A satellite photo of a monstrously large cesspool attached to a commercial cattle feedlot horrified the Reddit community when a user posted it just a few days ago. In the disturbing photo, which seems to be from Google Images, the behemoth waste lagoon appears gruesomely red and dwarfs every feature of the surrounding environment.
With over eight billion animals raised and slaughtered on today’s factory farms each year, waste is not only a grave environmental concern, but a major public health hazard. Communities near factory farms have complained of farmers spraying feces and urine into the air, a method employed to “dispose of” animal waste. In addition to jeopardizing human health, this practice can contaminate local rivers, streams and soil. Waste lagoons can also overflow or leak toxic material into surrounding areas.
According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, “People who live near or work at factory farms breathe in hundreds of gases, which are formed as manure decomposes. For instance, one gas released by the lagoons, hydrogen sulfide, is dangerous even at low levels. Its effects–which are irreversible–range from sore throat to seizures, comas and even death.”
While factory farms continue to pollute our environment and endanger public health, the animals crammed by the thousands inside their windowless, football-field-sized sheds endure appalling abuse merely to become someone’s breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Leaving animals off our plates is the best way to take a strong stand against environmental abuse and cruelty to animals. Transitioning to a healthy and humane plant-based diet has never been easier or more delicious. For tips and recipes, visit ChooseVeg.com.