The antibiotics that are used on the animals that are raised on feed lots does not leave the land on which they are raised. This statement is what almost every feed lot owner will tell you and the the antibiotics that are given to the animals are harmless to humans as well. In his article, How Factory Farms are Killing Seals, Tom Philpot points out the information that is being told to the people of American isn’t entirely true. Many farm hands that work on or near these feed lots, have been coming into contact with some pretty nasty bacteria. This bacteria is from the antibiotics that were given to the animals that was passed from them and is now mixed into the ground in which these workers are working with. It doesn’t stop there. Researchers have found a strain of E. coli that is now affecting the sea mammals of the Pacific Northwest. These researchers took their findings to Vancouver and presented them with this title, “Swimming in Sick Seas” (Philpot, 2012). If that doesn’t get the attention of the people who need to get involved who knows what will. The water areas in which these sea animals, such as seals and otters, are being found have been in areas where people get their drinking water. If people were to get sick from drinking this water it would very hard to control with the antibiotics that are available right now, since the antibiotics are what would have started this outbreak in the first place.
Philpot, T. (2012). How Factory Farms are Killing Seals. Retrieved from http://www.motherjones.com/tom-philpott/2012/02/how-factory-farms-are-killing-seals
Many things can be learned about how people are thriving by looking at how the oceans around them are doing. Each year that goes by the chemicals that show up in the water show how more industrialized they have become. As in his article, Sperm Whales Bear Testimony to Ocean Pollution, Dan Ferber shows how man made substances, which are now being called persistent organic pollutants (POPs), are causing major changes in the oceans ecosystem. The sperm whale, in this case, has been the animal of choice to examine and follow. What was done was a five year study on the whales and the food they ate, mostly fish and squid. From there they were able to determine how much POPs had been absorbed from their food into their system. The scientists took samples from 424 whales and found very high levels of an enzyme that detoxifies pollutants, CYP1A1. There have also been high levels of mercury found in sperm whales as well from many different parts of the ocean. Peter Ross who is with the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans will be making a trip around the world to visit people who live along the coasts to see if the affects of the POPs are present in them as well. The majority of the world’s population relies on the oceans for a food source. What would happen to the human race if one day the source was contaminated beyond repair? Land pollution that gets into water runoff needs to be better controlled.
Ferber, D. (2005). Sperm Whales Bear Testimony to Ocean Pollution. Science Now, 2-3.
Anyone who has spent a good amount of time in the Pacific Northwest, or on up into Canada and Alaska, should be able to give a brief over view of the life of the salmon. This very versatile fish is born in fresh water travels downstream to the ocean, matures and swims back upstream to where it was born in the fresh water rivers and ponds, to reproduce and start the whole process over again. In an article written by Russ Rymer, Reuniting a River, he points out how a power plant has caused a decline in salmon in the Klamath River because of a dam that was built. The affects that this dam had on the salmon in this area was huge. In 2002 there was a massive amount of salmon that had been killed because they couldn’t make their way back up the stream to reproduce. Not only does it affect the salmon who are trying to get upstream but the ones coming down. If the salmon cannot make it over the barrier they will die where they are without ever being able to produce the next generation of salmon. In 2006 after many discussions about removing the dam had been made the comity that brought this forth were concerned nothing was going to be done. But in January of 2007 the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement had been devised and outlined the ways in which the river would be saved. The Chinook salmon is the species that calls the Klamath River its home and thanks to the many men and women, who to it upon themselves to go up against this giant power company on the fishes behalf, has saved it from extinction in this area.
Rymer, R. (2008). Reuniting a River. National Geographic, 214(6), 134-155.
Video – King Corn
Most people do not ever think of the migration their food takes before it gets to their dinner table. In the documentary, King Corn, Ian Cheney and Curt Ellis take their viewers from the kernel to the shaft of hair. Professor Steve Macko who is with the University of Virginia shows how when one single human hair is out through an isotope analysis it will contain mainly carbon created by corn. This information tells what food that person has consumed so far in their life. With this information Mr. Cheney and Mr. Ellis decide to grow their own corn crop and follow it to the end of its journey. They begin in Greene, Iowa. Professor Ricardo Salvador an agronomist from Iowa State University gives them a picture of what kind of corn they will be growing. It is called yellow dent #2 which has been genetically modified to be resistant to the liberty brand fertilizer. This species of corn has been highly modified from the original species of corn, which was first introduced here in the United States. As Mr. Cheney and Mr. Ellis begin their farming career they start to realize how much money goes in but does not come out. If it wasn’t for the many government subsidy programs farmers would not be able to grow anything. From the one acre they produced they grew only 200 bushels of corn receiving $1.65 per bushel for a crop that essential inedible. They we able to figure out that 32% of their crop went to export or to produce ethanol. Another 490 pounds went to make high-fructose corn syrup, and 5,500 pounds went to cattle feed. With the valuable information that can be learned from this video it is a wonder that corn is still as valuable and wanted as it is.
Website – Guerrilla Gardening
Join in the war against agricultural land takes over and grows where you can. This website, Guerrilla Gardening is all about taking back the land, whether to grow plants for foods or flowers for their beauty. Their lasted takeover is May 1st. They are asking anyone who will, to plant as many sunflowers as they can. So far there have been over 2000 people who are willing to spread seed to show their support. This type of gardening is an amazing idea. A lady from San Diego, Ava, decided to take back a small area of a sidewalk that had once been home to a tree that had been removed. She noticed nothing was being done to it so she took it upon herself to bring back the beauty of growing life that once was there. Others from all over the world have decided to join the guerrilla gardening movement and take back the unused dirt. One that really turned heads was a pumpkin that was planted at the entrance of a village in Italy. It was an abandoned flower garden that just needed attention. There have been many people who have got involved in guerilla gardening and many have submitted pictures to prove it. One was of a bike rack that sat at the side of a building. It was looking a little drab until someone planted peonies around it and brought that area to life. There are ways in which people can donate to the cause if they are not the gardening type. What a great idea to but beauty and function back into these wasted spaces. People everywhere should be joining in guerrilla gardening!