North Carolina environmental justice groups have been organizing against factory hog farms ever since Smithfield moved into their backyards. Community cries for a healthy environment, with breathable air and drinkable water, often fall on deaf ears. But this time — after years of building power — the community won. A Fourth Circuit court ruled against Smithfield in a series of mass action lawsuits brought by mostly Black residents of Eastern North Carolina. It was a historic victory, for community organizers and legal advocates alike.
Few industries rival the devastation of industrial animal agriculture. It is a major driver of climate change, the leading cause of surface water pollution, and the basis of antibiotic resistance and food-borne illness. Its cruelty to workers and animals is unmatched and its impacts are disproportionately felt by Black and brown communities and lower income areas. This industry needs a cure that goes beyond addressing its symptoms, one that gets at the underlying disease: unchecked corporate control of the food system.
I’ve been in this field long enough to learn that there’s no silver bullet to curing the destructive industry…
Food Project Director at @Public_Justice. Wife to @RevJustinMartin. Proud mom of 3 kids & 2 rescues. Fighting for a just food system. Tweets are my own.