One Farm. More Pollution Than Houston, Texas

Factory farms can produce more raw waste than large U.S. cities, threatening not only water quality but air quality as well. Both the number of factory farms and animals fed in confined feeding lots has more than tripled in 20 years, and yet the Environmental Protection Agency is trying to roll back already weak pollution regulations.
That’s the gist of a new Government Accountability Report on factory farming out today, and the interpretation of the Democratic Senators who requested it.
There were 12,000 concentrated animal feeding operations – CAFOs, or more simply “factory farms” – holding 890 million animals in the United States in 2002, up from 3,600 farms raising 257 million animals in 1982.

oye vey, more green ranting
but, make sure you read the comments after the article :rotfl:

So we shouldn;t be concerned about the enviroment huh?

concerned, yes
over the top, no

people that are so very concerned about manure and cow wind need to return to little house on the prarie days to set the example for everyone else.
telling people to eat less meat isn’t useful guidance.

the trees in the great smoky mountains also cause “pollution”. should we cut them all down?

the trees in the great smoky mountains also cause “pollution”. should we cut them all down?

“Smoky”, in this context, is just a figure of speech. First time I heard this one, it was from a political leader who wasn’t noted for being the sharpest knife in the drawer. He may have been the one who started it, figuring where there’s smoke, there’s pollution.

“Trees pollute” isn’t any crazier than “the climate is cooling”, i suppose.

And the OP has confused “sewage” with “pollution.” Houstonians would be ecstatic if their only pollution problem was sewage. Even with all the agricultural chemicals and pesticides, large feedlot operations don’t produce a fraction of the pollution of a large city.

Trees donlt cause pollution. And in general the American population does eat an abnormally amount of meat. So cutting down actually would be a useful guildline and probably healthier in the long run for many. I do agree that maybe worry about cow farts is a bit much but then again maybe it;s a bigger concern then I realize. But I can understand the concern about the sewage risk…

the smoky mountains were named that by the indians. there was a smoky haze in the mountains way back then, before any cars or factories. the haze was a natural effect from the forests, the trees emitted an oily residue and water vapor. and that haze, i.e. tree pollution, makes a good collecting ground for the pollution of today carried in the prevailing winds. so if we cut down all of the trees on the mountains then there would be no haze to collect the pollution.

yes, there are valid environmental concerns, but there is also a lot of propaganda. the world would be a much better place if people didn’t consume as much “news” as they do. many “news” items get blown way out of proportion and then people operate in panic mode. moderation is good for many things, not just meat consumption.

Cutting down trees would not make things better read this As for the meat thing why not? moderation is good for meat consumption

you obviously haven’t been reading the sarcasm in my posts :rolleyes:
my whole point has been that trees emit “stuff” into the atmosphere, and so do animals. it’s all natural. whether its a little farm or a big farm, it still smells. the environmentalists take things too far.

and moderation is a good thing, didn’t i already say that. :shrug: but i don’t want environmentalists legislating what i need to moderate.

Sorry it;s the internet…I couldn;t tell if you were being sarcastic or not. Yes you did but then you added but not with meat…but yeah…this is a pointless discussion at this point I guess

actually i said not JUST meat :shrug:
and now back to our regularly scheduled programming

Oh doh!! :o I think my mind switched the two words for some reason. :stuck_out_tongue:

Oh no! Not another cow flatulence thread!!! I don’t think I can think of any more funny wise cracks about it…

I agree that much of the environmental movement involves authoritarian big government solutions, and I’m against that. Unfortunately, this causes some conservatives and libertarians to run in the opposite direction and pride themselves on a blithe apathy towards ecological issues. I don’t think it’s foolish to be concerned about the rapaciousness of industrial farming. But what needs to happen is a voluntary movement to more healthful and sustainable methods of agriculture production. Some methods include organic farming, permaculture, ecoregionalism, and agroforestry. That’s all very laudable, IMO; it just should be voluntary, not coerced by government. Which means we have the responsibility to watch what we buy and how we live, and that’s scary to a lot of people.

well this article is also worried about the run-off, not just about the air quality.

