities and farms,” but guess whose opposition is blocking the EPA from implementing it: the American Farm Bureau Federation’s! Of course! Because dead zones are caused by runoff from those giant places food comes from, farms and feedlots.
In Brittany, 31 wild boars were found dead last week; the animals “‘were not [otherwise] sick and they did not drown.’” People can’t visit the beaches there because they could release pockets of the toxic gas the algae produces and die. How would this happen? By, you know, slipping and falling in the algae, or running, or walking. Not that anyone wants to play on a beach covered in horrible slime.
Industrial farming! It feeds most of the world while it kills the oceans! The best part of history is always when you realize no one’s planned more than like 10 minutes into the future.