Tax Meat: Frequently Asked Questions

What will this proposal cost the average American?

A typical meat-eating family of four would pay only about $5 per month, and a chunk of that would likely be absorbed by the largest meat-producing companies. If the family members replaced some meat with healthy vegan foods, they would likely save hundreds or thousands of dollars in medical expenses over time as their health improved.

Of course, a vegetarian or vegan family would not have to pay this tax at all.

Will farmers and ranchers lose their jobs?

Corporate animal factories have largely replaced family farms, and machines have replaced many employees at these facilities. The jobs that remain are extremely dangerous, and the workers who fill them (usually immigrants) are often exploited and treated poorly. Human Rights Watch conducted a major study of working conditions in the industry and concluded, “Meatpacking is the most dangerous factory job in America. . . . Nearly every worker interviewed for this report bore physical signs of a serious injury suffered from working in a meat or poultry plant. . . . Every country has its horrors, and this industry is one of the horrors in the United States.”

As Americans increasingly switch to vegan eating, more jobs—with safer working conditions—will be created to produce vegan foods.

Does PETA really care about human health and the environment?

PETA believes that compassion is limitless. We care about all animals, including humans. Our proposal for a tax on meat makes sense for people’s health, the economy, and the environment.

A tax on meat would even help alleviate global hunger.

Is this proposal politically feasible?

Yes. Although the tobacco and alcohol lobbies have enormous political influence, taxes on cigarettes and alcohol have increased. Now, it is time to protect American consumers and the environment from the negative impact of meat production and consumption.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“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

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind