Call for Meat and Dairy ‘Sin Tax’ Amid COVID-19 Crisis

For Immediate Release:

5 May 2020


Jennifer White +44 (0) 20 7837 6327; [email protected]


PETA Points Out High Health and Environmental Toll of Eating Animal Flesh

London – To ease pressure on the NHS, combat the climate emergency, and lessen the economic fallout after COVID-19, PETA has rushed a letter to Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak urging the government to implement 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 (available here) notes, “This would lighten the burden on the already overstretched NHS: modelling predicts that a UK tax on red and processed meats could result in ”

“We must heed the Committee on Climate Change’s call for meat and dairy consumption to be cut down  and act on the United Nations’ recommendation that national governments introduce a tax on meat,” writes PETA Director of Vegan Corporate Projects Dawn Carr. “The resulting tax revenue could be used to help meat and dairy farmers make the transition into healthier, more sustainable crop farming at a time when the plant-based food market is booming.”

PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat” – notes that, in addition to carrying a high risk of contamination from pathogens including E coli, campylobacter, and salmonella, meat contains no fibre and is packed with artery-clogging saturated fat and cholesterol. Each person who goes vegan reduces their own risk of suffering from heart disease, obesity, cancer, strokes, and numerous other health concerns – and spares nearly 200 animals every year daily misery and a terrifying death. In today’s meat, egg, dairy, and fishing industries, piglets’ tails are clipped without painkillers, chickens’ throats are cut while they’re still conscious, cows are forcibly separated from their beloved calves, and fish are cut open while they’re still alive.

The group also notes that deadly outbreaks of swine flu, avian flu, SARS, HIV, foot-and-mouth disease, mad cow disease, and other zoonotic diseases have stemmed from capturing wild animals or farming animals for food.

PETA opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit