by Pete Kotz
Meat is a leading cause of global warming and causes heart disease and several types of cancer—which drives health-care costs through the roof. According to a recent U.N. study, raising animals for meat is responsible for more greenhouse-gas emissions than all the cars, trucks, SUVs, ships, and planes in the world combined. PETA is calling on the government to end its millions of dollars in wasteful subsidies of the meat industry's unhealthy products and to tax meat at 10 cents per pound to offset its staggering costs, just as alcohol, tobacco, gasoline, and other items are subject to a "sin" tax. "The impact of the meat trade is as devastating to our health as that of the tobacco and alcohol industries put together—and even more so to the environment," says PETA spokesperson Nicole Matthews. "Slapping a tax on meat would save countless lives—and not just those of animals."