Water use by factory farms threatens local community - 17 Jun 2009
Numerous confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs) on and near the Yakama Reservation in Washington, USA have left the Native American community chronically short of water.
With decreased water supplies an ever-growing threat in a warming world, many organizations, including the Stockholm International Water Institute and Waterfootprint.org have reported that animal products require significant water stores, while a plant-based diet is highly water efficient. During a visit with Supreme Master Television, a member of the Yakama tribe shared her community’s experiences and concerns.
Resident of Yakama Reservation, Washington, USA (F): We also know that one of the local dairies, who has 12-14,000 cows, uses approximately 33,000 gallons of drinking water a day. And these often, in our area, don’t have permits to do it.
They’re getting the waterfor free. And what we’re saying is that our water is not here for these factory farms to come in to destroy.
These factory farms are ruining our air, our water, and consuming the water that’s here, with total disregard to the people or the animals involved.
We’ve been told by one of the local experts along the hills south of here, the water table has dropped a hundred feet.
If we have no water, I would like to quote one of the Yakama elders; he said, “With no water there will be no Yakama people.”
VOICE: Understanding the enormous water requirements of meat production is just one way of grasping the comprehensive societal costs of consuming animal products, including pork. Pig factory farms have been linked to the current swine flu outbreak, which represents another social cost. The swine flu has now caused a total of about 36,000 illnesses across 81 countries, with more than 170 fatalities.
First-ever cases have just been announced in Sri Lanka, Yemen, Jordan, and Qatar. So far, the most vulnerable groups have been overweight individuals, expectant mothers and those with underlying asthma or diabetic conditions.We thank those community members who have courageously spoken about the impact of factory farms on their quality of life.
Our sorrow for the victims of the swine flu and their loved ones, as we pray that all humans join in the humane action of choosing a plant-based diet for the good of public health and sustainability of countless communities.