Sunday, December 11, 2016


December 14, 2016
Edited by Dick Bennett for a Culture of Peace, Justice, and Ecology
 (#4 Feb. 12, 2014; #5 March 12, 2014; #6 April 9, 2014; #7 May 14, 2014; #8, June 11, 2014; #9 July 9, 2014; #10, August 11, 2014; #11 September 10, 2014; #12 October 8, 2014; #13, November 12, 2014; #14, December 10, 2014; #15, January 14, 2015; #16, Feb. 11, 2015; #17, March 11, 2015; #18, April 8, 2015; #19, June 10, 2015; #20, August 12, 2015; #21, September 9, 2015; #22, Oct. 14, 2015; #23, Nov.    ; # 24, Dec. 9, 2015; #25, Jan. 13, 2016; #26, Feb. 10, 2016; #27, April 13, 2016; #28, May 11, 2016; #29 June 8, 2016; #30 Sept. 14, 2016, #31 Oct. 9, 2016; #32 , Nov. 9, 2016).   1576 total OMNI Newsletter posts as of Apr 12, 2016.    Thank you Marc.


Contents:  Vegetarian Action #33, December 14, 2016
Vegetarian and Vegan Magazines and Books

Vegetarian and Vegan APPS, Podcasts, Magazines, Books

Health, Nutrition
Fran Alexander
Rob Wallace.  Big Farms Make Big Flu
Transform Factory Farms and Human-Type Waste Disposal
Respect for Animals, Empathy, Compassion & Protection of Animals
Farm Sanctuary
Mike Masterson Ridicules PETA’s Memorials
Writings by Bernard Rollin on Animal Ethics
Steve Best, Animal Rights and Liberation
Grace for “All Creatures”? NADG
Climate Catastrophe: Mitigation, Adaptation
Google Search
Climate Catastrophe: Population Growth, Consumption
How the Food System Drives Climate Change
Population Connection, another Organization Deserving Support
AR Obesity Declines, Slightly
Union of Concerned Scientists, What’s Driving Deforestation?
David Smith, Chinese Pulp Mill Coming to AR
Water Pollution
     A New Front in the War over Hog Waste in the Buffalo River Watershed, Ark Times
       Factory Farm Runoff Is Polluting Lake Erie, But CAFO Sewers Are Not the Answer, In These Times

Vegetarian and Vegan APPS, Podcasts, Magazines, Books
Dana Shultz app.  Minimalist Baker’s Everyday Cooking: 101 Entirely Plant-Based, Mostly Gluten-Free, Easy and Delicious Recipes.  2016.
Animal-Free app is an alphabetical ingredient list.  Guarantee your vegan purchases.
In My Eclectic Kitchen app, Chef Ardestani provides recipes devoid of meat, dairy, eggs, honey, or gluten.
The Reluctant Vegan fortnightly podcast on wide range of topics for healthy, cruelty-free eating.
Want VegNews back issues?
Wayne Pacelle, The Humane Economy: How Innovators and Enlightened Consumers Are
         Transforming the Lives of Animals.  2016.  Interviewed in VEGNEWS (July-Aug. 2016) 75.

Health, Nutrition
Fran Alexander.  “What We Eat.  Healthy Eating Means Knowing Where It Comes From.”   NDAG (11-1-16).   Fran invites readers to attend a lecture (Nov. 2, 2016) by John Ikerd titled “Why Bigger Is Not Better,” a critical analysis of the food industry.  He is author of Sustainable Capitalism: A Matter of Common Sense, Essentials of Economic Sustainability, Crisis and Opportunity, and Small Farms  

