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March 1, 2021

Tax meat to combat climate change

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Chatham House, an international think tank that works to build a sustainably secure, prosperous, and just world, recently recommended a carbon tax on meat to help combat climate change.

Is anyone else having feelings of déjà vu?

People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) made this same suggestion four years ago when it called on the government to levy a ‘fart tax’ on meat, and then again in August this year, when it urged officials to extend the GST to include meat and other animal-based foods.

Like PETA, Chatham House believes that taxing meat would be one of the most effective ways to reduce meat consumption, which would in turn help reduce animal suffering, healthcare costs, and greenhouse gas emissions.

According to Chatham House researchers, animal agriculture is responsible for about 15 per cent of global greenhouse emissions – as much as the direct emissions from cars, planes, trains and ships combined.

The researchers feel that the revenue from a meat tax should be used to subsidise healthy plant-based foods, which are less damaging to the environment and healthier for humans.

By taxing meat – and offering more plant-based meals in schools, hospitals, prisons, and military facilities – the government can give people yet another incentive to eat tasty vegan foods.

Of course, there’s no need to wait for the government to take action – we can opt for healthy, humane vegan meals whether the government implements a meat tax or not.

Des Bellamy, special projects coordinator, PETA Australia


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