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No one asked the villagers of Houtonglong before the pig farm was built near their homes and their health began to suffer
Fan Jianjun points to a concrete pipe jutting from the lake bank. Sludge spews from its mouth and arcs across the water, the surface bubbling with the bodies of flies.
Fan has lived in Houtonglong village all his 31 years. The water was clear, he says, before the pig farm was built and people's health began to suffer.
No one consulted the villagers before Shengtai pig farm was built 100 metres from their homes. The farm produces 10,000 animals a year – a relatively small concern in the world of industrialised farming – but there is so much waste to dispose of, the village air is thick with the stench. In the rainy season manure escapes from the farm, covering the roads. Villagers are developing respiratory problems and Fan struggles to raise chickens and ducks, which die soon after hatching.
In the 10 years since the farm arrived, the villagers have tried to get it dislodged. "We pulled down the walls several times, and blocked the gate with mud and trucks," said Fan, a self-employed businessman. Complaints to the local government have gone unanswered, so Fan turned to internet forums to raise awareness. "We can only hope the farm will stop polluting our environment," he added. "Our village was once a very beautiful place."
Pork is China's favourite meat: last year the country produced 50m tonnes – more than half the world's total – and as the disposable incomes of China's 1.3 billion people rise, their appetite is growing. "Pork is wrapped up in ideas of progress and modernity," said Mindi Schneider, a sociologist at Cornell University. Until the 1990s typical families only ate meat at Chinese new year.
Memories of the devastating famine that killed tens of millions in the early 1960s still weigh heavy on the Chinese psyche. "I've heard people talking about eating meat in 'revenge,'" Schneider said. "It was so limited before. Now it's like: 'look at this progress, we can eat as much meat as we want.'"
In 1980 the average Chinese person ate 14kg of meat. Today that person eats over four times more, almost 60kg. In comparison, the average American eats 125kg of meat each year and the average Briton about 85kg.
The livestock industry is transforming accordingly. Seen from a hilltop 200 miles from Houtonglong, the future of Chinese pork production takes the form of 32 identical redbrick pig sheds, shaded by leafy trees.
Jiahua Pig Breeding Centre is one of China's new mega-farms, producing 100,000 pigs a year. Unlike the farm in Fan's village, Jiahua is relatively isolated. But from this vantage point, the reek of manure wafts over with the wind. Periodically, the screams of dozens of pigs gather in a crescendo.
There will soon be more farms like Jiahua: between 2007 and 2010 the government invested £1bn in the construction of industrialised pig farms, and it continues to provide similar levels of support. Jiahua itself has invested £30m in a plant that will be three times the size of this one.
Feeding a fifth of the world's population on less than 10% of its arable land is a critical issue for the government. Industrial livestock farming, the argument goes, will stabilise China's erratic pork prices through its efficiency and predictable output.
But, in China's case, some dispute this assertion. "Industrial production is one of the very things that makes the price so volatile, because the cost of industrial production in China is higher than the cost in the US, because feed is so expensive since it's all imported, and there are costs associated with buying the housing and technologies," said Schneider.
The growth of industrial pig farming in China has implications for the rest of the planet: the livestock industry accounts for 18% of the world's greenhouse gas emissions – more than is produced by cars, planes, ships and trains combined, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation.
China produces more or less the same amount of pork as it consumes, but it cannot grow enough pig feed: it takes 4kg of grain to produce 1kg of pork, and China is short of crops.
Last year China imported 60% of the world's soya beans, which were fed to pigs exclusively. Shipping soya beans and, increasingly, corn to China affects global food prices, entails hefty greenhouse gas emissions, contributes to the razing of millions of hectares of forest, savannah and pasture in Latin America and diverts grain that could feed the world's hungry.
In Houtonglong village, other forms of environmental degradation are evident. Beyond the sludge lapping the lake edge, a bloom of russet algae covers the water. A 2010 investigation by the Chinese government found that agriculture is a bigger source of water pollution than industry. "The fast development of livestock breeding and aquaculture has produced a lot of food but they are also major sources of pollution in our lives," said Wang Yangliang, of the ministry of agriculture.
But the government is doing little to enforce the protection laws it has put in place. Wang Xi, a professor of environment law at Jiaotong University in Shanghai, says that while the legal system regulating the livestock industry is comprehensive, the implementation of laws is patchy. "Generally", he says, "it doesn't look good."
Additional reporting by Xia Keyu
Meaty numbers
Today, the average Chinese eats 60kg of meat a year, four times more than in 1980. The average Briton consumes 85kg.
In 2011 China consumed 50m tonnes of pork, half the world's total. The country produced 80m tonnes of meat, 28% more than a decade ago.
Humans will need to eat a quarter of the meat they currently do to feed the extra 2 billion people expected to be alive by 2050.
Food derived from animals consumes five to 10 times more water than a vegetarian diet.
China's 4,000th KFC opened in Dalian in September. The first opened in Beijing in 1987. Since 2007 the number of outlets has doubled.
Sources: Chinese ministry of agriculture; Chinese national bureau of statistics; Stockholm International Water Institute; UN FAO; Xinhua
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media 2013
Alloka

