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ULM’s Sutherlin publishes third book of environmental trilogy

Published January 24, 2024

Hog Wash


MONROE, LA – ULM Chief Innovation and Research Officer John Sutherlin, Ph.D. has published the third book in what he calls his “environmental trilogy.” Hog Wash: The Strange Case of SSA Global chronicles the efforts of a group of international environmentalists, investors, and researchers as they attempt to find an ecologically friendly process to clean up the toxic waste pouring into lakes, rivers, and streams from confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs.)  

“CAFOs may be the biggest threat to our nation’s waters and air quality in rural areas. They are both an environmental and public health threat,” said Sutherlin.  

According to Sutherlin, Hog Wash details his experiences with a decade long research project he began when completing his Ph.D. Sutherlin and his research partner conducted extensive farm-based analysis and patented two inventions to address the environmental issues created by CAFOs. The project ended up taking them all over Europe, but Sutherlin says their naivety regarding the massive economic and political interests at stake led to the project failing. “Too many powerful, wealthy people had too much to lose by protecting the environment,” stated Sutherlin.  

Hog Wash closes out Sutherlin’s environmental trilogy, which began in 2021 with Playing With Fire and continued with 2022’s Garbage Gumbo. Sutherlin says he debated for 25 years about whether to write these books, but the COVID pandemic forced him to think about his legacy. “These books involve my efforts at various levels to address a range of ecological problems,” he said.  

Sutherlin says the research for Hog Wash was conducted during the 10 years he worked on the project, but the writing process and further research took him another year, with an additional six months for editing.  

Next up for Sutherlin is completing work on a documentary film, which will be the 26th film he has produced and directed.