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Here comes the meat tax: Paying more for environmentally harmful foods may be inevitable

JAMES HAMBLIN: ‘Sitting aghast in a booth at the Heart Attack Grill, Thomas Jefferson would remind us that in the United States, informed consumers have the God-given right to do with their bodies what they choose. Watching people gorge on towers of beef might please him. But while self-harm may be a right of all people, a line is crossed when we step on the ability of others to do the same. In Jefferson’s view, it is sometimes necessary “to lay taxes for the purpose of providing for the general welfare.”

This approach to taxation applies nowhere more reasonably than greenhouse-gas-intensive commodities—also referred to as a meat tax, since animal agriculture is notoriously environmentally costly. A meat tax is not yet among the most pressing political issues of the day, but this week, a preliminary report from an investor initiative known Farm Animal Investment Risk and Return warned that a tax on meat is becoming “increasingly probable”.’ SOURCE…

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