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Taxpayers Fund Animal Cruelty and Environmental Devastation

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But how is it possible that such waste and excess should actually pay-off financially? The answer is that the animal industry (including the huge monoculture crops that feed it), is supported by tens of billions of dollars in annual farm subsidies and other government handouts that make it highly profitable to produce animal-based foods over plant-based foods. A recent article from the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine explains the extreme inconsistency between government nutrition guidelines and the subsidies they provide to suppliers.

Not only do such colossal government handouts artificially affect supply, these subsidies also lower the prices of animal products, which would be close to three times as high without subsidies. Considering the exorbitant costs of animal agriculture to the environment; and the costs of saturated fat, cholesterol, and excess sodium to human health, a responsible government would tax, not subsidize, animal products, even if the rights of animals were not an issue.

This is tremendously important because, according to the economic principle of “demand elasticity”*, the demand for animal products would likely decline to nearly half of its current level if the government simply stopped providing subsidies, since this would cause prices to rise closer to their natural level of 2.6 times current (subsidized) prices. If animal products were taxed to compensate for their disastrous effects on the environment and human health, prices would rise to multiple times current rates, dropping the quantity demanded to a small fraction of its current level – a boon for the environment, human health, and most important, the individual animals whose lives are discarded like one more waste product of this obscene business.

* In economic terms, “demand elasticity” indicates the percentage change in quantity demanded in response to a one percent change in price. (Animal products likely have an average demand elasticity of -0.7, ranging from -0.01 to -1.7).

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198 comments

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7:33PM PDT on Oct 22, 2011

We must all admit that by doing nothing, by keeping quiet we contribute to the cruel treatment of animals.

8:27AM PDT on Oct 20, 2011

Interesting

1:41AM PDT on Oct 20, 2011

Of COURSE there are, Bill K. You said, "it's funny how people point to some unhealthy vegans as somehow proof that a vegan diet doesn't work. are there no unhealthy meat eaters?".........examples of very unhealthy vegans and those who tried such a lifestyle and it ended up with severe issues have been provided to refute remarks made by vegans that such a lifestyle is BETTER than any other way, which is UNHEALTHY because "blah, blah".

Being either vegan or NOT can result in being unhealthy if the diet is not balanced and does not contain all the necessary nutrients the body needs. Some people need different nutrients, others can't digest things are have allergies. There are as many variables as there are people.

1:20PM PDT on Oct 19, 2011

Thanks for this article It leaves much to think about

7:17AM PDT on Oct 19, 2011

meat is animal abuse (and human abuse and environment abuse). ethical omnivore is an oxymoron.

it's funny how people point to some unhealthy vegans as somehow proof that a vegan diet doesn't work. are there no unhealthy meat eaters?

11:29AM PDT on Oct 18, 2011

Thank you for the article.

11:08AM PDT on Oct 18, 2011

I wish we would get off of meat in this country. We treat these creatures so badly. We treat them like canned goods, instead of living beings. Go Vegetarian! Its better for you and its better for the environment.

10:20PM PDT on Oct 17, 2011

Thank you Diane!

I am posting this link (again? was it another thread? can't remember) of a devout vegan who not only got ill following a "nutritionally balanced" vegan diet, but when surveyed all of her friends and acquaintances, found they all supplemented their vegan diets on the sly with animal products - because their bodies were in need of the nutrients:

http://voraciouseats.com/2010/11/19/a-vegan-no-more/

8:20PM PDT on Oct 17, 2011

Again, well said, Lilithe! Maybe more people haven't "come out of the woodwork" for a few reasons........#1, they don't waste time in sites such as Care.2, #2, they don't think it's important enough to SHOUT to the world about their choices, or #3, they're a bit hesitant to explain for fear of being attacked and bashed by the militant vegans who criticize them as James is doing and being called names and an attempt of a guilt-trip being laid on them. So, they keep what they've gone thru to themselves.

8:15PM PDT on Oct 17, 2011

James, I am thrilled to hear one of your kids did a report on factory farming and how that information has now been shared with the rest of the kids. Great work!

I do hope you are being balanced in your teaching, however, that the alternatives are not just veganism, but responsible animal food shopping if one chooses meat - getting in touch with your local community of farmers, asking questions of those who raise animal foods, making informed choices.

I honor a person's desire to go vegan (even though I personally think they will HAVE to switch to eating some animal products at a future date - I believe it an unsustainable diet for the human body - but you know how I feel about that already) , but I also hope that one such as yourself who is helping to mold the impressionable minds of these kids, gives them as full of a picture as possible, and not imposing your own agenda onto them. Guilt trips about food are EXTREMELY unhealthy for a young mind and a young body.

I will NEVER be a part of your vegan world. Been there, done that, made me sick, makes thousand of others sick (who are fessing up and coming out of the woodwork right now) and is truly a nice idea that is unrealistic. Perhaps your body will be one of the ones to evolve this way. Who knows - it's a magical Universe...

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