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.nok Hok
    GAMES DAY—Finn Molitierno (right) celebrates a goal during a game of Nok Hockey with his sister, Kyla. The two tried out a variety of games Saturday at Stair District Library’s annual International Games Day event. One of the activities featured a sort of scavenger hunt in which participants had to locate facts presented in the Smithsonian Hometown Teams exhibit. The traveling show left Morenci’s library Tuesday, wrapping up a series of programs that began Oct. 2. Additional photos are on page 7.
  • Station.2
    STRANGE STUFF—Morenci Elementary School students learn that blue isn’t really blue when seen through the right color of lens. Volunteer April Pike presents the lesson to students at one of the many stations brought to the school by the COSI science center. The theme of this year’s visit was the solar system.
  • Front.leaves
    MAPLE leaves show their fall colors in a puddle at Morenci’s Riverside Natural Area. “This was a great year for colors,” said local weather watcher George Isobar. Chilly mornings will give way to seasonable fall temperatures for the next two weeks.
  • Front.band
    MORENCI Marching Band member Brittany Dennis keeps the beat Friday during the half-time show of the Morenci/Pittsford football game. Color guard member Jordan Cordts is at the left. The band performed this season under the direction of Doyle Rodenbeck who served as Morenci’s band director in the 1970s. He’s serving as a substitute during a family leave.
  • 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.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.

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