Oh no! Not another cow flatulence thread!!! I don’t think I can think of any more funny wise cracks about it…

Urban legend, actually. Cows belch methane. No flatulence. It’s the way their digestive system works.

If you go to Walmart and buy organic fertilizer, chances are it came from a factory farm. I have only seen one factory hog farm, and it was a breeding farm, so it would not be typical. I have seen many “factory” poultry houses, and great pains are taken to avoid environmental pollution. After each flock, they “take up the floor”, which consists of wood shavings or cottonseed hulls and manure. That is used for fertilizer, either spread on farm fields “as is” or “pelletized” for the organic fertilizer you buy, as mentioned above.

While it might seem unappetizing, the dead chickens (some always die) are put into compost heaps, buried with dirt and composted. Every one of those farms I have seen has a very competent compost bin for that purpose.

Now, since chemical fertilizer, much of which is made from natural gas, is extremely expensive this year due to increased fuel prices, I see no reason to discourage the use of organic fertilizers such as are generated by “factory farms”.


Arguing that the “Indians named the Smoky Mountains” as a basis for asserting that the ‘smoke’ predated pollution belies an odd assumption.

Indians were fallen humans just like us. Here’s something you probably didn’t know: they polluted. A lot! The vast midwestern prairies states were prairie precisely because the Indians burned them down every few years to drive bison and push back encroaching woodlands (which made bad bison habitat). Had they not burned regularly, much of the prairie would have turned to woods.

Several million acres of prairie fires can make a lot of pollution. And just like today, lots of it got trapped by the geology and thermal air currents of the Smokies region.

since the indians stopped burning off the prairies have they turned into woods? the prairies are a grassland/shrubland ecosystem. they can’t turn into something they are not.

You know the reason for industrial farming? Economies of scale. If the average family farm could survive on that small scale they would still be around. Blame the industrial revolution. Blame the nouveau riche, the new gentry building fortunes handling other people’s money and buying up prime farm-land, blame the developers who buy up land and pave it over. Farming is hard work, long hours with narrow profit margins at best. Who can blame the man with the sore back who’s land is worth several times what he will make in his entire life by working it, and that is if he doesn’t have a few bad years, or a few bad markets; who can blame him for selling out to the man with the legal practice in the city and the Mercedes?

In many ways I would love to return to a pastoral economy and life-style when the whole world turned around the weather reports and everyone dropped everything and pitched in for the harvest because all of their lives depended upon the success of the farms. But that isn’t the world we live in. People for the most part don’t give a rat’s rear end for farmers or give them a second thought until the price of broccoli goes up at the supermarket and they are outraged.

I sympathize with the green dream. I’ve spent many years working with cattle. I listened to my father and grandfather talk about the personalities of the horses they teamed to pull the plow, how one preferred to walk the furrow and one the sod. But it is all about the money, not greed, but survival. The cultural change required to reach the ideal is far more profound than telling or even coercing people to change their diet, or mandating farming practices. These things are a response to conditions.

Put it this way. How many of those environmentalists would be willing to put in 12-16 hours a day, six days a week, chores on Sunday, doing back breaking, dirty, dusty work for 50 or 60 years on a family farm, even if there was good money in it?

since the indians stopped burning off the prairies have they turned into woods? the prairies are a grassland/shrubland ecosystem. they can’t turn into something they are not.

It’s mostly a matter of water. Where there’s more rainfall, you get woods. There are some ecosystems, such as was found in California, where the Indians consciously removed brush and trees to allow only scattered oak trees (which provided acorns for their food) to make a park-like environment which would otherwise have been dense forest. But that wasn’t typical.

Indians generally had more sense than to try to make farmland out of forest; soils there are too poor to be good farmland. Where they did that, they practiced rotation, letting old fields go back forest periodically.

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