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Byron Shire
March 5, 2021

A meaty point

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Mimi Bekhechi, PETA Australia. 

Researchers in the UK and US have put forward a plan that could prevent millions of deaths globally each year and save billions of dollars in healthcare costs.

It’s a simple plan: tax meat.

A 2015 World Health Organisation report found that bacon, hot dogs, and other processed meats cause cancer and that red meat – including beef, pork, and lamb – is probably carcinogenic as well.

The research estimates that in 2020, 2.4 million people will die from red and processed meat attributed deaths, while the healthcare costs for red meat-related illnesses will hit US$285 billion ($400 billion AUD).

A modest 16 percent drop in meat consumption would lead to a drop in global greenhouse gas emissions by over a hundred million tonnes. We tax cigarettes heavily to help cover medical costs – it’s time to do the same for meat.

Such a bold move would also save billions of non-humans from lives of terror, including having their horns cut or burned off and males having their testicles ripped out of their scrotums – all without painkillers, followed by agonising deaths.


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  1. This letter shows just how out of touch Peta is with the lives of ordinary Australians and with the livelihoods of those who work in primary production. Meat is an expensive luxury, and most of us are aware that over consumption is not a good idea. Moderate consumption of meat cannot be shown to have harmful effects on health as do cigarettes . That Australians have among the highest life expediencies in the world and do so without a vegan diet. Taxing meat would send a message to our overseas market that would undermine our exports and the standard of living of many in our region. It would be a regressive tax that falls heavily on rural and indigenous people who enjoy a traditional diet and in general have lower incomes. The millions of non-humans do not face terror – putting aside that they are protected by animal cruelty legislation which prohibits cruelty in farming, plainly our livestock would no longer exist if Peta had it s way . Interestingly a large part of our marsupial population would also die off as their current numbers are artificially much larger because of grazing and associated water availability.

    Can I suggest Peta takes this suggestion to Casino Beef Week and gauge how popular it would be among those in our community most dependent on meat production and export.


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