As if we needed any more proof that industrial animal agriculture is having an enormously devastating impact on the environment, a recent report conducted by the Environmental Integrity Project (EIP) revealed yet another disgusting and alarming statistic about this industry: A giant JBS-owned pork processing plant in Beardstown, Illinois is responsible for putting more nitrogen into our nation’s waterways than any other polluter.
According to EIP’s assessment, which is based on data recorded by the EPA, the huge meat-processing operation releases, on average, around 1,850 pounds of nitrogen each day into a tributary of the Illinois River. To put that number into perspective, that’s about the same amount of nitrogen as is found in the sewage generated daily in a city with 79,000 residents living in it, the report points out.
The profound lack of regulation in this industry points to an unfortunate truth: Government officials are turning a blind eye to the widespread environmental destruction caused by the lucrative meat and dairy industry in order to line their own pockets. Meanwhile, average U.S. citizens and wildlife are being left to suffer the serious impacts of waterway pollution from animal waste.
As an investigation done by the Chicago Tribune revealed, between 2005 and 2014, pollution incidents linked to Illinois hog confinement operations killed at least 492,000 fish and impaired 67 miles of rivers, creeks, and waterways in the state!