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  1. #2401
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    It's nice to see some recognition from the US legal system that animals deserve better living conditions. And a reminder that the communities surrounding factory farms - almost always poor and often predominantly minority - are victims of factory farming as well.


    ‘Suffocating closeness’: US judge condemns ‘appalling conditions’ on industrial farms

    Pork giant Smithfield has settled with North Carolina residents who sued over stench, flies and truck traffic from Kinlaw Farms

    A US judge has issued a blistering condemnation of industrial farming practices. The judgment comes as one US meat giant finally settles after a six-year legal battle with plaintiffs who sued the company over the stench, flies, buzzards and truck traffic coming from its industrial swine farms in North Carolina.

    J Harvie Wilkinson III, one of the judges in a case that pitted locals against the Smithfield subsidiary formerly known as Murphy-Brown, decried the “outrageous conditions” at Kinlaw Farms, the operation at the center of the lawsuit – “conditions that there is no reason to suppose were unique to that facility”.

    “How did it come to this?” wrote Wilkinson, who was nominated to the fourth US circuit court of appeals by then president Ronald Reagan and has served since 1984. “What was missing from Kinlaw Farms – and from Murphy-Brown – was the recognition that treating animals better will benefit humans. What was neglected is that animal welfare and human welfare, far from advancing at cross-purposes, are actually integrally connected. The decades-long transition to concentrated animal feeding operations [CAFOs] lays bare this connection, and the consequences of its breach, with startling clarity.”

    Wilkinson described a system in which pigs were forced to live in enclosures they had outgrown, reducing them “to almost suffocating closeness … The dangers endemic to such appalling conditions always manifested first in animal suffering. Ineluctably, however, the ripples of dysfunction would reach farm workers and, at last, members of the surrounding community.”

    His comments concurred with the court’s main opinion.

    More than 500 North Carolinians, most of them black, filed more than two dozen lawsuits in 2014. Some lived near farms that had contracts with Smithfield. Others lived near farms owned by the company outright. They described being trapped inside their own homes, sickened by the smell of hog waste stored in open pits, and unable to hang laundry, cook outdoors, or entertain visitors.

    The announcement of the company’s decision to settle came immediately after the fourth circuit in Richmond, Virginia, rejected a call from the world’s largest pork producer for a retrial of one of the cases. Juries in 2018 and 2019 had awarded hog farm neighbors almost $550m. The US district court in Raleigh, North Carolina, knocked the awards down to about $98m because of a state law capping punitive damages.

    Smithfield’s chief administrative officer, Keira Lombardo, said in a statement: “In the midst of a global pandemic, where food shortages have been commonplace, it is now the time to keep our full attention on the important work of producing good food in a responsible and sustainable way – rather than returning to the court for what would be ongoing and distracting litigation.” Details of the settlement were not disclosed.

    Smithfield lost the first five cases that went to trial. It appealed the three largest verdicts, calling the litigation an “almost existential threat” to North Carolina farmers. It claimed the district court had made numerous errors, such as allowing the neighbors’ odor expert to testify while excluding some testimony from Smithfield’s expert.

    In the new ruling, a three-judge panel rejected most of the pork producer’s arguments. The company “persisted in its chosen farming practices despite its knowledge of the harms to its neighbors, exhibiting wanton or wilful disregard of the neighbors’ rights to enjoyment of their property,” Judge Stephanie Thacker, an Obama nominee, wrote for the court.

    The appellate judges did agree with Smithfield on one point: that the plaintiff’s lawyer improperly used the parent company’s financial data to convince jurors that punitive damages had to be large enough for the pork giant to feel. The appellate ruling said jurors should not have heard those details. “We fail to see what value the parent company financial evidence would have that could possibly outweigh the substantial risk of prejudice it carries in that delicate context,” wrote Thacker.

    Elsie Herring, a plaintiff in another of the cases, said she was pleased that the court had sided with the neighbors on most issues. “Our lives have been destroyed by the industry,” she said. The North Carolina law firm Wallace & Graham, which represented the plaintiffs, did not respond to questions about the settlement. It said in a statement that the appellate court “fully got the truth” of its clients’ struggles.

    https://www.theguardian.com/environm...dustrial-farms

  2. #2402
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    ^ good article
    F*ck Cancer

    Eat your veggies

  3. #2403
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    Vegetarian and Vegan Passion-123933993_10114174729315643_1901110864847488190_o.jpg
    F*ck Cancer

    Eat your veggies

  4. #2404
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    Vegetarian and Vegan Passion-127222836_2738488756480453_5750667528886226056_o.jpg
    F*ck Cancer

