This disturbing picture is the aerial shot of a Texan industrial beef farm and waste lagoon.
Hoax or Fact:
The message comes with a disturbing picture claiming to show blood-shedded aerial view of an industrial beef farm and waste lagoon in Texas. Yes, it is a fact.
The disturbing picture in question is from a 'Feedlot' of Coronado Feeders in Dalhart, Texas, that was photographed by satellites orbiting Earth. You can view it from Google Maps here. A feedlot, also called as feed yard is a type of animal feeding operation (AFO) used in factory farming for finishing livestock like beef cattle, swine, horses, sheep, turkeys, chickens or ducks - prior to their slaughter. In countries like United States and Canada, there are many such large beef feedlots, where the animals are killed to supply them as food for consumers. In image section below, you can see pictures of couple of other feed yards in Texas.
As shown in the video, these feedlots are in fact important part of the beef industry. Feedlots have been developed post World War - 2, due to the rise in fast food operations and demands of consumers who wanted quality beef at low prices. These feedlots have facilities to house and feed thousands of animals and prepare them for slaughter when they mature. It is worth noting that most of these feedlot diets are generally very dense in food energy, so as to encourage fat growth in the animals, and this is because such a meat contributes to flavor and tenderness. Moreover, animals in these feedlots are often given antibiotics to promote growth, or to compensate for illness resulting from crowded conditions. These antibiotics enter the environment, food chain and then human bodies, contributing to the increase in antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which makes it harder to treat human diseases.
Most of these feedlots require some kind of governmental permit. The Environmental Protection Agency in U.S. has authority under the Clean Water Act to regulate all animal feeding operations in the United States. However, these waste lagoons in feedlots have raised serious health concerns lately, both to the surrounding lands and human communities. These lagoons often break, leak or overflow, causing the microbes from these animal wastes to seep into the ground and contaminate the land, air and water supplies. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), a non-profit environmental advocacy group:
People who live near or work at factory farms breathe in hundreds of gases, which are formed as manure decomposes. The stench can be unbearable, but worse still, the gases contain many harmful chemicals. For instance, one gas released by the lagoons, hydrogen sulfide, is dangerous even at low levels. Its effects -- which are irreversible -- range from sore throat to seizures, comas and even death. Other health effects associated with the gases from factory farms include headaches, shortness of breath, wheezing, excessive coughing and diarrhea.
Beef production is a very large industrial business in United States, and according to the report in video, there are more than 700 feedlots in the country. You can find many such feedlots concentrated in states of Texas, Colorado, Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa, California and Oklahoma. Not just in U.S, this mass slaughter of animals happens in many other countries as well.