The coastal plains of North Carolina is characterized by flat land, wide rivers, beautiful and diverse ecology and rich agricultural soils, however many environmental pollutants are defiling this fragile ecosystem. There are several factors that are associated with the destruction of the coastal plains ecosystem, but there is one factor that stands out more than all the others. The major source of pollution that is threatening eastern North Carolina’s ecosystems is industrial swine farming. Swine farming is a threat to the workers that seek to make money from agricultural work, the ecosystem as a whole, and the well fare of those that live around these industrial hog farms. North Carolina has sought to cure the coastal plains of this problem through legislation that requires strict regulation of swine waste products, but is it truly doing enough to prevent a major catastrophe from occurring? More pigs live in eastern North Carolina than people, and three out of the six largest swine producing corporations thrive in the coastal plains region. The thousands of pigs in one of these industrial swine farms produce more waste products than the entire state of California in a twenty-four hour period. Before swine farming turned into an industry that catered to a few privilege individuals, independent farmers did a majority of swine production. When this was the case, the independent farmers dispersed the waste products of the pigs over their fields to produce an organic means of fertilization, and recycled the swine waste. Since the industry for hog production has changed radically in the past years the emphasis of pig farming has changed form a simple view of farming and domestication to one of high product yields with minimal capital and work. Due to this change in the industry, hog farms have resulted to keeping many animals in a minimal amount of space, hence leading to massive amounts of waste products. So how does a farmer dispose …
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