This month, with the help of agriculture secretary Sonny Perdue, Trump’s hand-picked tool for an avaricious and inhumane food policy, a vital organic regulation was terminated.The Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices (OLPP) rule was designed to impose federal scrutiny on the living conditions provided for animals being sold as certified organic. Now, industrial producers will be allowed to exploit the loopholes in USDA enforcement to raise animals in factory farm conditions and then selling the resulting food products as “organic”.
In response to death of this ethical oversight, the Brooklyn-based group DCX Growth Accelerator launched an ice cream truck, painted the name Presidential Creamery on the side, and drove it through Manhattan. The mascot was a cow’s udder with a Trump-style toupee waving an ice cream cone. The menu boards mocked those of an organic creamery and instead of organic products, listed “cage-raised vanilla” milkshakes, “3 chicken per square foot” egg creams, and a sandwich named “the Sonny Perdue Beakless Chicken Po-boy.”
Today, as the legitimacy of the institutions we rely upon to protect both our existential and environmental values evaporates, the burden of that scrutiny falls back upon us as individuals.
The ethical values linked to the organic label are now disappearing. While it remains significant in terms of avoiding pesticides and the use of genetic engineering, it will not necessarily designate a humane product.
It is up to us therefore, to take the time necessary to become fully aware of the standards and practices of those who produce the organic animal products we buy. We must also be willing to support our preferred choices not just with the power of our pocketbooks, but also wit our most aggressive and offensive protestations.