[permaculture] Fwd: [SANET-MG] Restructuring the food system

Lawrence F. London, Jr. venaurafarm at bellsouth.net
Wed Aug 25 11:05:58 EDT 2010

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: [SANET-MG] Restructuring the food system
Date: Wed, 25 Aug 2010 09:38:03 -0700
From: Mary-Howell & Klaas Martens <kandmhfarm at SPRINTMAIL.COM>

"So we ban large-scale, intensive livestock production and restructure 
to what? What system will provide the eggs, poultry and meat to the 
cities in the U.S.?"

The 'efficiencies' of large scale industrial animal production are 
nothing more than an urban myth.  If you take away the subsidies that 
underpin modern agriculture including the externalized costs and the 
market consolidation that gives a few companies control of the 
distribution system, factory animal production units will collapse in 
red ink.

DeCoster is a very good example.  They have left a trail of destruction,
deception, bad business deals, and bankruptcies in their wake wherever 
they have been.  Small communities are left to clean up the mess and pay 
the damages after they have gone.

Many small Mennonite and Amish farms have production efficiencies that 
put the 'big boys' to shame.  The number of sick and crippled feeder 
pigs that hog factories dispose of regularly is disgraceful.  They wean 
less live healthy pigs per litter than small farmers did 40 years ago. 
The number of dead chickens that come out of broiler houses and the 
number of dead cows on factory dairy farms has led to the practice of 
composting mortalities to reduce the stench.

Take away the huge doses of antibiotics (including lots of illegal ones)
these places use and they will go under in a very short time.  The term
'animal husbandry' once meant something.  It carried with it a
responsibility to both the animals and the consumers who ate them. 
There are still plenty of farmers in this country who understand what it 
means to practice true animal husbandry.  Those operations who don't 
need to either clean up their acts or they should be shut down.


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