The modern American piggery houses thousands of pigs and gets thousands of animals ready for slaughter every single month. Given the huge volume of modern pig farms, the waste produced by such outfits can reach shocking and horrific levels. Let’s face it-pig feces don’t exactly smell like a bunch of roses. However, when a pig is raised in the traditional way in a spacious barn with a floor lined with dry straw, the stench isn’t very bad.In fact, with the proper organic controls, free range organic pig feces and waste actually don’t smell at all since they are processed in a way that integrates with the Earth’s natural nitrogen cycle. Not surprisingly, this is the comforting and familiar image many big time pork packing and pork raising corporations would like us to believe regarding their operations. Well, the difference between a traditional pig farm and modern pig factory farms are as stark as black and white.Modern pig farms stuff as many pigs in living crates as possible. Everything is almost completely automated. The modern pig grow out operation involves tiny metal spaces where many of the full grown pigs can’t turn around. Their feed, water, air, and temperature are automatically controlled from a central source. All their wastes are automatically pumped out of their metal pens and go into vast lagoons of pig shit. Cleanup is largely automated as well, so no need for maids here. The problem is, the cleanup isn’t always complete.
These lagoons of pig droppings cultivate certain bacteria that disinfect the pig feces. Once the manure has been lying in the lagoon for a long enough time, it is then pumped out and sprayed into the air. That’s right-pig manure is aerially blasted onto surrounding land. If you have ever driven by a pig farm and caught some bad wind-you can be sure it’s not the Taco Bell burrito you just had. The smell of these airborne manure blasts are enough to make anyone retch and heave for hours.
Think of the nastiest smell you’ve had the displeasure of smelling and multiply that by, say, several million times in severity. That’s the smell of the modern pig farm. Thanks to inhumane concentrations of otherwise smart and sentient pigs, pig farm crank out millions of tons of liquefied pig waste every single year. This produces nothing but bad news for the environment.
Post written by Jeff Darcy, frequent contributor to the Credit Glory blog as well as others.