‘Sin taxes’ have previously been placed on other “harmful products” in order to reduce consumption. Currently, the average household’s intake of meat exceeds recommended amounts which is leading to public health problems and environmental issues.
Jeremy Coller, founder of Fairr (Farm Animal Investment Risk and Return) explains that the taxation would be necessary to “cover the true cost of human epidemics like obesity, diabetes and cancer”. He also noted climate change, antibiotic resistance and “livestock epidemics” are caused by meat production and consumption.
If the taxes were to go ahead, meat would join products such as tobacco, sugar and carbon emissions, which have been taxed due to the hazards they place on health and the environment.
A previous global analysis revealed that surcharges of 20% on dairy and 40% on beef would help to “account for the damage their production causes”, by leading to a 13% decrease in consumption. This drop would cut global warming effects and “save half a million lives a year”.
Meat taxes are already being considered in multiple countries across Europe. Germany currently holds a 7% tax on animal products such as sausages, cheese, and eggs, but recent discussions have suggested raising this figure to 19% for environmental reasons.
Coller discloses that “taxation of the meat industry looks inevitable… Far-sighted investors should plan ahead for this day”.
Director of Fairr, Maria Lettini explained that by “replacing meat protein with plant-based protein” and swaying even the most committed carnivores onto more plant-based eating, “we are changing the world”.