|Farming pollution impacts us all. (public domain photo)|
Vegans who think they are immune to factory farming issues should think again. We are not protected from all the health hazards of factory farms just because we abstain from eating or using animal products. Factory farming has become so prevalent in America that it impacts everyone, vegans included. We once believed we were safe. Sadly, the time has come when even those who are extremely careful about their diet are being poisoned by factory farming.Factory farming is a term used to describe farms producing animal products, legumes, vegetables or grains in mass quantity with little or no regard for environmental or humanitarian issues. Chemical pesticides, chemical fertilizers, hormones and antibiotics used in mass food production pollute not only the food produced, but also the surrounding environment. That pollution is quickly spreading.
Animal waste is a huge environmental issue. Animal waste products from factory farming runoff are carried into our waterways. Animal waste is also used frequently to fertilize crops. This spreads contamination far beyond factory farms. Even organic farmers using manure as fertilizer are susceptible to contamination from factory farming. Vegans beware, you are not immune.
In order to list all the appalling facts concerned with factory farming, this post would become a book. Instead I'll attempt to give an overview of the reasons factory farming has become so prevalent that even vegans eating an all organic diet are not safe from the ravages of factory farming. Factory farming is a practice threatening the lives of every person on the planet. It's killing us.
Factory farming runoff is in our water supply. Issues from this include the development of antibiotic resistant bacteria, the death of fish and other wildlife, high levels of nitrates (which cause infants to be born with less than perfect oxygen balancing capabilities), high levels of contaminants, high levels of salt, and high levels of damaging heavy metals. vegans drink this water too.
Farming is a rural industry. In these areas, organic farmers are often neighbors with factory farms. Common sense tells us that if a factory farm is your neighbor, factory farm runoff would be greatly concentrated in your own water supply. Vegans can no longer be guaranteed safety by eating organic produce.
Of course vegans can produce their own vegetables. Use only compost as fertilizer. Use all organic pesticides you make yourself using sterilized bottled water mixed with organic products you have grown yourself. What will you water them with? The same sterilized bottled water? Those would be some expensive vegetables. What about that rain water?
Sorry, folks, rain water is full of contaminants from factory farming too. Why? Rain water is merely evaporated water from our oceans, lakes, ponds and streams. We can't control which ponds and streams that water comes from. It may have even evaporated from that factory farm waste holding lagoon. Nobody is immune from factory farming pollution. Even vegans drink water from factory farm runoff.
For many years, vegans and vegetarians have tried to educate people about the health and environmental hazards of factory farming. We have explained that eating meat from these filthy, disease infested factory farms is literally killing people. Now our advice takes another turn. Factory farming is not just killing meat eaters. It's killing vegans too.
Factory farming is having an astounding and unprecedented impact on vegans, vegetarians and meat eaters alike. The meat and dairy industry would have you think cows are peacefully meandering country pastures. In actuality, animals raised for slaughter live in a few feet of their own filth for their entire lives.
Connect with the facts, fellow vegans. Factory farming has reached a point where the only thing we can do is shut down every factory farm and enact a massive environmental clean up. Will we do it? Probably not. At least not right away. Change on this scale takes time. And as our non-vegan friends like to remind us, the world is not going vegan overnight and besides, they only patronize humane farms. And as we like to remind them, free range farming isn't much better. In fact, in some ways, it's worse.
Mother Earth News
This post was previously published by this author on a now closed Yahoo! property. It has been updated and edited for this blog.