The Oregon Department of Agriculture is reviewing proposals by five dairies to modify their animal waste management plans as required by the Clean Water Act, and four of the dairies are planning to expand their herds. This being the Willamette Valley, it's time to cue up the outrage from the vegans and the animal "rights" crowd:
Many of the comments made during the Sept. 2 hearing appeared to fall outside of the ODA’s purview, as they opposed CAFO expansion generally without identifying specific problems with the proposed waste management plans.
Some commenters mentioned antibiotics, which the agency does not regulate as a pollutant.
“They end up in the meat, in the manure and in the waterways,” said Niko Morozov, a college student.
CAFO is an acronym for "Confined Animal Feeding Operation". And ol' Niko needs to go back to college, where he can hit the library and brush up on the specifics of the Clean Water Act, which prohibits the introduction of animal waste into waterways. In point of fact, essentially all antibiotic residues found in our waterways stem from use in humans. Same with estrogens from birth-control pills, viagra, paxil and other drugs.
Moreover, farmers have for the most part curtailed use of antibiotics unless an animal falls ill. Most meats that Niko might find in his local grocery are, in fact, labeled "no antibiotics" and "no growth hormones". So Niko's just another ignorant college "activist".
Others objected to the amount of water used to produce milk, which also isn’t regulated under the Clean Water Act.
Nic Shipley, another college student, claimed dairy water use is excessive.
“Is milk really worth it?” he said.
Nic ought to take a gander at the amount of water that goes into production of "almond milk" or "soy milk" - to say nothing of the amount of water used to grow his favorite herb. Say, Nic - did you know that 95% of all soy is GMO? Hit your college library and look it up.
“In an ideal world, we wouldn’t treat animals the way we do and have massive mega-farms,” said Laurel Hines. “My opposition is to the large farms, the farms that aren’t organic.”
But in all probability, Laurel also opposes free-range grazing, despite the fact that it's about as "organic" as it gets. And note that none of these nutters actually addressed anything having to do with animal waste management, which is what triggers review under the federal CWA. Facts don't matter to these folks; it's all about their feelings:
Gavin Curtis expressed dismay with the practice of culling young calves for “bob veal.”
“These two- to three-day-old babies are torn from their mothers and then slaughtered,” he said.
"Torn from their mothers"? Well, speaking of that, what do you want to bet that good ol' Gavin's a strong supporter of abortion?
Who eats veal these days, anyway? I do most of the shopping for our family, and although I may have missed veal in the meat department, that'd be because there isn't a lot of demand for it.
I don't envy Oregon Department of Agriculture representatives who had to sit through these off-topic and uninformed whiners last Wednesday.