Is Biden’s Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack a Vegan?

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A rumor circulating on-line in February 2021 claimed that U.S. President Joe Biden’s alternative for Department of Agriculture (USDA) secretary, Tom Vilsack, was a vegan, supposedly making him a poor alternative for a position that oversees agricultural manufacturing and rural improvement throughout the nation, together with meat manufacturing. 

When readers requested Snopes to confirm the declare, we contacted the USDA. In an e mail, an company spokesperson stated the rumor was false — Vilsack is just not vegan.

As head of the USDA, Vilsack’s position is to supervise public insurance policies relating to meals, agriculture, pure assets, rural improvement, and vitamin — the majority of which largely influence agricultural producers throughout the nation. Vilsack was nominated by Biden and confirmed by the U.S. Senate because the thirty second secretary on Feb. 23, returning to a position the place he beforehand served for eight years underneath former President Barack Obama.

It is just not instantly clear the place the rumor originated, however it could have been a misreading of an opinion piece printed by the animal advocacy group, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), in December 2020 that claimed Vilsack can be “disastrous” for animal welfare throughout the nation. PETA is vocal in its support for veganism and “urges everyone” to stop consuming any product created from animals, together with meat, dairy, and eggs, and go for plant-derived meals as a substitute. However, PETA didn’t say Vilsack was vegan. Rather, the advocacy group identified within the article that he had ties to the dairy trade that have been objectionable to vegans. 

Vilsack, the previous Democratic governor of Iowa, has confronted backlash from different animal welfare teams as properly, together with In Defense of Animals and the liberal-leaning publication, Left Voice. The latter nicknamed Vilsack “Mr. Monsanto” and bashed his ties to dairy pursuits.

Ironically, it appeared that some social media customers speculated that Vilsack’s rumored tie to veganism made him a poor candidate for the job, whereas liberal-oriented teams claimed that his connections to massive agriculture meant he was “no friend” to Democrats or vegans.

From 2017 to his February 2021 affirmation, Vilsack served because the CEO of the dairy commerce affiliation, Dairy Management, Inc., which is managed underneath the U.S. Dairy Export Council. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported he grew to become one of many highest-paid executives on the group together with his wage coming in simply shy of $1 million — greater than quadruple what he was paid throughout his place underneath the Obama administration.

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