Copyright Chris Edwards 2013
No More Cafos” was written and performed by Chris Edwards in 2013 for a symposium sponsored by the University of Missouri Peace Studies Program, Columbia, Missouri.

Hog Confinementville. This long “bar-closing romp” from Matt Olive in Iowa is actually the inspiration for cafozone. If YOU are inspired, let cafozone know and we’ll get ahold of Matt to give you the tune! Matt says: Our county was one of the few counties in Iowa to successfully pass a moratorium of the new construction of CAFOs in 2002. This victory was short lived as a Farm Bureau funded lawsuit quickly overturned local control. The court decided that an individual’s right to farm superseded a county health board’s right to protect its citizens.

 

HOG CONFINEMENTVILLE

 

Not so long ago Waylon and Willie were singing their tunes,

About the sweet smell of lilacs, hearts in bloom and roses in the womb,

About a rural refuge, down around paradise found,

Then one day old McMurphy bankrolled into town,

And now a soft summer breeze brings the kids all in to play,

Why there ain’t enough beer in Milwaukee to drink the stink away:

Chorus 1: Old McDonald lost his farm yee-yi yee-yi yoo

Pigs had to go, when the bank said no,

Nine cents a pound, brought him down,

But now old McMurphy has a factory

And in his factory there are some pigs,

Pigs so sad, that they go mad yee-yi yee-yi yoo

Corporate monopolies preach free markets as they rule the roost,

They tell me I’m free to beg to borrow more money to cook my goose,

The boys up at the statehouse look toward Murph with a smile and a wink,

Just like a barfly that knows who’s payin’ for her drink,

Because old McMurphy kissed Uncle Sam up on Capitol Hill,

Our little Green Acres is now called Hog Confinementville.

Chorus 2. Hog Confinementville, Hog Confinementville,

Double speak, Double think,

Ministry of Truth says poop don’t stink,

If that’s true then take a drink and let a fart and tell yourself it don’t stink,

If that don’t work, take another drink and do your best to do the double think,

Double speak, Double think,

Ministry of Truth say poop don’t stink:

We never ever thought that Orwell and Dickens would mean a thing to us,

But these corporate hog porkers are such a smelly mess,

Now we know all about Paradise Lost and Lord of the Flies,

Old man McMurphy and the Farm Bureau and their bank rollin’ lies,

Sent Norman Rockwell and all the small farmers to an early grave,

Noblesse oblige oh bourgeoisie you cheat God’s Trust and what do you save?,

But now old McMurphy has a factory

And in his factory there are some pigs,

Pigs so sad, that they go mad yee-yi yee-yi yoo

 

It was near the end of my shift I was pumpin’ the lagoon,

When a hydrogen sulfide cloud caused me to swoon,

Next thing I know there’s pigs in the sky as far as I can see,

When the Great God Foghorn Leghorn spoke to me,

Before market day let the hogs root the ground,

Or I’ll have the eternal Hounds of Huckleberry track you down:

 

(REPEAT Chorus 2)

 

Mad as hell serfdom united because they had had their fill,

So off they went to free Porky and Petunia from that corporate shill,

All those pigs finally freed from that darksome pit squealed with delight,

Say hello to the sunlight and to the tyrants of swine say good night,

Happy hogs filled the countryside with their snouts to the ground,

That’s about the time that Old McMurphy decided he best get the hell outta town:

But now old McMurphy has a factory

And in his factory there are some pigs,

Pigs so sad, that they go mad yee-yi yee-yi yoo

 

Pepe Le Pew picked up the stinking scent of Murphy gas,

Elmer Fudd spotted him and peppered buckshot on his ass,

The bloodthirsty mob assumed he was doomed as a sacrificial lamb,

But mercy prevailed and he was released into the care of thee esteemed Dr.,…Yosimite Sam,

The local peasants took back control and built a barn,

And then once again Old McDonald had a farm:

Old McDonald has a farm yee-yi yee-yi yoo

(Note: can run through gambit of farm animals if desired)

 

And on this farm he had some?… (spoken) PIGS!

SOME DIRT ROOTIN’, MUD WALLOWIN’,

SUNSHINE LOVIN’, HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY HOGS,

 

(sung) With an oink oink here and an oink oink here,

Here an oink, there an oink,

Everywhere an oink oink,

Old Mc…DONALD has a farm, yeeyi yeeyi yo

 

Chickens peckin’ around, eggs in the mow

Happy as can be,

Goats eatin’ weeds, down to the seed,

Happy as can be,

Cows chewin’ their cud, Pigs in the mud,

Happy as can be,

Old McDonald has a farm yee-yi yee-yi yoo

Waylon and Willie with their pet goat Billie, yee-yi yee-yi yoo

Orwell and Dickens sellin’ free range chickens, yee-yi yee-yi yoo

Pasture farrowed sows, steroid free cows, yee-yi yee-yi yoo.

