Is Cory Booker vegan? Yes–and then some. Not only is Booker the first black U.S. senator from New Jersey, he’s also an advocate for environmental issues, animal rights, and cruelty-free living. Indeed, Senator Booker is making it even cooler to be a player for #TeamEarth.
During the first few weeks of adopting a vegan diet, I remember excitedly reading about all the celebrities who also identified as plant-based. Alicia Silverstone? Ellen DeGeneres? Paul McCartney? It might sound weird, but it was a great comfort to learn that people I admired had chosen a similar path. To know that I wasn’t a freak or an outcast; beautiful, smart, and successful people had decided to make a change for animals and the environment.
When I learned the U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) went vegan a couple years ago, I was thrilled. To my knowledge, never before has a politician been so open and transparent about his veganism and the reasons behind it. Regardless of Senator Booker’s politics, I think we can all agree that promulgating a healthy, cruelty-free lifestyle is super cool.
So, how exactly has Booker brought veganism into the public sphere? Let me count the ways. He’s Instagrammed his vegan pizza night; touted the deliciousness that is cauliflower rice; and hosted a vegan lunch for the Congressional Black Caucus. #socute
Booker has also spoken at length about the impetus for his switch to veganism. He was a vegetarian for many years and even tried veganism for a short time in the early 90s when it was still very much a fringe movement. On what compelled him to give veganism another try, the senator conceded, “When you find yourself trying to avoid the truth about something because it’s inconvenient, because you know it doesn’t align with your values and your moral compass…I wasn’t living my truth.”
Something else to be hopeful about? With Booker’s help, Congress has introduced more than a dozen bipartisan bills on animal welfare. These include bills to end the shark fin trade, eliminate animal testing in the U.S. cosmetics industry, and ban keeping big cats like lions and tigers as pets. In April, a bipartisan group of senators introduced S. 826, the Wildlife Innovation and Longevity Driver (WILD) Act, which would promote wildlife conservation and help protect endangered species. “Scientists estimate that more than one in six species are threatened with extinction in this century. We must do more to protect endangered species, and we must do more to coexist with wildlife. The bipartisan WILD Act takes several important steps toward this goal, including promoting nonlethal solutions to managing conflicts between people and wildlife,” said Booker.
Thank you, Senator Booker, for giving vegans a good name.
Has a public figure inspired your environmental activism? Let us know in the comments below!
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Photo: official portrait in public domain; Cory Booker via Instagram