You might think I am a moralizing doomsday prophet, but I can not help but thinking how greed linked most events impacting the world in the past years.
Was the food crisis last year not merely the hiking of food commodity prices by creating an artificial unbalance between supply and demand through a hijacking of the food futures market and diverting more and more crops to biofuel production? (remember this post)
Is the current global economic crisis not triggered by the inflation of a financial bubble, a consciously constructed artificial pyramid scheme, based on unhealthy mortgage loans. Loans based on zero collateral. And loans based on these loans, induced into the investment market like hormones in a pig. (remember this post)
Talking about pigs. And greed. Swine flu. An interesting reading by Jane on the Trackernews Blog:
Confined Animal Feeding Operations, a.k.a CAFOs, a.k.a factory farms have revolutionized agriculture over the past 20 years. This is agriculture on steroids. Sometimes literally. Poultry, cattle and pigs are raised in such ferocious, relentless quantity, the animals require a battery of drugs and chemicals simply to live long enough to be slaughtered. The waste streams and accompanying stench are a nightmare for anyone and anything down wind or down stream. Stats defy comprehension.
According to a 2006 Rolling Stone’s Jeff Tietz’ tour de force expose on hog CAFO king, Smithfield Farms (of which Granjas Caroll, the CAFO in Vera Cruz, is a subsidiary):
"Hogs produce three times more excrement than human beings do. The 500,000 pigs at a single Smithfield subsidiary in Utah generate more fecal matter each year than the 1.5 million inhabitants of Manhattan.” (..)
“The immobility, poisonous air and terror of confinement badly damage the pigs’ immune systems. They become susceptible to infection, and in such dense quarters microbes or parasites or fungi, once established in one pig, will rush spritelike through the whole population. Accordingly, factory pigs are infused with a huge range of antibiotics and vaccines, and are doused with insecticides. Without these compounds — oxytetracycline, draxxin, ceftiofur, tiamulin — diseases would likely kill them. Thus factory-farm pigs remain in a state of dying until they’re slaughtered. When a pig nearly ready to be slaughtered grows ill, workers sometimes shoot it up with as many drugs as necessary to get it to the slaughterhouse under its own power. As long as the pig remains ambulatory, it can be legally killed and sold as meat.”
“Industrial pig waste also contains a host of other toxic substances: ammonia, methane, hydrogen sulfide, carbon monoxide, cyanide, phosphorous, nitrates and heavy metals. In addition, the waste nurses more than 100 microbial pathogens that can cause illness in humans, including salmonella, cryptosporidium, streptocolli and girardia. Each gram of hog shit can contain as much as 100 million fecal coliform bacteria.” (Full)
Surprised something bad came out of all of that, are we?
Interesting note of interest: in the past three days, my news clip about the Avian Flu virus which was incidentally shipped around the world, got more hits than ever before.
More on The Road about Swineflu
Picture courtesy Parris Whittingham