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‘The Smell of Money’: Documentary highlights environmental racism of the pig industry

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CAFOs emit more than 168 gases and hazardous chemicals that can cause a number of serious illnesses, including irreversible brain damage, headaches, nausea, sore throats, dizziness, and sinusitis.

SOPHIE HIRSH: There are endless injustices within the pork industry, even going beyond the animal rights concerns and environmental damage. Those who live near pig farms and slaughterhouses have to deal with unthinkable pollution and health issues, and their stories highlight the plight of environmental racism in the U.S. — and the new documentary The Smell of Money aims to bring all of this to light. “All the laws protect these industries, no one is protecting us,” activist Elsie Herring says in the film’s trailer.

Produced by actress and longtime vegan Kate Mara, The Smell of Money is a must-watch for anyone with a heart who wants to see things get better in the country — but especially for those who eat pigs and are unknowingly supporting this heartless and pollutive industry. Keep reading for the details on the documentary, as well as how to watch it… The Smell of Money gives viewers an inside look at how the pork industry is hurting residents of eastern North Carolina…they are primarily CAFOs (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation) or factory farms.

The trailer touches upon just a few of the unjust things the pork industry does — namely, feces spraying. Because pigs produce so much waste, it is common practice for farmers to literally spray hog manure into nearby fields and streams, which pollutes the air, the ground, and waterways — and this pollution directly impacts nearby people. The trailer even mentions an instance in which pig feces spraying killed more than a billion wild fish within a week and a half.

According to Sierra Club, CAFOs emit more than 168 gases and hazardous chemicals, including hydrogen sulfide; hydrogen sulfide poisoning can cause a number of serious illnesses, including irreversible brain damage, headaches, nausea, sore throats, dizziness, and sinusitis… “Ain’t nobody helping us,” one woman says in the documentary, adding that no one seems to care about protecting her and her neighbors because they are Black and living in a rural area.

The documentary includes the firsthand personal stories of a number of locals, primarily Elsie Herring, who passed away in May 2021. Herring lived on land that her grandpa bought after claiming his freedom from slavery, and had dedicated much of her life to fighting the pork industry and the pollution it inflicts upon neighbors…

The documentary chronicles the team’s landmark lawsuit, in which “the residents risk everything to reclaim their rights to clean air, pure water, and a life free from the stench”… The Smell of Money made its world premiere at the Sarasota Film Festival in April 2022, where it won the Documentary Feature Jury Prize. It also played at the Hot Docs Festival later that month… The film is not yet available to the public. SOURCE…

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