Gov. Ron DeSantis apparently isn’t worried about votes from vegetarians, given comments in Bowling Green in which he wove a preemptive defense of meat during an attack on environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG).
“I know the Legislature is doing a bill to try to protect our meat. You need meat, OK? And we’re going to have meat in Florida. Like, we’re not going to have fake meat. Like, that doesn’t work. So we’re going to make sure to do it right.”
DeSantis’ enthusiasm for animal flesh is well-documented, of course, and was a recurrent talking point during his now-suspended run for the Republican presidential nomination.
“You don’t have to worry about me with any beef or any meat,” DeSantis said in Iowa last month. “We need meat. I mean, like I couldn’t live, I couldn’t go a week without it.”
The Governor made those comments in response to a question from an Iowa farmer who objected to California’s standards for the treatment of hogs.
He made similar meat-positive comments in 2023 while wooing pig farmers in the Hawkeye State.
“I can tell you when I’m President, I’m not going to let anyone take away your meat, that’s for sure. I mean, I couldn’t subsist if I didn’t have the good meat. So don’t worry about that,” DeSantis said in December.
“Look, don’t worry about me. Like, I want people eating meat, I want people — we got to do that. I mean, so some people on the Left don’t like that. We know it’s important, and that’s something that you can count on me for,” DeSantis added in a radio interview the same month.
The Governor, while at a Never Back Down bus tour stop in Iowa back in August, said his presidential administration would not “let California regulate how farmers in Iowa conduct their business on things like, you know, these pork producers have to follow California law to do this stuff.”
California statute, which restricts imports from states not following this process, dictates that the “enclosure shall allow the breeding pig to lie down, stand up, fully extend limbs, and turn around freely,” with “a minimum of 24 square feet of usable floor space per breeding pig.”
While a 4×6 enclosure sounds cozy, to say the least, it was actually too much for Iowa farmers and the Governor who sought their votes.