Save content
Have you found this content useful? Use the button above to save it to your profile.
A woman eating a vegan burger | AccountingWEB | Veganuary doesn't have to taxing
istock_ArtMarie_Vegan-burger

Veganuary doesn’t have to be taxing

by

Amy Chin considers whether taxation could be used to plant a vegan lifestyle into everyday life beyond Veganuary. 

11th Jan 2024
Save content
Have you found this content useful? Use the button above to save it to your profile.

January gets a bad rap. As the first Creme Egg muscles its way past the last yellow-stickered box of mince pies on the supermarket shelf, the return to work is made all the more painful by the dark, chilly mornings, and the tree – once a beacon of eager anticipation and festive sparkle – being reduced to a crispy carpet of brown needles on the floor.

As for accountants, most are so deeply entrenched in busy season, drowning in a sea of tax returns, they barely have time to make new year’s resolutions, let alone stick to them.

Personally, I’m not a fan of Dry January. Not least because it’s my birthday this month and I want everyone to party with me. However, I did indulge in one January trend six years ago and never looked back. Veganuary – going vegan for January. Everyone knows that vegans love talking about veganism. (How do you work out if someone is vegan? You don’t need to, they’ll tell you!) So it would be remiss of me to let the chance of my column falling in Veganuary slide by.

Most people are aware by now of the compelling environmental, health and animal welfare arguments for ditching animal products, with many conceding to a flexitarian diet, or meat-free Mondays at a push. But taste is king and despite the exponential rise in plant-based offerings in supermarkets, restaurants and fast-food chains, very few have made the switch to a vegan lifestyle.

I spoke to Keith Lesser, founder of Vegan Accountants UK, to explore whether the answer could lie in taxation.

Put your money where your mouth is

One of the barriers for many people interested in attempting a vegan lifestyle is cost. Meat and dairy are often cheaper than plant-based alternatives (although plant protein can be found in abundance in dirt-cheap wholefoods such as chickpeas, lentils and broccoli). This is largely because the government heavily subsidises the meat and dairy industries.

“Meat and dairy consumption is going down but government subsidies make the plant vs animal-derived food fight completely unbalanced,” explained Lesser. “If meat and dairy farming wasn’t subsidised, animal products would be too expensive and not mass produced like today.”

So, removing subsidies would undoubtedly help redress the balance and usher consumers in the direction of the vegetable aisle, but what about taxation? Would a meat tax be an effective strategy? I put the question to Lesser.

“Several EU countries – Switzerland, Germany and Denmark to name a few – are tackling this space. The logic being ‘the polluter pays’ and animal agriculture is number one.”

Although a meat tax is yet to be implemented in any European country, it is being given serious consideration by many political parties on the continent. In October 2023, after the Danish Climate Council recommended a 33% tax on beef, Denmark became the first country to publish a national action plan for plant-based foods. Its preface begins: “Plant-based foods are the future. If we want to reduce the climate footprint within the agricultural sector, then we all have to eat more plant-based foods.”

You are what you eat

From a health perspective, the benefits of putting plants on your plate instead of meat are increasingly hard to ignore. A new Netflix documentary You are what you eat: a twin experiment has received rave reviews, comparing the effects of a ‘healthy’ diet containing meat and dairy and a plant-based diet on twins with identical DNA.

The results may be shocking to some, but not to Lesser, who points out “it’s not protein-deficient vegans putting the strain on the NHS”. With Cancer Research classing red meat as a carcinogen, does the government have a responsibility to reduce consumption via policy, as it does with cigarettes?

The answer may lie in the lab

Lesser has an alternative idea, potentially more likely to come to fruition in the UK: lab-grown meat.

“The argument against consuming less meat is usually around taste and pleasure so if that can be replicated via alternatives, or even lab-grown meat, it has to be a win,” he says.

Veganuary is a good opportunity for companies to showcase new and innovative products to rival meat and dairy. “I thought the THIS™ Isn’t skin-on crispy chicken wings in Brewdog was an interesting product and something different,” said Lesser, continuing: “Ultimately my view is that once lab meat becomes mainstream, certainly before 2030, that will be the end for animal agriculture and factory farming.

“Governments will see the pound signs and the sheer amount of land needed for animal production and slaughter is astronomical, not to mention completely unethical. With the decline inevitable and the lobbyists troublesome, I wonder if a meat tax is a waste of time as the fight will be lost via the lab.”

