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Our government already taxes tobacco, alcohol, gambling and many more items that pose a risk to our health or well-being, so why not tax meat? Numerous studies have shown meat consumption can be just as harmful to one’s body as tobacco because of the connection to use and cancer, so it only makes sense that if the government is going to be paying for cancer treatment through Medicaid, Medicare, or some other government program, that a tax be imposed.
Like tobacco and soda taxes, the monies can be used for public education such as smoking cessation, encouraging people to drink more water and less sugary drinks, or in the case of meat, eliminating or reducing consumption.
Leave it to other countries to be ahead of the U.S. – Canada, Denmark, Germany, and Sweden are all considering a meat tax, and there is a proposal in the U.K to add a Value Added Tax (VAT) to meat purchases.
Beyond the health and well-being of the individual consumer, it is well documented that meat production, particularly on factory farms, is responsible for generating large quantities of greenhouse gases, polluting the soil and water, causing antibiotic-resistant bacteria to grow, and harming workers who are exposed to herbicides and pesticides used in the production of crops to feed the factory farm animals.
Of course, not eating meat in the first place, or reducing its consumption, is something you can do right now. Even if it’s not saving you any money at the moment, health-wise it will in the long run, and it’s less taxing on the environment.
Approximately 300 million pounds of Roundup are applied on U.S. farmland every year. Glyphosate, the chemical name for Roundup, has been shown to be a carcinogen with evidence linking the pesticide to Non Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, not to mention other serious health-related issues suffered by those who have to work spraying the chemical and those working in the fields to harvest.
Despite the dangers of this chemical, the EPA has ignored the evidence and has even colluded with Monsanto, giving it advance notice of unfavorable studies so that Monsanto could prepare its own studies to contradicted the findings of the International Agency for Research on Cancer report.
Another pesticide that falls under the radar is Chlorpyrifos. Manufactured by Dow Chemical, it, has been shown to cause neuro-developmental problems in children and had been banned for household use because of its known danger. And although the pesticide was scheduled to be banned for crop use, Dow cut a deal with the EPA, apparently having nothing to do with a million dollar donation to Trump’s inaugural fund, and the scheduled ban evaporated – which should be no surprise considering the head of the EPA, Scott Pruitt, previously sued the EPA challenging laws that would have protected the public from industrial and environmental pollution.
This, and more unsettling facts about the way Big Ag is poisoning us can be found in Carey Gillam’s book: Whitewash: The Story of a Weed Killer, Cancer, and the Corruption of Science.
The United States has the dubious honor of being ranked #2 in the Voiceless Animal Cruelty Index, a global study that tracks animal welfare conditions in fifty countries based on farm animal products.
With 50 being the worst possible ranking, the U.S. came in 49th for its cruelty in both the production and consumption of animal products, noting the U.S. slaughters 28.4 land-based animals per person compared to the global average of 9.7 animals, with U.S. diets comprised of 61.1% land-based animal products compared to the global average of 35.2%
The U.S. did a little better, if you can call it that, with respect to animal protection, finding itself in 20th position with a grade of “D.” The grade takes into account such issues as animal well being, the recognition of sentience, animal protection laws, transportation and slaughter to name some of the categories.
What the report doesn’t cover is the fact that America’s meat addiction has led to numerous health problems including obesity, heart disease, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and a number of other serious illnesses directly related to excessive consumption of animal products.
Who was worst? Belarus. The least cruel? Kenya, India and Tanzania.
For the past ten years Green, a vegetarian restaurant in Tempe, Arizona, has held its annual Thanksliving event, a way to enjoy a traditional American holiday without harming any animals and being kind to the earth in the process.
What started out as a small gathering years ago now overflows into the parking lot where tables and canopies are set up, there is live music, crafts for the kids, and vendors advertise their latest vegan foods.
While we don’t have a Green’s in Colorado, you can celebrate your own Thanksliving by skipping the turkey and opting for the vegetarian and vegan roasts most stores now carry. You’ll be healthier for it, and you will have the joy of knowing you spared the life of a living creature.
For years there has been speculation that sugar, a substance we consume every day, and commonly hidden in many of the processed foods we consume, is linked to cancer.
Researchers from Belgium have found that yeast with elevated levels of glucose (a common sugar) overstimulated proteins that are often found in the cancerous tumors of humans. These proteins can make cells grow out of control; what is commonly referred to as tumors.
Scientists even have a name for this uncontrolled growth; the “Warburg effect,” where tumor cells produce energy through a rapid breakdown of glucose that is not found in normal cells. Sugar helps to feed this energy.
Should we skip the Gummy Bears and soft drinks to prevent cancer? The jury is still out on that one and more studies are needed, but sugar in general is not good for our waists, our teeth, or our metabolism, so this Trick-or-Treat you might want to think about switching to apples or popcorn balls – just not the caramel kind.
September 23, 2017 has come and gone, and despite numerology and Biblical prophecies we survived – or have we?
Our insatiable consumption of meat is accelerating the Sixth Mass Extinction, causeing animals species to disappear entirely, even those that have (or more accurately had) yet to be discovered.