Rob Wallace.  Big Farms Make Big Flu: Dispatches on Infectious Disease, Agribusiness, and the Nature of Science.  Monthly Review P, 2016.
Thanks to breakthroughs in production and food science, agribusiness has been able to devise new ways to grow more food and get it more places more quickly. There is no shortage of news items on the hundreds of thousands of hybrid poultry—each animal genetically identical to the next—packed together in megabarns, grown out in a matter of months, then slaughtered, processed, and shipped to the other side of the globe. Less well known are the deadly pathogens mutating in, and emerging out of, these specialized agro-environments. In fact, many of the most dangerous new diseases in humans can be traced back to such food systems, among them Campylobacter, Nipah virus, Q fever, hepatitis E, and a variety of novel influenza variants.
In Big Farms Make Big Flu, a collection of dispatches by turns harrowing and thought-provoking, Rob Wallace tracks the ways influenza and other pathogens emerge from an agriculture controlled by multinational corporations. With a precise and radical wit, Wallace juxtaposes ghastly phenomena such as attempts at producing featherless chickens with microbial time travel and neoliberal Ebola. Wallace also offers sensible alternatives to lethal agribusiness. Some, such as farming cooperatives, integrated pathogen management, and mixed crop-livestock systems, are already in practice off the agribusiness grid.
While many books cover facets of food or outbreaks, Wallace’s collection is the first to explore infectious disease, agriculture, economics, and the nature of science together. Big Farms Make Big Flu integrates the political economies of disease and science into a new understanding of infections.
In Big Farms Make Big Flu, Rob Wallace stands boldly on the shoulders of giants in clearly expressing the problems with our agroindustrial system that so many already see but far too few are willing to say. With mordant wit and a keen literary sensibility, Wallace follows the story of this dysfunctional—and dangerous—system wherever it may lead, without regard to petty concerns of discipline or the determined ignorance of the commentariat and mainstream research institutions. Big Farms Make Big Flu shows the power, possibility, and indeed, absolute necessity of political ecology, lest we not only fail to properly understand the world, but fail to change it.”
—M. Jahi Chappell, Ph.D., Senior Staff Scientist, Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP)
These essays put you in the company of a delightful mind. Wallace is filled with curiosity, deep learning, and robust skepticism. In his company, you’ll learn about phylogeography, clades and imperial epizoology. He can also weave a mean story, with the kinds of big picture analysis that puts him alongside minds like Mike Davis’s. Who else can link the end of British colonial rule in China or the devaluation of the Thai Baht to the spread of bird flu? This collection is a bracing innoculant against the misinformation that will be spewed in the next epidemic by the private sector, government agencies and philanthropists. My copy is highlighted on almost every page. Yours will be too.
—Raj Patel, Research Professor, University of Texas at Austin, author, Stuffed and Starved: The Hidden Battle for the World Food System
This collection of short, provocative essays challenges the reader to draw important connections between industrial farming practices, ecological degradation, and viral epidemiology. Wallace deftly links political analysis of biological and economic phenomena, demonstrating the importance of place, capital and power in discussions about disease outbreak dynamics.
—Adia Benton, Department of Anthropology, Program of African Studies, Northwestern University, author, HIV Exceptionalism: Development through Disease in Sierra Leone
If you’ve missed the wit and brilliance of Stephen Jay Gould, here’s consolation: holistic, radical science from the frontlines of the battle against emergent diseases. Using the wide-angle lens of political ecology, Rob Wallace demonstrates the central roles of the factory-farming and fast-food industries in the evolution of avian flu and other pandemics that threaten the entire planet. Bravo to MR Press for publishing this landmark collection of essays.
—Mike Davis, author, Monster at Our Door and Planet of Slums
Eye-opening and disturbing, Big Farms Make Big Flucalls into question the status quo of livestock farms. Chapters directly address both potential hazards, and prospective solutions that could prove more humane for both the farm animals and humanity as a whole. Extensive notes and an index round out this alarmist yet highly recommended scrutiny.
Midwest Book Review
Rob Wallace received a Ph.D. in biology at the CUNY Graduate Center, and did post-doctorate work at the University of California, Irvine, with Walter Fitch, a founder of molecular phylogeny. He lives in St. Paul, Minnesota, where he is both a Visiting Scholar at the Institute for Global Studies, University of Minnesota, and a deli clerk at a local sandwich shop.

FRIDAY, JUL 24, 2015, 2:03 PM
Factory Farm Runoff Is Polluting Lake Erie, But CAFO Sewers Are Not the Answer BY LAURA ORLANDO

A satellite photo of the Great Lakes shows Lake Erie's toxic algae bloom in 2011. Runoff from confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs) are making matters worse.   (NASA / / google images)
The Great Lakes—Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario—are magnificent inland seas that were once as clear as rainwater. Now each is polluted, but Lake Erie, the smallest, by volume, is in the most trouble. Its western basin is heavily industrialized, but the lake’s greatest threat is from the massive influx of organic material from fertilizer runoff, and the urine and feces from large concentrations of animals in factory farms. These nutrients don’t belong in the lake’s aquatic ecosystem. They kill fish by snatching up oxygen as organic material decays and cause toxic algae blooms. If unchecked, excess nutrients can change the ecosystem so much that the lake no longer supports aquatic life.

