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The Weekly News Source for Wyoming's Ranchers, Farmers and AgriBusiness Community

Another Sin Tax

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

Reading through Drovers Magazine a while back, I came across some really disturbing news out of Great Britain, where an investor group wants the government to place a sin tax on meat.

It has also popped up here in America, as animal rights groups and vegetarian groups, all against meat as a protein source, keep bringing up the cause. I guess they think if they keep bringing the issue up time and time again, we will start to believe it.

The Great Britain group is called the Farm Animal Investment Risk and Return (FAIRR). That’s quite a name, but this investment group is reported to be worth around $4 trillion in capital. Their main mission is to place factory farming on the agenda. Well, thank God, they’re in Great Britain. We do need to be concerned, though, as there are some organizations in America with lots of dollars that wish to protect all animals and are against eating meat.

As I see it, FAIRR’s main threat is they place meat in the same category as liquor, tobacco, carbon emissions and sugar. They see all of those products as creating human health issues. But you know, it’s all how you use it or consume it, because anything can be a human health issue if consumed or used wrong.

In Europe, a tax on meat is also being discussed by Germany, Denmark and Sweden, and in 2016, the country of China officially reduced its recommended national meat consumption by 45 percent.

Jeremy Coller, the founder of FAIRR and the chief investment officer at the private equity firm Coller Capital, said, “If policymakers are to cover the true cost of human epidemics like obesity, diabetes and cancer and livestock epidemics like avian flu while also tracking the twin challenges of climate change and antibiotic resistance, then a shift from subsidization to taxation of the meat industry looks inevitable. Far-sighted investors should plan ahead for this day.”

Man, this guy would give Al Gore a run for his money.

Also, major news outlets have jumped on the cause with headlines like, “Meat tax inevitable to beat climate and health crises,” “Sin taxes on meat to fight climate change and protect human health” and “Move over, taxes on carbon and sugar, the global levy that may be next is meat.”

The people who believe in all this garbage are also against countries that are growing or developing and their citizens, who are enjoying higher incomes and buying, among other products, fresh meat. FAIRR members and others are all in favor of not having any uses for lands except wildlife habitat. 

It seems strange that people think like this. Even in arid places like the western United States, one has to manage the lands and whatever grazes those lands or we get into trouble. The people pushing this issue must have never eaten a good steak or lamb chop. I can’t imagine having a sin tax on a hamburger or a hot dog – or any meat for that matter. I’m not so against placing a sin tax on chicken, but a lot of people make a living on chicken, so it’s not so bad either, I guess. 

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