…who are disproportionately poor, African American, and Native American.
While Hurricane Florence’s floodwaters rise on North Carolina’s coastal plane, inundating massive hog and poultry farms, the question arises: Why on earth would the meat industry alight upon such flood-prone territory in the first place?
After all, last week’s mega-storm comes hot on the heels of the similarly destructive Hurricane Matthew in 2016. Back in 1999, after another epic hurricane, Ivan, “floodwaters flushed the contents of fuel tanks, pig waste lagoons, and human sewage treatment plants into the state’s rivers and sounds and, ultimately, out into the Atlantic Ocean,” NASA’s Earth Observatory reported. “The carcasses of pigs, chickens, and other dead animals floated in the soup of pesticides, fertilizer, and topsoil carried in the massive runoff.
A new paper from Duke University researcher sketches out an answer to the riddle of the the industry’s fixation on such a risky region.