#7:Black Lagoon (of Crap)
If you live near a CAFO—a confined animal-feeding operation—you know it. That's because you can smell the ammonia-laced manure lagoon, a disgusting stew of watered-down animal crap mixed with bacteria, viruses, and antibiotics routinely used in this type of crowded farming practice. This mix of germs and medicine is accelerating the rate of development of antibiotic-resistant superbugs that threaten humans, too. It's also likely where swine flu originated, according to many researchers. And if there's a leak in the lagoon, or even if it rains too much, the sickening sludge overflows, and can contaminate drinking water. Gross! The massive lagoons come from factory farms, which cram thousands, or even millions, of animals into small indoor areas or crowded feedlots. To make matters even worse, according to the groups Consumers Union and Food Animal Concerns Trust, CAFO farmers can legally feed cows manure, feathers, and poultry bedding material. The organizations say cows are also fed meat and bone meal from dead cattle, which could result in the spread of mad cow disease to humans.
How to kill the beast: If you eat meat, make sure you buy it from a small to midsize local farmer who allows animals to graze and eat a natural diet. Or buy meat that's certified USDA organic, where hormone and antibiotic use are prohibited.
Published on: October 29, 2009
Updated on: March 11, 2010