This week’s thought on how care for creation can and should be part of our Christian commitment to love comes from a blog entitle “The Beef Tax” by Seth Godin, an author and former dot com executive:
We’re all paying it, every day.
In the US, taxpayers subsidize the cattle industry with billions of dollars of tax money each year. Most of that goes to pay for feed crops, but there is also a huge allocation of public land for the grazing of cows. About half the land in the entire country is just for cattle.
In addition, a significant portion of the climate problem is directly caused by the effects of bovine respiration as well as the clear-cutting of forests for grazing worldwide. It’s like someone is dumping manure on your living room carpet and asking you to pay for it.
The end result is that whether or not you eat meat, you’re paying for it.
Beef is more expensive than we realize. And it’s also significantly less convenient than we give it credit for. Climate refugees, storm-damaged assets, the loss of life and homes… these are directly caused by the one billion cows that humans raise each year.
What would happen if we simply charged a fair price for the beef and milk that people consume?
The industry has done a great job of persuading people that beef is cheap, convenient, easy, luxurious, wholesome and benign. It’s none of those things.
I wonder how long it will take us to realize just how much it costs us.