Protecting Animals, Respect for Animals, Empathy, Compassion

ASPCA, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, devoted to pets only, does not include farm animals, yet any opposition to cruelty to pets surely leads to sensitivity toward farm animals and against carnivorism.
farm animal protection organization with sanctuaries in New York and California.
About Us. Our Mission: To protect farm animals from cruelty ...
Farm Sanctuary's team includes over 70 dedicated staff ...
The Sanctuaries. Have you ever given a pig a belly rub, talked to ...
Current Opportunities. Data Entry Coordinator – Watkins Glen, NY.
Since 1986, Farm Sanctuary's Adopt a Turkey Project has ...
Internships. Imagine yourself in a place where animals are free ...

Anybody Hurt?
  “Misguided Memorial:  A ‘Moooot’ Point.”  NADG (October 2016).  Regular Columnist in the NADG Mike Masterson ridiculed as a “silly publicity stunt” PETA’s seeking permission to “erect a 5-foot-tall monument honoring the cattle that died or were injured when a truck taking them to slaughter rolled over last month along Arkansas 5.”    We’re evolving, we could get there, if we have time.  --Dick

ANIMAL ETHICS AND THE LAW Bernard Rollin* † Introduction Everyone reading this Article is doubtless aware of the woeful lack of legal protection for farm animals in the United States. Not only do the laws fail to assure even a minimally decent life for the majority of these animals, they do not provide protection against the most egregious treatment. As both a philosopher who has helped articulate new emerging societal ethics for animals, and as one who has successfully developed laws embodying that ethic—notably the 1985 federal laws protecting laboratory animals—I will stress the direction we need to move in the future to enfranchise farm animals. I have seen ethics inform law and law potentiate ethics—for example, when preparing my testimony before Congress in 1982 in defense of the laws mandating control of pain and suffering in laboratory animals, I found in a literature search only two papers on pain control, a telling indicator of the failure of the research community to practice pain control. Today there are somewhere between 5,000 and 10,000 such papers, and the practice of pain control has correlatively increased exponentially, all as a result of a legislative mandate. I also believe in the power of articulated societal ethics in effecting change—I was partly instrumental in convincing Smithfield to abandon sow stalls by ethical discussion with some of its senior executives. I will thus discuss the ethical basis of future laws.

A New Basis for Animal Ethics: Telos and Common Sense, 2nd ed. by Bernard E. Rollin 
“Bernie Rollin is a philosopher whose head is most definitely not in the clouds. Instead, it’s on our farms and slaughter plants, in our testing laboratories, in our rodeo arenas, and on our hunting grounds—in short, all the places where humans use animals as they see fit. He’s given us a lucid, compelling blueprint for how to reimagine our relationship with animals, driven by a social ethic that is common to us all and filled with common sense. This is yet another important book from one of the pre-eminent impact players in the contemporary animal protection movement.”—Wayne Pacelle, president & CEO, The Humane Society of the United States
Possibly the most important book on animal welfare written to date. In exquisite chapter after chapter Rollin presents the philosophical background of what telos is, why it matters and demonstrates with stories, anecdotes, and data, why common sense is an important basis for understanding animals, their needs and their wants. Rollin has the ability to speak to each reader as if s/he is the only person he is talking to. He is a remarkable talent and brilliant teacher. A great read, a must read.”—Alan Goldberg, Johns Hopkins School of Public Health Founding Director Emeritus of the Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing, Berman Institute of Bioethics
“In his latest of many books, Bernard Rollin, philosopher and animal advocate extraordinaire, appeals to Aristotle's concept of telos to argue that we need to establish a strong link between commonsense morality and animal ethics. One does not have to be well-versed in philosophical thought nor jargon to understand Rollin's most important message, namely, that when we respect other animals for whom they are and for what they do when they are able to live as freely as possible as the evolved beings they are, we all will be more likely to work together to stop the horrific and brutal abuse to which billions of animals are intentionally and routinely subjected globally each and every day. Indeed, there is no other way to move forward in an increasingly human dominated world in the epoch called the anthropocene, the age of humanity, let’s hope that A New Basis for Animal Ethics is not his swan song.”—Marc Bekoff, University of Colorado; author of numerous books including Rewilding Our Hearts: Building Pathways of Compassion and Coexistence
About the Author
Bernard E. Rollin, University Distinguished Professor at Colorado State University, is the 2016 recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award given by the organization Public Responsibility in Medicine and Research. The founder of Animal Ethics, Rollin has served on the Pew National Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production and on the Institute for Laboratory Animal Resources Council of the National Academy of Sciences. Rollin is also the author of titles, including The Unheeded Cry: Animal Consciousness, Animal Pain, and Science.

