What's your Carbon Footprint if You're Amish?

The Amish community in Lancaster County, PA are coming under rare government scrutiny by the EPA. What would cause the EPA to look threaten the Amish farmers in this community?

Well it appears that the Amish farmers make up 50% of the farms in this county and very few of them take any efforts to contain the manure from their cows. This leads to pollution of the local water which ends up in the Chesapeake Bay. Water quality in the Chesapeake Bay has been poor for some time leading it's watershed to come under special scrutiny by the EPA.

I guess even the Amish have to worry about the impact of their animal centric diet.


Bentley said...

I think the Amish have a pretty small carbon footprint. Yes, they have dairy cows and use horses to plow their fields. But their dairy farms are comparatively small as all milking is done by hand instead of by machine. Without freezers or transported food (like the picture of the pineapple on the vegetarian website -- how is an Amish person supposed to get a pineapple???), a vegan diet is pretty much impossible without a 12 month growing season.

And unlike most of the vegetable farms in the country, the Amish aren't using oil based machines to plow or harvest.

They might make up 50% of the farms, but they certainly don't make up near 50% of farming acreage. Again, people or animal powered farming keeps their operations fairly small.

Chris Flowers said...

I agree that the Amish are most likely not 50% of the farming acreage. However, I also feel that anyone who is polluting, regardless of their size, should be held accountable for their actions.

I doubt the Amish are being singled out by the EPA and the other farmers getting a free pass on this one.

A.B. said...

Livestock waste disposal has always been the dirty little secret of animal farming. The farmers are all doing gangbusters business because everyone's eating meat, and none of them have ever bothered to put into place coherent practices of how to safely get rid of their waste. And that builds up and seeps into the water supply eventually, and we get to this.