Industrial Hog Farming Is Just Like Wall Street → Washingtons Blog
Industrial Hog Farming Is Just Like Wall Street - Washingtons Blog

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Industrial Hog Farming Is Just Like Wall Street

One theory about the swine flu which is quickly gaining traction is that the flu was spread by flies swarming around the hog manure ponds at the giant Granjas Carrol hog farm in Vera Cruz, Mexico. Granjas Carrol, which is partly owned by Smithfield Foods - the world's largest hog company - raises 950,000 hogs per year at the facility.

On these industrial-scale hog farms, pigs are jammed together so tightly that they can barely turn around. There are so many of them that they produce many tons of manure, which is just dumped into giant open ponds.

This is the Wall Street of hog farming. On both Wall Street and at giant meat production farms, the hogs feed at the public trough.

On hog farms, as with Wall Street:

  • A couple of giant companies dominated the landscape
  • Regulators allowed the companies to run amok
  • The profits were privatized, and the losses socialized. In the case of the hog farms, the profits from the mega-farms were pocketed by the companies, while the costs of the swine flu epidemic will be borne by the taxpayers. The hog farms dumped huge amounts of manure into their local communities, which sickened not only the locals, but caused a global health problem. Similarly, the Wall Street giants cranked out trillions in "toxic assets" that the nations of the world and their taxpayers are now being asked to clean up

As one blogger wrote:

Agribusiness needs to be held accountable. They are following the same rules as bankers; keep the profits and dump losses (in the form of mad cow or now swine flu) on the public. Factor in a few million dead and maybe locally produced food from small farms is not so expensive after all.


  1. So far there has been no proof that the swine flu came from these hog farms.

  2. Smithfield's Tarheel Plant, the world's largest hog-packing facility, is a 10-minute drive from here. It's a monstrosity that boasts pf processing 32,000 pigs a day. This part of North Carolina is dotted with hog-raising facilities' manure pools that eventually dump their fecal matter into the environment.

    Regardless of whether the swine flu outbreak is traced to Smithfield, this is a low-wage industry that, like the whole of corporate America, should be brought under control.

    We need to decide whether this country exists for the benefit of its citizens or its businesses.

  3. The idea that much of Corporate America maintains that working strictly for the bottom line of the corporation, even, or in some cases, especially at the expense of the general public, is good, needs to be jettisoned. This is the poisonous core of many of the issues we face today. It's almost as if these corporations, which have been granted personhood by the courts, are nasty greedy little children that don't care what others suffer as long as they get what they want. They will use any tactic, any ruse and if necessary, will buy any politician and use ads to deal with the downside. We need to remove corporate personhood, legally (it was the result of an ERROR). We need to regulate these entities for the public good or we will all remain subjects of the Corporate State.


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