This Ancient Hindu Temple Was Carved (Not Built) Out of a Single Rock

 

This magnificent temple, located in Ellora, Maharashtra, India, the temple itself is known as The Kailasa Temple. Some refer to it as the Kailasanatha temple.

In Brief: The temple was carved out of a mountain, by vertical excavations meaning the builders started from the top to the bottom. Around 400,000 tons of rock were removed from the mountain. The temple is considered one of the largest monolithic temples ever carved out of a single rock.

by Ivan, Ancient-Code.com

There’s a temple in India that’ll give you goosebumps. Not because it’s haunted or scary, but because its design and construction are beyond anything we thought humans were capable of.

The Temple itself was carved into the mountain, 164 feet deep, 109 feet wide, and 98 feet high. This means that the Kailasa Temple is one of the biggest monolithic structures on the planet, carved out of a single rock.

This magnificent temple, located in Ellora, Maharashtra, India, the temple itself is known as The Kailasa Temple. Some refer to it as the Kailasanatha temple.

The temple is dedicated to Hindu worship and was commissioned by King Krishna I of the Rashtrakuta dynasty in ancient India.

Rightfully, the Kailasa Temple is considered one of the most remarkable cave temples ever built in India because of its size, architecture and sculptural treatment.

Ground Plan of the Kailasa Temple. Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

The Kailasanatha temple is part of 32 cave temples and monasteries which are collectively referred to as the Ellora Caves. The Kailasa Temple occupies cave 16.Their construction is generally acknowledged as having started during the eighth century.

And while many scholars are convinced that the construction is attributed to the Rashtrakuta king Krishna I, based on the multiple distinct architectural and sculptural layouts, combined with its massive size, and peculiar design, some scholars argue that its construction spanned the reigns of multiple kings.

Vertical Excavation — Carving a Mountain

The temple looks totally bada**. In fact, this is one of my favorite temples in India. It looks impressive, it looks different, and it looks majestic.

The most notable feature of the Kailasa Temple is ‘Vertical Excavation.’

When the temple was built, its carvers started at the top of the mountain and excavated downward. As explained by Rajan, K.V. Soundara, in the book Rock–cut Temple Styles, traditional methods were precisely followed by the master architect of the project, and could not have been achieved if its builders excavated the temple out of the front.

This fact makes the Kailasa unique and different from other temples.

Kailas Temple in Ellora, Maharashtra state in India

An ancient legend speaks of the construction of the Kailasa Temple. According to Katha-Kalpataru by Krishna Yajnavalki (c. 1470-1535 CE), the local king had suffered from a terrible disease. His wife, the queen, decides to pray to the God Shiva, to cure her husband.

The queen promised to build a temple if her wish was granted and promised to observe a fast until she could see the shikhara (top) of this temple.

Eventually, the king was cured, and the queen requested for the temple to be built immediately.

However, each and every architect who was introduced to the project explained that it would take months to build a temple complete with a shikhara (top).

Then, one architect called Kokasa explained to the King and Queen that they would see the shikhara of a temple within a week’s time.

Eventually, Kokasa started but using a different technique. Instead of carving from the side, he went for the top, and excavated the mountaintop vertically, from the top. Eventually, within a week, he finished the shikhara allowing the queen to conclude her fast.

One of the most notorious elements of the Kailsaaa temple depicts Ravana shaking the Kailasa mountain. The sculpture is recognized as one of the finest pieces of Hindu art, and it is possible that the temple came to be known as Kailasa after it.

Some authors argue that the temple was completed in eighteen years’ time.

More than 400,000 tons of rock were removed from the mountain.

It is estimated that around 60 tons of rock were removed each day during the temple’s initial construction phase.

It is believed that the builders worked for more than twelve hours a day, hauling around 5 tons of rock (average) out from the mountain each hour.

And while we do know how the temple was planned and most likely how it was completed, we still don’t exactly know how the designers, architects, and builders managed to achieve all of this with relatively limited technology available to them at that time.

As I’ve written in previous articles, it seems very plausible that whoever built these fascinating caves thousands of years ago surely had more than just ordinary hammers, chisels, and picks.

Source: http://humansarefree.com

Another MK Ultra Survivor Shares Disturbing Details of Satanic Abuse

MK Ultra was the name for the CIA’s program that dived into the world of behavioural engineering. After the program was declassified, it raised a lot of ethical and moral concerns, as the US citizenry realized that human beings were being experimented on with LSD as well as other substances for mind-control purposes.

Several techniques were available in the declassified literature, and witness testimony following the release, as well as before the release, forced the US government to make an official apology to the nation, this was done by Bill Clinton.

Victims of the MK Ultra program were subjected to mind-control against their will and the sad reality is that most of the details pertaining to the program were completely destroyed. The declassified literature represents not even a fraction of the entire program and what might still be happening today.

MK Ultra has become quite a popular name, especially with the references happening in pop culture today. Mind control does not only work by influencing the mind of an individual for ulterior motives, it works through several outlets, like mainstream media and academia.