Prof Patel, of the University of Texas at Austin, said: “The footprint of global agriculture is vast. Industrial agriculture is absolutely responsible for driving deforestation, absolutely responsible for pushing industrial monoculture, and that means it is responsible for species loss. We’re losing species we have never heard of, those we’ve yet to put a name to and industrial agriculture is very much at the spear-tip of that.”
Patel notes that “dead zones” in the ocean caused by fertilizer and pesticide residues, rainforest deforestation to make way for raising cattle and the crops to feed them, and modern agricultural methods – including factory farming, are destroying the ecosystem as we know it on a historic level.
And, unfortunately, there is not much we can do about it. An ever increasing population, the unsustainable demand for meat, and a profit-driven agricultural industry are doing what Nibiru didn’t, and that is wiping out the planet.
Yet another report shows that the so-called Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) colluded with Monsanto to keep evidence of linking Roundup to cancers such as non-Hodgkin Lymphoma.
A 2001 email from a Monsanto scientist reads, “If somebody came to me and said they wanted to test Roundup I know how I would react — with serious concern.”
And a note from a Monsanto executive two year’s later stated, “You cannot say that Roundup is not a carcinogen… we have not done the necessary testing on the formulation to make that statement.”
In 2015, Jess Rowland, former manager of the EPAs’ pesticide division was approached by Monsanto when the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry; part of the U.S. Health and Human Service Department, was conducting its own research into glyphosate. Rowland bragged (about that report) “If I can kill this I should get a medal.”
If you use Roundup around your yard you are exposing yourself to possible carcinogens, if you live near agricultural fields you are possibly being exposed to carcinogens, and if you consume any food products that were sprayed with Roundup you are risking your health.
Although chlorpyrifos, a pesticide sprayed on fruits and vegetable, does not meet safety standards laid out by a 1938 U.S. law, the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, it is still being used with the EPA’s blessing. Oddly, in the year 2000 the EPA banned its use in homes, schools, day care facilities, parks, hospitals, nursing homes, and malls, yet still allows chlorpyrifos to be used on crops including corn, almonds, apples, and oranges.
Chlorpyrifos is a neurotoxin that has been linked to adverse side effects, including birth defects, in pregnant mothers who work in close proximity to where the poison has been applied, and according to the National Pesticide Information Center there is a long list of symptoms and conditions that can result from exposure.
Despite two separate court orders, the EPA has failed to produce a final rule banning chlorpyrifos, notwithstanding two proposals it itself created calling for a ban. And now the current administration has issued an executive order that attempts to make sure such a ban will ever take place.
State attorney generals from New York, Maryland, Vermont, Washington, Massachusetts and the District of Columbia, upset with the EPA’s disregard for public health, are now trying to intervene in a lawsuit filed by environmental and social welfare groups, thus adding strength to efforts to that compel the EPA to carry out the ban.
Whether the effort succeeds is anyone’s guess, but it points out why you should try to buy only organic fruits and vegetables or, at the very least, thoroughly wash fruits and vegetables, which will remove some, but not all of the poison.
It is unfortunate that governmental agencies that are supposed to protect us are sacrificing not only public health, but our environment, because big corporations have more influence than our lawmakers.
A recently released study conducted by the University of Padua in Italy, examined the association between consuming fried and unfried potatoes and mortality. The study involved 4,400 men and women between the age of 45 and 79 years old.
The researches note: “The frequent consumption of fried potatoes appears to be associated with an increased mortality risk.” Frequent consumption meant two or more servings of fries a week. How much of an increase? Double according to the study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
The authors do note in their conclusion that “Additional studies in larger sample sizes should be performed to confirm if overall potato consumption is associated with higher mortality risk.”
Potato chips are fried potatoes, but no word yet on whether they should be on the “no-no” list or reduced consumption list.
In an open letter addressed to the candidates for the position of Director-General of the World Health Organization a lengthy list of expert signatories called on the next General Director of WHO to focus on the damage to health and the environment caused by factory farming.
The letter points out that “Antibiotic resistance is a major threat to global health. Seven hundred thousand people die from antimicrobial-resistant diseases each year. If current trends continue, diseases caused by drug-resistant microbes could kill up to 9.5 million per year by 2050, more than current cancer-deaths.”
The letter continues: “As the global health community acknowledges the intertwined nature of planetary and human health, it must also confront the role that factory farming plays in climate change. Experts predict that without rapid and drastic shifts in meat production, agriculture will consume half the world’s carbon budget necessary for keeping global temperature rises under 2° Celsius by 2050.”
The letter’s third point is that “The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation estimates that diets high in processed meat and red meat contributed to over half a million human deaths (or over 16 million disability-adjusted life years, or DALYs) in 2015 – more deaths worldwide than interpersonal violence, and a similar DALY burden to breast cancer or alcohol use disorders. The declining cost of meat and its increasing prevalence in LMICs, facilitated by factory farms, contributes significantly to the rapidly rising burden of NCDs.
Hopefully the next Director General of the WHO will take head, especially when considering the WHO previously classified “processed meat as carcinogenic and red meat as probably carcinogenic” and has noted the devastating effects factory farming has on health and the environment.
We have met the enemy and it is us. If people didn’t consume as much meat there wouldn’t be such an enormous problem, but bacon, steak and other meat lovers apparently prefer to satisfy their cravings and care little about what happens to their children, their children’s children, or the planet. And that is the very definition of addiction.