Feasting at FAB

Change is on the horizon and it’s going in the right direction. Attendees at the Accounting Excellence Awards in October 2023 were treated to a menu that was 80% vegetarian and 60% vegan, prepared by sustainability award-winning caterer Jimmy Garcia. Although the event won’t be fully vegan (this year…), those lucky enough to be coming along to FAB24 (get your FREE tickets now!) will be able to enjoy plentiful vegan options from vendors handpicked by Sift’s head of events, and fellow vegan, Mike Goldsmith.

“Catering for events is tough,” said Goldsmith. “There is so much to consider and for me it comes down to keeping as many people as happy as possible. Allergies aside, everyone can eat a vegan meal while not everyone can eat a cheese-based meal and even fewer can eat a meat-based meal. When you’re trying to keep everyone happy and well fed, the ever-widening range of great-tasting options means that vegan food is increasingly the way to go – from a logical point of view, a taste point of view and (whisper it) an ethical point of view.”

Whether or not I’ve succeeded in shoe-horning my plant-powered passions into a taxation context, governmental policy changes would certainly bring us closer to the goal. “Stepping back, humans could just eat plants, save money, avoid heavily processed foods, live an extra 20 years and let the planet heal,” added Lesser.

Replies (44)

Please login or register to join the discussion.

avatar
By Mitch
11th Jan 2024 15:30

This kind of "preaching" arrticle really annoys me so I thought I'd share a few facts for you to balance the equation a bit.
1 A lot of this country (mostly Scotland) is not suitable for growing crops, only grass.
2 Without animals, we would rely solely on artificially manufactured fertilisers, which are known to be bad for the environment.
3 There is a limit to the variety of crops which can be grown in the UK due to our climate.
4 Some of the common foods found in vegan meals travel huge distances before reaching your plate? Rice from Thailand, Chickpeas from India, Bell pepper from Mexico, peas from Guatemala, Avocado from Mexico, to name but a few. I can go to my local grocer and butcher and get the majority of food I need (potatoes, carrots, swede, brussell sprouts, cabbage, milk, beef, lamb, chicken, eggs, cheese, strawberries, raspberries, rapeseed oil, etc.) knowing it's been produced within in a 20 mile radius (I know I'm very lucky where I live).
5 It is farmers who look after the beautiful countryside for us to enjoy. If it weren't for them, the country would be a mess.
6 Personally, I have no intention of eating "meat" grown in a lab.
7 Despite what vegans think, they are no more ethical than the rest of us.

Thanks (9)
Replying to Mitch:
avatar
By fitzroy
12th Jan 2024 11:55

Thank you Mitch, as I read this article getting hotter and hotter under the collar I was forming in my head a reply along the same lines, so you've saved me some time.

I would add that Mr Lesser is presenting a biased picture in suggesting that "the government heavily subsidises the meat and dairy industries" - please, Amy, do ask Mr Lesser to provide evidence to back his claim and give us a list of said subsidies?

ALL farmers in the UK with 5 hectares or more, arable or pasture, and now woodland, are entitled to claim benefits and nearly all these benefits are based on acreage, not wether you have livestock. And it was Cameron who refused to have these benefits capped so his large land-owning mates could rake in hundreds of thousands £s for the privilege of owning land.

Back in the '80s the Government in its ignorance used to give 'headage' payments to farmers so they were paid on the number of livestock they had, not on the acreage of land, but those sorts of payments are long gone. And rightly so.

Furthermore, there are many who would disagree your claim of "compelling environmental, health and animal welfare arguments for ditching animal products". When you look deeper into these claims there is all sorts of crooked science funded by those who will make a fortune from the lab-grown mush, not to mention the insects they want to shove down our throats.

Even the link to Cancer Research UK takes you to three bullet points, the second of which contains the word "may", which means it is not proven by any means. And have you ever noticed how 'red meat' is always lumped together with 'processed meat'? That's because they can then tar 'meat' with the same brush as the known dangers of the 'processing'.

And as for the 'animal welfare', well, this again just shows a lack of knowledge of the farming industry and its practices. Please do tell - is the value of a life dependent upon it's size and if it is domesticated or wild?

I can assure you that in the production of vegetables and cereals literally thousands of lives per acre are lost: but they are small ones, mice, voles, rabbits, the odd deer fawn caught in the header of the combine. Do these count? Do we care or think about them? Do we care or think about the lives of the insects and bees lost to the euphemistically called 'plant protection products' aka poisonous toxic sprays blanketing the vegetables and cereal crops of the country?

