Unmasking the Enemy: Our Investigation Into Mexico’s Factory Farms Shows Environmental Nightmare
Animal Equality in Mexico has released a new report with alarming figures on the impact that animal farming has on the environment. The report follows the 2020 release of the short documentary, Enemy of the Planet, which was produced using drones that flew over two industrial pig farms in Jalisco, Mexico, and showed visible ecological damage due to the farms’ operation.
THE BACKGROUND: The new report is the result of an extensive investigation taking place over two years into numerous farms in Jalisco, a state that produces most of Mexico’s animal products, ranking first in the production of meat from pigs, eggs, and milk, and second in meat production from cows and chickens.
WHAT WE FOUND: Reports created from our findings show that the farms—most from large brands in Mexico including Bachoco, Proan, and Gena—do not comply with Mexico’s environmental regulations, do not have environmental permits and registrations, and are in violation of the country’s State Law of Ecological Balance and Environmental Protection. Our drone footage of the farms revealed many significant environmental issues, including:
- High levels of greenhouse gas emissions from ponds filled with animal excrement
- Wastewater spills that cause large-scale eutrophication (contamination by excess nutrients) in surface and groundwater, the surrounding soil, and important large bodies of water, like Lake Chapala
- Toxic odors due to the decomposition of organic matter and poor management of infectious biological waste
DEADLY AND DESTRUCTIVE IMPACT: These violations impact the native flora and fauna, neighboring crops and homes, and the health of the animals raised on the farms. According to our report, one of the most affected environmental components is water. Several lagoons containing excrement and other wastes were observed on the farms, as well as excessive water run-off due to rainfall which causes untreated sewage to seep into the ecosystem. These contaminants permeate the water tables and soil, creating a high density of bacteria that infects whoever consumes the food irrigated with these waters.
When the contaminated water evaporates, it pushes bacteria into the air that then spreads great distances in a very short period of time, causing diseases such as cholera, typhus, dysentery, gastroenteritis, hepatitis, polio, amoebic dysentery, and schistosomiasis.
WHAT WE’RE DOING: Faced with this overwhelming and shocking evidence, Animal Equality reported 44 farms to the authorities for acts and omissions that are causing ecological imbalances and damage to the environment. We are requesting, in accordance with local laws and regulations, the definitive closure of these farms, as well as the revocation of their permits, licenses, and operating authorizations. We are also asking these farms to repair the environmental damage that they have produced.
WHAT WE’RE SAYING: “Given such overwhelming evidence, it’s alarming that these farms continue to have permits to operate. We demand that the authorities take concrete actions to shut these farms down, as well as require them to repair the extensive damage they have caused,” says Dulce Ramírez, Executive Director of Animal Equality Mexico.
YOU CAN HELP: Climate change, habitat loss, deforestation, air, soil, and water pollution, and pandemic diseases all have one thing in common: Factory farming. In addition to profiting from the suffering of animals, industrial animal agriculture also impacts our planet and human safety. It is up to us to create change! In addition to sharing out our reports and investigations, the best thing that you can do is to stop eating animal products. By living more compassionately, you not only are sparing animals from cruel and abusive practices, but you’re also helping to save our planet and your health. With your conscious choices, you will make a difference for all of us!