OPINION |

by Dan Chiles, Bois D’Arc

All hail the new Missouri state animal.

Our neighbor to the north, Iowa, has issued permits for over 10,000 confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs), in a state where nearly 60% of lakes and streams are already considered impaired due to various pollution sources. These CAFOs squirt out 68 billion pounds of manure annually into pits and ponds.

Millions of tons of bubbling Green Goulash containing manure, antibiotics, hormones, ammonia, viruses, pharmaceuticals and cleaners are regurgitated onto grasslands, where it may find its way into rivers, lakes and drinking water. 

The air inside these factories is so harmful that it must be blown out 24/7. Better to spew it downwind to the neighbors.

Having threatened Iowa’s rivers and the lives of thousands of citizens, foreign-owned ag giants (including Communist Chinese-owned firms with factories in the U.S.) paid lobbyists to get Missouri’s Republican-controlled legislature to pass laws allowing foreigners to own our farmland.  

Then, they imposed laws that crippled every important local ordinance that protects our lives, property values and streams.

Did these Comrades tell thousands of people who work in Missouri’s annual $13.5 billion dollar tourism industry about their plan to ruin our lakes and rivers?  Have they notified the 33 million visitors who come here each year?

Right now a lawsuit is chattering in a Cole County courtroom and when this inconvenience is swept aside, there may be thousands more meat factories threatening rivers and property values with no meaningful public discussion or permission required.  Many could be built in the basin around Stockton Lake that supplies most of Springfield’s drinking water and soon will supply most of Joplin’s drinking water. 

Missouri is a Fly-Over state and soon we will be Fly-Everywhere state. Sprinkle Flash Fried Flies on your funnel cakes. Stuff billions in a giant bag and float down to Branson for a FlyDay night date. Bass Pro becomes Fly Pro and their catalog shrinks down to one item: Fly Swatters. Let’s drop a Hog Factory on the parking lot at Hammons Field and point the blowers at the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce, Greene County Commission and Springfield City Hall.  These folks did NOTHING when we needed them most, so they get flies.   

That fly in your eye?  All hail our new state animal.

Dan Chiles is a former Springfield City Councilman, businessman and longtime environmentalist, who was profiled by the Daily Citizen’s Steve Pokin