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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) by gottabeme on Wednesday December 13 2017, @10:06AM (1 child)

    by gottabeme (1531) on Wednesday December 13 2017, @10:06AM (#609166)

    Your argument seems to go like this:

    1. Producing beef requires X resources per eater, when consumed at a rate of Y beef per eater.
    2. The number of beef eaters is increasing.
    3. At some future point, there will not be enough resources to produce enough beef to meet the extrapolated demand.
    4. Therefore we should artificially restrict beef consumption now.

    It does not follow. This is what the law of supply and demand solves. As beef demand increases, beef supply decreases, and beef price increases. The back-and-forth feedback continues as production and consumption incentives are adjusted.

    If beef were to eventually become too expensive for most people to eat (as can be said now of many foods), so what? Isn't that what you (they?) want anyway?

    Why don't you just be patient and let it happen naturally? But this reveals the true motive: it's not about the beef at all.

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  • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Wednesday December 13 2017, @01:09PM

    by JoeMerchant (3937) on Wednesday December 13 2017, @01:09PM (#609200)

    The problem is the externalized costs and temporary subsidies of beef production today. The subsidies (sale of timber when converting forest to pasture, for one - tax incentives for ag-conversion of wild spaces for another) are temporary, and serve to ramp up demand in the short term, demand that will persist into rising prices. The externalized costs include the destruction of biodiversity, pollution emitted in the process of production, and more that I'm not in the mood to dig up because, yeah, everybody here is right, meat is a small thing in the bigger picture. Whether each human needs 1 acre of productive land to sustain their consumption, or 10, is really moot - soon enough the population will rise to a level where the market forces start the squeeze.

    If we could manage to start that squeeze before we totally consume the available resources of the planet, it would be good for our children, and amazingly good for theirs.

    --
    Україна досі не є частиною Росії. https://www.newsweek.com/russian-state-tv-ukraine-war-dirty-bomb-putin-1754428