The biggest obstacle to obtaining liberation for all species of animals exploited in our various death for profit industries is the deep seated belief that these sentient beings are commodities. This glaring reality came barreling into the Carolinas, when Hurricane Florence set its destructive eye on North Carolina.
North Carolina is among the top states in the nation (USA) in producing pork and poultry, with about 9 million “hogs” at any given time and 819 million chickens and 34 million turkeys raised each year.
As early as September 3rd, mainstream media was reporting that Florence, a category 5 storm could and likely would bring massive amounts of rain and flooding due to the storm stalling over the Carolinas. By the time Florence made landfall, “she” had been downgraded to a Category 1 Hurricane, mellowed, but still extremely dangerous. Reports vary, but up to 50 inches of rain hit North Carolina in a very short space of time.
Reported Concerns for the Carolinas prior to the storm:
1) loss of human life
2) loss of wildlife, especially migratory birds and sea turtles and 100 wild horses who live in the Outer Banks.
3) loss of electricity
4) damage to property
5) breaching of coal ash dumps
6) breaching of hog lagoons
And it all happened:
1) 37 humans killed
2) no current reports of wildlife loss
3) More than 600,00 homes initially were without power
4) Between 6 and 11 billion dollars in economic loss predicted
5) “more than 2,000 cubic yards of coal waste washed away — enough to fill more than 150 dump trucks”
6) “More than 100 swine waste lagoons have sustained damage, flooded, breached or nearly breached.”
Additionally and of enormous significance and import:
1) 3.4 million poultry and 5,550 pigs died due to flooding, with reported numbers expected to increase.
Groups and individuals have made the mainstream news for their valiant efforts to rescue companion animals who had been left behind in the rush to evacuate. One can only speculate what their guardians were thinking during this stressful time, but nonetheless, there was a outpouring of thanks from the general public to these caring rescuers and across the board disdain for the guardians. John Q Public seems to recognize, on some level, that it is not cool to leave sentient beings to drown if it can be avoided. Some people apply the same criteria to wildlife, but to a much lesser degree.
Equal sensibility is not extended however to the farmed animals exploited for food in this state and around the world. Very little mention was made of the potential loss of life of primarily pigs and chickens if these animals were not evacuated before the storm was scheduled to hit on September 14th. Farmers of animals were urged to reduce the level of their waste lagoons by preemptively spraying some of the manure onto nearby fields. There was a late day scramble to execute in order to reduce the risk of breach and widespread contamination with the rise of floodwaters. But there was simply too much waste and much too little time.
No one seemed concerned about the pigs and chickens who would be trapped and drowned in the subsequent rising waters. Farmers and reporters continued to refer to these animals as property, income, units, livestock, live inventory and so on. They were left in sheds and buildings to drown. And drown they did. Bloated carcasses floated in the flood waters and millions died in the tombs in which they had been housed for their short and brutal lives.
Some escaped and made their way into the caring arms of rescuers such as Brother Wolf Animal Sanctuary, only to be summarily re appropriated by farmers who needed their property back in order to make an insurance claim, as one would for furniture or carpeting in a flooded home. Jax and Flo are two of the lucky ones who made it to their forever homes at Ziggy’s Refuge Farm Sanctuary, for a new, hope filled beginning.
The Sentient Project and We Animals are in North Carolina, documenting the devastation from the perspective of the forgotten victims of the environmental disaster that is the aftermath of Hurricane Florence. Daniel Turbert, Rick Dove and Jo-Anne McArthur, to name just three, are providing their invaluable expertise to bring to the public consciousness the harm that comes to animals, the planet and humans when we deny these sentient beings their inviolable right not to be exploited for human wants, not needs.
Animal Rights Activists and Vegans in North Carolina have long been speaking this truth from the their vantage point as citizens and are now calling louder for an end to farmed animal agriculture. Mary Candor (The Chatty Vegan), a citizen of North Carolina and activist in her own right, has this to say.
In order for humans to see the truth, we must be affected by it in some way that directly inconveniences us to such an extent we are forced to change the long-held beliefs and traditions which no longer serve us as earthlings. Can good finally come out of tragedy?
North Carolina Farmed Animal Save has two events planned to protest the farming of animals for profit and there likely will be more to follow, along with a request(demand) for governmental reform. State Rep Jimmy Dixon is in the cross hairs of activists for his dismissal of the need for change and his obvious support of and potential ties to this crippling industry.
And change is needed, not reform and improved control of farmed animal waste, but an end to the exploitation, to the use! Will the devastation of North Carolina caused by Florence and farmed animal agriculture be the catalyst for change? Time will tell. Let us hope there is enough of it left.
Annie’s Vegan View
Ending the use is a grave necessity for the animals, for the planet, for humans.
Veganism…..because animals are not commodities.
May all beings be happy and free.