Dairy would bring too many potential problems

I am so totally opposed to the Hawaii Dairy Farms. I was at Shipwreck Beach last week with out of town visitors. We sat on the grass adjacent to the Hyatt. The flies were so terrible we had to leave. I presume they were from the horses at CJM stables.

The following are facts which I am sure the dairy has not made public:

w In order for mammals to produce milk, they must become pregnant. Dairy cows are continually re-impregnated through artificial insemination within two to three months of having their previous calf. Naturally, a cow would nurse her calf for nine months to one year, but the dairy industry removes the calf from the mother after only a few days, so that the milk that was meant to nourish her baby can be made into cheese for you. Separation of calf from mother is extremely traumatic. Both the cow and the calf bellow and show obvious signs of distress when they are separated, often continuing for several days, leaving those within earshot is no doubt a harrowing experience for both.

w The calf that was taken from its mother is slaughtered for veal (yes, the dairy industry fuels the veal industry).

w Many cows are physically exhausted after two to three lactation periods, at which point they are sent to slaughter and end up in “low-quality” beef products like ground beef, canned goods, and baby food. If you think no animals are being slaughtered as a result of a dairy, you are completely wrong.

w A single dairy cow produces about 120 pounds of manure per day, which is equivalent to the waste produced by 20-40 people. Millions of gallons of liquefied feces and urine seep into the environment contaminating rivers and groundwater, killing fish, and delivering antibiotics and hormones into our water sources.

HDF has already made arrangements with local farmers to harvest their beef off these cows. Do you really believe, as the EIS states, that the dairy will improve soil quality and protect water resources; that it won’t impact local real estate values; that “thick patches of pasture grass will pass as “essentially an organic net” that quickly absorbs manure from the cows; that manure will break down in three days “thanks to a healthy ecosystem of microbes and dung beatles (which will be brought to our beautiful island by HDF); that the ground cover will eliminate soil erosion?

Amy Hennessy states that the cows won’t even produce enough manure to fertilize the grass growing on the site. They will of course put additional fertilizer on the land. The EIS states that “The dairy will provide a jolt to the economy” by providing 11 full-time jobs and 36 construction jobs.

I am also insulted that Ulupono Initiative believes we are so stupid that the people of Kauai would allow this impactful project to desecrate our tourism and housing markets. They can say anything they want about how the calves will be treated, but once they bring those cows to Kauai, we will be powerless over how they really treat them.

Please do not accept this EIS; it is a total conflict of interest because of the work done by Group 70 International on both the EIS as well as the plans for the dairy. Someone needs to speak for those who choose to remain silent.

•••

Kathy Sheffield is a resident of Koloa.

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