Factory farm “waste lagoon” photo scares the internet »
You may have seen this going around last week—it’s effing grody to the max! It’s a feedlot “waste lagoon,” as Mercy for Animals called it. This satellite pic was posted on reddit and people were like, “ew!” I don’t blame them. Even that crooning crab Sebastian couldn’t have set the mood in this lagoon. And that crustacean knows how to set the mood.
From Mercy for Animals:
With over eight billion animals raised and slaughtered on today’s factory farms each year, waste is not only a grave environmental concern, but a major public health hazard. Communities near factory farms have complained of farmers spraying feces and urine into the air, a method employed to “dispose of” animal waste. In addition to jeopardizing human health, this practice can contaminate local rivers, streams and soil. Waste lagoons can also overflow or leak toxic material into surrounding areas.
According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, “People who live near or work at factory farms breathe in hundreds of gases, which are formed as manure decomposes. For instance, one gas released by the lagoons, hydrogen sulfide, is dangerous even at low levels. Its effects—which are irreversible—range from sore throat to seizures, comas and even death.”
Nice. I wonder if a pic like this actually changes anyone’s mind about eating meat/dairy? Or at least makes them more conscious of factory farms? It must, right? It’s a goddamn blood-red WASTE LAGOON!
The Hidden Costs of Hamburgers update: Is it even worse than they said? »
Can’t see the video? Watch it on Vegansaurus.com!
Hello! Remember the above video we posted last week (which is now full of commercials)? Well it may not be telling the whole story. An anonymous source has alerted me to these points:
The following comments were sent to the producers—who’ve apparently seen fit to take no action.
The video says: “Livestock are a major contributor to greenhouse gas pollution. Right up there with cars, trains, and planes.” But the authors of that livestock-transport comparison have retracted it.
The video says: “Livestock use 30 percent of the earth’s entire land area.” But the true figure is 45 percent, according to the International Livestock Research Institute.
The video says: “Methane has 21 times more climate-changing power than CO2.” But the true figure is apparently higher—as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change uses a figure of 25 in a 100-year timeframe and 72 in a 20-year timeframe, while others use figures even higher than 72.
The video says: “Grass-fed beef does less damage to the environment.” But the lead author and a co-author of Livestock’s Long Shadow, a key source for the video, specify that grass-fed beef does more damage than corn-fed beef—as grass-fed cows emit up to 400% more methane, according to Gidon Eshel, another source for the video.
In fact, after the FAO tried for years to correct the misperception that Livestock’s Long Shadow prescribed less factory farming (when it actually prescribed more), it announced last month that it will lead a new partnership with the meat industry, to be chaired by Frank Mitloehner, perhaps best known for his criticism of Livestock’s Long Shadow.
Yet Livestock’s Long Shadow was written by livestock specialists employed by just one of 19 UN specialized agencies.
Conversely, environmental specialists employed by two other UN specialized agencies, the World Bank and IFC, have authored analysis that better supports the video’s general direction. Not even all of the FAO supports Livestock’s Long Shadow, apparently, as the FAO invited those environmental specialists to deliver presentations at their headquarters in Rome and later in Berlin. Those presentations are on the Chomping Climate Change website along with links to numerous citations of those environmental specialists’ analysis.
The New York Times recently published an assessment of the FAO’s new partnership.
Sometimes it seems impossible to get the figures right with the environmental damage of meat. At this point I’m generally just like, “I don’t know which figure is right but they’re all super-terrible enough.” But when you have something like that methane figure, jeez louise! That’s crazy! People are happily chomping down on their “happy beef” all piously while those “happy cows” are farting the planet to hell. Sorry, bros, factory-farmed or free-range, beef spells disaster for the environment.
One-fourth of meat is filled with multi-drug-resistant staph! »
Yum! When your friends and family chow down on that burger, they’re not just eating fat, cholesterol, and rotting flesh, they’re also consuming antibiotics the animals are shot up with to keep them alive. Tasty! There are a million five-year-olds ordering Chicken McNuggets as I type this, and they have no clue their meals are served with a side of C-cup boobs before they’re seven and an early menstrual cycle! And that’s just the boys! Ugh, the whole piece in Wired is super interesting and definitely something to pass on to the meat-eaters in your life.
I think the best/worst parts are (because everyone wants my opinion!):
“We know already that most food-borne illness occurs not because of undercooked food” in which pathogens survived, Price said. “It’s from mishandling in the kitchen and cross-contamination. I think there is a risk of these strains contaminating a local environment. We don’t know what that risk is, because it has never been evaluated—but anyone who dismisses that risk is doing so without any data.”
All those people you know who are like, “Fuck it! I cook the shit out of my meat and I’ll live forever!” Let them know it doesn’t matter.
Shelley Hearne, managing director of the Pew Health Group, told me: “The bottom line is, the more we use antibiotics in injudicious ways, the more we are compromising our ability to save human lives in the future.”
No fucking doy, but it’s nice to hear it from someone who doesn’t respond to information like this by saying, “No fucking doy.” You know? Sometimes science is our friend!
Saw this on boingboing today: DOUGHNUT BURGERS. Why are omnivores such fucking freaks? Does anyone want to veganize this? Maybe not everything should be veganized? Shall we take a vote?
[Picture from boingboing, by Mark Pescovitz]