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Hogs in the Press

by Loranda J. Daniels-Buoy
Long Pine, Nebraska

Big city newspapers carry such important news as who is playing in the Super Bowl this year. Politics. Violence. What the latest scandal is and who is involved. But in "grass roots America" the topics of "choice" seem to be: "Are we going to have thousands of pigs for neighbors?", "What are the commodity prices doing?", "How many small farmers/ranchers went out of business this year?", "What is the EPA going to do next?", "Is there rain in the forecast?" All very good and legitimate questions. Everyone has an opinion and a few express it in the form of Letters to the Editor.

In recent years I have become aware of the huge numbers of people desperately calling for help. It isn’t a new thing by any means, but it has become an epidemic. Huge corporations moving into rural areas and setting up house. Ignoring the outcries of families living near these "developments". They will do and say anything to be allowed to build their hog and dairy factories. They promise economic growth, jobs, and wealth for everyone. They promise not to pollute and claim they will not build where they are not wanted. How many people have to say "You are not wanted" for them to listen? Do we not count?

When we were in the midst of our own fight with a hog factory, the local papers were loaded with outcries from people all over our great nation. People concerned with the welfare of people they didn’t know. People wanting us to know they cared and supported our fight to stay free of the pollution, lies, and presence of the hog factories.

Now in Cassia County Idaho they are fighting for their lives. For more than a year they have been desperately hanging on to the belief that they have the right to say "no" to the intruders breaking into and disrupting their lives. Their newspapers are filled with the concerns of everyday folks like us. Letters from people believing they can make a difference.

These are just two examples of what is going on in dozens of places right now. The sad thing is, there are people with thousands of hogs in their back yards because we didn’t know they needed us. The rural people of America are under siege and we need to stand up and be heard. There are people that couldn’t care less about our troubles. That is their right, but when the farmers and ranchers are gone and the quality of the corporate- controlled food supply is suspect and over-priced, please remember we called on you to help.

Published in In Motion Magazine June 3, 2001.

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