People all over the world could soon be subjected to tax just for eating meat
Ever since our caveman ancestors figured out that holding raw animal flesh close to the flames made that flesh taste so much better, humans have been eating (and absolutely loving) meat. Whether we're talking steak, burgers, or cured meats like chorizo or sausage, there's no greater testament to human ingenuity than the many ways we figured out how to make dead animal taste just so good.
But in recent times, there are many sections of the population who have given up the meat-eating lifestyle, or at least eased up on their near-unstoppable lust for burgers. Meat-free diets and even completely plant-based diets are now all the rage, and even if you're not one of them, you have to accept this is the world today.
But as seitan and soy start to become as commonplace as steak, a new study has revealed that maybe, it's probably a good thing we don't eat so much meat. In fact, we'd all be a lot better off if we introduced a tax on our meat. Isn't that wild? Well, take a look at this study from Nuffield Department of Population Health at Oxford University.
Dr Marco Springmann was the lead researcher on this study, and in it, he passionately asked governments around the world to introduce this tax. Research looked at the healthcare costs associated with red meat and processed meat, and concluded that a 20 percent tax on unprocessed red meat - with 110 percent for processed meat - would prevent as many as 220,000 deaths a year worldwide, and raise around £130 billion in funds.
"The results are dramatic for processed meat," explained Dr Springmann. "Bacon is really one of the unhealthiest food products that is out there." But he did explained that the healthcare costs incurred through red meat are often paid for by all taxpayers, rather than just those that eat meat.
"Nobody wants governments to tell people what they can and can’t eat. It is totally fine if you want to have [red meat], but this personal consumption decision really puts a strain on public funds. It is not about taking something away from people, it is about being fair."
Although people might bristle at the idea of maybe having to stop eating delicious burgers, cutting out meat and dairy from your diet is by far the best way to help the environment.
“A vegan diet is probably the single biggest way to reduce your impact on planet Earth, not just greenhouse gases, but global acidification, eutrophication, land use and water use,” said Joseph Poore, also from the University of Oxford, when concluding his 40,000-farm, 119-country study that represents 90 percent of all food eaten.
Listen, folks, I know that meat is delicious. Burgers and chicken nuggets are life. But these science-talking types tend to know what they're talking about, and they have years and months of research to back them up. Steak is lovely, but I'd argue that saving the planet is far tastier. Plus, that means more room for french fries.