Earth Week at Chabot College brings many people, from many organizations, to come to talk to students about the environment. In the event center at Chabot on Tuesday, April 23, 2019, Kiely Smith, the Bay Area Director of Factory Farming Awareness Coalition (FFAC), gave a presentation of the effects of factory farming.
FFAC is a nonprofit organization with the goal of reducing the effect that factory farming has on the planet. The approach that FFAC has chosen to reach their goal is education through presentation.
Factory farming is the system of keeping livestock indoors and under controlled conditions. Factory farming is done to produce as much product as possible for the most profit.
One of the impacts of factory farming on the environment that Smith went over is the amount of resources needed to raise animals. The amount of water required to produce one gallon of milk from cows is intensive. The presentation from FFAC states about 27 gallons of water.
According to FFAC’s presentation, over half the farmland in the US is planted with corn and soy for feeding livestock. FFAC states that if the people ate half as much meat, the farmland used for crops in the US could feed everyone on the planet with an excess of food.
All living beings produce waste, and livestock is no exception. Smith played a segment from the documentary “Spy Drones Expose Smithfield Foods Factory Farms,” which the founder of FFAC, Katie Cantrell, assisted on. The documentary showed an open-air cesspool from a pig farm that was four football fields big.
When the pit gets too full, the way, the farm empties it is to use essentially a giant garden hose and spray the liquid waste into the air. When the waste is sprayed, it is carried down wind into neighboring communities.
“You think it’s raining when they spray animal waste. We don’t open the doors or the windows, but the odor still comes in,” said Elsie Herring, a North Carolina resident living near a Hog Farm, in the documentary.