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What Could Go Wrong?

The wife sent this to me the other day….

Sty-Scrapers: China is Planning a Series of 26-Story High-Rises for Pigs

Multi-story pig farms used to be illegal in China. But in 2019, a year after swine flu decimated the country’s pig population, Chinese officials approved the high-rises. Their number has grown by 30% a year, according to Beijing News, a state-run newspaper. The high-rises cost more than conventional farms, “but the authorities argue that they may be worth the cost in areas where land is scarce and pork prices are high such as mountainous regions and more developed provinces,” the Times reports.

Most hogs are already raised in what are known as “confinement” buildings where they are packed together in huge numbers housed in environmentally controlled facilities to defend against disease outbreaks. The problem is that this confinement is a double-edged sword. It can help keep diseases out but if they get in? It can ravage the farm in a hurry.

A few months ago a nearby poultry operation with over 3 million laying hens had an outbreak of avian flu: Avian Flu Continues To Spread, Three Million Egg Laying Hens To Be Destroyed In Ohio

As a result they were ordered to euthanize the entire flock. Rumor has it they killed millions of birds by simply turning off the ventilation and letting them asphyxiate. This was in late summer so you can only imagine the smell of a few million chickens that asphyxiated in confined buildings and then starting decomposing right away. The place is enormous…

To dispose of the millions of chickens the farm was not allowed to just bury or burn them. Nope, they have to cover them with mulch, to the tune of an unbelievable number of semi loads of mulch. It was a good summer for a couple of local Amish businesses that sell bulk mulch. When you drive by now as we often do you can see the miles long mound of dead, mulched chickens.

Something similar happened a few years ago at a local hog farm, they had a power outage and before they could get the generators online several barns full of 250 pound hogs all died. They had to drag them out with skid loaders and chains before loading them into semis to dispose of. Our neighbor has a large hog operation and when the power goes out, if you look back toward his house you can see him racing down the driveway within minutes to make sure his hogs don’t all suffocate.

Large operations like this also have the issue of manure disposal. As you can imagine, a whole bunch of pigs generates a whole bunch of pig shit and that stuff is nasty. Our neighbor has a manure “lagoon” that allows the manure to decompose before he sprays it on his fields (one right behind my house which is lovely in summer) but he also has hundreds of empty acres of corn and beans to spray it on. What exactly are they going to do with the manure from these places? Of course they do not have the same environmental regulations that American farms have to operate under so they might just spray it on neighborhoods.

Giant disease prone hog farms in a country with lax environmental regulations and the home of many of the world’s worst pandemics. What could go wrong?

This raises another issue. As mentioned Wednesday, The Noahic Flood In Reverse, the world added a billion mouths to feed in just the last decade. Most of those people are from nations that are completely incapable of feeding themselves and therefore rely on intensive agriculture from other nations to feed their populace. As the demand for food grows among those unable to feed themselves, the pressure will increase for ever more intensive agricultural practices like massive multi-story livestock operations. Not only are these intensive practices inherently vulnerable and fragile but they also have significant environmental ramifications, including runoff from fertilizer and pesticides as well as livestock waste management.

The global food chain is barely staying ahead of the burgeoning population of the world and the smallest shock to that system can result in cataclysmic famine. No one is really talking about this, not in any serious manner. Just one more thing to add to your list of “categories of shit that could hit the fan”.


  1. Greg

    Where my daughter lives in Arkansas, they come around once a year to spread hog manure on the fields. It’s absolutely unlivable until they get a rainstorm to soak it in. I know the Chinese don’t care, but you wouldn’t want to live within a mile of a hog farm of any size.

  2. polimath

    I think the idea of mulching the dead chickens are to “Hot Compost” it until all harmful pathogens are gone.
    Buring them in a pit may also release the pathogens into the water table nearby. One could burn it all but still end up with a horrendous stink until it is ashes.

    • Arthur Sido

      I know there was a concern about hawks and eagles eating the carcasses and picking up the avian flu. I figured there was some reason for the mulch but it seemed like a huge pain in the ass.

  3. Anonymous

    We White people have a notably low threshold of disgust that no other race or demographic has. Blacks love to fling their shite around, like their close cousins, the wild howler monkeys. In anger or in celebration. East Asians realize its utility as fertilizer and extend that to using their abundant human ordure in addition to animal waste on their fields. India is a literal open-air sewer, and beyond the major cosmopolitan areas, indoor plumbing is a novelty, at best.

    As we struggle in vain to assimilate all the various peoples of the world here in the FUSA, their less-than-hygienic habits will overwhelm us, San Francisco style. Our urban centers are rapidly devolving into literal shitholes as we adapt to them, rather than the other way around. But all hail diversity. Don’t mind the maggots.

  4. Steve S6

    “China is Planning a Series of 26-Story High-Rises for Pigs” — government housing? Heh.
    Confining livestock also tends to depress the immune system exacerbating that double edged sword.

  5. anonymous

    The worst part is all that unsanitary pork will make its way into McRibs, Sausage McMuffins, Bacon Cheeseburgers, and your local Rib joint.

    Bon Appetite!

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