The Next Flint Michigan? North Carolina Pig Factory Farms Poison Rural Communities
An Environmental Article from


Sarah Von Alt, Mercy for Animals (MFA)
April 2016

Photos by
pig feces lagoon
Drone footage shows a lake of toxic pig feces and urine...

The water crisis in Flint, Michigan, has been making headlines for months. But environmental destruction and limited government oversight have placed more than the residents of Flint at risk.

pig farm lagoon
Thousands and thousands of pigs live in these buildings. Their waste falls through slats under a concrete floor and it flows directly into this giant open air cesspool.

A recent article by Civil Eats sheds light on the serious impact of pig farms on local water sources and residents in impoverished rural North Carolina: Now a group of citizens is claiming that the state’s $3 billion pork industry is disposing of its waste in a manner that disproportionately and negatively affects residents of color, and that the negotiating efforts are being stalled by the pork industry.

… Black, Latino, and Native American people are disproportionately impacted, because they live in these areas where the hog operations are. The impacts are everything from the stench of the operation to the water impacts, to having your house, your clothes, your car, everything sprayed with this waste.

Unfortunately, these complaints aren’t anything new.

Just last year, 500 residents in eastern North Carolina filed suit against the pork production arm of Smithfield Foods, which they claim has subjected them to nearly unlivable conditions.

But it’s not just pig farms. Regulatory changes in North Carolina also allow poultry farms to operate in residential areas, causing major problems, including horrible smells, for nearby communities.

At its core, this is a fight against environmental injustice and the disproportionate effects of factory farms on communities of color.

Factory farmers demonstrate blatant disregard not only for surrounding communities but also for the animals they raise like meat-producing machines.

Undercover investigations at hog farms around the country have revealed a culture of cruelty: animals intensively confined, painfully mutilated, and brutally slaughtered.

Take a stand for people and animals by leaving meat and other animal products off your plate. Get your FREE Vegetarian Starter Guide here.

Return to Environmental Articles
Read more at The Meat and Dairy Industries