With cows (and their pesky flatulence) soon to be extinct, Cory Booker’s concern that planet Earth “simply can’t sustain” people eating meat is kind of a non-starter.
Nevertheless in an interview with the vegan magazine VegNews, the 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful made his grim pronouncement, despite the fact that animals in the wild have been killing and eating the flesh of other animals for some 530 million years.
Although Booker claimed he really doesn’t want to tell people what to eat (even though he did concede he does wants government to increase drastically the cost of meat), he did say that “Americans need to be nudged into fake cheese because the planet cannot sustain the ‘environmental impact’ of the food industry,” the Washington Free Beacon reports.
“You see the planet earth moving towards what is the Standard American Diet,” he said. “We’ve seen this massive increase in consumption of meat produced by the industrial animal agriculture industry. The tragic reality is this planet simply can’t sustain billions of people consuming industrially produced animal agriculture because of environmental impact,” he added. “It’s just not possible.”
According to Booker, China and Africa are moving “toward consuming meat the same way America does because we just don’t have enough land.”
He also declared that while government shouldn’t dictate Americans’ diets, efforts should be made to offer alternatives he thinks consumers will like better. He didn’t offer specifics, though surely he is aware that products like “tofurky” (bean curd that is seasoned and textured to resemble turkey) and “fakon” (a “bacon” substitute coaxed from vegetable proteins) have been around for decades.
Indeed there has been some growth in the plant-based food market. A report in Supermarket News last week optimistically predicts that the the sale of alternative proteins will reach $5.2 billion by 2020. But the growth in plant-based consumerism has occurred without government intervention. And with Americans gobbling down 52 billion pounds of beef alone in 2017, persuading them to forsake meat may be a tough sell.
Lest you think Booker doesn’t practice what he preaches, he himself “became vegan after coming to the realization that eating eggs ‘didn’t align with my spirit.’” If that’s some indirect reference to his digestive system and bathroom habits, I’d rather he keep it to himself.