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Taxes may not exactly be your favorite thing in the world, but one group of scientists has made a novel proposal that may make some sense to those of you in favor of a meatless lifestyle: tax meat so we can save the Earth.

As recently laid out in the journal Nature Climate Change, the scientists argue that methane emissions from animal agriculture are one of the biggest causes of greenhouse gases (thus contributing to global warming).

According to the UN, emissions from livestock account for up to 14.5 percent of all human-caused greenhouse gases.

“Influencing human behavior 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,” the researchers state. “Implementing a tax or emission trading scheme on livestock’s greenhouse gas emissions could be an economically sound policy that would modify consumer prices and affect consumption patterns.”

In their research, the scientists note that scientific discussion about reducing greenhouse gases often focused on the cutback of carbon dioxide emissions, not on methane, even though methane reportedly has 30 times the influence on global warming than carbon dioxide.

As summarized by Voices of Compassion, “incidentally, though, reducing animal production would not only reduce methane emissions, it would also reduce the carbon dioxide emissions released from forest clearing for farms.”

Thus, the researchers assert, a reduction in animal farming for meat “could make a substantial contribution to climate change mitigation goals and yield important social and environmental co-benefits.”

Now, the proposition for a tax on meat is likely to be a complicated and controversial one, but, when it comes to influencing human behavior, money seems to be one of those things that can actually have an impact. A tax to help us save the world (and saving animals in the meantime)? That might be something some of us can get behind.

Image Source: Jamelle Bouee/Flickr

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79 comments on “Scientists Recommend Taxing Meat So We Can Save Our Earth from Greenhouse Gases”

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Gary
3 Years Ago

This idea is a great start, like taxing the cigarettes & alcohol. Vegan living is the BEST!


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Bernadette Ryan
3 Years Ago

Tax all meat and their will be less cancer and health issues! To eat meat is a very cruel thing in the way it Processed a very brutal death without honor, and u want to shove that in your Bodies? Being a Vegan was not a hard thing to do, and never missed the meat,dairy eggs so on! Plus the ranchers wouldn't be stealing the wild mustangs Grazing land that is allotted to them by government . People think outside of the square! I can eat hummus and pita bread with a piece of fruit and I'm full! Black beans have a higher percentage of protein then any meat can provide!


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Are you stupid or something?
24 Jul 2014

You, my dear, just like all retarded vegetarian/vegan types, are a major major problem on this planet.
Fine, you dont like meat. Thats YOUR problem, not everyone elses. Go look in the mirror and smile. See those flat teeth at the front of your dopey looking face? Theyre incisors. They are for tearing meat apart. They didnt suddenly appear in the last century (when you stupid people started appearing) they evolved over MILLIONS of years.... because makind EVOLVED to be OMNIVORES (eating plants AND meat) If you think you know better than nature, then fine, you go off and sit in the corner with the creationists. Meanwhile, i am a meat eater, i will continue eating meat. I dont work in a slaughterhouse because, (and this will be the only time you are correct) i dont like slaughtering meat.... this is why butchers and slaughterhouses exist. But i ABSOLUTELY DO need to eat it... because its what my species requires to survive. The sooner you drongos die out the better the human race will be.

Brigitte Truman
3 Years Ago

Such a ridiculous and unfair idea. Food is essential to life and should never be taxed whether you are a meat eater or not.


Reply
Brigitte Truman
3 Years Ago

No matter what, food should never be taxed!


Reply
Kati Devotchka
3 Years Ago

Taxes will never save our world. i. e., they tax the hell out of gas, cigarettes, alcohol


Reply
Eva Hoffmann
3 Years Ago

why are our tax dollars used to subsidize the unhealthiest foods ??? Billions of taxpayer dollars support meat & dairy through government subsidies. Scientists have a better idea -- TAX meat to curb global warming. (Photo by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine via Compassion Over Killing) https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10152067314891226&set=a.407670016225.188267.180512446225&type=1&theater


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VegAnya Fernandez
3 Years Ago

In favor


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Katrina Spain
3 Years Ago

good


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Sally Naveh
3 Years Ago

worth a try.....


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Michelle Macky
3 Years Ago

meat industry=biggest polluter on planet... and biggest cause of death... TAX IT... just like ciggarettes...


Reply
Are you stupid or something?
24 Jul 2014

Yes, more misrepresentation from vegetards.
Science (That thing you dont understand and yet allows you to post dumb shit comments like this) says that every part of your comment is so incorrect its not funny.



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