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posted by janrinok on Monday December 11 2017, @10:06PM   Printer-friendly
from the my-cold,-dead-animal dept.

Like tobacco, carbon emissions and sugar, we can expect the harm to human health and the environment caused by the production and consumption of meat to be mitigated by 'sin taxes'in the next five to ten years.

"Sin taxes" on meat to reduce its huge impact on climate change and human health look inevitable, according to analysts for investors managing more than $4tn of assets.

The global livestock industry causes 15% of all global greenhouse gas emissions and meat consumption is rising around the world, but dangerous climate change cannot be avoided unless this is radically curbed. Furthermore, many people already eat far too much meat, seriously damaging their health and incurring huge costs. Livestock also drive other problems, such as water pollution and antibiotic resistance.

A new analysis from the investor network Farm Animal Investment Risk and Return (Fairr) Initiative argues that meat is therefore now following the same path as tobacco, carbon emissions and sugar towards a sin tax, a levy on harmful products to cut consumption. Meat taxes have already been discussed in parliaments in Germany, Denmark and Sweden, the analysis points out, and China's government has cut its recommended maximum meat consumption by 45% in 2016.

Would you pay a "meat tax" or would you change your eating habits?

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  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 11 2017, @10:47PM (4 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 11 2017, @10:47PM (#608505)

    We tax the hell out of booze - so people make their own.

    Meat is surprisingly easy to produce if you're at all a creative sort. Rabbits? Chickens? Even the humble guinea pig? And let's not forget aquarium fish.

    And if you think that people are motivated for booze, just wait until you start cutting at their meat sources.

    Oh, and then of course all the CSAs out there just fattening a few steers. Where do they get them? *jeopardy theme music plays* Why, Alex, I'll take the dairy industry for $400. And if you think you have a fight on your hands now, wait until all the paediatricians point a finger at you for cutting off one of the top supplies of calcium for growing kids, for trying to tax the crap out of the dairy industry. Not trying to tax the dairy industry, you say? Bad news, chums, part of the reason that milk is so affordable now is precisely that they can sell their byproducts (i.e. surplus calves) at a decent rate.

    Seriously, this is just a wealth of unintended consequences waiting to happen. Are they going to give tax breaks to the poor for staving off diseases of malnutrition? Or is pellagra just part of a brave new world now? Did somebody tell these mental giants how much plant material you'd have to produce and distribute to replace the meat sources of amino acids? Or micronutrients?

    And what's good for a latte-sipper in a cubicle is radically inadequate for a field labourer. Historical records counting things like the caloric allotment to soldiers a couple of hundred years ago amounted to over 3,000 dietary calories daily. Put that in Richard Simmons's pipe and smoke it.

    And even if you just stuff your fingers in your ears and ignore all the dietary and economic consequences, what do you think will happen politically when entire regions that have strong meat economies, but are unable to produce much in the way of desirable plant products, find themselves in the economic crosshairs? This is practically tailor-made to alienate them. Good luck telling them how much you love them all over again.

    Yeah, the Good Idea Fairy's fingerprints are allllll over this one.

    If I hated the hell out of the democratic party, I'd be champing at the bit for them to champion this cause. As it is, I think that they have too much good sense.

    ... I hope that they have too much good sense.

    I doubt the republicans are that stupid.

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  • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 11 2017, @11:05PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 11 2017, @11:05PM (#608520)

    I doubt the republicans are that stupid.

    "I find your lack of faith, . . . disturbing." Shou-hsouuuh, shou-hsouuuuw.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 11 2017, @11:19PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 11 2017, @11:19PM (#608528)

      Good point.

      Rephrase: I doubt the republicans are unaware of which side their bread is buttered on this topic.

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by bob_super on Monday December 11 2017, @11:27PM (1 child)

    by bob_super (1357) on Monday December 11 2017, @11:27PM (#608530)

    > Are they going to give tax breaks to the poor for staving off diseases of malnutrition?

    This is the US. The poor die because they are lazy people who make bad choices. Cut my taxes, and I may give some money to my church, so after its brand new high-tech building is done, what's left may help feed some of the white poor. The black poor get "meat" in Jail, the brown poor will get meat once bulldozed back into Mexico.

    (/s for Poe's Law)

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by infodragon on Tuesday December 12 2017, @05:22PM

      by infodragon (3509) on Tuesday December 12 2017, @05:22PM (#608806)

      You are giving to the wrong church if that is the case! The church I go to/give to/volunteer time to is in an old building, we don't have a paved parking lot (we've been saving donations for that specific project for years.) We put on big meals as often as we can to help out the homeless and working poor. We operate a bus to bring kids in, for most of them it's the only time the ever see anybody care about them! Feel free to ask them, after a couple generations of kids bused in the numbers add up and their stories are both inspiring and soul crushing! We also sponsor an addition program that I personally volunteer for, we've been helping long before the opioid epidemic entered the public consciousness. Those are the highlights, there are many more where that came from!

      We also send money abroad to help out some extremely destitute, organizations with 3%-5% overhead (volunteers who care make sure the resources go where they're supposed to go.) The worst of the worst in the US live like kings compared to what I have personally seen in Honduras. Take a drive from San Pedro Sula to La Esperanza, I dare you! There are many places in the world worse off than that!

      If your church is building big shiny palaces it's not church, it's a country club with a religious theme that should never be granted non-profit status.

      In short if you're going to give money to any institution, do your due diligence!

      Don't settle for shampoo, demand real poo!