Environmentalists are targeting your hamburgers and buffalo wings with a “Meat Tax.” And they claim they have “never been closer to a meat tax.”
As reported by Bloomberg Law:
Hamburger addicts, barbecue junkies, and fried chicken fanatics may soon be asked to pay a surcharge for their obsessions with meat.
Excise taxes on beef, pork, and chicken could be the next big thing in a state and local tax environment that’s already comfortable with “sin tax” regimes aimed at cigarettes, alcoholic beverages, and gambling and is adapting quickly to special levies on sugar-sweetened beverages, greenhouse gases, and marijuana.
While there are no current legislative proposals imposing state or local surcharges on meat, a growing number of public health, environmental, and animal rights advocates are bullish on tax schemes addressing the mounting social costs of meat production and consumption.
“We have never been closer to a meat tax,” said Ashley Byrne, associate director of campaigns for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). “We have seen people—including meat eaters—realizing that meat is bad for their health and meat is taking this incredible toll on the environment. People seem more open than ever to an excise tax on meat. If we are going to tax tobacco, if we are going to tax soda, it absolutely makes sense to have a similar tax on meat.
Scientists at the University of Manchester have found a surprising global warming culprit – sandwiches. In the first study of its kind, the researchers carried out an in-depth audit of various sandwiches throughout their life cycles and found the triangular meals could be responsible for the equivalent annual carbon emissions of 8.6 million cars in Britain alone.
In 1762, or so the story goes, the fourth Earl of Sandwich rocked the culinary world when he couldn’t be bothered to leave the gambling table to eat and ordered the servants to just stick some meat between two slices of bread for him. Since then, the modern sandwich has become one of the most popular of food formats.According to the British Sandwich Association (BSA), the United Kingdom spends £8 billion (US$11.3 billion) annually on 11.5 billion sandwiches, with half made at home and the other half bought at shops, supermarkets, kiosks, and service stations. To better understand the environmental impact of all these sarnies, the Manchester team looked at over 40 different sandwich types, recipes, and combinations as well as how they are made, packaged, transported, and stored. In addition, they considered the waste produced in making them, as well as the stale, rotten, or simply outdated sandwiches that are thrown away.
What the researchers found was that not all sandwiches are created equal and that some varieties have larger carbon footprints than others. The highest footprint was found in premade, prepackaged, all-day-breakfast sandwiches. These contain eggs, bacon, and sausage and are kept packaged and refrigerated until sold and eaten – all of which is estimated to add up to 1,441 g (3.18 lb) of carbon dioxide equivalent, or roughly the same as driving a car for 12 miles (19 km).