A food and ag bond proposal has pitted some environmental groups against each other and raised frustrations from one lawmaker with a farming background. Dozens of environmental and sustainable ag groups support the measure.
At issue during a recent hearing were provisions that would fund livestock programs for reducing methane emissions as well as fuel loads for wildfires. Among the three groups opposed, Reverend Beth Love of Eat for the Earth asserted that animal agriculture “bears significant responsibility for the climate chaos, food insecurity, pandemic risk and disproportionate poor health outcomes.”
Republican Asm. Heath Flora of Ripon asked why interest groups like hers would oppose such efforts to reduce emissions, adding: “This premise that we're going to turn our entire state to a plant-based protein diet is fundamentally flawed.”
Love responded that animal agriculture gets large subsidies that lower the cost of products, and fruits and vegetables would be more affordable without the subsidies.
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“The last time I checked, a salad was more expensive than a hamburger,” interjected Flora before returning to his initial question.
“I quit my job as a minister—my paid job—because of how much I care about the climate crisis,” said Love, as the conversation grew heated.
“I share your concern about our environment and our kids,” said Flora. “I also want our kids to be able to eat.”