Thursday, September 08, 2022 by Mary Villareal
Germany’s Green Party and Social Democrats proposed increasing the tax on meat to at least 19 percent, up from the current seven percent charge on most foods.
The conservatives are pushing against the proposal, saying that it is an overreach of the government and environmental extremists.
Christian democrats reportedly support the plans, but they want additional revenues from the tax hike to help livestock farmers restructure their operations.
“Such a tax can be a constructive proposal,” said Christian Democratic Union of Germany spokesman Albert Stegemann.
Food prices are already soaring in Germany, along with gas and energy costs, but environmentalists from the Green Party are still pushing for an even steeper levy than the proposed 19 percent.
Federal Minister of Food and Agriculture Cem Özdemir said that Germans should eat less meat overall.
The Green Party also wants to covert livestock farmers to primarily support fertilization for the production of plant-based foods, with Özdemir saying that they should be “adapting meat consumption to planetary boundaries and for the sake of our health.” (Related: Global war on MEAT: Now Ireland is culling cows to fight “climate change.”)
This falls in line with the Green Party leadership’s refusal to back the value-added tax (VAT) hike for meat. Rober Habeck, co-leader of the Green Party, said he wanted “a full overhaul of the VAT system to tackle environmental concerns.”
This is also in line with the proposal of a multi-sector group called He Waka Eke Noa in New Zealand. The 13-man group called for the imposition of a climate tax on farm animals when they belch or pass gas.
The group He Waka Eke Noa (HWEN) wanted a “farm-level split-gas levy on agricultural emissions, with built-in incentives to reduce emissions and sequester carbon.” Under the measure, farmers will have to pay taxes for not only the carbon emissions from their farm equipment, but also the methane emissions produced by livestock as their stomachs digest food. If Wellington adopts HWEN’s proposal, the government will essentially tax burps and farts coming from cows, sheep and other farm animals starting 2025.
In the United States, leftists and climate alarmists have long had their sights on destroying livestock farmers and meat pricing off everyone’s menu.
Vox Media said if this tax hike on meat gains traction, it could help “rid the world of a lot of unnecessary suffering,” adding that the U.S. should also follow by inflicting maximum pain on meat consumers. “Eating that way wouldn’t be illegal, but people who choose to do it would have to pay for the imposition of their choices on others,” the publication stated.
Climate change alarmists have also latched on to the German model and are pushing for it to be implemented in other rich countries, backing their arguments with studies from groups that have the same goal of effectively eliminating meat consumption.
A coalition of Berlin “environmental economists” also said that livestock farming is a huge contributor to greenhouse gas emissions as well as soil and water pollution.
Professor Linus Mattauch, an honorary research associate at the School of Geography and the Environment at the University of Oxford, said evidence suggests the environmental impacts of meat are so large that the world can’t meet climate goals and keep vital ecosystems intact without reducing meat consumptions – at least in high-income countries.
According to Mattauch, increasing the price of meat to a prohibitive degree, inflating the cost of beef upwards of 60 percent along with a 25 percent cost hike on poultry and 19 percent for pork and lamb can be the solution to the meat consumption problem.
A separate study also argued that Americans must reduce their meat consumption by at least 75 percent. The researchers claimed that the meat industry is a “leading driver of deforestation,” contributes 14.5 percent of greenhouse gas emissions and wastes significant amounts of resources.
“If all humans consumed as much meat as Europeans or North Americans, we would certainly miss the international climate targets and many ecosystems would collapse,” said Dr. Matin Qaim, the lead researcher of the study.
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