In an integrated organic farm that grows cereal crops and pastures its livestock, such wastes could be applied as fertilizer. However, that natural solution to waste disposal is almost impossible in mechanized operations the scale of those owned by Granjas Carroll and Smithfield.
The landmark FAO report, “,” also emphasizes that CAFOs use a lot of power: for lighting, temperature control, and the air circulation, without which the animals would die from the concentrated toxins that percolate through the air. Mapping has shown elevated atmospheric nitrogen concentrations in the vicinity of high-density animal plantations, as well.
A horrifically penetrating Rolling Stone described the conditions inside one CAFO:
“Smithfield's pigs live by the hundreds or thousands in warehouse-like barns, in rows of wall-to-wall pens. Sows are artificially inseminated and fed and delivered of their piglets in cages so small they cannot turn around.
“Forty fully grown 250-pound male hogs often occupy a pen the size of a tiny apartment. They trample each other to death. There is no sunlight, straw, fresh air or earth. The floors are slatted to allow excrement to fall into a catchment pit under the pens, but many things besides excrement can wind up in the pits: afterbirths, piglets accidentally crushed by their mothers, old batteries, broken bottles of insecticide, antibiotic syringes, stillborn pigs — anything small enough to fit through the foot-wide pipes that drain the pits.
“The pipes remain closed until enough sewage accumulates in the pits to create good expulsion pressure; then the pipes are opened and everything bursts out into a large holding pond.”
That’s from a feedlot in the United States, where CAFOs are ostensibly regulated. Imagine Mexico.