Enjoy Your Hot Dog While You Can, Because The UN Is Going to Tax The Hell Out of It

Meat is murder and now it (and we) must pay

BBQ Blitz

Too many people are eating too much meat. The results are hard on the environment, as the industry produces massive amounts of methane and contributes significantly to global warming. As the Washington Post reports, some experts at the UN are considering whether taxes are the answer.

[Agriculture] already accounts for one-third of emissions today — and half of that comes from livestock. … agriculture alone would eat up the world’s carbon dioxide budget in 2050, unless we make changes …

members of a United Nations panel last month urged its environmental assembly to consider recommending a tax on meat producers and sellers. By raising the cost of buying meat, it would ultimately aim to reduce production and demand for it.

Beef, in particular, is damaging and a drain on resources like water, but red meat in general is basically a pollutant: “Red meat accounts for 10 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions.” And, not surprisingly, the US is one of the world’s leading polluters. WaPo calls America, China, Britain, and Brazil “the four most carnivorous countries.”

In the United States and Britian, people eat three to four times the healthy level for meat. Americans ate 120 pounds of meat in 2009, compared with four pounds in Bangladesh.

Yeah, and citizens of those countries probably consider that a point of pride.

Would a global tax help if America, China, Britain, and Brazil didn’t participate? And what are the odds that they would? The Britons would vote to LEAVE the UN too in a hot second if it tried to raise prices or otherwise keep them from their steak-and-kidney pies. Americans are no better. Beef is big business here, so for many it’s an emotional and an economic issue. We would form human chains around McDonald’s if they seemed even vaguely threatened by international bureaucrats. In a battle of BBQ against CO2, BBQ would win every day of the week and twice on Sunday.

I’m (still mostly) a vegetarian, happily eating veggie crumbles in my lunch as we speak, and I care about the environment, and even I recognize that a UN tax is completely, even hilariously unworkable. It’s such a toxic notion that it feels like a false flag planted by Rush Limbaugh. There are probably ways to cajole and convince Americans to eat less meat — it is only artificially cheap, for example, so maybe our government could stop subsidizing it; or maybe that lab-grown burger-type stuff will put everyone off dinner altogether — but a top-down initiative like a tariff coming from foreign busybodies that nobody elected, on behalf of an abstraction like the health of the planet, is, like, focus-grouped to fail.

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