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Feb-23-2009 09:03printcomments

PETA to Rep. Cannon: Tax Meat, Not Beer

Alcoholic Beverages Don't Need to Be Target of 'Sin Tax,' Says Group.

State Representative Ben Cannon
State Representative Ben Cannon
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(WASHINTON D.C.) - After learning that Oregon State Representative Ben Cannon is proposing a huge tax increase on beer, PETA fired off a letter to Cannon urging him instead to propose a 10-cent "sin" tax on every pound of meat sold in grocery stores and restaurants in order to keep beer cheap and Oregonians (and their economy) healthy.

PETA points out that meat is a leading contributor to many of the worst health problems that Oregonians face, including obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and certain types of cancer, and it is the number one cause of climate change.

"Slapping a long-overdue tax on artery-clogging meat would save countless lives," says PETA Director Sarah King. "After all, it's better to drink Rogue's Dead Guy Ale than to wind up as its mascot."

PETA's letter to Rep. Cannon follows. For more information, please visit

February 20, 2009

The Honorable Ben Cannon

Oregon House of Representatives

Via e-mail:

Dear Representative Cannon:

As an Oregon native and a beer aficionado, I was extremely interested to read about the bill that you recently sponsored to increase Oregon's tax on beer. On behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and our more than 2 million members and supporters worldwide, including thousands of Oregonians, I'd like to propose an alternative that would keep beer—a product that's important to the state's economy—affordable, yet still bring in needed revenue: an excise tax on meat. A 10-cent "sin" tax on every pound of chicken, turkey, pig, fish, and cow flesh sold in grocery stores and restaurants would not only raise funds but also help stop climate change and reduce health-care costs.

Tobacco, alcohol, gasoline, and luxury vehicles are all taxed because of the negative impact that they have on the environment and/or human health, so it makes sense to add meat to the group. Please consider the following:

Meat is the number one cause of climate change, which threatens the U.S. with billions of dollars in damages from rising sea levels, worsening storms, and increased droughts. According to a 2006 United Nations report, the meat industry produces 40 percent more greenhouse-gas emissions than all the cars, trucks, SUVs, planes, and ships in the world combined. A tax on meat would help recoup some of the environmental costs associated with its production.

Meat is a leading contributor to many of the worst health problems that Americans face. According to the American Dietetic Association, vegetarians have lower rates of obesity heart disease, certain types of cancer, and diabetes than meat-eaters do. Just like the excise taxes on tobacco and alcohol, a meat tax could be used to promote health and well-being through educational programs.

With this proposal, a typical meat-eating family of four would pay only about $5 per month, and families who replace the meat in their diets with healthy vegetarian foods would likely save thousands of dollars in medical expenses over time.

Revenue shortages and climate change are two of America's biggest problems. Adding a "sin" tax on meat could help alleviate these problems, in addition to improving the health of Oregon's residents. After all, it's better to drink Rogue's Dead Guy Ale than to wind up as its mascot.

You can learn more about this proposal at Thank you for your consideration.


Sarah King


Comments Leave a comment on this story.

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Hot air tax, anyone? August 26, 2011 6:56 pm (Pacific time)

People Eating Tasty Animals: Making tofu scream since 1980

Flu-Bird March 28, 2011 9:55 am (Pacific time)

PETA idiots stark raving stupid TAX HOT AIR that means AL GORE,GREENPEACE and PETA

Wildbird June 22, 2010 3:27 pm (Pacific time)

How about a tax on jerks like PETA and the hollyweird wackos who do stupid ads for them

Flu-Bird January 3, 2010 5:44 pm (Pacific time)

Instead of a stupid tax on meat why dont they have a tax of stupid idiots like those jerks from PETA

stymphialian Bird November 27, 2009 11:10 pm (Pacific time)

Even vegetarians see PETA as a bunch of blabbering liberal jerks comming up with realy stupid ideas Only a brain dead numbskull would have anything at all to do with PETA and its rediculous ideas

Flu-Bird November 21, 2009 10:15 pm (Pacific time)

PETA is for the extremly stupid who belive their idiotic blabber we dont need stupid taxes on meat we need a stupid tax on stupid jerks like INGRID NEWKIRK

Craven Moremete October 14, 2009 6:59 pm (Pacific time)

