It’s Tax Day, and ‘Pigs’ and ‘Cows’ Are Asking Lawmakers to Tax Meat

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3 min read

This Tax Day, a PETA “pig” visited the California State Capitol and a PETA “pig” and “cow” visited the Texas State Capitol to send a message to lawmakers: Tax meat! PETA sent letters to California and Texas legislators earlier this month suggesting an excise (or “sin”) tax of 10 cents on every pound of meat sold in grocery stores and restaurants.

PETA notes that while tobacco, alcohol, and gasoline are all taxed because of their negative health or environmental consequences, meat has so far gotten off tax-free—even though studies show that it’s the number one cause of climate change and a leading contributor to many of the worst (and most costly) health problems Americans face, including heart disease, strokes, cancer, high blood pressure, and diabetes.

Eating meat is destroying our planet and driving up our medical costs. So PETA is urging California and Texas to impose a “sin tax” on animal flesh—such a measure would help make both states healthier, greener, and more humane.


The U.S. spends more on health care than any other nation and is one of the largest consumers of meat. It doesn’t make sense that the millions of meat-free Americans have to help pick up the tab (for instance, through higher overall health insurance premiums) when meat-eaters get sick. A tax on meat would make things more equitable—similar “sin” taxes already exist for alcohol and cigarettes.


Scientists and world leaders increasingly agree that climate change is the biggest challenge that humanity faces. The federal government and state governments are currently debating a number of ways to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, such as requiring the production of more fuel-efficient vehicles, imposing a higher tax on gasoline, and mandating that household appliances be more energy-efficient. But the truth is that animal agriculture is one of the world’s leading causes of climate change. Unless people dramatically reduce their consumption of animal-derived foods, we won’t be able to make a meaningful dent in the climate crisis. A tax on meat could quickly and dramatically decrease U.S. meat consumption and help save our planet.

More Humane

Animals are treated horribly on today’s massive factory farms. When it comes to our country’s meat habit, animals are paying the biggest price. A tax on meat could persuade Americans to spare animals (and their own bodies) abuse.

What You Can Do

Do your part by going vegan! It’s never been easier, thanks to hundreds of delicious plant-based foodsvegan-friendly restaurants, and “accidentally vegan” products that you probably already love. Click the button below to find out how to go vegan in three simple steps.

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