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Top Water Polluter May Surprise You

Posted by at 4:51 PM | Permalink | 1 Comment


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The Pew Environment Group just released a report, “Big Chicken: Pollution and Industrial Poultry Production in America,” explaining how manure from chicken farms in the “Broiler Belt”—the area extending from eastern Texas through the southeastern United States to Maryland and Delaware—is virtually choking the Chesapeake Bay. And I’ll tell you, with these findings, it’s the chicken industry that should be called “Pee-ew.”

Chickens outnumber people by as much as 400 to one in the Broiler Belt, according to Pew. The more chickens you have, the more chicken manure you get. The 523 million chickens raised and killed each year in Maryland and Delaware alone generate enough waste to fill the dome of the U.S. Capitol about 50 times—or almost once a week.

Farmers typically spread chicken waste on open fields or cropland, but excess chicken poo—which contains excess like nitrogen and phosphorus—is flowing into the Chesapeake, polluting the water and killing aquatic life. A May 2010 Environmental Protection Agency report estimated that 19 percent of excess nitrogen and 26 percent of excess phosphorus were directly linked to animal manure. That’s a lot of excess.

Pew suggests ways to regulate “big chicken” and other concentrated animal-feeding operations, and I won’t argue. But the best way to protect the Chesapeake and chickens is to go vegan.

The Pew Environment Group just released a report, “Big Chicken: Pollution and Industrial Poultry Production in America,” explaining how manure from chicken farms in the “Broiler Belt”—the area extending from eastern Texas through the southeastern United States to Maryland and Delaware—is virtually choking the Chesapeake Bay. And I’ll tell you, with these findings, it’s the chicken industry that should be called “Pee-ew.”
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Chickens outnumber people by as much as 400 to one in the Broiler Belt, according to Pew. The more chickens you have, the more chicken manure you get. The 523 million chickens raised and killed each year in Maryland and Delaware alone generate enough waste to fill the dome of the U.S. Capitol about 50 times—or almost once a week.

Farmers typically spread chicken waste on open fields or cropland, but excess chicken poo—which contains excess like nitrogen and phosphorus—is flowing into the Chesapeake, polluting the water and killing aquatic life. A May 2010 Environmental Protection Agency report estimated that 19 percent of excess nitrogen and 26 percent of excess phosphorus were directly linked to animal manure. That’s a lot of excess.

Pew suggests ways to regulate “big chicken” and other concentrated animal-feeding operations, and I won’t argue. But the best way to protect the Chesapeake and chickens is to go vegan.

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    Molly says...

    August 6th, 2011, 7:31 pm

    This is amazing! More people need to open their eyes and see that just having a compost bin or recycling their bottles & cans while they’re scarfing down chicken or some other kind of meat every night is not helping the planet at all! I hate when people call themselves environmentalists as they are finishing off a bottle of soda or eating a burger. I just want to say to them, “If you didn’t need your daily dose of sugar, fat, and calories, we wouldn’t even need environmentalists!”

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