I could go on.

This sort of article makes my blood boil. Farmers of this country deserve better, and the lack of knowledge of the farming industry makes easy pickings for the marketers trying to steer the naive masses into diets wholly inappropriate to their health and the growing conditions of this island.

Zoe Harcombe articulates the counter argument extremely well.
https://www.zoeharcombe.com/

And I highly recommend the thoroughly well researched and written book The Great Plant-Based Con by Jane Buxton.
https://thegreatplantbasedcon.com/

Thanks (5)
Replying to fitzroy:
avatar
By Lesser Tax
12th Jan 2024 15:55

Nobody mentioned in sex, but you seem to be backing up the claim that meat and dairy is indeed subsidised, not something that is usually debated as is clear

In the UK, farmers may receive subsidies and support through various agricultural policies and programs, including the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) when the UK was part of the European Union. These subsidies were not necessarily direct payments for meat and dairy production but rather aimed to support overall agricultural sustainability, rural development, and environmental conservation.

However, the specific nature of agricultural subsidies and support can change over time and may vary based on government policies and priorities. The UK has developed its own agricultural policy since leaving the EU, known as the Agriculture Bill, which outlines its approach to farm support and subsidy schemes.

Yes crop production has some consequences to insects but is surely a better alternative than factory farming?

Is there an ethical way for an animal to die?

We must differentiate between sentient beings with emotional intelligence which insects are not.

Cows for example clearly have strong emotional connection to their offspring which we force apart and kill.

certainly the best resource available here

https://plantbasedhealthprofessionals.com/

Debunks any health issue or argument undoubtedly

Thanks (1)
Replying to Lesser Tax:
avatar
By fitzroy
13th Jan 2024 10:41

QUOTE
"Is there an ethical way for an animal to die?

We must differentiate between sentient beings with emotional intelligence which insects are not.

Cows for example clearly have strong emotional connection to their offspring which we force apart and kill."
UNQUOTE

I'm sorry to have to inform you that unless you are fortunate enough to have land on which you can grow all your own food, and do so without chemicals, then there is no food that does not involve the death of many animals.

It is a simple fact of food production. Even the millions of rats that are baited with poison to protect the vegetable and cereal stores throughout the year. Perhaps these may seem ok collateral damage, but rats are very much sentient and extremely clever, loving animals if you get to know them.

And you personally may feel all the other lives lost of small and medium sized mammals and ground nesting birds, etc are not sentient, but I think many might disagree.

There is a big difference, however, in the NUMBER of lives lost: to produce a thousand vegan meals you will lose thousands of lives, lives of wild sentient animals, chopped, diced and slaughtered in the ploughing, drilling, spraying, harvesting, storage of monoculture, soil-destroying veg/cereal fields; but you can produce a thousand meals from the one life of a 100% pasture-fed beef animal roaming a diverse, silvo-pastoral landscape living in harmony with nature.

As for the removal of dairy calves from their mothers, to which I assume you refer, there are alternatives to this practice if you look up 'cow-calf dairies', where the mothers keep and raise their own calves:

https://www.cowcalfdairies.co.uk/

This article started with a reference to using taxation to nudge, even coerce, behaviour changes. When it comes to food, this can push the poorest and least informed into consuming diets lacking essential nutrients with all the knock-on health issues and wider unintended consequences.

When there are billions in profits to be made by the mega corporations and
'foundations', set up by ideologues, pushing this agenda through, we are dangerously tipping into a fascist state where individuals lose their ability to choose what to eat and how to live. And those that push the agenda tell us it's for the 'greater good' or a 'common purpose', appealing further to the virtue signallers, but when you dive deeply into this and look behind the curtain it's just another way to strip the health and wealth from the masses into the pockets of the few.

Thanks (2)
Replying to Lesser Tax:
avatar
By Mitch
13th Jan 2024 16:45

Just curious how many vegans there are out there with pet dogs which were removed from their mother as 8 week old pups. Dogs have strong emotional bonds with their offspring too!