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The Pertussis Vaccine Blame Game

By Barbara Loe Fisher

It is a primitive bacterial vaccine licensed in 1914.1 It has not been given to babies in America for 20 years. It is the vaccine that had brain damaged so many children and caused so many vaccine injury lawsuits2 that Big Pharma used it to blackmail Congress into giving vaccine manufacturers a partial product liability shield in 1986, which the U.S. Supreme Court made even bigger in 2011.3

I’m talking about whole cell pertussis vaccine in DPT, a crude brew of whole B. pertussis bacteria heated and washed with formaldehyde4 but still full of neurotoxic aluminum5 and mercury6 along with shock-inducing endotoxin,7,8 as well as brain-damaging bioactive pertussis toxin,9,10,11 a toxin so lethal that researchers use it to deliberately induce acute experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) in lab animals.12,13,14

Whole cell pertussis vaccine: the most reactive vaccine still given to infants and children in developing countries because it costs drug companies just pennies to make a dose of it.15 Whole cell pertussis vaccine, the one that put pressure on the B. pertussis bacterium to mutate into vaccine resistant strains beginning in the 1950s.16,17

Vaccinologists Beating the Drum to Bring Back Toxic DPT Vaccine

Now some vaccinologists are beating the drum to bring back that nasty old vaccine and give it to newborn babies in America.18,19 They say they think the toxin-filled whole cell pertussis vaccine in DPT works a little better at preventing whooping cough a little longer than the purified acellular pertussis vaccine in DTaP.

They want to “prime” little 6- to 8-week-old babies with ALL the bioactive toxins in the whole cell pertussis vaccine’s crude brew. Apparently, they think it is worth the risk to pretend like they have fixed the problem.

In the 1980s, parents of DPT vaccine-injured children worked for more than a decade to get the less reactive DTaP vaccine licensed in America because we knew Japan had been using it since 1981 with no reported whooping cough outbreaks and far fewer serious reactions.20

As public outrage about the reactivity of whole cell pertussis vaccine grew and DPT vaccine injury lawsuits piled up, in 1996 U.S. public health officials finally licensed a purified acellular pertussis vaccine for infants.21,22,23

Liability-Free Vaccine Industry Wants to Rewrite History

But they never forgave parents of vaccine-injured children for making it happen and, by 1998, they had branded vaccine safety advocates as “anti-vaccine.”24,25

Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has declared FDA licensed vaccines to be “unavoidably unsafe” and handed drug companies a free “get out of jail” pass for vaccine injuries and deaths,26 it is starting to look like the goal all along was to eventually bring back the old pertussis vaccine so the vaccine industry never again will have to spend another dime to improve a vaccine the FDA has licensed as “safe.”

The attempt to rewrite history has begun, and the strategy is to rehabilitate the bad reputation of whole cell DPT vaccine so the clock can be turned back.

Vaccinologists may want to rewrite history, but it is harder to do when the facts are so well documented in the medical literature.27 For those who want to get educated about the history of pertussis and pertussis vaccination, the online Library of Medicine is a great place to start.28

Pertussis Fact No. 1 — Described as the “100-day cough,” B. pertussis disease has been around since at least the 16th century, and it can be especially serious for babies who cannot breathe when the sticky mucous produced by the gram-negative bacteria clogs their tiny airways.

The World Health Organization estimates that globally 85 percent of children have gotten three pertussis shots, but every year there are about 160,000 children under age 5 who die from pertussis complications like pneumonia, and over 60 percent of these children live in Africa.29,30

Mortality from infectious diseases is always higher where people live in poverty, with crowding and poor sanitation, industrial pollution, substandard nutrition and lack of access to health care facilities.31

In 2017, there were 15,808 cases of pertussis reported in America with 13 deaths,32 although most cases of whooping cough are never identified and reported to the government. That’s because you can be infected with pertussis and show few or no symptoms, whether you have been vaccinated or not.33,34

Pertussis Fact No. 2 — After recovering from a pertussis infection, natural immunity is thought to last between seven and 20 years and artificial immunity has been estimated to wane as early as two years after getting vaccinated with either whole cell or acellular pertussis vaccines.35,36,37

Vaccinated and unvaccinated people can get two or three pertussis infections during their lifetime, and immunity can be asymptomatically boosted after the first infection.

Pertussis Fact No. 3 — As early as 1965 and all through the 1980s and 1990s, public health officials in the U.S. and Europe knew that whole cell pertussis vaccine in DPT was not preventing infections in many vaccinated children and previously vaccinated adults.38,39,40,41,42,43

Just like before DPT vaccination programs, pertussis increases continued to be reported in cycles of three to five years,44,45,46,47,48,49 including in the U.S. where 95 percent of children had gotten three to five DPT shots.50,51 It was obvious more than 30 years ago that whole cell pertussis vaccine in DPT was not only highly reactive, but was marginally effective.

Pertussis Fact No. 4 — Between 1986 and 1996, multiple clinical trials confirmed that the less reactive acellular DTaP vaccine demonstrated superior efficacy and effectiveness compared to the old and more reactive DPT vaccine.52,53,54,55

Even so, whooping cough outbreaks continued in the 21st century both in countries that had made the switch to the improved one and in countries that stayed with the more reactive old one.56,57,58,59,60 By 2006, U.S. health officials recommended booster doses of acellular Tdap vaccine for teenagers.61 Then, in 2010, the Tdap booster shot was found to be only about 66 percent effective.62

Frustrated by continuing reports of whooping cough cases in vaccinated children, by 2012 the false narrative being forwarded in the U.S. media was to blame whooping cough outbreaks on acellular DTaP vaccine,63 while also pointing a finger at a tiny minority of unvaccinated children and the availability of personal belief exemptions in state vaccine laws.64,65

Vaccinologists in the U.S. piled on the acellular vaccine66,67,68,69,70 and, when FDA researchers reported in 2014 that infant baboons given whole cell pertussis vaccine cleared pertussis infection more rapidly than those given acellular vaccine,71 the drum beat to resurrect whole cell DPT began to get louder.72,73,74,75,76

In July 2018, the obedient U.S. media hyped a small study out of California promoting the idea that whole cell pertussis vaccine stimulates a broader type of immunity that lasts longer than acellular pertussis vaccine.77

The by-now familiar refrain was that it would be better to give babies a couple of doses of the old admittedly more reactive whole cell pertussis vaccine followed up by booster doses of acellular vaccine. The public was being softened up to accept the unacceptable.

