Does a meat tax make sense?
Agricultural experts from SPD, the Greens and the German animal protection association Deutsche Tierschutzbund, are calling for an increase in VAT on meat products, which in Germany currently stands at seven percent. Among those to reject the motion are the party leaders and the minister for agriculture. But the debate has long since exploded in the European media.
The system is flawed
Increasing VAT on meat would be nothing more than tinkering with the details, criticises tagesschau.de:
“The real issue here is the agricultural policy of the European Union, which is about to undergo reform again. Germany gets six billion euros every year from European coffers. ... But none of these subsidies go to sustainable agriculture. The more hectares you have, the more money you get. The system is flawed. The EU should reward smaller and medium-sized businesses, not industrial facilities. ... It must also start allocating much more money to environmentally-friendly agriculture. The consequence would be less meat. If demand stays the same, this meat would then be more expensive, but it would not be subsidised from the outset. A change of system is what is needed.”
The left unleashing class war against the poor
For Echo24 the idea of introducing a meat tax borders on the ridiculous:
“A cow is a criminal with an unnecessarily large carbon footprint. An average cow apparently produces three tonnes of greenhouse gases compared to two in a human. So this clearly means that there is no place for cows and pigs in this world. ... If meat were to be made more expensive for political reasons it would be the poor who would suffer the most. For rich people - and in the West they're often green voters - an expensive steak will be no big deal, and the same goes for expensive petrol, expensive electricity or expensive flight tickets. It sounds incredible but in the fight to save the planet the new left is unleashing a new class war, and it's waging it against the poor.”
We must change the way we eat
A new IPCC report stresses the need for a rapid change in food production. We need to take this very seriously urges Libération:
“The more time passes, the more alarming reports accumulate, the more we realise that our future depends on a genuine social transformation which must start now. It's not enough just to cycle instead of drive, or take the train instead of the plane, we must rethink our everyday lives and the central role played by food. Opt for short supply chains, legumes and seasonal fruit and vegetables, adjust what we eat to the seasons and our immediate environment - all of which certainly won't do us any harm.”