A farmworker at an egg farm in San Diego, California, on November 6, 2014. California voters passed an animal welfare law in 2008 to require that the state’s egg-laying hens be given room to move around, but did not provide the funds for farmers to convert. About a year before Sen. Cory Booker officially ran for president, he took a trip through the Midwest, meeting voters in the states he knew he’d need to win. One visit, in particular, sticks in his mind. It was in the home of a Republican farmer, a man who told Booker’s team he wasn’t sure he wanted to host the senator because “this is a Christian household.” Booker is Christian, but he knew what that meant: He’s vegan, liberal, an African American Democrat from Newark, New Jersey. Booker wasn’t the kind of politician this farmer saw as his own. Booker tried to loosen the guy up with dad jokes. “I told him his cows were udderly amazing,” Booker recalls. Nothing. The breakthrough came when the farmer began telling Booker about “the hell” he and his neighbors found themselves in. They used to sell their cows to five different companies, which meant if a […]

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