Op-Ed: Is smearing food on the ‘Mona Lisa’ a productive form of climate change protest?
The most recent case of a smeared food – a rare occurrence – raises the question: does painting an object on someone’s face or other body parts also constitute a form of non-cooperation with climate change?
The person in question was a young man who had painted the Mona Lisa’s face with a mix of his own feces and food coloring to protest what he believed was the food system’s complicity in driving up the greenhouse gas emissions responsible for climate change.
The man was arrested at a protest at New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, along with others for disorderly conduct, after they allegedly refused to leave the premises and engaged police officers in a shouting match before being subdued, according to the New York Post.
“This is not the right way to protest,” said another demonstrator, a professor of art history at the City University of New York. “We are not protesting art.”
The man was held in lieu of $1,000 bail, released the same day.
The demonstration took place on Friday, just days after the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Green New Deal resolution, the first congressional effort dedicated to addressing the environmental crisis facing the country.
The resolution is not without its critics, however, and many have called on the Trump administration to end its efforts to weaken environmental laws before they can advance.
“We will look at every option to protect our air and water,” Trump said earlier this month. “We will also look at every option to grow our economy and create jobs.”
Trump’s environmental policies have been scrutinized in his administration’s first months, including a new regulation that would gut some clean tech standards. Trump has proposed opening up federal lands for oil drilling, and he has been considering repealing federal protections for the nation’s water.
Still, he has faced the most public criticism from people who say his actions have hindered efforts to fight climate change.
“If you’ve never painted a