DEB News: WATCH WHERE YOU STEP
- Thursday, June 1
WATCH WHERE YOU STEP
The news from California is not good for Old MacDonald's family farm.
A giant West Coast cotton-growing company is getting into the dairy
business, and the enormity of their project terrifies traditional
family dairy farms. California has just approved a 48,000-cow
factory farm, authorized by the Kings County board of supervisors.
The 6,000-acre farm will be spilt into four separate dairies.
The average cow in America produces 20,500 pounds of milk per year.
That includes Brown Swiss, Jerseys, and Guernseys. The largest, best-
producing, hormone-treated Holsteins produce upwards of 30,000 pounds
per animal per year. This new operation has the potential to produce
nearly 1.5 billion pounds of milk annually.
Greater than 50% of America's milk is used to make ice cream and
cheese, and America's intake of saturated fats through these products
is soaring, as liquid milk intake declines.
On February 3, 2000 (Day 89 of my hunger strike), I wrote:
"There are 9.2 million dairy cows working full time to produce 170
billion pounds of milk per year for American consumers. Those 9.2
million cows produce 257.6 billion pounds of manure per year. That's
almost 706 million pounds per day of manure ('manure' includes urine
and feces). One cubic foot of manure weighs almost 64 pounds. There
are 7,956 pounds of manure produced every second of every day."
The 48,000 cows on that future California farm will produce 3,682,200
pounds of manure per day, or enough manure to occupy 57,534 cubic
That's 21 million cubic feet per year.
One cubic foot of manure would cover an area (1 mm thick/the width of
5 pieces of paper) equal to 300 square feet. The yearly deposit of
feces from 48,000 cows would cover 6.3 billion square feet, or
144,000 acres, or 258.26 square miles.
That's enough manure to cover the entire city of Chicago and have
plenty left over for San Francisco. Super factory farms are on their
way to a state near you. Watch where you step.
Robert Cohen (notmilkman@...)