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Good writes: "We know that the factory farm system in the U.S. is responsible for producing an enormous amount of meat and dairy products. What you probably didn't know was that along with all of that meat, eggs, and dairy comes a whole lot of crap! Yup, we're talking animal waste."

Breeding sows at an Indiana farm. (photo: John Gress/Corbis/AP)
Breeding sows at an Indiana farm. (photo: John Gress/Corbis/AP)


US Factory Farms Produce Enough Waste to Fill the Empire State Building ... Every Single Day!

By Kate Good, One Green Planet

01 June 15

 

e know that the factory farm system in the U.S. is responsible for producing an enormous amount of meat and dairy products. What you probably didn’t know was that along with all of that meat, eggs, and dairy comes a whole lot of crap! Yup, we’re talking animal waste.

A new study from Food & Water Watch found that the number of animals kept on factory farms has increased exponentially in the past 15 years with the number of chickens on farms up by 80 percent, and pigs up by 70 percent. The size of factory farms is also skyrocketing as the American population increases along with our appetite for animal products.

So while some might think that this bump in factory farm numbers is a good thing for hungry consumers, this increase in the factory farm system spells disaster for the environment. When you concentrate an enormous number of animals in one area with the sole purpose of fattening them up for sale, you’re bound to be left with an equally enormous waste problem.

Food & Water Watch estimates that the amount of waste produced by factory farms is 13 times higher than that of the entire human population combined which presents a serious dilemma with what to do with 396 million tons of manure. This is enough to fill the entire Empire State building every single day!

In the days before factory farming, animal waste was used to fertilize fields and fit in symbiotically with the farm’s function. Factory farms simply have too much waste on their hands to do this, so many revert to storing waste in massive open-air lagoons or spraying it unmitigated on surrounding lands. Both of these options lead to factory farm waste leaking into local waterways and causing oppressive air pollution for the local community.

Factory farm waste is also filled with nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus that foster the growth of toxic algae blooms in waterways which lead to dead zones. Additionally, this waste is filled with harmful bacteria, hormones, and antibiotics and can pose a serious threat to public health if it gets into the water system.

Most people don’t realize that by purchasing animal products they are contributing to this hazardous pollution. It’s time for us all to cut the crap and consider removing our personal participation in this toxic system. We can all do our part by leaving meat and other animal products off the menu and opting for delicious plant-based alternatives. To learn more about how you can do this one, super delicious, thing for the environment, click here.


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+5 # PeacefulGarden 2015-06-01 17:58
I do not get this. That cow poop is gold for fertilizer. If I could get some in my sustainable garden I would. Why isn't someone collecting the poop for natural fertilizer?

My strawberry plants would love some cow poop.
 
 
+6 # Thebigkate 2015-06-01 21:41
And we wonder why our country has so much pollution? Wonder no more! And think about becoming a vegetarian--or at least flexitarian.

It is not inhumane to stop producing so many cows, pigs, sheep and chickens. It is inhumane to treat them as factory farms do. ENOUGH!
 
 
+3 # keenon the truth 2015-06-01 21:42
I should imagine that this cow poop is full of crap (intentional), and you probably wouldn't want it on your sustainable garden!
 
 
+2 # bobaka 2015-06-01 23:00
Corporate chemical farms have no use for manure and less for compost. You city people, bred to produce nothing but your own wastes, don't register what is going on because you can't smell the stink. How many ecosystems are laid waste because you, city dweller, live a useless life with no tools, no skills, no land. Without the toxic supermarket you can't survive.Corpora te farms are profit driven poison users that inject dozens of carcinogens to convert fat into muscle. Makes me shudder.
 
 
+3 # think4once 2015-06-02 05:35
Convert fat into muscle?...impos sible.. go back to biology class and learn why...

While you are at it, stop blaming the people who are not responsible for the phycopathy of gvt regulations and corporate greed.
 
 
+4 # Holmes 2015-06-02 01:51
What a waste, what a total total waste!

Just how much gas for fuel could be generated? As it is from crops, the carbon is recycled from the atmosphere, not just out of another well or mine.

Having got the gas out, recycle the nutrients (P, K, Ca, Mg, trace elements etc; and if possible fixed nitrogen), so there is less to pollute rivers, lakes and the oceans, as well as fertilizing the next crop.

We may even find out that fuel may not be the most valuable by-product once we get the right bugs working in it. Could this be a "good little earner" exporting electricity from the farm? Having extra rural jobs, some of which will be quite technical, could be a bit of a bonus.
 
 
+10 # backwards_cinderella 2015-06-02 03:00
Don't buy from corporate farms. Buy from local family farms. They're out there -- find them & support them.
 
 
+9 # geohorse 2015-06-02 06:31
There are some big farms in Vt who have an energy system turning their manure into electricity with the dry waste remaining to be spread on their fields. It seems to be a real solution however, it's expensive and the govt needs to help fund such installations. This would be much cheaper in the long run than cleaning up the water ways, lakes and health problems resulting from the current system. But of course govt subsidies are anathema to many politicians no matter what the numbers say.
 

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