Pertussis Fact No. 5 — It is important to remember that both the old and newer pertussis vaccines only provide temporary immunity that wanes within two to five years. Vaccinated people can become “silent reservoirs” of subclinical pertussis infection and transmit whooping cough without even knowing it.78,79,80

That is because there is a big difference between a vaccine that prevents infection and a vaccine that prevents disease and symptoms of infection.81 This difference explains why pertussis vaccine-induced herd immunity has always been a myth, an illusion created when asymptomatic boosting of pertussis immunity through natural infection occurs in highly vaccinated populations.82,83,84,85

But Wait, There’s More

Everybody knows about how the indiscriminate use of antibiotics has led to virulent antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria, which evolved to evade those miracle drugs that do save lives when doctors prescribe them properly.

Well, the same thing has happened with the B. pertussis bacterium, which started evolving to become vaccine-resistant soon after public health officials and pediatricians prescribed multiple doses of whole cell DPT vaccine for all children.

As I explained in my 2016 commentary, “Pertussis Microbe Outsmarts the Vaccines as Experts Argue About Why,” bench scientists have been publishing scientific evidence for more than 20 years that vaccine-resistant B. pertussis strains began to emerge after whole cell pertussis vaccine was licensed in the late 1940s and before acellular pertussis vaccine was licensed in the mid 1990s.86

Public health officials at the CDC and around the world admitted in 2014 that “most mutations in genes encoding acellular vaccine components arose in the period in which the whole cell vaccine was used.”87

Pertussis Vaccines Don’t Contain Circulating B. Pertussis Strains

The science on that point is clear: The B. pertussis bacterium adapted to whole cell pertussis vaccination programs to survive, and now that evolutionary process is accelerating.88,89

Today, none of the whole cell or acellular pertussis vaccines doctors routinely administer to children and pregnant women contain the mutated B. pertussis strains widely circulating and causing whooping cough in human populations.90,91

The inconvenient truth is that mutated, vaccine-resistant pertussis strains are being identified more often in vaccinated persons than in unvaccinated persons.92

So why would any rational thinking person with an ounce of moral integrity suggest that subjecting newborn babies to the more reactive pertussis vaccine is the solution to preventing whooping cough, when none of the pertussis vaccines contain the new pertussis strains causing whooping cough today?

Vaccinologists and Basic Science Knowledge Gaps

After a century of pertussis vaccination programs, vaccinologists still do not know how pertussis infections — or many other infections — stimulate long-lasting cell mediated and humoral immunity in the body.93

That lack of basic scientific knowledge is why they don’t know how to make vaccines that provide long-lasting artificial immunity and why they don’t have correlates for immunity to accurately measure what kind of immunity vaccines do or do not provide.94,95

After a century of global vaccination, vaccinologists also admit they still do not understand why and how natural infections or vaccines cause complications that can lead to brain damage and death and they don’t know how to accurately identify who is more susceptible to harm.96,97,98 That is why they don’t know how to make vaccines that are free from serious side effects.99,100

And after a century of laws requiring infants and children to get a growing list of old and new vaccines, there is little effort being made to find how many of those vaccines have caused or will cause microbes to evolve into more virulent, vaccine resistant forms.101,102,103,104

Doctors and Patients Kept in the Dark

Vaccination is often hailed as the greatest achievement in the history of medicine, but doctors giving vaccines and people getting them have been kept in the dark about just how much is not known about vaccine risks and failures.

So, when a healthy child or pregnant women gets vaccinated and dies, or is never well again, doctors kept in the dark are conditioned to tell mothers kept in the dark that the vaccine or combination of vaccines just given had nothing to do with it.

Vaccine policy and law has preceded the science and it is especially true when it comes to pertussis vaccination. You only have to read articles in the medical literature about long standing problems with pertussis vaccine toxicity and potency tests to find out how much vaccinologists don’t know about the safety and effectiveness of pertussis vaccines.105,106

Whole Cell DPT Vaccine: Most Reactive Vaccine on Market Today

For young parents who may not be familiar with the bad side effects of whole cell DPT vaccine, you can learn more by accessing hyperlinked references to the medical literature at the end of this commentary. To give you an idea about what you will learn, following are a few facts about the old whole cell pertussis vaccine that stopped being given to infants in America in the late 1990s:

  • In 1933, the whole cell pertussis vaccine was reported to kill infants without warning107
  • By the 1960s, the medical community knew that whole cell pertussis vaccine could cause convulsions and brain damage in children108,109
  • By 1981, there was little doubt that whole cell pertussis vaccine is the most reactive vaccine ever given to infants and children, second only to smallpox vaccine110,111,112

In 1982, the eyes of parents in America were opened by the award-winning television documentary “DPT: Vaccine Roulette,” followed by parents founding the organization known today as the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) and the publishing of the book “DPT: A Shot in the Dark” in 1985.113

The reactivity of DPT vaccine was out in the open and mothers were sharing their first-hand experiences of how they watched their babies suffer terrible DPT vaccine reactions.

