No Milk Today
(image via: Huis Marseille, Yasusuke Ota)
Fukushima was one of Japan’s most important dairy farming regions but when resident farmers were told to leave the 12.4 mile (20 kilometer) exclusion zone around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, they were forced to leave their livestock behind. While some of the dairy cows and cattle perished within days or weeks of the disaster, others managed to escape their confines and roam the countryside… and the cityside as well.
While escaped cattle are not dangerous, they do present dangers to nuclear plant workers crossing the Exclusion Zone in vehicles. It also goes without mentioning that since the cows have been browsing on contaminated grasses, they most certainly have built up dangerous levels of radioactivity in their meat and milk. Umm, think I’ll pass on that burger and shake, thanks anyway.
Pig farms once dotted the lush, rolling landscape stretching inland from the coastal nuclear plant and pigs used to graze the turf amongst the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant’s four reactor buildings – living lawnmowers, as it were. Following the March 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear meltdown, however, this placid tableau was replaced by scenes of apocalyptic destruction as pig carcasses littered the area around the stricken plant. Those porkers that survived the harrowing first few weeks took to the hills – literally – and have eked out a feral existence doing what hogs do naturally: root for roots and tubers while wallowing in water during the summer’s hottest days.