“Every crisis creates a void. And whatever force fills that void, inherits power.” —James Bailey, management professor at George Washington University
“Callous disregard” doesn’t come close to summing up the Trump administration’s attitude toward workers in the U.S. agriculture system, especially those working the worst jobs in the world—slaughtering and processing animals in factory farms.
It doesn’t matter that low-paid factory farm workers, most without access to health insurance, are succumbing in alarming numbers to COVID-19.
Trump wants them to keep working, without protection, so consumers can get their cheap burgers and KFC chicken.
He wants them to work faster, which is why his administration is ignoring line speed regulations and giving Big Meat companies a free pass from any accountability for sick or injured workers.
After all, Big Meat contributed millions to Trump’s 2016 campaign.
OCA has long advocated for an outright ban on industrial factory farms. For years, we’ve lobbied for strong support for organic regenerative farmers and ranchers, and for helping industrial farmers transition to non-chemical, non-industrial farming methods.
Factory farms shouldn’t exist, period. That was true before the COVID-19 crisis. It’s wildly apparent during this crisis. And it will be true once we emerge from this crisis.
When COVID-19 finally lays bare all the obscene flaws and corruption in the industrial factory farm system, will we succeed in bringing down that system? And if we do, will we fill the void with a regenerative alternative?
Will we allow huge corporations and the politicians they elect to inherit the power? Or will we inherit the power?
It will come down to us, to our choices—what we buy, who we vote for, how hard we’re willing to fight back.
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