Between 50 and 80 percent of babies who get whole cell DPT shots run fevers, and experience pain, redness and swelling at the site of the injection, and many of them are fussier or lose their appetite for a day or two.114 If DPT vaccine reactions were confined to sore arms and legs or low fevers and a little extra fussiness, there would never have been a call by parents to make that old vaccine less reactive.

No, the fact is that, for nearly a century, whole cell pertussis vaccine has been notorious for causing far more serious reactions like high-pitched screaming (also known as the encephalitic cry)115 and hypotonic/hyporesponsive episodes (also known as collapse/shock),116 and febrile or afebrile convulsions (also known as seizures)117,118 and brain inflammation (also known as encephalitis, encephalomyelitis and encephalopathy).119,120,121

Between 25 and 60 percent of children who develop acute encephalitis or encephalopathy or have convulsions, including febrile convulsions — for any reason — are left with some kind of brain damage such as personality changes, developmental delays and learning disabilities, ADHD, seizure disorders, lower IQ, speech, motor and behavior disorders and other disabilities.122,123,124,125,126

The Science Is Clear: DPT Injures and Kills More Often Than DTaP

A 1981 U.S. study funded by the FDA and conducted at UCLA found that 1 in 875 DPT shots was followed by a convulsion or collapse/shock reaction.127 Some of the children in that study were left with neurological problems and low IQs.

The 1981 British National Childhood Encephalopathy Study (NCES) estimated that the risk for a previously healthy child developing a serious neurological problem within seven days of DPT vaccination was 1 in 110,000 DPT shots and the risk of chronic brain dysfunction was 1 in 310,000 DPT shots.128 Some of the children in that study were left with brain damage manifested by “neurologic, motor, sensory, educational behavioral and self-care dysfunctions.”129

In 1985, CDC officials reported that children who experienced a neurological problem after DPT vaccination had a seven times greater risk if they had a personal history of convulsions and a 4.5 times greater risk if they had a family history of convulsions.130

In 1991 and 1994, two Institute of Medicine committees analyzed the scientific evidence and confirmed that DPT vaccine can cause acute encephalopathy and brain damage in previously healthy children.131,132

Most developing countries still use whole cell DPT and, in 2018, Brazil reported that adverse events following DPT and DPT-Hib shots account for more than 75 percent of reported childhood vaccine reactions.133

In the U.S. vaccine injury compensation program (VICP), DPT vaccine is the vaccine with the most injury claims filed, including for death, and it is the second most compensated vaccine injury claim, with influenza vaccine now in first place.134

DTaP vaccine still generates a significant number of adverse reaction reports135,136 but, with few exceptions, multiple studies confirm that DTaP vaccine is up to two-thirds less reactive than DPT vaccine.137,138,139,140,141

To all those doctors out there who think you have a problem with public trust in vaccine safety today,142,143 just wait until you try to strong-arm mothers and fathers in America to give their newborn babies that nasty old whole cell pertussis vaccine.

There’s More Still

In 2015, the World Health Organization issued a new pertussis vaccine position paper to give doctors in every nation their marching orders.144 In that paper, global public health officials rejected nearly a century of scientific evidence documenting the toxicity and risks of whole cell pertussis vaccine. They said that, except for anaphylaxis, there are no contraindications to giving children any type of pertussis-containing vaccine.

No contraindications. No medical exemptions. Not for children who are sick at the time of vaccination or have suffered high-pitched screaming, collapse, convulsions and brain injury within hours, not for children who almost died after vaccination.

Who paid for this scientifically illiterate position paper that cruelly devalues the lives of individual children? The four top funders of the World Health Organization are the U.S. government, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the British government and GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance, which includes the largest vaccine manufacturers in the world.145

If this can be done with pertussis vaccine, it can be done with every future vaccine that Pharma is creating and governments will recommend and mandate, from cytomegalovirus and strep B to syphilis and HIV.146,147,148,149

The End Game: Forced Vaccination, No Exceptions

This is the End Game being played out on the world stage that I have been warning since 1993 was coming, the day when every vaccine that the pharmaceutical industry creates and government health officials recommend will be forced on you and your children.150,151 No questions, no mercy, no exceptions.

We, the people, are the barrier that stands between our children and grandchildren and the toxic whole cell pertussis vaccine the vaccine industry wants to bring back to America so they can rewrite history and turn the clock back.

Before the drum beat gets any louder,152 it is up to each one of us to stand up and defend freedom of thought and speech and conscience in America so we can protect our right to know and freedom to make voluntary vaccine decisions for ourselves and our children.

Nobody Will Save You But You

Nobody will save you and your family from what is coming tomorrow except the action that you, personally, take today. Please share this commentary with your family and friends and make an appointment to speak with your elected representatives.

Sign up to use the free online NVIC Advocacy Portal and join with other concerned citizens in your state who want to stop the liability-free vaccine industry from continuing to exploit the health of our children and our nation. It’s your health. Your family. Your choice.

What Happens When a Hurricane Hits a CAFO?

By Dr. Mercola

Concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) are among the most notorious polluters on the planet, but when they’re located in hurricane-prone areas like North Carolina, it adds another degree of potential for environmental disaster.

North Carolina is home to 1,222 CAFOs, compared to about 300 in a more land-locked state like Illinois.1 Of North Carolina’s active CAFOs, at least 45 of them are located in 100-year and 500-year floodplains that were at risk of being flooded by streams and rivers during September 2018’s Hurricane Florence.2

New information is still coming in daily on the devastation Hurricane Florence caused to North Carolina CAFOs, and I’ll be documenting the full extent of this tragic — yet predictable and preventable — event in an upcoming article.

