The culture war issues in rural America used to be guns, abortion and secularism.
Now, it is guns, abortion and secularism, but also cultural degeneration, anti-whiteness, political correctness or wokeness, immigration, crime, hatred of “journalists,” hatred of Antifa and Black Lives Matter, anti-Americanism, censorship, civil liberties, “trans,” historic monuments, etc. Meat eating is just the latest front opening up in the culture war. There are a bunch of new culture war issues which appeal to people who aren’t particularly into evangelical Christianity or hunting or gun culture.
Republicans could also win a bunch of the White working class rural voters who vote for Democrats based on economic issues. A third of Joe Biden’s voters were White working class voters. Those are the people who generally can’t afford to be Republicans. Moderating the Republican policy agenda on key issues like health care would also resonate with non-White working class voters who don’t like the culture of the bizarre, college-educated, urbanite bougie professional wing of the Democratic Party either.
The best example of this is the climate change fanatics who believe that in order to save the planet that they have to alter the diets of working class voters. This appeals to a certain type of White urban and suburban voter who read websites like Vox and VICE. Eventually, progressive activists will force the issue and Joe Biden and the Democrats will cave at which point they will discover that diets cut across party lines. Virtually no black or Hispanic people eat cicadas or follow the climatarian diet.
Isn’t there a massive contradiction between what black people buy in the grocery store with their EBT cards as anyone who has seen them can attest and Joe Biden’s goals to reduce carbon emissions by 2030? You can’t take on industrial animal agriculture to fight climate change without demanding that black people sacrifice their ribs, pork chops, fried chicken, steaks and hamburgers.
Note: Currently, it is the GOP which is perceived as wanting black people to sacrifice those things because it is “welfare.” Their conservative-libertarian fusionist ideology cuts against them on health care as well.