Evidence is mounting that meat consumption isn’t just bad for individuals, but the environment as well (and of course the animals themselves). Concerned with the state of the planet they will inherit, a new study has found that Gen Z is supportive of higher taxation on meat products as an economic countermeasure.

The word is out. Eating meat is unhealthy and worse for climate change than driving to work. In today’s age of consumer awareness and regulation, most harmful goods and activities are disincentivised through a pricing model that takes into account potential risks toward the purchaser. Cigarettes, alcohol and increasingly carbon emissions are the target of higher taxation meant to discourage what’s bad for us and help funnel in extra money to governments to support public health and environmental services.

So why isn’t meat taxed at a higher rate? After all, mass production in the form of factory farming is a known contributor to climate change, and in recent years the World Health Organisation’s International Agency for Research on Cancer classified consumption of red meat and processed meat as carcinogenic. With data mounting and an emerging culture that focuses on wellbeing and being environmentally responsible, it’s no wonder the younger generation is taking another look at their relationship to meat.

Meat Is On The Chopping Block

Gen Z was the most vocal in their support for the proposed tax on meat, with 62% supporting it.

A new survey by Veylinx, a consumer research company, asked respondents what their opinion was on taxing meat in order to reduce consumption. The research was conducted in March and was drawn from a sample of 3,538 US consumers aged 18 and over. According to the findings, 37% of participants were in favour of an additional 10% tax on meat to cut consumption.

Of the responders, Gen Z was the most vocal in their support for the proposed tax on meat, with 62% supporting it. Similarly, the younger generation expressed support of meat alternatives, with over 70% backing government subsidies to reduce plant-based product prices and spur innovation in the industry.

How A Tax On Meat Could Help

Beyond the obvious incentive to push consumers toward healthier alternatives, a tax on meat could also mean changes to the means of production. The extra revenue could be used to help support farmers diversify their business, compensate producers or invest in scalable plant-based solutions. Either way, there have been calls to reduce global meat consumption for years in a bid to stave off worsening climate change, whilst analysts have predicted a tax on meat is imminent.

Everybody has to pay for climate change, many in the form of health care, the increasing prevalence of environmental disasters or the rising costs of everyday living. Will this be the year we enforce a tax on meat to buy us time and avoid a climate catastrophe?