Mega-hog farm is an ‘abomination’

In my opinion, the mega-hog operation slated to go in next door to us on Jones Road is a greed-driven abomination of an inexcusable proportion for this area. It is not just another “hog farm” as some may believe, but instead, a massive pig factory, which could get even bigger as time goes on. I believe that half-truths and lies have been told in an attempt to keep us all “calm” or “calmer” as we are being taken over by such a repugnant facility. I deeply resent all of it!!

There is an enormous difference between a reasonable family hog farm and one of this gargantuan proportion, as we are likely to find out. My family, including my in-laws, raised hogs. Yes, the odor could be strong, particularly on hot days and when the manure was spread, but hogs on these farms and others like them were allowed to go outside and live reasonably normal lives, in great contrast to ones in these hog factories. The concentration of said excrement from these huge places is exponentially greater than those of the average hog farm.

While trying to plead my case with Duane Matthews two days ago, among other disturbing statements, he repeatedly shouted at me, “It is not going to affect you.” Nothing could be further from the truth! This kind of blanket statement negates the seriousness of the problem as well as assuming that I am a fool. I heard nothing in our conversation about any positive outcome for those surrounding this eyesore, but only about how it will benefit him, which is disconcerting.

Just as there appears to be little to no regard for the hogs, there is no regard for the nearby neighbors who will be forced to endure the many disadvantages and outright suffering caused by inconsiderate and harmful decisions made by a money-driven individual, who quite obviously prefers to gain his massive profits over caring about how his neighbors will be affected by such a move!

Some of the many concerns for those surrounding this facility include but are not limited to decreased property values, water table changes, water pollution, odor, flies, rodents, increased road use/damage by large trucks and a general loss of tranquility. A mega-farm of this magnitude needs to be out where there are no surrounding residences if it is to exist at all.

Must our way of life succumb to one of greed and heartless engineering of meat products? Does anyone care about what these industries are doing to the countryside? Some may think that they simply don’t need to worry about this problem because they don’t feel directly affected by it. I would like to quote a famous statement by Pastor Martin Niemoller which is something we all need to keep in mind:

“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out-

because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out-because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews and I did not speak out-

because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me-and there was no one left to speak for me.”

Realizing that probably nothing can be done to prevent this hog operation from going in, I do believe that we all need to speak out against those things that we know are not for the common good. Too many issues of this nature are happening with little or no consideration for those being affected. Does anyone believe that the rights and voices of the “little guys” matter anymore?

It is often too late to do anything about a given concern, as may be the case here, but I believe it is important to stay true to one’s values. I value our countryside and way of life. Putting in a massive hog operation in the middle of it is not only hugely insensitive and extraordinarily damaging, but this act disrespectfully thumbs its nose to those who will be negatively affected by it.

Dal Craig-Crawford