Let’s have a talk about pigs. No, this isn’t a cop article — grow up. It’s about Chris Christie. And also livestock. Specifically, emissions from livestock, apart from the hot air and clouds of oxycontin dust produced by Rush Limbaugh. The agriculture industry is responsible for a pretty stunning 8 to 10 percent of greenhouse gas emissions globally; in fact producing a half-pound of hamburger releases more greenhouse gases than driving a 3,000-pound car 10 miles. Most of that comes from the nitrous oxide released during soil tilling, which has dramatically increased as a result of using modern high-nitrogen fertilizers. Nitrous oxide and carbon dioxide are largely undetectable, though — unlike another kind of emission from certain animal farms. You guessed it: daily rainstorms of hot, concentrated pig sewage!
Mark Devries isn’t just the maker of Speciesism: The Movie, he’s also the guy behind Factoryfarmdrones.com. Since 2012, this website has been “secretly using spy drones to investigate and expose the environmental devastation caused by factory farms.” The truely horrendous nature of meat production in America these days is usually pretty well hidden; set well off of main roads with long driveways, and hidden behind thick copses of trees, the modern meat factory hide in idyllic beauty like weeping tumors beneath an evening gown.
Mark’s aerial camera drones are the hand flying up Factory Farming’s skirt, flying over the illusory trees to reveal the real places where bacon comes from. In this case, a Smithfield Farms’ plant…one of a stunning two thousand in North Carolina alone. Interesting thing about Smithfield: Despite its All-American name, the world’s largest pork producer is actually a fully owned subsidiary of the Chinese Shuanghui Group. This one company doubled the number of U.S. jobs tied directly to Chinese investment, and may be the single largest Chinese company operating on these shores.
In this video, you can see one of the most defining features of any large meat factory today, Smithfield included; no, it’s not the howls of misery from animals smarter than dogs, who live out their godforsaken lives in steel cages before being hacked to pieces. That’s a different audio reel. And no, it’s not Chinese slave laborers throwing baby female pigs down stairwells, while their fellow workers jump off of farm rooftops. Though that footage probably exists too.
No, this footage depicts the Factory Farm’s largest and most visually striking feature: a giant, brown lake about the size of the farm itself. The brown lake is exactly what you think it is: a sun-concentrated and massively toxic hellpit of liquefied pig feces and urine. Old urine, for those who don’t know, stinks because of its ammonia content. Ammonia is created when the urea in urine breaks down; the longer it sits, the more of the urine converts to pure ammonia. How toxic is this stuff, exactly?
Put it this way: Remember that scene in the first Rambo, when the Vietcong left Sly in a pit of sewage? If that had been a cesspool at a pig farm, Lieutenant Colonel Podovsky would have gone back to Hanoi with a red bandana and a 5’10”, bleached-white skeleton. No sequels for Slim Stallone.
These pits of literal toxic waste are generally pretty shallow, no more than a couple of feet. A large, shallow pools evaporates faster in the sun. But sometimes, the captive animals just can’t hold it, and the pool fills up faster than the sun can dry it up. So, what do they do with the toxic sludge then? Incinerate it? Put it into sealed drums for chemical conversion, or storage under a mountain? Bury it, at least?
El oh el.
Come on, these meat factories are in Republican states.
They just SPRAY THE TOXIC SLUDGE UP INTO THE AIR, and let it come down…well, who cares? Somewhere else. That’s the important thing.
And it’s especially important to the people the sludge rains down on, particularly those who live in poverty unfortunately close to the factories. And it is a literal rain of toxic pig sh*t, as described by one woman who lives within spraying distance of Smithfield Farms’ pork factory. You can see her and the rest of the grisly details in the video below.
In North Carolina, it means buying off both Republican senators Kay Hagan and Richard Burr, as well as five members of the House — one of them a Democrat. In fact, while Smithfield did once send money to Republicans at about a 12-to-1 rate to red-state Democrats, and still buys them at about a 2-to-1 rate, the Chinese porkmasters still have quite a few red-state Democrats in their posckets now. You can find the list of pig-sh*tters here.
In the livestock industry as a whole, about 82 percent to 85 percent of the money goes to Republicans — and that spending has increased drastically since 2005. Since then, these livestock companies have been behind practically ever science-denying, EPA-killing miscreant ever to call himself a congressman or governor. Notables for the pork industry include Darell Issa, Bob Goodlatte, Eric Cantor and (of course) KKK-friend Steve Scalise. Cattle PAC recipients include all of those, plus Ted Cruz, James Inhoffe and Mitch McConnell.
So, folks, when it starts raining concentrated Chinese pig urine on your house tomorrow…those are the guys to thank. Along with a few Democrats in sore need of firing.
And speaking of fat, greasy, disgusting sacks of filth raining the foulest things imaginable on our heads in order to appease people who didn’t vote for them — we wrap up back to Chris Christie.
In November, New Jersey voters passed a law that would ban “gestation crates” or “sow stalls” in the pork industry. Like three other states including California, Arizona and Florida, New Jersey voters decided that confining pigs in cages so tiny that they can’t even lie down to sleep was cruel. Granted, not as cruel as having to clean up the blood and broken teeth where they went crazy trying to gnaw through the steel bars. But cruel.
The measure was overwhelmingly popular in New Jersey, with more than 93 percent support. But Christie flew all the way to Iowa to tell pork producers there that he was going to veto New Jersey’s bill. Why? Because he thinks he’s running for president in 2016, and he wants a jump from the pork lobbyists in Iowa, and support in the state so he can get a head start in the Iowa caucuses.
Word of advice for Chris, though.
Don’t get too close to those guys. In the wrong light, a Chinese guy might end up sticking you in a cage standing up until you die, and then spraying your concentrated sewage all over the voters of America.
Which, frankly, might be kind of a lateral move.