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Watch this item Unwatch. Watch list is full. No additional import charges on delivery. This item will be sent through the Global Shipping Programme and includes international tracking. Enormous exhaust fans run twenty-four hours a day. The ventilation systems function like the ventilators of terminal patients: If they break down for any length of time, pigs start dying.
They become susceptible to infection, and in such dense quarters microbes or parasites or fungi, once established in one pig, will rush spritelike through the whole population. Accordingly, factory pigs are infused with a huge range of antibiotics and vaccines, and are doused with insecticides. Without these compounds — oxytetracycline, draxxin, ceftiofur, tiamulin — diseases would likely kill them. When a pig nearly ready to be slaughtered grows ill, workers sometimes shoot it up with as many drugs as necessary to White Sand - Boss Hog - Boss Hog (CD) it to the slaughterhouse under its own power.
As long as the pig remains ambulatory, it can be legally killed and sold as meat. The drugs Smithfield administers to its pigs, of course, exit its hog houses in pig shit. Industrial pig waste also contains a host of other toxic substances: ammonia, methane, hydrogen sulfide, carbon monoxide, cyanide, phosphorous, nitrates and heavy metals.
In addition, the waste nurses more than microbial pathogens that can cause illness in humans, including salmonella, cryptosporidium, streptocolli and girardia. Each gram of hog shit can contain as much as million fecal White Sand - Boss Hog - Boss Hog (CD) bacteria. The area around a single slaughterhouse can contain hundreds of lagoons, some of which run thirty feet deep.
The liquid in them is not brown. The interactions between the bacteria and blood and afterbirths and stillborn piglets and urine and excrement and chemicals and drugs turn the lagoons pink. Even light rains can cause lagoons to overflow; major floods have transformed entire counties into pig-shit bayous. Tree branches drip with pig shit. Some pig-farm lagoons have polyethylene liners, which can be punctured by rocks in the ground, allowing shit to seep beneath the liners and spread and ferment.
Gases from the fermentation can inflate the liner like a hot-air balloon and rise in an expanding, accelerating bubble, forcing thousands of tons of feces out of the lagoon in all directions. The lagoons themselves are so viscous and venomous that if someone falls in it is foolish to try to save him. A few years ago, a truck driver in Oklahoma was transferring pig shit to a lagoon when he and his truck went over the side.
It took almost three weeks to recover his body. Inwhen a worker making repairs to a lagoon in Minnesota began to choke to death on the fumes, another worker dived in after him, and they died the same death. In another instance, a worker who was repairing a lagoon in Michigan was overcome by the fumes and fell in.
They all died in pig shit. T he chairman of Smithfield Foods, Joseph Luter III, is a funny, jowly, canny, barbarous guy who lives in a multimillion-dollar condo on Park Avenue in Manhattan and conveys himself about the planet in a corporate jet and a private yacht. At sixty-seven, he is unrepentant in the face of criticism.
He can be sardonic; he likes to mock his critics and rivals. Most vegetarians I know are neurotic. When he took over the family business forty years ago, it was a local, marginally profitable meatpacking operation. Under Luter, Smithfield was soon making enough money to begin purchasing neighboring meatpackers. From the beginning, Luter thought monopolistically. He bought out his local competition until he completely dominated the regional pork-processing market. But Luter was dissatisfied.
So he imposed a new kind of contract on farmers: The company would own the living hogs; the contractors would raise the pigs and be responsible for managing the hog shit and disposing of dead hogs.
The system made it impossible for small hog farmers to survive — those who could not handle thousands and thousands of pigs were driven out of business. Smithfield now kills one of every four pigs sold commercially in the United States. As Smithfield expanded, it consolidated its operations, clustering millions of fattening hogs around its slaughterhouses.
Under Luter, the company was turning into a great pollution machine: Smithfield was suddenly producing unheard-of amounts of pig shit laced with drugs and chemicals. Luter likes to tell this story: An old man and his grandson are walking in a cemetery. They see a tombstone that White Sand - Boss Hog - Boss Hog (CD) Here Lies Charles W. Johnson, A Man who had no enemies.
He had no enemies. If Luter were to set this story in Ivy Hill Cemetery in his hometown of Smithfield, it would be an object lesson in how to make enemies.
Luter learned the family trade well. Dove, a focused guy of sixty-seven years, is unable to talk about corporate hog farming without becoming angry. After he got out of the Marine Corps inhe became a commercial fisherman, which he had wanted to do since he was a kid. He was successful, and his son went into business with him. Then industrial hog farming arrived and killed the fish, and both Dove and his son got seriously ill. Dove and other activists provide the only effective oversight of corporate hog farming in the area.
The industry has long made generous campaign contributions to politicians responsible for regulating White Sand - Boss Hog - Boss Hog (CD) farms. The state has consistently failed to employ enough inspectors to ensure that hog farms are complying with environmental standards. To document violations, Dove and other activists regularly hire private planes to inspect corporate hog operations from the air. The airport Dove uses, in New Bern, North Carolina, is tiny; the plane he uses, a Cessna single-prop, looks tiny even in the tiny airport.
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