Cows have been farting for thousands of years, but Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang is worried that the bovine emissions are exacerbating climate change.
The long-shot candidate has put forward a plan to tax cow flatulence. The result of the plan is meant to decimate the beef industry by raising beef prices so that only a few can afford it.
Yang is completely honest about his motives for the new tax, making it clear that he wants meat to be unaffordable for the masses in order to encourage ordinary people to stop eating red meat altogether. Naturally, rich millionaires (such as Andrew Yang) will probably go on enjoying their barbecued ribs, prime steaks, and hamburgers.
There are several reasons why Mr. Yang’s proposal to tax cow farts is disturbing. First of all, unbiased scientific research makes it clear that cow farts do not dramatically increase emissions. In fact, removing all cows and poultry farms from the United States would reduce methane emissions by less than 1%. At the same time, taxing cow farts would burden farmers financially, and undoubtedly cause a loss of jobs in the ranching industry.
There are currently more than 700,000 ranches, feed yards, and cattle farms in the United States. Jobs lost in this industry could decimate regions with a large concentration of ranchers. Entire communities would feel the pain as recent estimates show that at least half of all cattle ranchers are involved in programs that benefit local communities.
The worst part about this is that we already have evidence that such a plan is doomed for failure — because New York City is already trying it.
The NYC municipal government imposed high taxes on cigarettes with the stated goal of encouraging people to quit or avoid the habit. However, street vendors who don’t mind skirting local laws have no problem selling cigarettes smuggled in from states that haven’t imposed draconian taxes on smokers. In fact, stats show that about half of all cigarettes sold in New York City are smuggled in from neighboring states.
A “black market” in red meat won’t take long to emerge under Yang’s plan, and the government will quickly find that cow emission levels remain the same. Along with this, safety standards will plummet. There is now winner in this scenario.
At present, ranchers are doing everything in their power to raise cattle in an eco-friendly manner. They share information and tips with each other, use low-stress cattle handling methods, and put a premium on protecting natural resources. Unfortunately, this situation could change if red meat became a “black market” product. Ranchers would not have the funds needed to invest in protecting the environment.
Andrew Yang’s proposal to tax cow farts in order to “save the environment” isn’t laughable. It’s downright dangerous. Politicians have no business telling people what they can and can’t eat.