Harold Henderson’s article “Money Hogs” (May 2) was a great addition to the growing number of articles on corporate hog factories. Chicagoans are gradually learning what’s happening 200 miles to the south of them, and what this industry looks like. The corporatized wealthy taking over rural America is not new. It’s been going on since the 60s or earlier, but it’s speeding up and just may be the coup de grace for agriculture.
If you were born after the environmental movement managed to clean up some of the worst horrors of our corporations, take a good look now. This is what the unregulated corporation does, and what profit at any cost looks like. A get-rich-quick scheme with mechanized hogs pumping out piglets, now known as units of production. Cesspools giving off gases of hydrogen sulfide, ammonia, methane, land oversaturated with manure, wells run dry and water polluted with hog waste. Thousands of farmers driven out by overproduction and monopolistic chicanery. The quality of rural life destroyed. It is a hellish picture, and it is hard to understand why it is permitted.
More than permitted, it is encouraged. The legislature has played a carrot-and-stick game in the hope of quieting the opposition. Promising stricter controls, they fail to act. They have given the green light for these out-of-state and even out-of-country corporations to come into Illinois and grow fat on our natural resources. The big money will go back to where it came from, and the citizens of Illinois will pay for the cleanup.
This is not a small, localized issue. It comes out of a society become so commercial that it will defend profits before our life-sustaining water and soil, and will tolerate the degradation of all life before reining in the acquisitiveness of the insatiable.
America the Merchant, you money-mad global peddler.