Hurricane Florence Flooding Contaminated NC’s Drinking Water With Pig Sh*t

State officials in North Carolina are concerned about the quality of drinking water after Hurricane Florence decimated the area, killing more than 5,500 pigs and 3.4 million chickens and turkeys—making this storm far more deadly than Hurricane Matthew in 2016.

The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality received reports of 22 lagoons overflowing and leaving floating animal excrement everywhere. Four additional lagoons experienced structural damage, and a whopping 55 were at or near capacity.

According to state regulators, because of the high risk of contamination, “utilities that serve more than 600,000 customers issued warnings to boil water before drinking it. To make matters worse, the EPA reported that seven sewage plants were not operating.

During Hurricane Matthew, which struck the region in 2016, at least 14 manure pits in North Carolina flooded. And 1999’s Hurricane Floyd flooded dozens of hog lagoons, causing half a dozen lagoons’ containing walls to fail. Liquid waste from the lagoons was blamed for algae blooms and fish kills after winding up in estuaries.

Overflow from these open-air manure pits is spreading animal blood and fecal matter throughout the impacted region. And with North Carolina’s factory farms holding more than 9 million pigs combined, they produce about 10 billion pounds of liquid animal waste each year. That’s enough urine and feces to fill 15,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools. Let that sink in.

If that doesn’t make you sick to your stomach, consider this: While factory farmers fled the impending storm with their companion animals, millions of farmed animals drowned in cages and crates unable to escape rushing floodwaters. See, unlike companion animals, who by law must be included in government evacuation plans during natural disasters, farmed animals are afforded no legal protections.

Natural disasters are a tragedy, but for animals trapped at factory farms, life itself is tragic. Spending much of their lives in filthy, unnatural conditions, many are crammed into cages or crates so small the animals can barely move. Most undergo painful mutilations without painkillers. All are violently killed.

The factory farming industry, which willingly leaves trapped farmed animals behind to drown, sees animals as nothing more than commodities and their deaths as nothing more than “lost profits.

Fortunately, we can end our support of the industries that legally neglect and abuse animals by switching to a compassionate vegan diet. Get a copy of our free Vegetarian Starter Guide today. And check out our Pinterest page with hundreds of vegan recipes!