(This rant overflowed its fair share of space on today's Link Log.)
Tyson, oh Tyson, how long must the sins of the fathers be repeated by the children? The managers of the Tyson chicken company (distributed by Wal-Mart, thus available far away from Arkansas) claim to be Christians, no longer getting into trouble for stunts like smuggling bricks of cocaine by shoving them up the back ends of live birds, but...still dumping the raw excrement of sick birds into bodies of water from which their townsfolk drink, as in the bad old days when Bill Clinton almost lost the governor's seat. The position of this web site is that all owners of land or businesses, whether they are Hereditary Guardians of Mountain Springs or not, should feel personally responsible for not poisoning their townsfolk.
I mean, I heard about Tyson's pollution problem in the 1980s, and in 2008 I stood up in court and testified that a bag of Tyson's chicken could not have come out of my home because my husband and I did not, ever, buy Tyson's chicken. This was not just because we lived close to the Perdue farm (much cleaner, according to the report linked below, but still a substantial mess). It was because I personally would rather scoop up filth with my hands and burn it in a barrel, if solar power isn't burning it fast enough, than let it wash into water my townsfolk drink. And if you're going to advertise yourselves as Christian business owners, Tysons, so should you.
Now: this web site does not endorse the recommendations of environmentamerica.org. They are politically motivated recommendations that do not have the best interests of American farmers and townsfolk at heart. What we need is not "moratoria on new livestock operations," which would prevent business owners with better hygienic policies from competing with Tyson on ethical bases, but simply requirements that business owners take responsibility for cleaning up their own mess.
We do not need to encourage whole communities to "reject new livestock operations." We need to encourage whole communities to support smaller, more sustainable, local-scale livestock operations.
We need to look at the waste problems generated by packing too many humans together into animal-less, green-space-underprivileged, unnatural, toxic, urban living conditions, as recommended by U.N. Agenda 21. We need, before government even talks about the waste problems of farms, to demand that government take a hard, close look at the waste problems of multifamily housing projects.
We need to encourage whole communities to require that new housing for humans feature at least one acre of privately owned land per dwelling.
We should even consider getting back to the biblical principle of land being basically something people inherit, with which people bond, rather than something people buy and sell. Any landowner, however poor, is always richer and more free than anyone who has to buy everything s/he eats and drinks.
That said...the Tyson family should not need, if they are in fact trying to operate according to Christian principles, to be told to clean up their own mess. Within reasonable limits, a field can actually benefit from absorbing chicken effluvia. You exceed those limits, you scoop, you burn to kill the bacteria, and then you deal with the chemicals in the ashes, before anything hits the water. All whole-Bible Christians must have noticed a Bible passage that all elementary school children love to "discover," because it frankly discusses both weapons and bodywastes: Deuteronomy 23:13, quoted here from Biblia.
And thou shalt have a paddle upon thy weapon; and it shall be, when thou wilt ease thyself abroad, thou shalt dig therewith, and shalt turn back and cover that which cometh from thee.
Moses did not envision chickens living in the density at which they live on Tyson farms, but if he had, can anyone doubt that he would have mentioned those chickens?
(End of rant. Now what on earth is the relevance of this Amazon link? It's an inside joke among Southerners, Gentle Readers, but if you read the book you may understand why it came to mind, as I was typing. I feel just like the "Responsible" sister, whose excuse for not reasoning with the people making the foolish decision is that she's about to suffer for the forbidden passion the cover painting reflects, watching the "evil" character futilely tongue-lash everyone within range and silently thinking Yes! Go, girl!--because what else, at that point, can Miss Responsible do?)