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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: 2, Insightful) by khallow on Wednesday December 13 2017, @07:34AM (1 child)

    by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday December 13 2017, @07:34AM (#609129) Journal

    No shortage of those, but in my mind the craziest idea of all is laissez faire: hands off the wheel doesn't work when the individual actors making decisions only see a millionth of the big picture.

    They don't need to. For example, if natural beef causes a lot of problems, then it'll get more expensive naturally and those billions of individual actors will see only the millionth of the big picture that matters, namely, how much they're willing to pay for beef that causes problems. Markets are very powerful for communicating problems of scarcity or unusual costs to those involved directly in the trade. Things like pollution are more difficult, but we seem to have fixed that.

    Meanwhile we could have top down people make ham-handed decisions that make the problem worse. That would be better than laissez faire, right? /sarc

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  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by JoeMerchant on Wednesday December 13 2017, @01:03PM

    by JoeMerchant (3937) on Wednesday December 13 2017, @01:03PM (#609197)

    The markets aren't going to communicate the true cost of beef until the forests are gone, converted to pasture. While that conversion is taking place, the cost of beef is subsidized by the sale of tropical hardwoods - tropical hardwoods that take hundreds of years to grow and used to house a tremendous biodiversity. Cow pastures grow cows, grass, fire-ants, and not much else.

    It's great for the people living in the age of exploitation (us) - gonna suck for the next generations.

    🌻 []