What Can You Do As An Advocate?

 

Demand traceability and labeling

 An example of traceability labeling in Europe.  This cut of veal was born in Ireland, raised and slaughtered in France, and sectioned in Italy.  Source:   Texas A&M Meat Science

An example of traceability labeling in Europe.  This cut of veal was born in Ireland, raised and slaughtered in France, and sectioned in Italy. Source: Texas A&M Meat Science

An especially glaring problem for accountability in the U.S. meat industry is the comparatively limited traceability of meats. In the United States, most livestock farms operate under contract with large meat packing corporations, such as Tyson or Smithfield Foods. Since animals from many farms are processed at a single company-owned slaughterhouse, the ability to trace the meat back to a particular farm or ranch after the meat has been processed and packaged is difficult. Therefore, it is important for animal rights advocates, environmental advocates, and concerned consumers to lobby their governments to implement regulations that establish and require robust traceability components on meat labels. This will allow consumers to more effectively leverage their purchasing power and choose meat products produced in environmentally-sound ways.

 

advocate for public health and environmental justice in communities near cafos

 EPA hosts monumental meeting on environmental justice.   Source:  EPA

EPA hosts monumental meeting on environmental justice.

Source: EPA

Rural communities in close proximity to CAFOs are generally the most directly impacted by the various externalities of intensified livestock production. These communities also tend to be low-income with predominantly minority populations. As a result, the communities most directly impacted are often those with the least amount of political or economic influence to address their concerns. A number of national and regional environmental and civil rights non-profit organizations advocate for stricter CAFO regulations and protections for low-income communities of color impacted by CAFO pollution. These organizations include Waterkeeper Alliance, Earthjustice, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and various state-spceific groups such as the North Carolina Environmental Justice Network, the UNC Law School's Center for Civil Rights, and the Rural Empowerment Association for Community Health (REACH). 

 

support farmers who want to
implement waste-to-energy projects

Organizations like NC GreenPower and Appalachian Offsets have made significant progress in connecting individuals to carbon offset projects, but there is still a need for organizations and groups to connect farmers who might produce carbon credits with WTE technology to carbon offset purchasers.  Advocates can also help farmers obtain financing or cost-share options that will make the shift to WTE technology economically - as well as ecologically - feasible.