At my local church two summers ago, I preached about the human rights and environmental violations occurring at Smithfield Food properties, especially the hog farm in North Carolina, where unions were discouraged and environmental waste from pigs was overwhelming the local environment.
- Interfaith Worker Justice (PDF – see page 2)
- Rolling Stone: Pork’s Dirty Secret (lots of cursing…all of it justified)
We reflected on how violations anywhere affect people everywhere.
This Sunday I feel called to revisit that conversation and reflect on how Smithfield-affiliated hog farms may be involved with this swine flu outbreak and now the festering violations threaten global health.
Regardless of whether or not this Smithfield subsidary is ground zero, pig farms breed resistant forms of diseases thanks to the chemicals used to break down pig feces and chemicals used to keep pigs healthy enough to become food.
Of course, worker injustice didn’t cause this any more than immorality caused Hurricane Katrina. But it is worth reflecting on how terrible environmental conditions are not localized to the workers themselves, but can expand to threaten entire areas with health concerns.
We are reminded today that there’s a reason why we are called to be advocates for justice. Echoing MLK, we are called to oppose injustice anywhere, no matter what kind, before injustice morphs and threatens our global relations everywhere.