Cory Booker is on a mission to shut down factory farming in the U.S.
The New Jersey Senator and Democratic presidential candidate hopeful put forward a new bill earlier this month. Titled the Farm System Reform Act (FSRA), the bill is aimed at transitioning agriculture away from the factory farming system.
In the U.S., 99 percent of all animal products currently come from factory farms. These conditions are not only harmful to the animals, but they’re a threat to the planet too. One farm of 5,000 pigs can produce as much waste as a town of 20,000 people, according to animal protection organization Make It Possible.
This waste can pollute soil and make its way into water systems, including oceans, rivers, and streams.
If passed, FSRA will place an immediate moratorium on new large-scale facilities known as CAFOs (Confined Animal Feeding Operations). It will also place limits on existing CAFOs. It will devote $100 billion over a period of ten years to helping CAFO owners transition to more sustainable forms of agriculture. By 2040, the bill hopes to phase out the largest CAFOs.
Booker — who follows a vegan lifestyle — hopes the new bill will help small farmers and hold larger corporations to account for their environmental impact.
He said in a statement, “large factory farms are harmful to rural communities, public health, and the environment and we must immediately begin to transition to a more sustainable and humane system, such as raising pasture-based livestock, growing specialty crops, or organic commodity production.“
A Threat to America
Booker isn’t the only presidential candidate to slam factory farms. Earlier this year, Bernie Sanders labeled them a “threat” to America. He wrote on Twitter back in May, “factory farms are responsible for 1.4 trillion pounds of animal waste in America.”
“They are a threat to the water we drink and the air we breathe,” he continued. “It is unbelievable to me that Republicans in Congress have been working overtime to exempt factory farms from environmental laws.”
In 2018, the United Nations Environment Programme condemned the meat industry. It labeled tackling meat consumption as the world’s most “urgent problem.” It stated, “the greenhouse gas footprint of animal agriculture rivals that of every car, truck, bus, ship, airplane, and rocket ship combined.”