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Time To Tax The Vegetarians!

Penelope Wise
19 February, 2009

There is apparently real truth to the proposition that, if it exists, it can be taxed.

Following the news this week that the Danish tax commission wishes to tax the methane emissions of domesticated ungulates such as the common cow, one has to wonder if they haven’t perhaps been inhaling too much of something else entirely.

We are told that this is to promote a “long-term eco-friendly fiscal policy”. Uh, huh. I guess cows can’t vote, yet. Though universal bovine suffrage can only be a step away if this is the world we live in.

It is this author’s contention that these people would not feel so inclined to tax other being’s arses, if their heads were not crammed so far up their own!

I read somewhere else recently that one of the biggest contributors to global warming was the simple lettuce. The vegetarian-recycling brigade in the office heard about this, you can rest assured :) With hardly any calorific value, an inconvenient propensity not to grow in an ergonomic fashion, say on trees, and furthermore to go off too quickly to suffer long-term storage (necessitating rapid transport), she is a model of inefficiency. Not only that – just consider the methane emissions once she reaches her ultimate destination!

Having taken up hectares of valuable, fertile land, sucked it dry of nutrients, whilst requiring more insecticides than nearly any other crop, it has been whisked half-way around the world by five different methods of rapid gas-guzzling transport to reach a suitable population of green activist vegetarians, only to end its life as a piece of garnish on the side of a plate of humus dipping carrots, perhaps on the table of the Danish Tax Commission’s environmental panel, in the midst of discussing how to tax the farts of the animals that have provided the milk for the skinny lattes that they are contentedly sipping from recycled cardboard cups.

Let’s consider these vegetarians, a club of which you have rightly guessed I am proudly not a member. If bottom-burps, as my 2-year-old son calls them, are indeed so bad for the environment, then does it not stand to reason that we should investigate this scientifically, and start taxing proportionately? Why should industry or the new bovine under-class bear the burden alone? We should stand with them, shoulder to haunch. I therefore propose:

  • An immediate scientific study into the flatulence levels of humans in all their dietary variety – omnivores, pescitarians, vegetarians and vegans.
  • I contend that said study will establish that omnivores are by the far the most environmentally friendly beast, and vegans the least, which will pave the way for a tiered system of culpability. The most polluting digestive systems shall be in the highest tax band, whilst those opting for more efficient omnivorous systems that allow Daisy to perform their mastication for them, as nature intended, shall be rewarded with a comparatively light burden of taxation. And perhaps a badge.
  • There can be an opt-out clause for those who feel they are being unfairly or unduly taxed, and wish to wear a meter to pay-as-they-trump.

For any tax authorities, review commissions or senior decision makers wishing to harness my ideas for the greater good of mankind, I can be contacted at *removed*. My fee is foie-gras, followed by steak and a bottle of Rioja.



About the Author

Penelope Wise

Penny Wise but not Pound Foolish! But remember: I am not offering investment advice. My comments are just for your general information; I do not recommend investments, and you should take professional advice before entering any investment contract.


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