Drones Open the Curtain on Smithfield’s Fetid Factories

Published by Jennifer O'Connor.

Can you imagine living next door to a giant, stinking cesspool the size of four football fields? People who live near pig farms that supply Smithfield Foods can. These gigantic lakes of urine and feces were documented in a unique way by Mark Devries—the award-winning director of the 2013 documentary Speciesism: The Movie. For the past two years, Devries has been using drones to investigate and expose the environmental devastation caused by factory farming. He captured shocking aerial footage of the massive facilities that churn out pigs for Smithfield Foods and the enormous waste lagoons that result.

A large pig farm can produce as much waste as a medium-size city, according to Steve Wing, an epidemiology professor at the University of North Carolina. And that waste is then sprayed over neighboring areas. The odor “takes your breath away,” says one woman who lives near a pig farm. “We don’t open the doors or the windows, but the odor still comes in.”

What You Can Do

Boycott bacon and other pork products. Instead, try some of the many tasty animal-free alternatives.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind