PEOPLE vs. PIGS IN NORTH CAROLINA, TOBACCO, HOG FARM FERTILIZER ON FARMLAND. Eastern North Carolina replaced tobacco production with hog farming several years ago when the social pressure against smoking was such that farming tobacco was no longer a viable option for making a living in the area. The recent practice of hog farms has been to store the by-products of manure and urine in open lagoons, for curing, and then utilize the liquid to spray as fertilizer on farmland.
Sounds like the optimal solution, and one that would please even the environmentalists. Currently, however, pork giant Smithfield Foods is being sued by a Beaulaville, NC couple who charge that the farms don’t allow them to be outside on their property without smelling the foul odors, sneezing and coughing. The farm, by the way, meets all the local, state and federal environmental regulations. In my view, this would be a simple matter – One would simply ask which came first, the Williams (the couple filing suit) or the hog farm. Based on a number of instances through the years where new residents have complained bitterly about airplane noise of an existing airport after moving into the community – one such instance on Point Loma in San Diego, CA against the San Diego International Airport and another in Temecula, CA against the regional airport serving small, private planes, I would, therefore, hazard a guess about the longevity of this couple: I would guess that they have fairly recently settled in the area. And, if that is true, then my decision would be easy – And my ruling would be soundly in favor of those businesses who were farming the land first. Individual couples can fairly readily relocate. However, relocating a well-established 4,700 hog farm is another matter entirely. Let’s begin to be reasonable about these issues in America – and stop listening to the whining ninnies. Our food supply in this country depends on our learning to be adults about these kinds of situations and taking responsibility for our individual actions. This would require that we are not always looking for the deep pockets (or the government) to bail us out. It’s a novel approach for many, but one that, given an opportunity, one could learn to live with, for the betterment of all.