Alloka (37)

Alloka
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This is one more interesting article. Let me give you its short summary.
The Chinese like pork meat, but, in order to feed such a huge amount of population, they have to breed more and more pigs every year. However, to feed pigs, they need crops. In order to grow more and more crops for China's pigs, Latin America raze millions of hectares of forest, savannah and pasture. At the same time, China builds more and more pork farms, which pollute the environment.
It's all just words for us but not for poor China's villagers, who live near the pig farm and suffer from respiratory problems, waste and sludge spews in their lake.

erinj49426

erinj49426 (60)

erinj49426
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This is one more interesting article. Let me give you its short summary.The Chinese like pork meat, but, in order to feed such a huge amount of population, they have to breed more and more pigs every year. However, to feed pigs, they need crops. In order to grow more and more crops for China's pigs, Latin America has razed millions of hectares of forest, savannah and pasture. At the same time, China builds more and more pork farms, which pollute the environment.It's all just words for us but not for poor China's villagers, who live near the pig farm and suffer from respiratory problems, waste and sludge spews in their lake.

Great!

Alloka

Alloka (37)

Alloka
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Thank you very much, Erinj!

ianleaves

ianleaves (26)

ianleaves
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Excellent

jonmaz

jonmaz

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This is one more interesting article. 

 

You have written that perfectly, of course.

As such an enthusiastic learner of our crazy language, you will be interested in the following.

 

The vast majority of natives would say...

This is another interesting article..

jonmaz

jonmaz

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The Chinese like pork meat 

 

Pork is the flesh of a pig used for food.

As a consequence, the word "meat" is not required,

The Chinese people like eating pork.

 

Pork is tasty.   I like to have apple sauce with my roast pork.   Pork is dearer than beef at my local butcher shop.    The meat on my plate is pork.

jonmaz

jonmaz

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However, to feed pigs, they need crops 

 

Once again, this is perfect English.   However, most natives would say...

to feed the pigs or to feed these pigs or to feed those pigs.

this is because the pigs were previously mentioned.

 

I don't like pigs because pigs smell.

I have five pigs.  I can see that the pigs are getting bigger.  (used article because they are the pigs previously mentioned)(we are talking about particular pige...the five that I said I owned)

 

Alloka

Alloka (37)

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Dear John,
Many many thanks for your help. You are very kind and attentive.
I hope you are fine.
Warm regards,
Alla

xParzival

xParzival

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This is one more interesting article. Let me give you a short summary. The Chinese like pork meat, but, in order to feed such a huge amount of population, they have to breed more and more pigs every year. However, to feed pigs, they need crops. In order to grow more and more crops for China's pigs, Latin America razes millions of hectares of forest, savannah and pasture. At the same time, China builds more and more pork farms, which pollute the environment. It's all just words for us but not for China's poor villagers, who live near the pig farm and suffer from respiratory problems, waste, and the sludge that spews in their lake.

Excellent! =)

"huge population" = "huge amount number of people"

 

Alloka

Alloka (37)

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Thank you, Charlie! Have a nice day!))