We in animal rights have been battling CAFO's (Confined Animal Feeding
Operations) for the past 20 years. The Reagon administration of the 80's
allowed huge corporations to take over small farm and ranch businesses
and convert them into CAFOs, which in my opinion, are factories from hell
for our farm animals. Over the years we have tried educating people about
this cruelty, but sadly many people just don't seem to care. However, now
that the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) has entered the picture, hopefully more will take notice, especially when they learn it has has hit them unfairly in their pocketbooks all these years.
Many of us are probably unaware that the big CAFO corporations from the
Reagon era are being subsidized by Congress with our tax dollars. Finally, it has been brought to our attention by a neutral respected agency --UCS who have recently petitioned the U.S Department of Agriculture with 5,000
signatures- urging them to end policies that give an unfair advantage to the polluting CAFO industry and revert instead to what God and nature intended -- that our animals be raised in outdoor pastures - in sunlight and in the company of their own. Re this issue, I hope that many of us will feel the need to bombard Congress with letters --disapproving the way Congress has been subsidizing CAFOs all these years. I don't think 5,000 signatures will do it.
According to UCS, when it comes to most meat, milk, and eggs sold in the
United States, consumers have paid more for years though they just didn't
know it. In "CAFOs Uncovered" they reveal how the methods by which most
of our food animals are raised cause fish kills through water polluted by manure or fertilzers, generate antibiotic-resistant bacteria through the overuse of antibiotics in CAFOs, and emit air pollution to rural neighbors who can't even leave their windows open.
We know that spreading animals out in pastures minimizes pollution and
produces healthier animals and abundant meat, milk and eggs. So, hopefully this may be the year when the destructive CAFOs will no longer be allowed to dominate the rural landscape and a start in freeing the animals from the factories from hell will begin. Yes, we can blame Congress AND the presidents who served during this time who either helped or enabled the CAFO system to continue without question or interruption. As for our legislators - were they ALL sleeping on the job or didn't they care?
The more I learn re the political manueverings of Congress, the more I am
certain that we don't have a truly democratic governing body. Cruel, selfish
interests such as CAFOs exist because of greedy corporations and the legislators (I believe largely Republican in this case) who support them.
I would like to ask the 3 presidential candidates what is their position on CAFOs. They may even scratch their heads and ask what are CAFOs? If so, its time they were educated, since obviously Congress has kept on subsidizing them with their votes for all these years. I hope I am wrong. If not, they have probably contributed to the horrible existence of millions and millions of our suffering farm animals during the time they have served within the last 20+ years. They have also helped to line the pockets of these wealthy corporations with money better used by the ordinary taxpayer who could have saved money if a more economical system had been in place. Now, with the rising cost of food due to the outrageous gasoline situation, I think disbanding CAFO's would prove a boon to us as well as to the poor suffering animals.