A segment of Fox News talk show “The Five” focused on presidential hopeful Cory Booker and his stance against the environmentally damaging effects of industrial animal agriculture. The segment highlighted an exclusive interview VegNews recently conducted with the vegan New Jersey senator in which he openly spoke about these issues. “The tragic reality is this planet simply can’t sustain billions of people consuming industrially produced animal agriculture because of environmental impact,” Booker said in the interview in question. “It’s just not possible, as China [and] Africa move toward consuming meat the same way America does because we just don’t have enough land.” “The Five” co-hosts attempted to belittle Booker’s stance between bites of various meat products set up on the table between them.
To begin the segment, co-host Jesse Watters listed Trump’s opponents during the 2020 election. “[Trump is] the McDonald’s President and he is running against a vegan,” Watters said, before adding a malicious slur against presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren. “Think about the people running against this guy,” Watters said. “You have a vegan. You have a fake Indian named Pocahontas.”
Despite Booker’s statement to VegNews that he is not interested in “preaching to anybody about their diets,” Watters claimed that Trump would respond to Booker’s “vegan platform” by spouting statements such as, “He is going to take away your hamburgers,” “He will have to take away your steak,” and “Booker wants to take away your hot dog on the Fourth of July.”
However, co-host Juan Williams genuinely defended Booker’s position. “I don’t mind supporting him,” Williams said. “I think that 10 percent of Americans are vegans or vegetarians, so there obviously are a lot of us that believe in this.” Williams also pointed out that many Americans have questions about meat consumption and reprimanded Watters for calling Warren “Pocahontas,” prompting Watters to take a bite of a hamburger “in response.”
“As we evolve as a society, people are eating more of a plant-based diet, which is great,” Lisa Kennedy Montgomery said, adding, “[Booker is] demonizing cows. There’s a war on beef. I think we need to stand up for meat freedom.” The conversation then devolved into an incomprehensible screaming match between the co-hosts that was punctuated by Greg Gutfeld. “One thing that no one talks about is who is going to stick up for the plants?” Gutfeld asked. “Plants are also conscious. They feel pain,” Gutfeld added, with a smug look of satisfaction for his scientific contribution to the conversation.
A vegetarian since 1992, Booker’s last non-vegan meal was on Election Day in 2014. “I think that what we see happening in America is an awareness growing about the negative impacts that our current food systems have on animals, and it’s great to see that consciousness and how people are demanding a change,” Booker told VegNews. “You see very powerful corporate interests trying to fight against that change, when we, as Americans, don’t want to be engaging in activities that don’t support our fundamental ideas of justice and freedom.”