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Reader: Sanctioned animal cruelty 

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The Trump administration just ruled that animals raised for food under the "USDA Organic" label need not be treated any less cruelly than those in conventional farming. The decision reverses years of U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, which held that the "organic" label should impose minimal ethical, health and environmental standards. For the animals, this included adequate space, light and access to the outdoors.

Under the Trump administration, this will no longer be the case. "Organic" farm operations will be allowed to cram laying hens five to a small wire cage that tears out their feathers. Mother pigs will spend their miserable lives in tight metal crates. And dairy cows will continue to cry for their babies torn from them at birth, so we can drink their milk.

Caring consumers opting for "organic" animal products, to reduce their role in subsidizing these abuses, will now have no choice but to switch to plant-based foods, including the widely available nut- and grain-based meats, milks and cheeses.

— Carl Silverman, Colorado Springs

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