If environmentalists and health nuts get their way, your steak could be getting a little more expensive.
According to Bloomberg, governments looking to improve their citizens' eating habits, and simultaneously protect the environment from the disastrous impact of cattle, pig, and goat farming, are suddenly turning "bullish" on the idea of implementing a "sin tax" against people who purchase meat, either at grocery stores or in restaurants.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, which fights the consumption of meat by forcing crowds to objectify hot women dressed in lettuce leaf bikinis, killing thousands of shelter animals each year, and impotently trying to convince the internet to abandon bacon, is one of the organizations behind the push, of course.
We have never been closer to a meat tax,” said PETA director Ashley Byrne. “We have seen people—including meat eaters—realizing that meat is bad for their health and meat is taking this incredible toll on the environment. People seem more open than ever to an excise tax on meat. If we are going to tax tobacco, if we are going to tax soda, it absolutely makes sense to have a similar tax on meat.”
The groups cite a recent study by the World Health Organization that links conspicuous meat consumption to cardiovascular disease, antibiotic resistances, and some colo-rectal cancers, as well as a United Nations-issued environmental document that accuses livestock farmers of contributing to everything from deforestation to water pollution in their quest to provide countrymen with delicious, protein-rich animal meats.
If there is a "meat tax," Bloomberg notes, it'll probably happen in Europe first, where everything is taxed and no one complains, and would probably impact the meat industry first and meat eaters only eventually.
Activists reluctantly admit that the United States, at least, probably won't embrace a meat tax as readily as our European cousins, not just because we like meat, but because "sin taxes" are on the decline. Even Chicago, which has readily embraced a whole measure of sin taxes, was forced to reconsider — and ultimately repeal — a tax on sugary beverages, after stores put drink tax information directly in front of consumers.