 

T-T-T-T That’s All  F-F-F-F- Folks!

 

(Alternative Chorus if audience participation is desired)

Chorus 1 :Old McDonald had a farm yee-yi yee-yi yoo

And on this farm he had some pigs, yee-yi yee-yi yoo

With an oink oink here and a oink oink there,

Here an oink, there an oink,

Everywhere an oink oink

Chorus 2 : But Old McMurphy had a farm-    

FACTORY!

FARM!

FACTORY!

With an “fart” “fart” here and a “fart” “fart” there,

Here a “fart”, there a “fart”,

Everywhere a “fart” “fart”,

Poopee, poopee, peuuuuw;

 

.

b. “The CAFOs Go Rolling Along.” Since Farm Bureau likes catchy attack songs to support their irrational thinking, Missouri’s Paul Lehmann decided that he is not above such tactics. He wrote words to go with the tune “The Caissons Go Rolling Along.”

 

The CAFOs Go Rolling Along.

 

Over hill, over dale

As they hit the watery trail,

And Farm Bureau keeps bumbling along.

CAFOs here, Round Up there,

Chemicals are everywhere,

And Farm Bureau keeps bumbling along.

They’ll distort the truth

In order to pollute,

 

Shouting their fake news loud and strong,

They’ll destroy the earth

While reveling in mirth

And Farm Bureau keeps bumbling along!

Jessie Dryden is the newly appointed Rivers Organizer for Missouri Coalition for the Environment. Originally from Hannibal, which has experienced a record 200-plus days of flooding in 2019, her office is in Columbia but living in Jefferson City. Which, by the way, has also had floods in entirely new places in 2019. And, yet, the Missouri government is still in climate-change denial. Go figure.

Everything is connected

Connected by water

Connected by the flow of it

Connected by the atomies it carries with it

Connected by the energy it creates

Connected by the rock and soil that filters it

Connected by the trees, seeds, bees that drink it

Connected by all the creatures BIG and small

Connected by cities through pipes

Connected by engineers to homes

Connected by people that pollute it

Connected by people that preserve it

Connected by sewers back to rivers

Connected by clouds as it condenses

Connected to environment

Connected to all living things

Connected by everything under the sun

Connected back again by water through rain

 

What happens to rain over time if the process is corrupted?

 

When water is polluted

And soil is polluted

And air is polluted

And people keep polluting

What happens when these waters swell and flood?

Watershed forged downhill slopes

Raindrops seeking other raindrops

Connected back to freshwater through CAFOs

Connecting tainted water to tainted water

Taint, evaporate, compound, concentrate and repeat

What happens when the only element left unpolluted is the sun?

The sun burns brighter

Overcompensates the imbalance

The climate shifts to calibrate the change

And people endure and evolve with it or not

The sun still shines brighter

Shedding light on the pattern of behavior

Calling all MO people to work together to effect change

Be the MO that rises up flows a different way.

We are #MORiversRising

Melinda Hemmelgarn sent CAFOZONE this poem, which says it all. As a Registered Dietitian with 30 years of experience, her main concern is food quality. Known as “The Food Sleuth”, she hosts a syndicated radio program and contributes to journals published coast-to-coast, encouraging consumers to “think beyond our plates to find food truth.” Access her podcasts at KOPN.org.

Confinement
©Melinda Hemmelgarn
Where I live, wolves pace
borders, state line barriers
to expanding exploitation.
Snarling behind sheep’s clothing,
calculated waiting, negotiating
greasing palms, raising glasses
lobbying to legislators. Lift obstructions,
reduce regulations, neglect public protection.
Salivating now, panting with impatience
persistent, incessant pressure.
Let us in, we bring jobs, growth
we’re modern, we’re family!
Smiling, smell the money?
Hogs, by the thousands
breeding, caged and squealing
injected with drugs, emptying
bladders and bowels, bursting
fecal pits fouling our waterways.
Who speaks for the rivers
the fish, frogs, our future
children who long to play
in rippling streams
whispering future dismay?
Hold your guard fellow countrymen.
Statesmen, stand for freedom
to breathe sweet air, drink
clean water. Our future depends
on bravery against thieves.