The war against meat continues. In the early 1970s, the USDA changed its Dietary Guidelines for Americans to reduce the consumption of meat and dairy and increase the number of servings of grains, fruits and vegetables we eat on a daily basis.
The “experts” ignored science that proves animal fats and proteins provide excellent nutrition while offering satiety to keep us properly fueled and full longer. As a result of poor advice and faulty research, our nation is overfed and undernourished.
Yet, the push for a meatless society keeps gaining momentum. From Meatless Mondays to the erroneous claim that livestock production is a huge contributor of greenhouse gases, activists and vegan groups have convinced people that if they just gave up their beloved burgers for one day a week, they can save the planet.
Let’s not forget the World Health Organization (WHO) claiming that meat is carcinogenic and should be lumped in with cancer-causing tobacco products.
READ: Meat eating vs. driving: Another climate change error?
Then there are the folks who don’t want us to own animals at all. Groups like PETA, that euthanize thousands of cats and dogs each year instead of saving them and helping them find homes with loving families like they claim. These activists want nothing more than to eradicate the entire animal agriculture industry. I promise, they don’t envision a society where cows roam freely without owners; they have something far more extreme in mind.
Now, we’ve got major corporations and people with money to burn like Bill Gates and Leonardo DiCaprio investing in cultured meat produced in a lab — all to appease a customer who doesn’t understand the circle of life and believes a meat created from animal tissues sounds more appealing than a burger raised, grown and provided from a rancher.
Beef has been the punching bag for all kinds of misconceptions and mistruths. We field questions on hormones, antibiotics, animal welfare, environmental sustainability. We endlessly address consumer concerns and attempt to push back at the people with hidden agendas who simply want to take meat off the menu at all costs.
Sadly, it looks like these folks are just getting started.
Coming to a grocery store near you, consumers may soon face sticker shock when they see an added meat tax to their favorite burgers and steaks.
According to Emily Chasan for Bloomberg Technology, “Some investors are betting governments around the world will find a way to start taxing meat production as they aim to improve public health and hit emissions targets set in the Paris Climate Agreement. Socially focused investors are starting to push companies to diversify into plant protein, or even suggest livestock producers use a ’shadow price’ of meat -- similar to an internal carbon price -- to estimate future costs.”
READ: Taxes on meat could join carbon and sugar to help limit emissions
If this meat tax comes to fruition and our product is lumped in with items like tobacco, carbon and sugar, I’m afraid consumers will no longer be able to afford to eat meat, and the health repercussions may be quite troubling. Not to mention that the claimed environmental benefits are bogus; imagine a world where we have to synthetically create the products we enjoy as a result of misguided and misdirected social engineering.
In another article featured on Big Country, “Farm Animal Investment Risk and Return (FAIRR), an investor network that advises on factory farming, says it is increasingly probable that countries will start taxing meat in order to fight climate change. The group, backed by investors who manage $4 trillion in assets, argues that some governments could introduce sin taxes on meat consumption within five to 10 years in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”
READ: Is the taxman coming for your steak? Sin tax on meat could be coming
A sin tax on meat would be a shame, and that’s not coming from my position as a cattle rancher, but as a mom who truly knows and understands that beef is a healthful, sustainable choice for my family’s overall health and well-being. The true science is out there; it’s unfortunate that so many are willing to sweep it under the rug to push their own careers and agendas forward.
The opinions of Amanda Radke are not necessarily those of beefmagazine.com or Farm Progress.