Taxing Meat – Preposterous

cowSome things really get my goat in the news, on Friday it was an article in the Guardian (I know not the Daily Mail) that bugged me. Apparently some people (chief of the UN’s climate science panel to the economist Lord Stern) want to tax meat. Thus to encourage us to eat less of it and reducing global warming, because cows fart too much.

Yes it’s the methane which is produced from our farming, mainly from the sheep, cattle and goats. It is actually as simple as these animals fart too much, the idea of that does sound silly but the suggestion of taxing meat to cut down consumption is what is preposterous. The scientists who published in the journal Nature Climate Change said:

“Influencing human behaviour is one of the most challenging aspects of any large-scale policy, and it is unlikely that a large-scale dietary change will happen voluntarily without incentives. Implementing a tax or emission trading scheme on livestock’s greenhouse gas emissions could be an economically sound policy that would modify consumer prices and affect consumption patterns.”

However I don’t believe a tax would work, especially as only a select few would probably implement the tax (the UK being first at the door for this extra income). Although in the UK increasing tax on petrol did cut use of cars it was only because people literally couldn’t afford to fill their tanks and people stopped using their cars unless an absolute necessity. However as public transport costs increase I predict people going back to their cars as it will turn out to be the more affordable option.

Same with tax on alcohol and cigarettes those that still want to and afford to still over indulge, those on a budget are the ones who cut down or do without and the same will happen with meat. Eventually it will become affordable o the rich. Now I know I will be able to afford it, but that’s not the point. The wife and I don’t eat a lot of meat, she is surprisingly a good cook, and so can make a joint last a few days. We eat a varied diet and I personally don’t think we overeat and as a tight Yorkshire man I can’t abide by waste.

The only way to cut meat consumption is to cut down what we produce, think of all the waste which goes into crap ready meals, dodgy chicken and beef burgers and the rest. Not wanting to sound like an old man, but what’s wrong with going back to the good old days and consuming meat like we used to. I’d much rather do that than pay tax and line the politician’s pockets?

Image courtesy of Lars_Pistasj

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