by Diana O. Potter
Animal agriculture’s callousness and cruelty toward the animals raised for human food is so widely known, it’s seemed surprising that it hasn’t been subjected to major regulation. Now, however, one senator
The vegan senator’s bold new bill aims to dismantle the unjust animal agriculture system.
On December 16, 2019, New Jersey Senator and Democratic presidential candidate Cory Booker proposed the Farm System Reform Act (FSRA), a new bill that aims to transition animal agriculture away from factory farming. FSRA bans the opening of new large-scale concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) and limits the growth of existing CAFOs in the meat and dairy sector. The bill also aims to phase out the largest CAFOs—as defined by the Environmental Protection Agency—by 2040 and hold large meatpackers accountable for the pollution they create. With his bill, Booker hopes to protect small-scale animal farmers who are often contractually bound to, and exploited by, large corporations. “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,” Booker—who has been vegan since 2014—said. The FSRA would set aside $100 billion over the course of 10 years to help former CAFO-owners transition into what the bill describes as better forms of agriculture, “such as raising pasture-based livestock, growing specialty crops, or organic commodity production.”