As you might imagine, when CAFOs raise tens of thousands of pigs or more in one facility, some churning out millions of pigs a year, waste is a major problem. There’s no healthy or natural way to get rid of that much manure, which for North Carolina adds up to 10 billion gallons of wet animal waste annually — enough to fill more than 15,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools.3

That’s in addition to the 2 million tons of dry waste created annually by poultry CAFOs in the state.4 In the U.S., 97 percent of pigs are raised in CAFOs, many of them spending their entire lives confined to indoor pens with slatted floors. Their waste falls through the slats where it collects before being pumped into outdoor cesspools of waste, dubbed “lagoons” by the industry.

Even under the best circumstances, the waste pits are known to leak their noxious contents into nearby waterways and streams, but during a hurricane the risks become exponentially higher.

Hurricane Floodwaters Can Breach Waste Pits, Leading to Spillover

CAFO waste sits in open-air lagoons, waiting to be sprayed onto neighboring fields (and often unfortunate neighbors). But when excess levels of rain fall, such as is common during a hurricane, they can become flooded, leading to spillover.

In North Carolina, Andy Curliss, the CEO of the North Carolina Pork Council, estimated that CAFO lagoons could handle up to 25 inches of rain without a breach, but some forecasts called for as much as 40 inches of rain during Florence.5 It’s not a new problem for the area but, rather, one that’s been looming for decades.

In 1997, following manure spills that proved to be disastrous, North Carolina implemented a ban on the construction of new CAFOs, but the ban expired in 1997 (and loopholes allowed some CAFOs to be built even during the ban).6 In 1999, floodwaters from Hurricane Floyd breached waste lagoons, causing the toxic sludge to flow out into waterways and agricultural fields.

Farmers saw their crops covered in waste while rescue workers were sickened by the fumes. Algae blooms flourished, killing off fish and other marine life. Area residents were faced with contaminated water and millions of animals, including poultry and hogs, also drowned during the disaster.7

That same year, eastern North Carolina experienced a “large increase” in visits to health services for intestinal infections in counties with high concentrations of pig farming that were affected by the hurricane.8 Even a splash of floodwater on your face or open cut could be enough to cause infection.

In 2016, it happened again following Hurricane Matthew, when at least 14 waste pits were flooded. The North Carolina Pork Council stated at the time that pollution due to hog lagoon breaches by Hurricane Matthew floodwaters was minimal, but aerial photographs obtained by watchdog groups showed otherwise, with multiple photos of waste lagoons leaking or subsumed by floodwaters.9

Manure Cannons to Drain the Cesspool

When waste lagoons get full, the contents are sprayed via giant “cannons” onto nearby fields. It’s called “fertilizer” but in reality the excess waste often leaches into groundwater and wells, poisoning drinking water, and runs off into waterways, turning once pristine bodies of water into veritable toilets.

The resulting damage includes an excess of nutrients that lead to algae overgrowth, depleting the water of oxygen and killing fish and other marine life in expansive dead zones. In the days leading up to Hurricane Florence, many CAFO farmers scrambled to pump waste from the lagoons ahead of the storm, hoping to make room for the potentially record-setting levels of rainfall.

Although theoretically this should help to contain more of the waste, when asked whether they would actually hold up in the face of heavy, hurricane-driven rain, Marlowe Vaughan of Ivy Spring Creek Farm in Goldsboro, North Carolina, told NPR, “We don’t really know. I mean, we try to pump down as much as we can, but after that, it’s kind of in God’s hands. We’re kind of at the mercy of the storm.”10

In 2016, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) and the Waterkeeper Alliance unveiled the extent of waste lagoons in North Carolina, which is the second biggest hog-farming industry, and the third in poultry production, in the U.S. Their analysis revealed more than 4,100 waste pits covering over 6,800 acres, with many of them located near low-lying bodies of water. In addition:11

  • 37 were located within one-half mile of a school
  • 288 were within one-half mile of a church
  • 136 were within one-half mile of a public water well
  • 170 were located within North Carolina’s 100-year floodplain

North Carolina’s Neuse and Cape Fear Rivers, which provide drinking water for 40 percent of the state’s residents, have been named among the most endangered rivers in the U.S. because of the many CAFOs in the rivers’ floodplains.12 EWG and the Waterkeeper Alliance revealed much of the impact of Hurricane Mathew on North Carolina CAFOs in 2016, and they plan to conduct a similar analysis for Hurricane Florence.

Soren Rundquist, EWG’s director of spatial analysis, explained, “Obviously, our first concern is for people directly threatened by the storm … But by mapping the impact on CAFOs, we want to drive home the recklessness of placing densely concentrated industrial-scale livestock operations in a low-lying area regularly deluged by tropical storms.”13

Even Without a Hurricane, CAFOs Are Environmental Disasters

It’s not only hurricane-force winds and rain that make CAFOs so atrocious for the environment and animal welfare. Even in perfect weather, these industrial farms represent an unsustainable and environmentally catastrophic method of farming. Take the hog CAFOs, where pigs are forced to live indoors standing over their own waste.

The fumes from the urine and feces would kill the pigs, were it not for giant fans that force the toxic air outside. The air inside a CAFO is concentrated with ammonia, which is formed when microbes digest nitrogen in manure. It has a pungent odor and can lead to chemical burns, cough and chronic lung disease.

