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City Could Hasten Emergence From Receivership and Improve Residents' Health, Says Group
For Immediate Release:May 25, 2010
Contact:Lindsay Rajt 757-622-7382
Providence, R.I. -- This morning, PETA sent an urgent letter to Jonathan N. Savage, the court-appointed receiver for Central Falls, urging him to impose a 10-cent "sin tax" on every pound of meat and gallon of milk sold in the city's grocery stores and restaurants. The proposal comes on the heels of news reports that Central Falls has been placed in receivership because the city is facing a $3 million deficit and can't pay all its bills. In the letter, PETA points out that a tax on meat and milk would raise much-needed revenue and that residents who wished to avoid paying the tax could switch to a healthy and Earth-friendly vegan diet.
"Factory farming is a leading cause of greenhouse-gas emissions, and the consumption of meat and dairy products has been linked to heart disease, cancer, and obesity," says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. "Slapping a long-overdue tax on meat and milk would add to Central Falls' depleted coffers and help save countless lives--including those of Central Falls residents."
For more information, please visit PETA.org.
PETA's letter to Jonathan N. Savage, the court-appointed receiver for Central Falls, follows.
May 25, 2010
Jonathan Savage, Esq.Receiver for Central Falls
Dear Mr. Savage:
I am writing on behalf of PETA's more than 2 million members and supporters worldwide. In light of Central Falls' imminent bankruptcy and your recent appointment as receiver for the struggling city, I have a suggestion that could boost the city's finances while shrinking its residents' medical bills and waistlines: We suggest that you advise the city to adopt a modest 10-cent excise (or "sin") tax on meat--every pound of chicken, turkey, pig, fish, and cow flesh--as well as on every gallon of milk sold in Central Falls.
As you know, Rhode Island already has the highest cigarette tax in the nation, and alcohol and gasoline are also taxed because of their negative health and environmental consequences. Meat and dairy products, however, have gotten off tax-free--a major oversight, considering that animal agriculture is a leading contributor to many of the worst health problems that America faces as well as a significant cause of climate change.
The cholesterol, saturated fats, and chemicals in meat and dairy products wreak havoc on people's health. According to the American Dietetic Association, vegetarians are less prone to heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and obesity than meat-eaters are. And the University of Chicago reports that going vegan is 50 percent more effective in reducing greenhouse-gas emissions than switching from a standard car to a hybrid. In addition, by discouraging meat and dairy consumption, you would help end the suffering of animals in the food industry. These animals are routinely mutilated without any painkillers, taken away from their families, and forced to live their entire lives in cramped, filthy cages or sheds.
A meat and milk tax would cost a typical meat-eating family of four only about $6 per month. Of course, if people choose healthy vegan foods instead of meat, they would avoid the tax and might even save thousands of dollars in medical expenses over time. Central Falls employers would also benefit from dealing with fewer sick days taken as a result of illnesses related to a meat- and dairy-heavy diet. To help residents start eating better, we would be happy to provide you with a supply of free vegetarian/vegan starter kits that you could place in City Hall, post offices, libraries, schools, and other public buildings around Central Falls.
A tax on cholesterol-laden milk, chicken wings, fish sticks, and cheeseburgers would be a big step toward solving Central Falls' budget woes as well as improving residents' health, slashing the city's contribution to climate change, and reducing animal suffering. Please contact me to discuss this matter further. Thank you for your consideration.
Sincerely,Tracy ReimanExecutive Vice President
Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.