The climate-change case for taxing your hamburger

By Lucien Crowder | December 11, 2017


They tax your booze. They tax your cigarettes. They tax your casino winnings. Now they’re coming after your T-bone steak.

Well, maybe.

Cows are notorious for producing methane as a by-product of digestion. So incorrigibly gaseous are our bovine friends that, according to Damian Carrington of The Guardian, “[t]he global livestock industry causes 15 percent of all global greenhouse gas emissions.” That’s just rude.

Now, something called the Farm Animal Investment Risk and Return Initiative argues that meat taxes are becoming inevitable—indeed, the prospect has already been discussed in the parliaments of several tax-loving nations in northern Europe.

Don’t tell Texas.

Then again, maybe lab-grown meat will render the whole issue moot. Look out for the upcoming January/February issue of the Bulletin’s digital journal, in which Carolyn Mattick of Arizona State University surveys the promise (and peril) of cellular agriculture, an emerging means of growing meat from cell samples. If cellular agriculture pans out as hoped, meat lovers might get all the tax-free beef they want. Hold the methane, pass the steak sauce.

Publication Name: The Guardian
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