Other toxic compounds commonly released by CAFOs include hydrogen sulfide, which has a rotten egg odor and can cause inflammation of eye and respiratory tract membranes, loss of olfactory neurons and even death.14

Methane, an odorless but highly flammable greenhouse gas, is also present. In an interview with Spendid Table, author Barry Estabrook, who visited an Iowa pig CAFO while researching his book “Pig Tales,” said:15

“The workers inside the barns suffer from a host of respiratory illnesses, diminished lung capacity and chronic coughing. If you have asthma to begin with, you can’t work in one of those places, because you would have a seizure the minute you go in — an attack.

But you can develop asthma by working there. Even veterinarians who visit these places only occasionally have diminished lung capacity. Again, you’re breathing poisonous gases.”

CAFO Fumes Prove Deadly

CAFO fumes are so toxic that a father and son were killed at an Iowa pig farm while trying to repair a pump. A piece of equipment fell into the manure pit, and they were overcome by the gasses while trying to retrieve it.16

Given the fact that these fumes are regularly pumped outdoors, it’s not surprising research has found that people living near Iowa CAFOs have elevated rates of respiratory symptoms compared to those not living near the industrial farms.

In North Carolina, CAFO neighbors report increased headaches, runny noses, sore throats, coughing, diarrhea and burning eyes,17 while the odors alone are also associated with tension, depression and anger.

Children living near pig CAFOs also have a higher incidence of asthma,18 and these polluting CAFOs are found most often in areas with larger African-American, Latino and Native American populations. CAFOs in North Carolina are far less likely to appear in white communities, especially those low in poverty. “This spatial pattern is generally recognized as environmental racism,” researchers wrote.19

CAFOs Spread Disease

The risks of an overflowing CAFO waste lagoon are many, including not only the overgrowth of fish-killing algae but also the spread of disease. For instance, a sometimes-fatal pig virus that causes diarrhea and vomiting in pigs, the porcine deltacoronavirus (PDCoV), first identified in Hong Kong in 2012, has recently been shown to have the potential to leap to humans.20 Antibiotic-resistant disease is also common in CAFOs. Estabrook noted:21

“The people who work inside hog confinement buildings are often exposed to deadly bacteria that have become resistant to antibiotics. They become resistant because these pigs are constantly fed a diet of low-level antibiotics. The germs that are resistant are the ones that survive and go on to breed.”

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria have even been found in the air both inside and downwind of a hog CAFO, with researchers noting, “This could pose a potential human health effect for those who work within or live in close proximity to these facilities.”22 Antibiotic-resistant genes were further identified in manure from a hog CAFO as well as in groundwater 250 meters (820 feet) downstream from the lagoon.23

Another study found that people with the highest exposure to hog-CAFO manure were 38 percent more likely to contract community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and 30 percent more likely to get health care-associated MRSA.24

Level of exposure was calculated based on proximity to hog farms, the size of the farms and how much manure the farm in question used. So being in an area touched by CAFO manure-contaminated floodwater following a hurricane may be akin to stepping into a petri dish of antibiotic-resistant disease.

‘Big Ag Is King’

You may be wondering how Big Agriculture can get away with all of this, but the fact is it’s not only completely legal but considered “state of the art” when it comes to raising pigs.

Elsie Herring, who lives in eastern North Carolina next to a field regularly sprayed with CAFO pig manure, has said it’s so bad, “You stand outside and it feels like it’s raining but then you realize it isn’t rain. It’s animal waste. It takes your breath away. You start gagging, coughing, your pulse increases. All you can do is run for cover.”25

She and other residents have gone to local, state and federal governments for help but “gotten the runaround,” according to Estabrook, who pointed out the power wielded by Big Ag in states like North Carolina:26

“Politically, wherever pork is produced in large quantities, Big Ag is king. You think of states such as North Carolina, Iowa and Minnesota. Big Ag is a very, very, very powerful political force. It doesn’t matter whether the politicians are Democrats, Republicans or Libertarians; they dance to the tune of Big Agriculture.”

More than two dozen nuisance lawsuits have been filed against Murphy Brown LLC, a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods, the world’s largest pork producer, alleging that the stench, filth, noise and flies from the neighboring CAFOs were ruining their quality of life.

Although the first two suits have had favorable outcomes to the plaintiffs in recent months, the damages awarded are expected to be reduced due to a North Carolina law that limits punitive damages to no more than three times the amount of compensatory damages or $250,000, whichever is greater.

Further, in June 2018, North Carolina legislators passed a law restricting future nuisance lawsuits aimed at pig CAFOs. While those already filed will not be affected, future lawsuits will be nearly impossible for CAFO neighbors to file, proving once again that “Big Ag is king.”

How to Find Superior Pastured Pork

Every time you buy CAFO pork (or any CAFO product), you’re supporting this atrocious industry and all of their dangerous and inhumane practices. I encourage you to avoid CAFO meats and instead either buy your meat direct from a trusted grass fed farm or look for the American Grassfed Association (AGA) logo, a grass fed standards and certification for American-grown grass fed meat and dairy.27

The AGA pastured pork standards include a forage-based diet derived from pasture, animal health and welfare, no antibiotics and no added growth hormones. At the very least, if you buy pork from a supermarket, look for an antibiotic-free label, which may signal that the pig was raised in somewhat better conditions, or a certified organic label, which also means the pigs weren’t fed antibiotics.

The ideal method for raising pigs, however, is on pasture, so always look for pastured pork when possible. Buying pastured pork means you’re not supporting a corrupt, polluting and disease-spreading method of agriculture, and you’ll also benefit from superior flavor.

