No, they are not going away without a fight. Vreba-Hoff the European dairy factory farm owner and promoter resubmitted an application to the Michigan Departmet of Environmental Quality for the Leonidas County farm. The originial application claimed that over 3000 cows would be held on the farm. The DEQ rejected the application because of the potential damage to the community caused by the factory farm. Water, air and land are at risk from the urine and manure produced by 3000 cows. Now, Vreba-Hoff is claiming they are going to lower the number of animals on the 275 acre to 2260. According to the Kalamazoo Gazette, the manure and urine produced by 2260 cows is equivalent to that of a small city of 54000 people.
Here's what I know. Let's start with the environmental devastation caused by factory farms. The UN recently released a study that reported the environmental devastation caused by livestock operations. The biggest indictment is that 18% of the CO2 spewed into the atmosphere is a direct result of livestock operations. Yes, laugh as you may, but cows really are the cause of global warming, well, really people are, since if they didn't eat cows and pigs and chickens then the mega farms would not be on earth. So if you care about global warming, you need to speak out about Vreba-Hoff.
Don't care about global warming, then let's try clean water. The urine and manure from the cows will make it's way to the streams, rivers, lakes and yes, even the Great Lakes. Ground water and aquifers that we rely upon for drinking water will be polluted by nitrogen, ecoli, pathogens, anti-biotics and ammonia.
Don't care about water? Well, let's go for the one no one wants to talk about the suffering of the cows. Two thousand two hundred cows stuffed on to 275 acres. Two thousand and two hundred cows annually forced to become pregnant, give birth and have their calves taken from them within the first 24 hours, all so humans can drink the milk of another species. The suffering of the calves is obscene. The male calves become veal calves. They are locked in crates by chains for their entire lives. They are fed a formula that causes anemia so their meat will be white. They are essentially tortured for their entire short life.
Don't care about suffering of thousands of animals? Well, then I guess all that I can say is good luck to you. Imagine if we choose to treat the earth like this and we choose to treat living beings like this, how will we choose to treat humans in a few years?
Stop Vreba-Hoff and it's misery. Go to the DEQ public hearing on October 20th at 7 pm at the Leonidas Township Hall on Kings Road. Leonidas is in St. Joseph County. Written public comment will be taken until October 29th. A link will be posted as soon as the DEQ puts it on their website. Our air, water, land, animals and planet count on you to speak out.