Produce farming jeopardized by water-draining livestock industry - 29 May 2009  
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The swine flu continues to spread in the southern hemisphere throughout countries such as Australia and Argentina, as well as in Asia, Europe, and Central and North America. Off the coast of Australia, one cruise ship quarantined its 2,000 passengers and did not allow them to come ashore until the end of their trip after nearly 20 swine flu cases were confirmed onboard.

Viruses such as the swine or avian flu are just some of the many threats originating from animal agriculture.
Besides being a public health threat, livestock raising leads to often-severe water shortages. In California, USA, the state’s produce farmers grow 50 percent of all fruits, vegetables, and nuts produced nationwide.
However, due to the exorbitant amounts of water used by factory farms, the growers’ water supplies are in jeopardy. The US Secretary of Energy has stated that the current trend will leave California unable to support agriculture within a century.

Supreme Master Television met with local produce farmers in the state’s central valley, who firmly believe the water crisis began with the arrival of dairy factory farms. 

Grape farmer located near dairy factory farms, California, USA (M): The ones that have been doing all these nuts, grapes, vegetables, fruits; we’ve been doing that for the last hundred years. The central valley of California feeds America, and also other countries. Ever since the dairy moved in, the water level in my well went dry. My neighbors’ well went dry. One, two, three, four of our wells are dry. And it seems like it was because of the dairy, because they went down deeper then we did. They got bigger pumps than we do.

Our water level was really high before, fifteen years ago; it was very high. Now our water level is so low, the farmers that are doing all the vegetable and fruits are hurting for water, because we got the dairy here.

VOICE: We thank the farmers for their candid disclosure about the alarming effects of animal farming operations on precious resources and fresh food supplies. Meanwhile, our sympathies for the world’s citizens who have suffered loss or are victims of the swine flu. May we all come to appreciate the importance
of switching to a plant-based diet, to protect public health and countless lives.