When self-styled entrepreneur Andrew Yang, along with foul-mouthed former Congressman Beto O’Rourke (D-TX), self-professed Vegan Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) and freshman “I don’t like this so let’s make it illegal” Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) – a gaggle of single-digit candidates vying for the Democrat nomination in 2020 – came out against cheeseburgers, most of us just laughed. However, to them, this is serious business. More important – unless you really love cheeseburgers, in which case this could be a catastrophe to rival “New Coke” – these four came out in favor of government intervention in what we eat, what we drink, what we wear … well, you get the picture.
Given their druthers, they’d force a radical and unhealthy lifestyle change on all Americans, doing it in the sanctified name of stopping global air pollution. As noted, this was good for a few laughs, but nothing more. Unlike “taxing the rich,” the idea of taxing cheeseburgers, steaks, bacon, barbecue or hotdogs, ice cream, yogurt and baby’s milk manages to impact all of us, but few of us could take it seriously.
So, are these candidate actually serious about taxing meat? Really? Is there anything more un-American than that? They might as well tax mom, apple pie and the flag. Apparently they are serious, and the rest of us can be thankful that they’re all mired in single-digits in all the polls, unlikely to be able to force vegetarianism on the rest of us.
However, when emerging front-runner – he’s now leading Biden in New Hampshire, according to polls out earlier this week – and proudly Socialist Senator Bernie Sanders (S-VT) came out publicly for a meat tax – one large enough to deter meat-eating by Americans, the game changed. Unlike those other candidates, Sanders is a player – one of the three front-rank candidates who might actually wind up with the nomination. He claims that taxing-to-death meat, dairy and all animal products would reduce global warming by limiting naturally-occurring methane emissions by some microscopic fraction. So we’re no longer laughing. These Democrat nannies appear to be serious about the fearsome threat of animal flatulence, and apparently they think we should be, too.
“If you believe, as I do,” the multi-millionaire socialist said, making it clear that this is a belief, not a scientific fact, “that climate change is real, then we are going to tackle it in every single area, including agriculture.
Actually, Bernie never said “cheeseburgers” – but he did agree that “meat and dairy” should be taxed. So, with Bernie as President, we’ll have no cheeseburgers. No milk on your cereal, either – in fact, no affordable milk for young mothers with a few kids to take care of. No yogurt or ice cream, either. That’s no fun. And although Bernie didn’t mention it, this would also mean no leather or even wool. It’s the animals that cause the alleged air pollution, not their end-products. Of course, synthetic fabrics are made from petroleum, so maybe we’ll all be starving naked Vegans under Bernie’s latest nanny-state effort to control every aspect of our lives. With Bernie, it’s hard to tell.
Is there a real problem? And if so, would Americans eliminating their meat intake really make a difference? Yes and no. Yes, farm animals do produce methane, a greenhouse gas. No, Americans giving up meat wouldn’t make enough difference to count, certainly not on a global scale. Why? Because the whole planet eats meat – men and women are omnivores, and meat (and dairy, and cheese) protein is a significant portion of their healthy diets. We Americans are fewer than 330 million souls living on a planet of 7.7 billion people. To make a difference, we’d have to persuade all of the other 7.3 billion people to forego meat, dairy and all other animal products as well. Good luck with that.
Is living a healthy meat- and dairy-free life even possible? Sure, with the right supplements, some people can “make it” as Vegans. According to a Gallup poll, only five percent of Americans are vegetarians, and just three percent claim to be Vegans. Most of the meat deniers Gallup polled earn significantly less than $30,000 a year. They may not be vegans for their health, but only because they can’t afford meat.
It appears that these people are trying to make a virtue of necessity, and Bernie’s bought into their vision of a meat-free earth.
However, despite the fact that some Americans seem to survive on this protein-starved diet, is it really worth it for the rest of us to give up our cheeseburgers to satisfy the self-justification of this self-centered minority? Especially knowing that it will only microscopically help to control global climate change? Despite the scare statistics scattered around by the global warming alarmists – people who decry our addiction to meat and dairy protein, and who seem tp be made up of people who’ve already chosen that meat-free lifestyle – no.
What are the underlying facts? A United Nations commission claims that agriculture is responsible for 18% of total greenhouse gases worldwide. What percentage of that total is cow flatulence was left unreported, though these “experts” claim that the average cow emits somewhere between 150 and 265 pounds of methane – a greenhouse gas – per year. They think. But with a range that broad, it’s apparent that even the UN’s leading flatulence scientists don’t have any real clue how much pollution cows produce. However, enterprising British scientists now claim to have determined the amount of CO2 equivalents (whatever that means) is produced per pound of meat:
One pound of beef; 34.6 pounds of CO2
One pound of lamb; 17.4 pounds of CO2
One pound of pork; 6.4 pounds of CO2
One pound of chicken; 4.57 pounds of CO2
What they carefully don’t say is what effect this relatively few pounds of CO2 causes in our global atmosphere. After all, our planet contains literally trillions of tons of CO2, according to the National Center for Atmospheric Research. Against that huge number, all the cattle on earth aren’t raising the temperature of our planet enough to even measure, let alone matter.
Against this tiny change, these radicals would – in addition to taxing meat out of our diets – do the same to milk, and dairy products, and anything else tied to animals. The impact of the “unintended consequences” would include:
• No more fast food restaurants – kiss McDonalds goodbye
• No more pizza – without cheese or pepperoni, hey, it’s just bread dough
• No more baby’s milk – so, should we let ‘em eat cake?
• No more ice cream, milk shakes or yogurt – God’s own cure for depression
• No more ranches – and no more rodeos
• No more cowboy boots, Bass Wejuns or hand-tooled leather belts
Hey, would life even be worth living?
Not mentioned in these radical Democrats’ diatribes against meat, dairy and animal products are house pets. By the same logic that would cause them to tax meat out of existence, they would advocate that Rover or Miss Kitty should be taxed, too. And perhaps they should. Anyone who’s ever been around a dyspeptic beagle knows that this is no laughing matter. Neither, unfortunately, are these Democrat extremists, men and women who want to ban meat and milk and all the rest.