Friday, February 19, 2010

Egg Industry vs. the Environment

I came across an article in the news about a small California town situated next to a large egg hatchery factory farm. It starts like this: "At the end of a remote road lined by houses, children play in yards just a short distance from a stagnant, 16.5-acre lagoon filled with the waste sludge of a factory egg farm." This type of waste disposal is a very common practice at these behemoth factory farms - the one in the article houses 700,000 hens.  Lagoons like this are the leading cause of soil and groundwater contamination in the US and contribute greatly to the vast greenhouse gas emissions that fuel the global warming problem.

Residents of the town have been complaining for years about the "stench and eye-burning fumes" as well as frequent physical side effects like headaches and nausea. Their complaints have been virtually ignored for years. The startling thing to me is that factory farms tend to fly under the radar and bypass any form of environmental or ethical regulations in place. Check this out: "Just before leaving office, the Bush administration issued a regulation exempting farms from reporting to federal regulators the releases of air pollution from animal waste." Huh? Really?

Lastly, anyone that thinks the 700,000 caged hens living at this facility or others like it are experiencing anything less than torture is fooling themselves. I know many people that buy only cage free or free range eggs and I applaud them - although I've read many sources citing that this generally doesn't mean much, because so many of the farms are able to bypass the guidelines in place to assure ethical practices or minimize environmental impact. But when you order eggs at a restaurant or use products that contain eggs you are supporting this industry. I can't call it.

Anyways, eggs are nasty ;) Got a craving? Try a delicious tofu scramble.

2 comments:

  1. Ew! I read a story in Rolling Stone of all places a couple years ago on the pollution caused by the Smithfield hog farm. An employee there actually drowned in the shit lagoon! Crazy! And I love your blog btw. I'm gonna go add a link to my blog roll now.

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  2. Aww thanks, Bianca. What a way to go that must have been!

    Keep up the good work...
    cheers

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