Lynn Henning

Lynn Henning never grew up knowing that one day she would fight to keep her homeland safe. At 42 years of age, that’s exactly what happened. Lynn grew up on a family farm in rural Michigan. Large farming and meat companies sought to take advantage of the land by setting up concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFO’s). Originally content with the CAFO’s due to the increased wealth brought to the area, the damage they caused quickly became apparent to her. Up to ten thousand cows could be stuffed together into one CAFO which results in large amounts of manure. This Manure was drained with the pee and blood into open lakes to sit there and leech into the ground water. This can contaminate entire communities and leech a landscape of its nutrients.

Being a farmer most of her life, Lynn knew nothing of the violations the CAFO’s were breaking by they way the dispose of their waste. It wasn’t until her in laws were diagnosed with hydrogen sulfide poisoning that was directly attributed to the cow waste did she chose to battle for her beliefs. Lynn pursued state officials until they would run water quality tests. She became a Water Sentinal with the Sierra Club which meant she was responsible for monitoring water quality. Lynn gathered enough evidence to bring the issue into the mainstream media and forced pressure on the CAFO’s. The state then upgraded its water pollution techniques and levied hundreds of citations against the companies. Due to Lynn’s aggressive pursuit of closing the CAFO’s, the state started to deny permits for them for the first time ever. Any CAFO’s would have to be built somewhere else because of what she did.

Lynn is an inspiration to me because she single handedly managed to slow down the degradation of our fragile ecosystem. She works hard to stop the widespread damage that the concentrated cattle can cause. It makes me wonder how much change would be attainable if more people were determined like Lynn. She received many threats and total social exclusion from those in the town around her. Lynn stayed strong because she knew she was fighting the good fight. Even though Lynn had no prior knowledge about water pollution, she informed herself and was able to make a difference. This is something we can all learn from as we face potential environmental power struggles. We may not grow up knowing that we’ll fight for our homeland, but we all have the potential to do so within us.

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3 thoughts on “Lynn Henning

  1. I find it so inspiring to see individuals make such huge impacts on matters that effect not only themselves, but the people and world around them. I agree with your question of, how many more great things could be achieved if more people were aware they could really make such a difference. If more people took the time to become educated and informed, or even find something that they are passionate enough about that they will stand threats and social exclusion, how many aspects of our day to day lives would change? I also found your chosen topic interesting because it brought awareness to people working towards helping our ecosystems-not just the people that inhabit them. It is important that these sort of things are brought to our attention because ultimately the earth is the only home we have and we need to be aware of how our actions are effecting it.

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  2. the fact that one person contributed their ideas and beliefs in order to make a change should resonate within us all. Lynn Henning is living proof that one person can make a big difference in this world. All together humanity has the power capable of changing the way our society is operated. Not only did this post raise awareness about what one person can acheive, it also raises the question as to why large companies get away with such atrocities. In the world of buisness a large accumulation of wealth is the only goal, mind set, and achievment. Rather than corrupting this planet in order to obtain success, we as a whole should protect it and succeed accordingly to the changes made. Ubuntu could be a viable solution, but that is a different topic entirely!

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  3. What an interesting perception to our attitudes as a race, and how to pursue your goals! Lynn’s story is not only encouraging, but is important as the Eco system not only effects everyone now – it also effects future generations. I agree with Sam on this one, It’s a total domino effect. If one person can make THAT much of a difference, imagine an entire community or city! I feel like realization to the importance of local issues is the greatest start to making a difference in general. After all, what is more important than the people around you, sharing the same air and water! Great job Cam, this topic brings many questions to the surface that are left unspoken. It’s about time we took notice.

    Liked by 2 people

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