PETA Calls For Meat and Dairy ‘Sin Tax’ Amid COVID-19 Crisis
PETA has rushed a letter to Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak urging the government to ease pressure on the NHS, combat the climate crisis, and minimise the economic fallout after the COVID-19 pandemic by implementing an excise duty on all meat and dairy foods immediately.
Calling for meat and dairy to take their place alongside tobacco, alcohol, sugar, and fuel – all of which are taxed because of their negative impact on human health or the environment – the letter highlights the likely benefits of introducing the new levy:
“This would lighten the burden on the already overstretched NHS: modelling predicts that a UK tax on red and processed meats could result in 22% fewer deaths and save the health service £700 million a year.”
Why Are Meat and Dairy Bad for You?
For years, scientists have warned that filthy farms crammed full of sick animals are breeding grounds for new, antibiotic-resistant “superbugs”. Some studies suggest that by 2050, more people will be dying of such diseases than of cancer.
In addition to carrying a high risk of contamination from pathogens – including E coli, campylobacter, and salmonella, meat is laden with artery-clogging saturated fat and cholesterol and contains no fibre. The World Health Organization has designated processed meat as carcinogenic, in the same category as cigarettes.
Each person who goes vegan reduces their own risk of suffering from heart disease, obesity, cancer, strokes, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and numerous other health concerns – and spares nearly 200 animals every year daily misery and a terrifying death.
Meat, Dairy, and the Environment
The fishing, meat, dairy, and egg industries aren’t just relentlessly cruel to animals – they’re also a nightmare for the environment. Raising animals for food is “one of the top two or three most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems, at every scale from local to global” – as stated in a United Nations report.
Animal agriculture is responsible for 14% to 18% of greenhouse-gas emissions – more than the combined emissions from all forms of transportation. Cows alone produce more than 560 billion litres of methane per day.
The meat, dairy, and egg industries also have the world’s largest land footprint, changing the face of our planet. They take up one-third of the Earth’s land surface and are responsible for 30% of biodiversity loss. Humans are stealing land from wild animals to graze cattle or grow soya to feed the billions of cows, pigs, sheep, chickens, and other animals exploited and killed for food.
What You Can Do
The best thing we can do for animals, our health, and the living planet is to go vegan. Not eating meat, dairy, eggs, or fish is the simplest way for each person to reject the daily cruelty that occurs in abattoirs and on factory farms in the UK and elsewhere.
To get started, order a free vegan starter kit full of tips and advice for every part of your journey: