Some hurricane damage is self-inflicted

Beyond the widely-reported, devastating impacts of Hurricane Florence on the Carolinas, there is one more of the self-inflicted variety.

North Carolina is home to thousands of factory farms that raise millions of pigs, chickens and other animals for our dinner tables. Their feces are stored in huge open pits, labeled ironically as “lagoons.” The excess rainfall from Florence will likely spread much of this waste onto nearby housing developments, farmland and waterways, including those supplying drinking water.

This is exactly what happened when Hurricane Floyd struck North Carolina as a Category 2 storm in 1999. Although none of us has direct control over the weather, we each have direct control over our demand for animal food products: the very food products that cause so much damage to our environment and to our personal health.

The advent of Florence presents a great opportunity for each of us to start reducing that demand.

Palmer Riley


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