“Once you’ve tasted well-raised pork, you really can’t go back to the old stuff,” Estabrook said. “I tell people it’s the difference between a January tomato in a supermarket and a nice summer tomato from your garden; factory pork and well-raised pork is that different.”28

Seals Getting Shot for the Sake of Disease-Ridden Salmon

By Dr. Mercola

One of the largely unknown casualties of industrial fish farms are seals, which may be legally shot by fish farmers and fishermen “when necessary” under the U.K.’s Conservation of Seals Act.

Nearly a decade ago, The Guardian revealed that seal numbers were falling by 25 to 50 percent in the U.K., to the extent that in 2007 marine scientists counted only 23,000 of the animals — “equivalent to the species stopping breeding for five or six years.”1

Fish is a mainstay of seals’ diets, so the resourceful creatures are understandably tempted by fish farm cages that present an ever-ready buffet of their favorite food. But attempting to break into the cages or netting puts their lives at risk, and despite calls from animal rights and conservation groups to stop the killings, seals are still targeted by fish farmers.

Seals Being Killed so You Can Eat Salmon

According to Andy Ottaway, campaign director with the Seal Protection Action Group (SPAG), about 1,600 seals were shot in Scotland alone over the last six years, primarily by industrial fish farmers like Marine Harvest Scotland and Scottish Sea Farms. The former supplies the popular supermarket chains Sainsbury’s and Waitrose, the latter of which touts itself as being a particularly ethical and “green” company.

Some fish farms have taken steps to deter seals using nonfatal means, such as the use of acoustic devices to scare seals away and removing dead fish from the cages to avoid luring the animals’ in. Still, grey seal populations have dwindled to 400,000 individuals worldwide, one-quarter of which live in U.K. waters.

“There are fewer gray seals than African elephants in the world, but because they are concentrated in U.K. waters, people believe that they are thriving,” Ottaway told the Daily Mail. “I don’t think that the public knows that seals are being shot just so that they can eat salmon.” He added:2

“Seals are under a lot of pressure — from overfishing, culls, disease — and protecting them is an ethical issue. If the industry wants to sell fish they must be aware of the public reaction to their practices which many people find offensive and appalling.”

Scotland did institute a licensing requirement to shoot seals in 2011, which is credited with decreasing the number of seals shot by 70 percent from 2011 to 2016. Further, the U.S. implemented an import ban on salmon from fish farms that kill seals, which is set to take effect in 2022.

Scotland apparently tried to get an exemption from the ban but was unsuccessful, and while seal-deterrent practices such as the use of extra strong nets has cut down on the number of seals shot by some fish farms, dozens of seals were still killed in 2017.3

What’s more, some farming outlets are shooting more seals instead of less, with some reports saying overall seal killings by Scottish fish farms may have risen close to 50 percent from 2016 to 2017.4

John Robins of the Save Our Seals Fund told The Times, “There’s absolutely no need to shoot any seals, numbers should be falling, not rising … They should install netting before they start shooting; that would be last resort. But they are reaching for the guns because bullets are cheaper than nets.”5

Diseased Fish Farms Filled With Lice-Ridden Salmon

Farmed salmon is Scotland’s biggest food export, bringing in more than $789 million annually. But what is touted as a sustainable and environmentally friendly way to produce seafood is actually devastating for the environment, public health and animal welfare.

The video above was filmed by Corin Smith, a Scottish photographer who became alarmed when drone footage of the area hinted that fish on the farm were in distress. He then swam to the fish cages to get the footage of Vacasay fish farm, which is owned by The Scottish Salmon Company.

As you can see in the video, he estimated that up to 80 percent of salmon on the farm were suffering with sea lice. He told The Ferret:6

“I was utterly shocked at the health of the stock and the very high proportion of fish in poor health with mortal sea lice infestation … For fish to have reached this state of heath as a result of sea lice parasites eating their flesh, this situation would have had to occur over a matter of weeks.

… I am 40 years old, 20 years born and raised on a working hill sheep farm. I am still an active member of the agricultural community. I am not squeamish or hysterical about the rearing of animals for food …

But I have never in my life witnessed such extensive animal suffering, and over such a long period. At least 40 percent of stock need euthanized immediately on the grounds of compassion. Any responsible farmer would do that.”

Sea lice are tiny parasitic crustaceans that feed on salmon skin and mucous. Just one or two sea lice can kill a juvenile salmon, and adults may also be harmed if infestations occur, with the lice literally are eating the salmon alive. OneKind, an animal welfare group in Scotland, is calling for a halt on expansions to salmon farms until the sea lice issue and other welfare concerns are under control.

“It is now widely acknowledged that fish are sentient animals and are capable of feeling pain,” OneKind campaigner Sarah Moyes told The Ferret. “Not only does this make this suffering wholly unacceptable, but the industry’s reputation is once again being damaged by another report of animal neglect.”7

Sea Lice From Fish Farms Spreading to Wild Salmon

In addition to being inhumane, the sea lice spreading on fish farms is putting wild salmon stocks at risk. Wild salmon from Blackwater River, which is near Vacasay fish farm, have been found to be heavily infested with sea lice.

Salmon & Trout Conservation Scotland has blamed the industrial farm for the infestations, as the salmon must pass by the farms on their way back from the Atlantic Ocean.

The Scottish Salmon Company has attempted to block the public release of photos showing their diseased salmon and even claimed losses of more than $1.3 million in 2016 because of sea lice and other disease. Despite this, they reported profits of over $38 million in 2017.8

It’s not only Scotland’s wild salmon that are at risk of disease from fish farms. In fact, an oceanic watchdog group reported a sea lice outbreak in Clayoquot Sound UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, on the west coast of Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. Fish farms in the area had salmon lice up to 10 times higher than the rate that requires treatment, at numbers that could prove lethal to wild salmon.