Re " Duhhh.. Dees stoopid left-wing commie radiculs! _ Us peepul nead MEET to survive!" Too bad your chawin' the flesh of dead animals does not improve your intellect. But hey, I guess you're smart enough to read. That's good enough for a member of a democratic nation! presently, I'm eating a coupla pork chops - and- I am a memmber of PETA! Go figure. Well it's easy. Every time I read one the sneering banalities talkin' about "dem stoopid PETA pepul", I just vow to increase my next donation to PETA. I don't eat meat too often and I generally wash it down with a bottle of fine wine or perhaps some after-dinner pinoqachole. And I've actually butchered my own chickens and sheep. Have you? Probably not. At least I think about becoming a vegetarian someday (and probably will). Now go wipe the drool of off your keyboard, and choke on a big Mama-Cass ham sandwich (including the plastic wrap - I hear it's delicious)

Mad Bluebird April 2, 2009 12:55 pm (Pacific time)


300 lbs parakeet March 17, 2009 9:28 am (Pacific time)

How about a STUPIDIDY TAX for all stupid preposals by stupid idiot groups like PETA when they come up with stupid ideas like this

Lark February 25, 2009 11:03 am (Pacific time)

Daniel, the studies that say vegetarian and vegan diets help prevent cancer and high blood pressure didn't include that many of the vegetarians didn't smoke or exercised regularly. People on those diets are just as likely to get illnesses as anyone else on other diets. An example of a vegetarian getting cancer is Christina Applegate, an actress who got breast cancer a few years ago, though she ate no meat. Vegetarian and vegan diets have to be planned carefully, or they run the risk of going horribly wrong, just like any other diets, as people have to make sure they get all the nutrients they need. In fact, some people don't thrive on vegetarian and vegan diets at all. I eat meat, and I am not obese. Nor do I have high blood pressure. You probably think that vegetarians and vegans can't get fat. Of course, they can if they eat in excess and don't exercise enough. In fact, some vegetarians and vegans have pigged out on junk food because they didn't contain any meat or animal products. They never read the nutrition facts in an effort to keep themselves from overindulging, and they gained weight. For example, a serving of twelve Doritos has seven grams of fat. Fourteen servings are in an average bag, and that's ninety-eight grams of fat in one bag. Last but not least, you never said you supported PETA, but I will leave you with this thougt. PETA has been known to force its views down people's throats. They think posing naked in the streets saves animals when all it does is make them look stupid. They exploit human tragedy without caring who is grieving (example: Steve Irwin). People can call me an animal killer for not agreeing with PETA. I don't care. I will continue thinking it's not the great organization people think it is.

Price of Meat February 25, 2009 4:05 am (Pacific time)

Thanks PETA, I think you are on the right track with taxing meat. It is about time we enact policies that discourages the high consumption of meat we see today. 10 cents is really not that much. We would be paying a lot more for meat, if the meat industry was not so subsidized by the government. I encourage you to look at the article here, "AAAS: Climate-friendly dining meats" and think about how (according to the study) beef accounts for 30% of meat consumption but contributes 78% of meat's emissions. We may not be able to determine exactly how much tax each kind of meat deserves, but I would rather see policies that favor more chicken meat consumed than beef. I've also noticed that the research on meat's impact on global warming has centered mostly on the impact of cattle, which require the most resources to feed. Thank you for the work you are doing. I write a blog on meat and global warming at

Daniel February 23, 2009 6:44 pm (Pacific time)

People do not need meat to survive , its has not been part of my daily nutrition for over 35 years . I have a resting pulse of 48 ,and have not had any major illness in over 30 years . I wish you could all be as healthy , i am over 60 . When i was a meat eater i was often sick ,now i get a cold every 2 years or so . No high blood pressure no trace of any kind of cancer . Jack Lalanne is 94 and does not eat red meet or chicken , his teacher Paul Bragg was total vegeterian . I have to say Jack is not a left wing radical nor stupid . Stupid people are those who slander what they do not understand .It is true most people do not need alcohol.

Anonymous February 23, 2009 2:47 pm (Pacific time)

These stupid left wing radicals. People need meat to survive, it's part of daily nutrition. Not everybody needs beer and any other alcoholic beverages. And the homeless, well that's another story.

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