Animal Factory Pollution

Large animal factory with at least seven sewage pits.This is a typical Michigan animal factory, with several huge barns that house hundreds or thousands of animals each, and several acres of raw sewage storage pits.
(Photo by Environmentally Concerned Citizens of South Central Michigan. Flight support provided by Lighthawk.)

The US Environmental Protection Agency calls them Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations or CAFOs. The idea is that animals are kept inside large barns, and food is brought to them, while feces, urine, and other wastes are taken away.  A large dairy CAFO rotates the cows through the milking parlor 3 times a day, almost like an assembly line.  It's these concepts, that agriculture has become increasingly industrialized, that brings to mind the phrase "animal factory".  More and more, Michigan's dairies have shifted away from smaller "family farms" that feed their cows on pasture, to these much larger industrialized operations.  Rarely are the cows allowed access outside for pasture and sunshine.

Stopping CAFO Pollution, a webpage to help you fight back

If you've come here looking for help, see the Sierra Club Michigan Chapter's webpage Stopping CAFO Pollution  that's designed to help you document and stop a polluting CAFO in your community, or to help you stop a new CAFO that's proposed for your community.  There are easy-to-follow "How Tos", FAQs, a glossary, plus resources for Michigan as well as other states.  There are also contacts to help you with questions and strategy.

Why are CAFOs bad for Michigan? What can you do now?

if these links don't work refresh the page once or twice

Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs): what are they?

Watch the Sierra Club's acclaimed 24 minute documentary

Scientific Review and Studies of CAFOs and Impacts

Animal waste pollutes water

Animal waste pollutes air

CAFOs harm rural communities and economy

Sierra Club position: state laws, permits, local government control

What You Can Do Now

Is an Animal Factory planned for your community?