2007.08.22 Ryan Shadbolt

Written by David Green.

Discussion and criticism have indicated that Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) within southeastern Michigan are a serious environmental concern and not just to those residents living next door to the farms. The local issue has spawned many local articles, editorials and letters, and even articles in the national press.

Unfortunately, the continued pressure citizens have put on our state’s politicians has had little, if any, success. Voters do have the option to research our current politicians and follow their voting records in order to make informed decisions on who to vote for in the future, but why should we wait for an election to send a message to these unhealthy and unethical farming operations and the politicians who support them?

Every single time we eat we make a decision about what farming practices we support. By purchasing and eating food from factory farms, we support the growth of more factory farms and all the pollution and animal cruelty that comes with them. Citizens have the power right now to buy food raised with better farming practices.

While southeastern Michigan may not yet have many natural foods stores available selling organic or range-fed meat and dairy products, it is still easy to make dietary changes. Even dropping factory-farmed meat and dairy products from a few dishes per week has an impact on the profit of factory farms. With local gardens currently flourishing with produce, there is no better time of the year to enjoy the many meatless dishes that Michigan’s growing season has to offer.

– Ryan Shadbolt
West Bloomfield, Mich.


  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.base Ball
    UMPIRE Thomas Henthorn tosses the bat between team captains Mikayla Price and Chuck Piskoti of Flint’s Lumber City Base Ball Club. Following the 1860 rules, after the bat was grabbed by the captains, captains’ hands advanced to the top of the bat—one hand on top of the other. The captain whose hand ended up on top decided who would bat first. Additional photos of Sunday’s game appear on page 12 of this week’s Observer. The contest was organized in conjunction with Stair District Library’s Hometown Teams exhibit that runs through Nov. 20.
  • Front.chat
    VALUE OF ATHLETICS—Morenci graduate John Bancroft (center) takes a turn at the microphone during a chat session at the opening of the Hometown Teams exhibit at Stair District Library. Clockwise to his left is John Dillon, Jed Hall, Jim Bauer, Joe Farquhar, George Hollstein, George Vereecke and Mike McDowell. Thomas Henthorn (at the podium) kicked off the conversation. Henthorn, a University of Michigan–Flint professor, will return to Morenci this Sunday to lead a game of vintage base ball at the school softball field.
  • Front.cross
    HUDSON RUNNER Jacob Morgan looks toward the top of the hill with dismay during the tough finish at Harrison Lake State Park. Fayette runner Jacob Garrow focuses on the summit, also, during the Eagle Invitational cross country run Saturday morning. Continuing rain and drizzle made the course even more challenging. Results of the race are in this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.
  • Front.hose Testing
    HOSE safety—The FireCatt hose testing company from Troy put Morenci Fire Department hose to the test Monday morning when Mill Street was closed to traffic. The company also checks nozzles and ladders for wear in an effort to keep fire fighters safe while on calls.

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