Is your Meat about to be Taxable?
Is your Meat about to be Taxable?
This topic is a little less “fun” than our typical Fun Friday topics… and why? Because, this is current news, this is important, and this is something that our dear readers need to be aware of!
Good afternoon, and Happy Friday to everyone! I cannot wait to get done with my writing tonight (even thought I love writing) because I cannot wait to kick back with a cold beer, Hawaiian pizza, and binge Netflix (How to get Away with Murder, anyone?).
However, first I have something that I have to report on… and this is not our typical fun Friday topic. If you read the title, you should have an inkling what this is going to be about.
There has been a move by PETA to try to force lawmakers to impose a luxury tax on all meat products. The thought is that by applying an excise (sin) tax on meat, it will decrease the volume of meat sold, and this will decrease the rising healthcare costs that are present in the United States.
There are definite strides that have been occurring to move things towards this direction – the mayor of New York City has actively declared that all NYC schools are required to participate in Meatless Mondays.
There are a number of reasons that people are suggesting that this occurs. According to the studies that are being cited behind these decisions:
· Meat eaters are more prone to heart disease
· Meat causes more harm to the environment than vegetable production
Yes, these two arguments really are the crux of the whole thing; these activists think that they will reduce healthcare costs and save the planet by taxing meat.
Now, here’s the thing…
If people want to be vegetarian, we don’t have a problem with that. Please, be vegetarian… it means more meat for the rest of us (like will be on my Hawaiian pizza in a little bit). However, we do think that trying to stop all people from wanting to eat meat is not right.
We don’t try to stop you from eating vegetables, right?
But, emotional arguments aside, the reasons that these groups are citing to stand against meat production do not make any sense.
Alright, we all know that heart disease is a thing… people get it, and it is terrible and unfortunate.
Of course, just like anything, if you consume far too much red meat you do increase your risks. But the same can be said for too much anything…
Water toxicity and oxygen overdoses are also real things, so please do not single out meat as the sole culprit for heart disease.
In fact, the newest studies are showing that meat is not the problem… the problem is a massive increase in sugar intake. Most people agree that cancer is on the rise, and excessive sugar consumption has been linked with increases in heart disease and cancer, just as much, if not more, than meat.
That being said, let’s not demonize meat by saying “not eating meat will prevent cancer” or “eating nothing but carbohydrates prevents heart disease”. These arguments have been disproven repeatedly in modern science.
The Environmental Impact
This is another point – we stated in an article before that the environmental impact of meat production is largely caused by factory farms, not small family farms and ethically raised meat. That being said, right away, rather than targeting the small farmer who actually cares about his animals, target the large factory farms!
Really, is it the large company or the small “mom and pop” that will be more negatively affected by this tax?
Its not a trick question – I am sure you know the answer to it!
Also, a point to ponder… if the entire planet gave up on eating meat, yes, we would reduce the greenhouse gas emissions.
It would be a whopping 2.6% change… hardly enough to change anything at all in relation to greenhouse gases and environmental protection!
One more small point…
If you are going to talk about the environmental impact of meat, we are going to go back to arguing against factory farms and be pro small farms; these pasture raised and ethically treated animals are actually considered to be carbon neutral.
An animal with a carbon neutral footprint puts a massive dent in the arguments that are being made by lobbyists and activists to effectively censor meat consumption.
Why does it Matter?
I know right away that some people out there are going “its just a tax, just like many other foods”… and I get if you live in Alabama, Arkansas, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, or West Virginia you might not care since you already pay tax on your groceries.
But, remember…. They are not talking about your standard tax of anywhere between 4% and 8.5%.
They are trying to push a luxury tax.
Luxury taxes are painful, and if you have ever stayed in any hotel in Boston you probably know exactly what I am talking about.
Luxury taxes are not your normal tax – they start at around 10% and can exceed 20%. If you think about that, and you think about the price of meat, this will be painful.
On a $10 order of meat, you will pay an extra dollar. If this causes butchers and meat markets to lose 10% of business, then they will have to raise their prices to compensate so they are not losing money.
This will cause the loss of more business… and in the end they will find the economic “sweet spot” that will only allow the “haves” to have meat, and we will be back to the Middle Ages where meat was “rich people’s food” and vegetables were “poor people’s food”.
Now, this would then shorten the supply of vegetables, which will drive up their price. The result of this will be simple: Food costs will go up.
We spent decades making sure that our food costs as a nation were controllable, and this law, should it be enacted, will do everything it can to reverse that.
How can I Help?
At this point, there are no active online petitions to fill out. However, a proper call or notice to your congressman (or congresswoman), or a petition with at least 1,000 signatures, should force them to take notice that this is something that the general populace stands against.
Now, if these groups wanted to take an active stance against unethical farming practices, then let them do that… but let’s all speak up to prevent the government from taking food off of our tables!
Until next time – eat well, live well, and be well!