Remembering Elsie Herring, An Activist Who Fought The Powerful Pig Industry
On this edition of Your Call, we’re remembering Elsie Herring, an activist who fought North Carolina’s powerful pig industry. The country’s second largest pork producer, North Carolina is home to almost 10 million pigs. In Duplin County, where Herring’s family has owned land for more than 100 years, pigs outnumber people almost 40 to one.
In 2019, she told a US House committee: “When we go outside, we can’t stay outside for very long because the odor is so offensive that we start gagging, we start coughing, our heart rate (is) increased. We become depressed, we have a sense of hopeless- and helplessness.”
That same year, the American Public Health Association enacted a new policy statement advising federal, state, and local governments and public health agencies to impose a moratorium on all new and expanding factory farms. The policy recommends a complete halt until additional scientific data have been collected and any public health concerns associated with factory farms are addressed.
Naeema Muhammad, co-director of the North Carolina Environmental Justice Network
Hannah Connor, senior attorney with the Center for Biological Diversity specializing in harms caused by factory farming and slaughterhouses
The News & Observer: Elsie Herring dies: The hog-farm critic personified environmental justice for many
Food & Environment Reporting Network: Here are the rural residents who sued the world’s largest hog producer over waste and odors – and won