Thanks (3)
Replying to Mitch:
avatar
By inatrance
16th Jan 2024 14:05

Mitch wrote:

This kind of "preaching" arrticle really annoys me so I thought I'd share a few facts for you to balance the equation a bit.
1 A lot of this country (mostly Scotland) is not suitable for growing crops, only grass.
2 Without animals, we would rely solely on artificially manufactured fertilisers, which are known to be bad for the environment.
3 There is a limit to the variety of crops which can be grown in the UK due to our climate.
4 Some of the common foods found in vegan meals travel huge distances before reaching your plate? Rice from Thailand, Chickpeas from India, Bell pepper from Mexico, peas from Guatemala, Avocado from Mexico, to name but a few. I can go to my local grocer and butcher and get the majority of food I need (potatoes, carrots, swede, brussell sprouts, cabbage, milk, beef, lamb, chicken, eggs, cheese, strawberries, raspberries, rapeseed oil, etc.) knowing it's been produced within in a 20 mile radius (I know I'm very lucky where I live).
5 It is farmers who look after the beautiful countryside for us to enjoy. If it weren't for them, the country would be a mess.
6 Personally, I have no intention of eating "meat" grown in a lab.
7 Despite what vegans think, they are no more ethical than the rest of us.

1. The country's land is not to there to be 'used' by humans. We would need much less total land for agriculture if we reduced meat consumption, meaning that land currently only suitable for grazing could be re-wilded without the need to grow alternative crops
2. Do you have any references for this? Obtaining any products via animals is an inefficient system, as you lose a lot of resources to keep the animals alive. Even by conservative estimates, animal agriculture is one of the largest causes of climate change, loss of habitat/biodiversity and greenhouse has emissions
3. Our climate allows us to grow a huge variety of crops. With regards to anything we can't grow, see point 4
4. A lot of the local products you list are also vegan. Those products that do need to be imported (demand is created by the whole population and not just the small percentage that are vegan) create much less greenhouse gas emissions than the equivalent amount of animal products produced locally. Transport is a relatively small proportion of total emissions
5. Being a 'mess' is the point. The countryside should not be a blanket of grass fields and monocrops; the vast majority should be left for nature to run its course
6. Everyone is entitled to their own choices
7. Vegans are the same as anyone else, with the only difference that they 'seek to exclude—as far as is possible and practicable—all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose'. I am sure there are vegans who act unethically in other areas of life, and I am sure there are vegetarians and omnivores who try to uphold the highest of ethical practices in all other aspects of their life. This is not really the place to have such debates

Thanks (1)
Replying to inatrance:
avatar
By AndyC555
24th Jan 2024 09:59

1. The country's land is not to there to be 'used' by humans.

Yes it is.

Thanks (1)
Replying to AndyC555:
avatar
By Paul Crowley
20th Feb 2024 18:47

And so are the animals, per the Bible

Most food animals would not have any life at all if they were not food. Nobody keeps cattle as pets.

The most evil thing in the World must be those obnoxious charities giving goats to Africans and Asians. Trying to get people using dairy when previously they were dairy free.

Thanks (0)
Replying to Paul Crowley:
avatar
By inatrance
22nd Feb 2024 07:36

Quoting the bible on a debate about economics?

So should we raise additional horses for meat, because they wouldn't have a life otherwise? Or dogs? They do in some parts of the world. Or is it just 'food' animals as defined by our culture?

And yes, there are many issues with the practice you refer to:

https://awellfedworld.org/no-animal-gifts/

https://www.standard.co.uk/hp/front/why-giving-a-goat-for-christmas-hind....

https://thesavemovement.org/stop-animal-gifting/

Thanks (0)
avatar
By FactChecker
11th Jan 2024 19:18

Seriously?
If you are considering "whether taxation could be used to plant a vegan lifestyle into everyday life beyond Veganuary" ... wouldn't it be a good idea first to tackle WHY the government (of all the people and all the businesses) should do that?
The fact that you'd like the outcome and probably know a load of people with the same opinion (because, to parody your style, vegans like vegans don't they?) doesn't in itself promote it to the top of the priorities facing the country or even the world.

FWIW I've never eaten much meat for the rather simpler reason that I don't cook (so only get meat if someone else has prepared the food), but then I don't get the fascination that food holds for so many.
Result: I spent an uncomfortable 3 months a year ago having instruments inserted (and samples extracted) from every part of my body in the search for the cause of my extreme anaemia - until they discovered that I eat no red meat, and so was put on a diet (care of the NHS) that you'd hate!

