Some 240 years ago, our founding fathers declared our national independence from Great Britain. This year, let's declare our independence from the meat industry.
More than 60 percent of U.S. agricultural subsidies pay for meat, dairy, and egg production. Fresh fruit and vegetable farmers receive less than one percent of the total. It's time to declare our independence by stopping these subsidies.
Our annual medical care expenditures for diseases associated with consumption of animal products are estimated at $300 billion. Much of the cost is borne by our taxes through Medicare, Medicaid, Veterans Administration, and Obamacare. It's time to declare our independence by taxing animal products to recover these costs.
Currently, the meat industry is getting Congress to gut dietary recommendations by a government-appointed panel of our nation's top nutritionists. The panel recommended incorporating reduced meat consumption and sustainability of food sources in our dietary guidelines.
It's time to declare our independence by telling the meat industry to butt out of our dietary guidelines. In the meantime, each of us can declare our personal independence from the meat industry by refusing to subsidize it on our next trip to the supermarket.
The writer lives in Myrtle Beach.