This issue would be funny if it weren’t so frustrating: A federal proposal to charge fees for air pollution caused by burping and tooting barnyard animals could put many farmers out of business. And not surprisingly, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is just fine with that.
The newest and craziest idea from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) comes after a U.S. Supreme Court judgment last year that counts flatulence from hogs and cattle as greenhouse-gas emissions. The livestock tax would penalize farms and ranches that own more than 25 dairy cows, 50 beef cattle, or 200 hogs by making them pay a yearly fee of $175 for each dairy cow, $87.50 for every beef cattle, and $20 per pig. The measure would cost even a midsize farm up to $40,000 annually and has the potential to bankrupt most family-owned businesses.
Naturally, PETA is A-OK with the idea. The Associated Press reports:
While farmers say it would drive them out of business, an organization supporting the proposal hopes it forces the farms and ranches to switch to healthier crops.
"It makes perfect sense if you are looking for ways to cut down on meat consumption and recoup environmental losses," said Bruce Friedrich, a spokesman in Washington for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
This sounds a lot like the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and its full-throated endorsement of Proposition 2, the ballot initiative that just passed in California forcing chicken farmers to comply with unreasonable and costly caging rules. But what it really means is that egg producers will have to close down or set up shop out of state to avoid going broke. That was HSUS’s real agenda – to put so-called chicken oppressors out of business.
Like Proposition 2, the EPA proposal will force hard-working ranchers to close up shop while doing nothing to help animals. So why are PETA and HSUS involved? These initiatives drive up the cost of meat, leading people to eat less of it. Bruce Friedrich from PETA just admitted as much. Penalizing farmers for doing their job and providing America with the meat we love is merely a ruse that animal-rights activists are supporting for their own fringe agenda, and it’s time everyone recognized these campaigns for what they are.