Opinion/Editorial Archive

Farming Science, Without the Conscience

Monday, February 9th, 2015

The New York Times
by the Editorial Board

Source: Aurel

You don’t have to be a vegan to be repulsed by an account in The Times revealing the moral depths to which the federal government — working as a handmaiden to industrial agriculture — has sunk in pursuit of cheaper meat and fatter corporate profits. The article, by Michael Moss, examines the little-known U.S. Meat Animal Research Center, financed by American taxpayers, which employs the sophisticated tools and scientific expertise of modern animal management — apparently without a conscience.

The details Mr. Moss’s article exposes are sickening. In engineering animals to maximize industry’s bottom line, the center, at a sprawling, secluded site in Nebraska, has created pigs that bear freakishly large litters of frail piglets, which are often crushed by their mothers. Cows give birth to triplets, many of them deformed. Lambs are born in open fields, where they starve, are eaten by predators and are overcome by the elements. These so-called easy-care sheep are bred to eliminate the need for shelters and human help at birthing time. Read Full Article »

Take Paradise, Put up an Animal Feedlot

Wednesday, February 4th, 2015
Manure Sprayed on Fields
Source: Socially Responsible Agricultural Project

CAFOs. Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations. Sometimes people say Confined Animal Feeding Operations. Here in northeastern Wisconsin, we have 16 CAFOs in Kewaunee County, second only to our neighboring Brown County which has 20. Most of these operations have 5,000-10,000 animals living in the closed quarters of the confinement model.  In all, Wisconsin has 260 CAFO operations statewide, the bulk of them being industrial dairy operations.

Looking at the topography where 
we live, right below the “thumb”
of Wisconsin, it’s 
hard to imagine the 
lack of forethought 
or planning that
 went into the pro
cess of these me
ga-operations and 
their expansions, considering that at one time we were a community 
of thriving class 
1 trout streams, 
and have the good
 fortune to live in an area along the beautiful Lake Michigan
 shoreline, dotting our community
 with beaches and breathtaking lake
views– the literal gateway to the
 famous Door County, Wisconsin. Read Full Article »

Let’s Move Past Complaining About Raw Milk Misinformation, and Do Something About It

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015

by David Gumpert

RawMilkAnswerBookI know I’m not the only supporter of food choice who is frustrated because much of the news in the mainstream media about raw milk seems to be negative and often inaccurate. I know I’m not the only one who is tired of complaining, and wants to do something about it.

But do what? Is it even possible to counter the huge resources of the government and dairy processing industry, which together with the mainstream media, seem intent on spreading as much misinformation as possible.? For example, Time Magazine in December seemed to take joy in reporting on a CDC study that said outbreaks involving raw milk had quadrupled over the most recent six years, from an earlier period. “This Is One Health Trend You Don’t Want to Try” headlined the Time article.

The Time report conveniently avoided explaining that outbreaks aren’t the same as illnesses, and that the CDC’s report had inexplicably neglected to include the number of annual illnesses in the data it disclosed. And rather than note that the CDC’s own report indicated that more than 80% of illnesses were of the mild variety, from campylobacter, Time instead pointed readers to a CDC web site where they could find “a raw milk horror story from a mother who fed it to her son, then saw him go into kidney failure and be placed on a ventilator.”   Read Full Article »

Chicken Industry Acts More Like Ostriches

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

Food Safety News
by Leah Garces

Source: Socially Responsible Agricultural Project

Last month, something unprecedented happened that rocked the chicken industry’s world.

Perdue contract farmer Craig Watts decided he’d had enough. Together with my organization, Compassion in World Farming, he released a video that gave the public a unique view into the secretive world of the chicken industry.

He revealed what the National Chicken Council (NCC), USDA, and Perdue mean by “humanely raised” and “cage-free”: 30,000 chickens stuffed into a windowless warehouse, on feces-ridden litter, made to grow so big so quickly that they can hardly stand on their own two legs. Read Full Article »

How Regenerative Organic Agriculture Can Save the Planet

Wednesday, January 21st, 2015

by John W. Roulac

John W. Roulac

[Editor’s note: This article is part two of a two-part series. Read part one.]

We now know that 20-30 percent of manmade greenhouse gases in the atmosphere comes from industrial agriculture. Petrochemicals are for cars, not for the soil. By dumping ag chemicals onto our soils, we disrupt nature’s delicate balance of water, soil and air.

Carbon sequestration land practices include agriculture, forestry, wetland and range management systems that improve the rate at which CO2 is removed from the atmosphere and converted to plant material and/or organic matter in the soil. Today excess carbon is falling into our oceans and creating acidic conditions that threaten plant and animal species. If we remove carbon from the atmosphere and oceans by way of regenerative organic agriculture practices, we will sequester carbon into the soil and expand the soil’s water-holding capacity. Building organic matter into the soil’s humus layer is essential for growing the healthful foods humanity needs. Read Full Article »