Animal Rights and Human Morality.  Edition 3 by Bernard Rollin  2006.
It's been more than two decades since the first edition of this landmark book garnered public accolades for its sensitive yet honest and forthright approach to the many disquieting questions surrounding the emotional debate over animal rights. Is moral concern something owed by human beings only to human beings?
Drawing upon his philosophical expertise, his extensive experience of working with animal issues all over the world, and his knowledge of biological science, Bernard E. Rollin-now widely recognized as the father of veterinary ethics-develops a compelling analysis of animal rights as it is emerging in society. The result is a sound basis for rational discussion and social policy development in this area of rapidly growing concern. He believes that society must elevate the moral status of animals and protect their rights as determined by their natures. His public speaking and published works have contributed to passage of major federal legislation designed to increase the well-being of laboratory animals. This new third edition is greatly expanded and includes a new chapter on animal agriculture, plus additional discussions of animal law, companion animal issues, genetic engineering, animal pain, animal research, and many other topics.

ARZone Podcast 84: Steve Best - The Politics of Total Liberation – Animal Rights Zone
Morgan MacDonald 11-24-16
10:46 PM (23 hours ago)
to James

Grace for 'all creatures'
Churches welcome pets for Blessing of the Animals services in honor of St. Francis.   By Christie StormNADG  October 1, 2016

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette Blessing of the Animals illustration.
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette Blessing of the Animals illustration.
St. Luke's Episcopal Church is going to the dogs ... and the cats and the birds.
Critters big and small, furry, finned and feathered are welcome at the church's annual Blessing of the Animals at 2:30 p.m. Sunday. The church is at 4106 John F. Kennedy Blvd. in North Little Rock.
The blessing are held each year near the feast day for St. Francis of Assisi, Oct. 4. Francis, who died in 1226, is known for many things, including starting what today is known as the Franciscan religious order, but he's best known by pet lovers as the patron saint of animals.
The saint is often pictured in paintings and sculptures with animals, often with birds. Legend has it that Francis once preached to the birds about the love of their creator and he was known to have a special kinship with animals.
"He was obviously a gentle soul. He cared for the poor and the lepers, but he was also known to be kind to animals and to appreciate God's creation," said the Rev. Carey Stone, rector of the church. "That connection is there, and this tradition is a way of acknowledging the value of pets in our lives. Pets are just amazing. . . ." 
     The catch is that this article is about pets, and nobody in the article recognizes farm animals as included in St. Francis’s compassion.  Millions of farm animals are butchered (or say murdered) each year to please carnivores and no amount of so-called humane treatment by some farmers leading up to the hammer or hook can cover up the fact that whatever the kindly preparation, they are brutally killed to be eaten.  --Dick
Francis considered all nature as the mirror of God and as so many steps to God. He called all creatures his “brothers” and “sisters,” and, in the most endearing stories about him, preached to the birds and persuaded a wolf to stop attacking the people of the town of Gubbio and their livestock if the townspeople agreed to feed the wolf.
StFrancis Farm , established by Last Chance Animal Rescue in 2013, is a sanctuary situated on 50 acres in Carlisle, SC. There are many circumstances that ...
... world will be celebrating the feast day of the Patron Saint of AnimalsSaint Francis ... More animals are killed in the food industry than in laboratories, fur farms, ...

Nick Alabaster.   “Is There Life Before Death?”  Free Weekly (Sept. 29, 2016).  The author remembers WORLD DAY FOR FARMED ANIMALS, which is celebrated on October 2, Gandhi’s birthday.  “It’s intended to memorialize the tens of billions of animals abused and killed for food around the world.”   Alabaster became a vegetarian from “compassion for animals,” but subsequently he understood that “my diet is also great for my health and for the health of our planet.”

