For Ms. Johanne Dion and her neighbors in the once-picturesque town of Richelieu, Quebec, Canada, it wasn’t just the unbearable smell of the new “mega” pig farm; it was the devaluation of their homes, not to mention the debilitating bouts of illness with diarrhea and asthma. But for Ms. Dion, the most adverse impact of the 5,800-pig production facility was environmental. With each pig generating three times the waste of a human, the multi-million liters of liquid manure was used to fertilize the only crop that could withstand its toxicity, namely genetically modified corn, which in turn was used to feed the farmed pigs. But this noxious substance has also caused pollution, biodiversity loss and erosion, which turns the river brown and poisonous from the untreated runoff. Supreme Master Television’s correspondent tells us more about this example of intensive animal farming, which is now the source of nearly all meat sold in North America.
(Report in English)
Correspondent (F): The amount of pigs that are produced in those factories, it’s very large.
So unfortunately, it’s not because the animals smell, but it’s because of the concentration of the animals, because of their waste, there’s a bad, bad smell produced by them. Especially when they spread the manure.
(Showing map in English)
Johanne Dion (F): The farm is divided in two. There’s two barns here, and two barns here. This is the nursery, this is the fattening-up barn. Each installation has its own pit, two big concrete pits to hold the slurry [liquid feces], good for a whole year, or almost, they figure. Surrounding this installation is all the fields that are going to be sprayed with the slurry. As you can see, it’s not very far from the river. Don’t even think about drinking it. Forget it. It’s much too dangerous. Even touching it, you risk catching a bad bug, definitely. The coliform [fecal bacteria] count is so high. If you go down river this way, I’d say between 4 and 10 kilometers away, is the watering tank for our town water. So we drink, in my town here, water from the Richelieu River that comes down river from this pig farm. Isn’t that lovely.
Correspondent (F): When people buy meat at the store, it’s bad for everybody: it’s bad for our health, it’s bad for the environment, and it’s bad for the animals. They have to suffer a lot because of that way of production.
Johanne Dion (F): Just the thought of an animal not seeing the sun for all its life, just to feed us, to be able to sell us a cheap roast pork, it’s inhumane! We pay very dearly for cheap pork
in the supermarkets – with our health, with the environment…
Correspondent (F): This is Supreme Master Television reporting from Richelieu, in Quebec, Canada.
VOICE: Another outcome of the conditions of industrial pig production is the breeding of new pathogens such as that the deadly swine flu virus. This pandemic continues its silent spread around the globe, with new cases officially recorded in countries as distant to each other as Senegal, Romania, Egypt, United States and Turkey, which just announced an estimated 600 swine flu deaths. However, the actual human toll worldwide is too high to confirm.
We sorrow for the victims of animal farming practices that have led to such physical and emotional suffering through disease and environmental ruin. May we end all these needless risks by choosing the safe, organic vegan way of life.