Author: Joe Highland
Taxes are coming to suppress the flatulence and belching of farm animals, cutting the harmful methane gases that escape from cows, pigs, and even chickens and turkeys. The tax will not be on the owners of the animals but on those of us who consume the products they produce. That means paying more for meat and, down the road, even dairy products such as milk and cheese.
“Cows, for example, produce methane, a powerful greenhouse gas that is a significant contributor to climate change. Methane traps thirty times more heat than carbon dioxide,” says Geneviève Legault, a spokesperson for the federal Department of Finance. “Starting in May of this year, we are going to first put a tax on meat, in particular beef and pork. Reducing the demand will, in turn, reduce the need to keep these methane-producing animals.”
The tax will be implemented at the grocery store checkout: it will be a 25% surcharge on everything from hamburger to bacon, and it will translate into more expensive restaurant meals as well, all with the idea of reducing the population of cows and pigs. Farmers, who represent just a tiny percentage of the population, are already up-in-arms.
“This is going too far,” said a local beef farmer who wishes to remain anonymous. “There are better ways of fighting climate change.” The federal government is unmoved.
“Cutting methane gas is essential to controlling climate change,” says Ms. Legault. “We feel Canada can be an example to the world with this anti-methane tax.”
You can expect higher prices at the local supermarket in early May.