“Man Pleads Guilty in Animal Cruelty Case.”  NADG (Nov. 22, 2016). 
A man pleaded guilty to “aggravated cruelty to a dog, cat or horse, a Class D felony punishable with up to six years in prison.”   “…he used a weight to kill a dog and dumped the animal’s body in trash bin….”    But animals by the millions are killed or stunned by a head blow (or slit throat) and no charges are filed.  As in war, it’s patriotic to kill hundreds or millions, but if you kill one it’s murder.

“Chicken Truck Overturns” (a photo showing injured or dead chickens with caption) NADG (August 26, 2016).  A “Georges Inc. truck loaded with cages of chickens overturned…on a sharp curve….  No serious injuries were reported, but cleanup was expected to take some time.”  In Huckleberry Finn, Huck told Aunt Sally news of a steamboat explosion.  “Anybody hurt?” she asks.  Huck: “No’m  Killed a nigger.”  In a LTE, “Newspaper Misled About Injuries in Photo,” 9-3-16),  Michele Utterson of Fayetteville rebuked the newspaper for callous reporting of a truckload of overturned caged chickens.  (You can thank her at 442-7220 and invite her to VP.).   –Dick

NADG editorial, “Monumentally Wrong” (Oct. 6, 29016), ridiculed as “utter nonsense” PETA’s desire to install a 5-foot tall memorial to cows killed in another truck crash.  The editorial reeks with cant:  “Don’t brand us as unconcerned about animals.  They deserve to be humanely treated even as part of the food supply.”  And denigrating exaggeration:  “The wreck of a truck carrying cows is what’s known in most parts as a traffic accident, not animal genocide.”  


Climate Catastrophe: Mitigation, Adaptation
Search Results 12-5-16
Responding to Climate Change. ... So even if we stopped emitting all greenhouse gases today, global warming and climate change will continue to affect future generations. ... Because we are already committed to some level of climate change, responding to climate change involves a two ...
The challenge of confronting the impacts of climate change is often framed in terms of two potential paths that civilization might take: adaptation and mitigation.
People also ask
What is adaptation and mitigation?
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 Climate Catastrophe:  Growth of Corporate, Industrialized Food Industry, Population Growth, Consumption

Grain (www.grain.orgThe Great Climate Robbery:  How the Food System Drives Climate Change and What We Can Do About It.  New Internationalist, 2016.  “…the broader food system is…responsible for around half of all global greenhouse gas emissions. . . .In addition to challenging the fossil-fuel industry, we need to attack the industrial food system if we want to have a real impact on climate change.,,,,the industrial food system is at the heart of climate change….”   “…people-led food sovereignty, based on local markets and peasant agroecology, can turn [the unhealthy, unjust, corporate food system] around” (p. xvii).  The book is also about “how this climate-killing food system is expanding through the consolidation of corporate control over lands, seeds, and markets, and how struggles are under way to stop it” (xviii).   OMNI Vegetarian Action #34 will include a review of this book.  And in two months or about it will be the featured book of the OMNI350 Book Forum. –Dick

John Seager, president of PC, describes progress in curbing world population growth, and urges us to resist any efforts by the GOP president and congress to dilute those efforts.  “We know what works.  Remove barriers to contraception, while affirming women’s rights. . . .”  When Lester Brown’s Earth Policy Institute closed, it gave its remaining funds of nearly $70,000 to PC to continue connecting environmental problems with human population growth. POPULATION CONNECTION (December 2016).  (This is an excellent population organization and magazine.  –D)

“State Not Fattest; It’s No. 6 Now.”  NADG (Sept. 2, 2016).
Reports on national rates of obesity by states.  Context:  population growth and consumption are major contributors of climate change.


What's Driving Deforestation?

