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Center for Biological Diversity:
Take Extinction Off Your Plate

Chicago Tribune, April 30, 2014

Meat production

There's been a lot of recent discussion about the rising costs of beef and pork, and yet one thing keeps getting left off the table: The price of meat hasn't reflected the true cost of meat production in years.

If you factor in the subsidies for feed crops and grazing permits, more people would start to realize that meat is a steal. And meat production has been stealing from the public for a long time. In addition to taxpayer-funded subsidies, cattle are allowed to degrade our public lands, and our wildlife are killed to protect industry profits. Meat production consumes incredible amounts of natural resources, from the land and water required to raise livestock to the devastating pollution and greenhouse gas emissions left behind.

What if meat prices reflected the true cost of production? How much longer can we, and the environment, afford it? Even with subsidies, prices will continue to rise as climate change and drought make it harder to feed livestock, and a growing population demands more and more meat.

Instead of ignoring the true cost of meat production by raising prices or losing profits, restaurants and retailers should offer their customers more meatless options. It's better for our wallets, our health and our planet.

Stephanie Feldstein, director, Population and Sustainability, Center for Biological Diversity
Ann Arbor, Mich.

© 2014 www.chicagotribune.com.

This article originally appeared here.

Photo © Paul S. Hamilton