Bring It On!

Reduce Global Warming-Become A Vegetarian

June 1st, 2007 | by Ken Grandlund |

PETA has a solution to help curb greenhouse gases-promote vegetarianism by instituting tax breaks for people who forego eating meat.

In a letter sent Wednesday to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), PETA President Ingrid Newkirk stated, “[V]egetarians are responsible for far fewer greenhouse-gas emissions and other kinds of environmental degradation than meat-eaters.”

This assumes, of course, that vegetarians aren’t also driving gas guzzlers, using as much electricity and power and plastics as the rest of us, or washing out their paint brushes inn the back yard. Far fewer? Or just a little bit less?

The letter added that vegetarians should receive a tax break “just as people who purchase a hybrid vehicle enjoy a tax break.”

Unless you buy a Toyota Prius. That break has expired. Will only the first 50,000 vegetarians get this break then as with the hybrid vehicle tax break program?

But okay. Tax breaks for vegetarians then. Of course proving that one is a vegetarian in order to qualify for the tax break may prove a bit arduous, especially if the tax auditor comes a-calling. It seems that PETA has a solution for that too though.

PETA spokesman Matt Prescott said, “I imagine that a system could be adopted whereby taxpayers could show receipts for food purchases and/or sign an affidavit attesting … that they are vegetarian.”

That should do the trick, because people don’t lie or anything. And we all save all of our grocery receipts too.

The proposition pulls references from a UN report that notes that raising animals for food generates more greenhouse gases than all the cars, trucks, and planes in the world combined. It says that the average meat eater’s love for burgers, drumsticks, and pork chops add about 1 1/2 tons of CO2 per year (per meat eater) to the atmosphere.

While I think that PETA has some noble positions and goals, in my opinion converting all humans to vegetarianism isn’t one of them. After all, the human body is designed to be omnivorous, meaning we eat both meat and plant matter. But they highlight a part of the global environmental problem. We do need to recognize that reducing global climate change goes beyond the gas pumps. And if by drawing attention to the fact that large scale farming and livestock raising is a huge contributor to global climate change gets people to figure out ways to reduce that impact, all the better.

Aside from my carnivorous cravings, I agree with many PETA positions about zoos, fur for fashion, scientific experimentation, and so forth. But I know that I’m not a welcome member of the PETA family. How do I know this? Because of statements like this from PETA president Newkirk who says, “There’s no such thing as a meat-eating environmentalist.”

Really? Guess I might as well just give up trying then.

[tag]PETA, global+climate+change, tax+cuts+for+vegetarians, politics, environment, farming[/tag]

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  1. 12 Responses to “Reduce Global Warming-Become A Vegetarian”

  2. By rafiq on Jun 1, 2007 | Reply

    This is just another example of the half-thoughts and lazy thinking typical of PETA. Clearly, anyone who would have spent more than 30 seconds thinking of this (which i suppose is difficult to do when you’re stonned or brain damaged from inhaling paint fumes before pouring it on somebody’s fur coat) the more parsimonious suggestion would have been a consumtion tax on meat.

  3. By Steve O on Jun 1, 2007 | Reply

    Sorry, no can do, I love my Rib Eye way to much, on this one I will have to say, fuck the environment!!!

  4. By ken grandlund on Jun 1, 2007 | Reply

    I love my meat too, but Rafiq has a valid point- if a consumption tax (think carbon trading for food) were applied and then used exclusively to reform farming practices that would reduce CO2 and methane emissions and enhance so-called neutral farming (a circular form of farming where wastes convert into energy or fertilizer and so on), then maybe I’d go with that.

  5. By Paul Merda on Jun 1, 2007 | Reply

    I hate PETA as much as I do the religious right… OK, maybe not AS much, but close. They are a bunch of ideologues :-( Too bad, they could actually do some decent work if not for goals such as vegetarianism…

  6. By Tom Baker on Jun 1, 2007 | Reply

    Of course if we shift food production away from meat to enough vegetarian type foodstuffs to feed the worlds population, there will be an increase in green house gases AS WELL as pesticides and other toxic chemicals. Will it equal what we might save from going vegan? Maybe not, but it will be a substantial increase over current levels.

    The honest answer isn’t to give Vegans tax breaks or tax meat eaters (yeah like thats going to happen! I’m sure the 90% of us who are omnivores will just agree to that *rolls eyes*)but to offer incentives for food producers to adopt more environmentally friendly practices. That same UN report details things that can be done today to eliminate much of the burden. Funny how that isn’t mentioned.

    I’ll be wearing the skin of one of those PETA models before I let someone take my steak away.

  7. By ken grandlund on Jun 1, 2007 | Reply

    I have to agree that PETA tends to do more harm to their own stated causes than they do good. And no-one is going to be able to pry a Porterhouse or Prime Rib or Country Style Pork Rib out of my hands without a pretty big fight. That said, bringing to light the fact that global cliamte change transcends transportation and/or manufacturing is important to remember. And, as Tom notes, there are plenty of other (and more palatable) options to reducing agricultural greenhouse emissions and pollution.

  8. By Steve O on Jun 1, 2007 | Reply

    How about promoting localized farming like they do here in Jersey.

    They have a campaign called Jersey Fresh that if restaurants can prove that 90% of the materials they use in their dishes are coming from inside the state they get a seal of appoval from the state and special benefits from the state.

  9. By manapp99 on Jun 2, 2007 | Reply

    You could make the vegans submit random poop sample to confirm they are not cheating with an occasional big mac. “Here’s your cup sir/madam, now if you will just step into that stall and poop in it please. I will have to search you first to make sure you have not smuggled some “clean” poop in. Would you like some reading material?”

    Here is an article about artificial meat grown in the lab. Might solve both problems.

    http://www.reuters.com/articlePrint?articleId=USL3051670020070601

    From the article:

    “UTRECHT, The Netherlands (Reuters) - Dutch researchers are trying to grow pork meat in a laboratory with the goal of feeding millions without the need to raise and slaughter animals.

    “We’re trying to make meat without having to kill animals,” Bernard Roelen, a veterinary science professor at Utrecht University, said in an interview.”

  10. By steve on Jun 2, 2007 | Reply

    Manapp:

    Big Mac’s aren’t 100% beef, they CONTAIN 100% beef, which means there is a whole hell of a lot of soybean product in that thing.

    Meat without slaughter? Sounds cancerous!

  11. By Elaine Vigneault on Jun 3, 2007 | Reply

    You’re a welcome member of PeTA. They don’t reject anyone.

    Steve - they grow the meat just like they grow tomatoes. It’s safe, just very very expensive right now.

  12. By steve on Jun 3, 2007 | Reply

    I am quite sure PETA would reject me!

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