In a post by Richard Coniff on his blog Strange Behaviours, he writes that French scientists have published a paper on reducing the environmental impacts by suggesting the EU could tax read meat, forcing us to eat alternative meats with less carbon footprint than cattle.
WHAT? My first thought was; Come on, let people decide by themselves. Don’t put another tax on our heads. Then, my second thought was; Hmm, maybe it isn’t such a bad idea.
The idea of taxing red meat – beef, is actually not a bad idea at all. When we look at other cultures, some live almost entirely vegetarian. Is eating meat every day not just a bad habit? Can’t we get our proteins from other sources?
The scientists are aware that this taxation will probably never become reality. Probably due to effective lobbyists and the many work places in agriculture and the meat industry. But can we reduce the carbon footprint in another way?
Being a mum of three boys, whose bodies are constantly craving proteins, carbs, vitamins etc, in order to grow up to be healthy young men, I have served my share of red meat. Actually I contribute to deforestation, a ridiculously consumption of water (and cows farting tons of methane gas) on an almost daily basis. Not cool at all, when you consider yourself as a well educated and enlightened person.
Living in Denmark, I am very fortunate. I just go to the supermarket and buy what I want. Like everyone else…
Denmark is a traditional agricultural country, from the fifties on, more and more meat got on the dinner tables. Meat is very inexpensive, and when you go to the hypermarket, you just pull a 5.5 kilo box of burger patties or a 2.5 kilo box of chicken breasts from the freezer and into the cart.
But I’m also so fortunate that I have worked in an international business for more than a decade with colleagues from more than 50 countries. Many easily got used to the food in the (very high standard) canteen, but some still brought their own food. Some due to the price, but many others because of the lack of vegan and vegetarian food. I discovered that in many other countries you do not eat meat every day. Big surprise!
Thursday this week, we were having a family barbecue celebrating the boys’ birthdays (they are all spring children, born in March, April and May). Wednesday, I therefore drove to the hypermarket, filled the cart with boxes of frozen and fresh meat and drove home again.
Next day, I started preparing the meat, but I also made a large portion of oven roasted potatoes and three large bowls of salad; a traditional pasta salad, green lentil salad with blueberries and a red/ green lettuce salad with pomegranate.
To my joy all salad and potatoes were eaten, but of the meat and the sausages there were quite some left.
The last few days we have munched on the meat, therefore today we had a bulgur/quinoa/spelt salad and veggie burger patties.
Here’s a meat eater, cats can actually die from a heart attack if they don’t get enough animal protein, we humans don’t. We get a heart attack if we get too much animal protein.
Having said that, I have no intention of giving up meat of any kind, just lower the consumption and really enjoy a juicy steak now and then.
Back to the taxes, let’s tax meat, take taxes off “meat free meat”, vegetables and fruit.
Mummy decides what to eat, the patties were eaten, however with a bit suspicion at first.
Being a responsible parent is also giving my children healthy and environmentally responsible eating habits, they hopefully will teach their children too.
See Richard’s full post here, and do read it, it’s very interesting “brain food”:
It’s Time for a Carbon Tax on Beef