‘Meat Tax’ could be the answer

We’ve established that meat production doesn’t contribute positively to the environment, bar its products’ undeniably beautiful taste, smell, and sound (listen to that bacon sizzle).

While it’s true that a melt-in-your-mouth beef carpaccio brings a bite of romance to the world of food porn, perhaps it’s time to address meat as the luxury item that it is by assigning it a corresponding tax.

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Taxing meat would put perspective on our daily indulgence

An article published in Nature Climate Change has brought forward this ‘meat tax’ idea for the simple reason that if meat is more expensive less of it will be bought and consequently less will need to be produced, ultimately resulting in reduced carbon emissions.

Scientists, Ripple, et al., explain in their article, “Influencing human behaviour is one of the most challenging aspects of any large-scale policy, and it is unlikely that a large-scale dietary change will happen voluntarily without incentives.” This tax would be the incentive.

It makes sense. Let’s be honest, it’s hard to change, sometimes we need a little nudge, that’s why plastic bag consumption in Wales has reduced by 80% in the two years since the 5p bag charge was introduced.

It works, that’s why an identical 5p charge on plastic bags is going to be introduced in England in 2015, so why wouldn’t it work for meat too?

PETA have called for a ‘sin’ tax to be put on meat, like that found on cigarettes, alcohol and petrol. The name, superfluous as it may be, does come with a valid meaning; despite creating the image of steak being grilled over the flames of hell, a ‘sin’ tax is implemented to balance out the health or environmental costs. Just as cigarettes have been linked to lung cancer, diets heavy in meat can cause heart disease. And petrol and meat farming both put a strain on the environment.

Whether a tax is imposed or not, meat should be treated as an indulgence (it tastes like one too). Keep that in mind this Meatless Monday

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Meatless mondays

The Norwegian military are in conflict with a new enemy: Climate change.

It’s not just meat on your plate, keep in mind the consequences.
Image provided by dothegreenthing

While the United Nations holds it’s Climate Change Conference in Poland, the Norwegian army have committed to their own fight against our climate change problem by going vegetarian on Monday.

It might seem like an odd choice, but cutting out meat for only one day a week is expected to cut down the army’s meat consumption by 150 tonnes each year.

A spokesperson for the Norwegian military explained, “It’s a step to protect our climate. The idea is to serve food that’s respectful of the environment. It’s not about saving money. It’s about being more concerned for our climate, more ecologically friendly, and also healthier.”

According to The Future in Our Hands, a Norwegian environmental group, the average Norwegian eats more than 1,200 animals over the course of their life, including 1,147 chickens, 22 sheep, six cattle and 2.6 deer.

That’s a lot of meat, especially as farming is estimated to be responsible for at least 18% of greenhouse emissions, maybe more, Bill Gates thinks it could be closer to 51%

It’s a small change that could make a big one!

Would you ever give up meat for the environment? Let us know in the comments below.

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