    Eat your veggies

  5. #2405
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    F*ck Cancer

    Eat your veggies

  6. #2406
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    Vegetarian and Vegan Passion-126955611_10157965222391680_528032517772737399_n.jpg
    F*ck Cancer

    Eat your veggies

  7. #2407
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    Corn: How Industrial Agriculture Ruined a Sacred Seed

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    Today, corn is a divisive subject. It holds great nostalgia for me and many other Americans. Sweet, crunchy, off-the-cob at a summer barbecue, or baked into warm and comforting cornbread, corn is ubiquitous with American culture. On the flip side, corn has become a mascot for the frightening future of genetically modified (GM) crops. Some in the scientific community blame corn for fueling the junk food industry and contributing to our obesity epidemic by making calorie-dense, nutrient-deficient foods more accessible and affordable. GM corn also poses serious risks to the people who grow it and their environments. But is corn really the culprit in this dystopian drama? Or is it the industry of this seed that is the cause of environmental degradation and increasing health implications? What has been lost in this story is the indigenous history and rich traditions of this sacred plant.

    Indigenous History of Corn

    While we may think of the plump, yellow kernels as a starchy vegetable, corn is actually the seed of a grass. It was first cultivated by Native Americans over 7,000 years ago in what is now Mexico. As they migrated north and south, they took these seeds with them, knowing that if they had seeds, they could survive. From the rocky terrain of the Andes mountains, to the plains of North America, corn was adaptive enough to thrive. For these Indigenous peoples, corn not only sustained life, but was life itself; according to myth, during the creation of life, the Corn Mother gave the people corn seeds and instructions on how to grow them. Packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber, this whole grain was also important nutritionally. It was and remains a staple in many societies’ diets and economies; a Native American woman reflects on its importance, saying, “Corn is so important because it allows us to live at peace. It’s our form of food security.”

    Indigenous farming practices also focus on nutritional and environmental health by embracing diversity. A “three sisters” garden consists of corn, beans, and squash. Nutritionally, corn provides carbohydrates and fiber, beans provide protein, and squash many other vitamins and minerals. Corn stalks allow beans to climb up and grow, beans enrich the soil with nitrogen, and large squash leaves shade the soil and prevent weed growth.

    What has been lost in this story [of corn] is the indigenous history of this sacred plant. If we could only relearn them, the rich history and traditions of corn could save the world.

    Indigenous farmers take pride in preserving their corn. Louie Hena, a member of the Tesuque and Zuni Pueblos in New Mexico, says, “as keeper of the corn, the corn has come up with us through our migrations, sustaining us. Our first mothers were the blue corn and white corn women.” Today, corn remains a key component in rituals, community gatherings, and spiritual stories. However, industrial agriculture has threatened the indigenous culture, food security, and environmental health that corn provides.

    Industry’s Abuse of Corn

    In the sort of agriculture that has dominated America for the past several decades, the bottom line is always profit and crop yield is imperative. High-yield GM corn varieties are patented by seed corporations. To maximize profits, corn is grown in monoculture farms rather than together with beans and squash (or anything else, for that matter). Without the soil nutrients and weed protection beans and squash provide, artificial fertilizers and herbicides must be applied. These chemicals contaminate nearby water ecosystems and expose farm workers to dangerous levels. Pesticide exposure has been shown to affect reproductive health and has been linked to tens of thousands of cancer cases.

    But ultimately, the consequences stretch far beyond the US. The export of GM corn and industrial farming practices have threatened the food sovereignty of communities around the world. When the US ships tons of cheap, plump corn to countries in Latin America, native growers can’t compete. Enthralled by the profits, countries like Perúhave been seizing Indigenous peoples’ lands in order to plant GM seeds. As a result, native seeds and agricultural practices are becoming extinct.

    Seed Saving and Community Sharing

    What chance do Indigenous peoples stand when their history and seeds are being wiped off this planet? Many of them are growing, saving, and sharing their seeds. Native Seeds is preserving the seeds of over a thousand indigenous seed varieties. Your own communities may have seed banks. Where I live, Jennifer Levine operates the Durham Seed Library in North Carolina. She emphasizes the importance of growing seeds native to the state and the sense of community that is fostered when patrons return later to share the seeds they have saved. You can find a seed library in your community and honor these native seeds.

    We must take a step back and understand how the abuse of corn has violated the integrity of Indigenous communities and stifled the power of traditional agriculture. So, next time you bite into a cob of corn in the summer, or bake up some cornbread over the holidays, recognize and honor the indigenous history behind this powerful seed.

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    sauce https://nutritionstudies.org/corn-ho...7-MG3GH8h-Gp8w
    F*ck Cancer

    Eat your veggies

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