What if you found out that just four commodities—commodities so pervasive in modern life that we encounter them daily—are responsible for more than half of the world’s tropical deforestation? What if you learned that many of the other commonly cited causes of deforestation, such as cocoa, sugar, and coffee, are now only marginal parts of the global problem?
Click image to see full infographic 
Surprisingly, all of this is true. Just four commodities—beef, soy, palm oil, and wood products—drive the majority of tropical deforestation
Why does deforestation matter? Forests—especially tropical forests—store enormous amounts of carbon. When forests are destroyed, that carbon is released to the atmosphere, accelerating global warming. Deforestation accounts for around 10% of total heat-trapping emissions—roughly the same as the yearly emissions from 600 million cars.
In addition to storing carbon, forests provide important habitat for a long list of endangered species—and they offer many other benefits, such as clean water, forest products, and livelihoods for indigenous communities.
With large areas of cheap land, relatively low labor costs, and a year-round growing season, the tropics have become a favored location for large-scale industrial commodity production. Eliminating emissions from commodity-driven tropical deforestation can play a huge role in reducing climate change—and we can do it in the near future.

The four major drivers (and some minor ones)

The following four commodities are the largest drivers of deforestation. Together, they have an outsized impact on the health of our world’s forests and climate, annually contributing 3.83 million hectares of deforestation, an area about the size of Switzerland.

Beef cattle

Of the four major deforestation drivers, beef has by far the largest impact. Converting forest to pasture for beef cattle, largely in Latin America, is responsible for destroying 2.71 million hectares of tropical forest each year—an area about the size of the state of Massachusetts—in just four countries. This is more than half of tropical deforestation in South America, and more than five times as much as any other commodity in the region. Learn more >


Growing global demand for meat and dairy products has contributed to the doubling of soybean production in the last 20 years. Soy is primarily used to feed pork, poultry, and dairy cows, though significant amounts are also used to produce vegetable oil and biodiesel. Large soybean fields in the tropics, particularly in Latin America, are often planted on newly deforested land—or they may expand onto former pastureland, pushing cattle to the forest frontier. Every year around 480,000 hectares is deforested for soy in major soy-producing tropical countries. Learn more >

Palm oil

Palm oil is used in countless processed foods and personal care products, as well as biofuels and vegetable oil. Produced largely in Southeast Asia, palm oil packs a powerful climate punch, not only because of the amount of land deforested annually (270,000 hectares in three leading countries), but also because much of this area includes the carbon-rich soils known as peatlands. Peatlands contain up to 28 times as much carbon as the forests above them—carbon that's released to the atmosphere when peatlands are drained for oil palm plantations. As a result, palm oil contributes the most global warming emissions of any commodity besides beef. Learn more >

Wood products

Perhaps the most iconic symbol of forest destruction, wood production has been shown to cause around 380,000 hectares of deforestation annually in key countries, though the actual number is likely higher. Wood products can be divided into two categories. Pulp is made from tree fibers and used to produce paper and related products. It drives deforestation primarily in Indonesia, where forests are cut down for plantations of fast-growing tree species. Timber, used for construction or high-end products like furniture, is most clearly linked to forest degradation, in which valuable tree species are harvested and the rest remain. Degraded forests are more likely to be targeted for conversion to other land uses. Learn more >

Other drivers

Besides the four mentioned above, many other commodities contribute on a smaller scale to tropical deforestation, including coffee, rubber, cocoa, and sugar. While these commodities may have caused significant deforestation in the past (and might again in the future), none of them currently has an impact approaching that of the four major drivers. Learn more >



David Smith.  “Sun Paper Coming, State Says Others Now Intrigued.”  NADG (September 10, 2016).  The Chinese firm Sun Paper’s is bringing a $1 billion pulp mill to Arkansas near Arkadelphia.  Short term economic gain for Arkansas and/or long-term loss of more of the planet’s forest carbon sink?


Water Pollution

A new front in the war over hog waste in the Buffalo River watershed

Posted By Benjamin Hardy on Wed, Nov 16, 2016 at 10:29 PM

A second farm in the Buffalo River watershed is now seeking to serve as a disposal site for potentially millions of gallons of liquid hog waste and has nearly obtained final legal authority to do so, despite a five-year moratorium on new permits on confined animal feeding operations, or CAFOs, in the watershed.

Previously, the fight over animal waste contamination near the Buffalo has mostly concerned C&H Farms, a large-sized factory hog farm that has the capacity to hold about 6,500 animals and generates millions of gallons in waste annually. Environmentalists fear the waste, stored on site in lagoons, will seep into the region's porous geology and pollute the waters of the Buffalo. After an extended political battle, the Pollution Control and Ecology Commission last year approved a moratorium on any new permits for CAFOs in the watershed, though C&H continues to operate.

