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A River of Waste: The Hazardous Truth About Factory Farms
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Water is for Fightin'"
Water, or more precisely the lack thereof, is increasingly gaining the attention of the world's political leaders, policy planners, scholars and press. Indeed, many experts believe the situation is so acute it has moved from one of concern to that of crisis and that such scarcity will be the catalyst for World War III.
In the U.S. the issue of water scarcity is beginning to be viewed as something other than a local problem readily solved by technology. It is a major issue for communities such as Las Vegas and Los Angeles and in Oklahoma, one time home to the director of this documentary, numerous communities are facing water shortages and the state is conducting a long term study of the problem. It is also embroiled in a long running legal battle against major, nationally recognized employers, primarily in the poultry industry. The issue is the contamination of lakes, streams, and rivers primarily in the eastern part of the state and the ill effects it is having not only on the surface water so vital to the state but also the adverse impact it is having on human health. The run off from poultry factory farms in the form of animal waste and fertilizers is a public health issue as well as a depletion of what the world is now recognizing as a finite resource, clean water.
This film is a must have for anyone remotely interested in or concerned about the impact poultry factory farms is having on not only Oklahoma's water sources and human health but world wide.The director traveled throughout the world interviewing scientific experts, politicians, and concerned citizens in an effort to see how the problem had been dealt with in other venues and what could be done in the U.S.Read more ›
It's really a "talking heads" film, where experts or victims discuss various issues, from the use (certainly overuse) of antibiotics in confined livestock operations, to issues regarding dust and odors, animal welfare, heavy metals, ammonia (an issue where I live), and other significant topics.
This DVD failed to meet my expectations in 3 areas:
1. The power of visual representation. As a film, there was way too much "footage" giving to listening to people talk, and not near enough time given to visual depictions of livestock and livestock waste. I recognize that producers don't encourage filmmakers to come and film their operations (in some states, this is now illegal), but the final format of "A River of Waste: The Hazardous Truth About Factory Farms" was, well, boring. It's an important topic. Make it seem important! I've watched many farming-related films, and this one will put students to sleep.
2. The German-US livestock production system comparison was weak. Are there NO high quality livestock production operations in the US to compare with the low quality (aka dangerous) operations?
3. Most examples dealt with chicken production, but I had assumed it would cover a broader range of animal production systems (there is a pig on the cover of the DVD). I guess I would have rather had cattle, pigs, and chickens (and eggs) discussed in equal parts throughout, or have the DVD focus exclusively on one.
I probably won't be using this in the classroom. Shame. As I said, it is an important topic for discussion.
These farms are threatening our health in other ways too. We are becoming antibiotic resistant and most of the blame has been placed on the medical community with little or no responsibility being put on the meat industry. The FACT is 70% of our antibiotics are being used on animals not humans! Because of antibiotic resistance, doctors are being forced to prescribe stronger antibiotics with dangerous side effects. This is only one way that factory farming is dangerous to our health.
The bottom line is vote with your fork. Vote at the ballot box. Educate others. Buy this video.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a very informative DVD about factory farming that pollutes our waterways. The big corporations care little for the environment, just making more money for themselves.Published on March 2, 2013 by dancerlady
2009NR: The majority of antibiotics used in this country are fed to livestock! ... WOW. If you watch this seemingly alarmist documentary to learn that fact alone it would be worth... Read morePublished on February 9, 2013 by MFJLabs
A River of Waste is one of the best documentaries I've seen on the subject. Where as one reviewer tried to claim it was biased he wasn't able to point out a single error. Read morePublished on February 7, 2013 by Cary Howe
Everyone should see "A River of Waste: The Hazardous Truth About Factory Farms."
Factory farms are destroying the environment and endangering our health. Read more
Mad Cow Disease apparently still exists in US but not anywhere else. To understand all the elements involved in Big Poultry Factory Farming, Concentrated-animal-feeding operations,... Read morePublished on February 20, 2012 by NYFB
This film did a good job at offering one point of view on the subject. It is too one-sided to be taken seriously. Read morePublished on November 4, 2011 by RShaughn