While Canada’s department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) requires salmon farms to monitor and control sea lice via the use of chemicals in feed or hydrogen peroxide baths, the measures don’t appear to be working — and are toxic in and of themselves, as pesticides used to kill sea lice can kill other crustaceans like crabs and shrimps.

They’re also known to suppress salmon immune systems, making them even more susceptible to viruses. As noted by Watershed Watch Salmon Society, “Even if average sea lice levels are kept ‘low’ on a farm, even very low numbers of lice per farmed salmon can add up to billions of sea lice eggs being released into surrounding waters.”9

Salmon Farms Sued for Spreading Disease

Piscine reovirus, or PRV, is another salmon disease that is devastating farmed and wild salmon. PRV causes heart and skeletal muscle inflammation (HSMI) disease, which can be deadly to salmon. One study of salmon in British Columbia, Canada, revealed the proportion of PRV infection in wild fish was related to exposure to salmon farms.10

PRV was detected in 95 percent of farmed Atlantic salmon and up to 45 percent of wild salmon from regions highly exposed to salmon farms. In contrast, only 5 percent of wild salmon living in regions farthest from salmon farms were infected.

“These results suggest that PRV transfer is occurring from farmed Atlantic salmon to wild Pacific salmon, that infection in farmed salmon may be influencing infection rates in wild salmon, and that this may pose a risk of reduced fitness in wild salmon impacting their survival and reproduction,” researchers noted in PLOS One.11

Alexandra Morton, a Canadian marine biologist who has spent decades studying the impact of salmon farming on wild salmon, and the ‘Namgis First Nation have filed lawsuits against a federal policy that allows fish farms to move juvenile salmon from their land-based tanks to pens in the open ocean — without first testing them for PRV.12

Some claim that PRV has not been conclusively shown to cause HSMI, but Morton’s attorneys argue that “screening is the very least” that can be done to prevent PRV from being introduced into ocean environments from fish farm hatcheries.

Unlabeled GMO Salmon Now on the Market, but Where?

In November 2015, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved AquaBounty salmon, a genetically engineered (GE) “frankenfish” that’s being touted as a way to solve overfishing and world hunger.

The GE salmon are engineered to grow about twice as fast as typical farm-raised salmon, an eerie feat achieved by inserting the DNA from two other fish, a growth-promoting gene from a Chinook salmon and a “promoter” gene from the eel-like ocean pout.

This genetic tweaking results in fish with always-on growth hormone, and because they grow so much faster than other salmon, they also require less food, by about 20 to 25 percent per gram.13 In 2018, 4.5 tons of the GE salmon, called AquaAdvantage Salmon, were sold in Canada, but AquaBounty’s CEO won’t say to whom — only that it’s being used for a high-end sashimi line.14

About 9 tons of GE salmon were also sold in Canada in 2017, none of which was labeled as such. So there’s no way of knowing whether salmon being sold in Canada is GE or not. While the FDA approved AquaBounty’s salmon, a rider attached to an Alaskan budget bill imposed an import ban, effectively blocking the FDA from allowing GE salmon into the U.S.

However, AquaBounty has a fish farm in Indiana, where they’re making plans to start raising GE salmon if they can get approval to import the GE salmon eggs from Canada.

“That means the company’s salmon could be on sale in the U.S. by 2019, which would make it the first genetically modified animal food ever sold and eaten in this country,” wrote Richard Martin, senior editor for energy at S&P Global Market Intelligence, for BioGraphic. “Opposition, naturally, is fierce.”15

Unfortunately, however, it seems that GE salmon may be set to flood the market further, as AquaBounty’s CEO stated at an investor conference that their Canadian buyer said, “We’ll take as much as you can produce.”16

If You Eat Salmon, Wild Salmon Is the Only Healthy Choice

Farmed salmon and GE salmon pose serious risks to wild salmon and their surrounding environments. Farmed salmon are typically raised in pens in the ocean, where their excrement, diseases and food residues are disrupting local marine life.

Even land-based salmon farms are problematic,17 as the facilities pump water from rivers into their hatcheries, then pump it back out to the river once it’s contaminated with dissolved organic matter (DOM) — a mixture of liquid excrement, food residue and other salmon excretions, along with disinfectants and antibiotics.

Nutritionally speaking, farmed salmon are also a far inferior choice to the wild variety. For starters, their pens are often placed near shore, which means they’re close to land-based sources of pollutant runoff. In addition, they’re fed a diet of ground-up fishmeal, which may lead to concentrated levels of PCBs.

In a global assessment of farmed salmon published in the journal Science, PCB concentrations in farmed salmon were found to be eight times higher than in wild salmon.18 Farmed salmon also lack the correct ratio of healthy fats that many people are seeking when eating a “healthy” fish meal.

When seeking healthy, environmentally friendly salmon, look for “Alaskan salmon” and “sockeye salmon,” as Alaskan sockeye is not allowed to be farmed. Avoid Atlantic salmon, as typically salmon labeled “Atlantic Salmon” comes from fish farms.

GE salmon is another variety of Atlantic salmon, so steering clear of Atlantic salmon in favor of wild varieties will help you steer clear of this frankenfish as well. In addition, pay attention to how it looks.

The flesh of wild sockeye salmon is bright red due to its natural astaxanthin content. It’s also very lean, so the fat marks (white stripes) in the meat are very thin. If the fish is pale pink with wide fat marks, the salmon is farmed, and I recommend avoiding it completely.