This summer, a facility near Deer, Ark. called EC Farms found a loophole: Rather than obtain a new permit, it applied for a modification to its existing hog farm permit, which had once allowed it to run a relatively small operation of about 300 animals. EC Farms is currently not operational as a hog farm. However, the modified permit would allow it to "land farm" hog waste originating with another farm — specifically, with C&H. The modification, which was granted by the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality over the summer, would allow EC Farms to spread over 6 million up to 6.7 million gallons of liquid hog waste on its property annually. ADEQ's decision to grant the permit modification attracted a long list of critical public comments, which can be seen at the end of this document. Three area residents  — Carol Biting, Lin Wellford and Dr. Nancy Haller, who call themselves "The Three Grandmothers" — petitioned for an appeal.

On Wednesday morning at ADEQ headquarters in North Little Rock, PC&E Commission administrative judge Charlie Moulton heard arguments over whether the permit should stand. The room was packed. "I can say unequivocally this is the most well attended motion hearing I’ve ever had," Moulton said. 

Attorney Richard Mays represented the petitioners. He told Moulton that the modified permit is "a roundabout way for C&H farms to avoid getting a permit to distribute this waste. The amount of this waste is the critical issue. You’ve got a 6,000 animal operation …[generating] millions of gallons of waste." Mays said after the hearing that he believes C&H's own on-site waste storage and disposal capacity is nearing its limit, so it needs to find a place to dump the excess.

Tracy Rothermel, general counsel for the ADEQ director's office, argued that the appeal should be dismissed, citing a number of issues in how the petitioners worded their appeal and saying they failed to lay out their full legal and factual objections. Bill Waddell, an attorney for EC Farms owner Ellis Campbell, agreed.

But Wellford said she and the others didn't realize they needed a lawyer when they first petitioned. (Mays only began representing them later.) She told a reporter that the EC Farms permit modification was "choreographed to get around the moratorium" on new CAFOs in the Buffalo. Wellford also questioned why ADEQ, the state's environmental regulator paid for with public tax dollars, was actively defending EC Farms "and yet the Buffalo River is being allowed to be degraded. ... This resource is supposed to exist as a resource for my grandchildren and your grandchildren."

Waddell, the counsel for EC Farms, told the judge that his client "has tried to comply with the regulations in asking for a permit. He’s not asking for any favoritism, or anything that he’s not entitled to under the law."

Moulton found plenty of fault with the petitioners' complaints. But in the end, he also questioned whether ADEQ had the authority to convert EC Farms' previous permit — which once allowed it to raise hogs — into a new permit that authorized the spreading of large quantities of manure.

"You’re basically converting one type of facility to another … a sow facility to a land farming facility," he said. "[Those are] two different types of permits, isn’t that what happened?"

Rothermel said the permit simply "evolved." It "isn’t really a new permit. ... Aspects were removed from the permit, and then updated aspects were added," she said. However, Moulton pointed out that ADEQ's regulations identify two different types of permits that operate under two different types of regulations. "That’s not my language. That’s the department’s language," he said.

Moulton said he needed both parties to deliver briefs on the issue by Tuesday, Nov. 29. If another hearing is necessary, it will be held Dec. 5 or 6 at 9 a.m., the judge said.* 

Contents: Vegetarian Action #32, Nov. 9, 2016
Vegetarian and Vegan Magazines
Vegetarian Journal
VegNews Media Review
Two New Vegan Books
How Not To Die by Dr. Michael Greger (see Health section)
The Vegan Way by Jackie Day

Health, Nutrition
Fran Alexander, “What We Eat,” about John Ikerd’s Visit 11-2-16
Zaraska, Meathooked
Anderson and Kuhn, What the Health!
Greger, How Not to Die

Respect, Protection of Animals, Empathy, Compassion
Five Farm Animals More Intelligent Than Your Pet Dog

Climate Catastrophe: Mitigation, Adaptation
Center for Eco-Literacy
Climate Catastrophe:  Population Growth and Consumption
Google Search


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Dick's Wars and Warming KPSQ Radio Editorials (#1-48)

Dick's Wars and Warming KPSQ Radio Editorials (#1-48)