The Ramblings of Annie Abalam

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Manure Lagoons, Dirty Water, and Money

on February 17, 2012

A few days ago, I read this article about the first case in which a CAFO was punished for their gross violation of the Clean Water Act, and explored how hazardous CAFO outputs can be. Cows produce copious amounts of manure, resulting in what is called a “manure lagoon”. If and when these vats of feces leak, or rainwater forces the manure out, groundwater and nearby waterways can be contaminated… With poop. Aside from this being absolutely vile, it is hazardous to human health because it can contain “harmful quantities of nutrients, pathogens, and heavy metals,” according to the blog post.

This blog post is nothing new to me, but as usual, it saddens me that 1) this information is not common knowledge and 2) only now is anything being done to rectify it. People deserve to know what the outcomes of their choice to consume factory farmed dairy, and how the government is refusing to change he system. As far as I know, the reasoning for not regulating CAFOs more aggressively lies in economics – people do not want to pay more to ensure that manure lagoons are not a side effect of buying cheap milk, and factory farm lobbyists have infiltrated the USDA. Regardless, I do not consider state capture an excuse to continue the destruction of our environment, and dangerous drinking water.

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