I can't stand the texture (or lack of taste) of tofu and have yet to encounter any lab-produced protein that doesn't induce a sense of incipient vomiting merely on seeing it ... so am now facing a lifetime of pills (that are not good for a settled stomach) on top of my otherwise healthy fresh vegetables and fruit - with the occasional slab of beef if visiting someone who cooks (on doctor's orders).

Thanks (4)
Replying to FactChecker:
avatar
By inatrance
16th Jan 2024 14:13

FactChecker wrote:

Seriously?
FWIW I've never eaten much meat for the rather simpler reason that I don't cook (so only get meat if someone else has prepared the food), but then I don't get the fascination that food holds for so many.
Result: I spent an uncomfortable 3 months a year ago having instruments inserted (and samples extracted) from every part of my body in the search for the cause of my extreme anaemia - until they discovered that I eat no red meat, and so was put on a diet (care of the NHS) that you'd hate!

I can't stand the texture (or lack of taste) of tofu and have yet to encounter any lab-produced protein that doesn't induce a sense of incipient vomiting merely on seeing it ... so am now facing a lifetime of pills (that are not good for a settled stomach) on top of my otherwise healthy fresh vegetables and fruit - with the occasional slab of beef if visiting someone who cooks (on doctor's orders).

Your anecdote suggest that maybe you were not eating a balanced diet. The world's leading health authorities all state that a balanced plant-based diet is healthy, and therefore it is valid to question whether the subsidising of animal agriculture is a sensible fiscal policy considering some of the harmful impacts of that industry.

Thanks (1)
Replying to inatrance:
avatar
By FactChecker
16th Jan 2024 17:37

I'm sure it's true that I wasn't eating a balanced diet - but then nor do most people of every dietary preference or culture. Nor do they look after their bodies optimally - and most are happier for that, striking a balance between such self-preservation and enjoying a life where they contribute to the welfare of others.

Any sentence that starts with a phrase like "world's leading health authorities" but fails to specify which (and preferably where) sets off warning sirens ... unfair, but that's what happens when unqualified opinions are thrown around the place.

Also, I doubt that many would state that "a balanced plant-based diet is healthy" - 'may be' or 'can be', not 'is'. It depends on the individual and their environment plus their lifestyle ... but a very high proportion (you've got me doing it now) of dieticians will point to the 'Mediterranean diet' as broadly the healthiest for most people. And, whilst high in plant-originated components, it is nowhere near vegetarian let alone vegan.

Thanks (3)
Replying to FactChecker:
avatar
By inatrance
17th Jan 2024 19:00

A 'balanced plant-based diet' is healthy by definition, in that it provides a balance of all nutrients required. A quick google will provide the positions of relevant health authorities on this and I would expect that most people in this community would do their own research on the matter. This is not the place to have a fully referenced debate on diet and lifestyle; I was simply providing some perspective on your personal anecdote as I am sure you are aware.

The EAT-Lancet report is a good starting point for where our fiscal policy should be directing our agriculture industry and food consumption.

It is a shame that the comments on Amy's article seems to have been so antagonistic, as I believe she raised some important and interesting points that are worth discussion.

Thanks (1)
avatar
By Lesser Tax
12th Jan 2024 10:33

Yo Mitch, how's it hanging dude?

Seems to be some grains of agreement there.

If we focus on what we might agree on, you would agree factory farming making up 90% of meat consumption in the UK is in appalling conditions, animals bred into existence for human consumption kept indoors in as little space as possible, eating each other faeces and sometimes each other. This is in Red Tractor approved facilities as uncovered by numerous investigations by animal rights organisations and happy to share links to studies.

So if we can agree factory farming is wrong, let's get rid of that to start with. Nice one Mitch.

Not all vegans are ethical, definitely true I agree.

With regards to eating meat made in a lab. Alas if that's all supermarkets choose to sell in a few years, I don't see what choice the public have. As we know £££ signs is what matters to large corporations.

Really glad we have so much common ground. I was an avid meat eater until the age of 35 and completely understand your point of view.
----
Sorry to hear regarding your poorly advised NHS Consultant MR FACTCHECKER - my main confidence in that red meat is not healthy comes from my clients who are the leading doctors and scientists in the UK. Needless to say, this is not my testimony but the thousands of GP's that pay their hard earned cash in private subscriptions to said individuals to have access to their latest research and studies that Plant Based Diets (well executed) are the way forward.

Would be happy to share with you a range of Plant based dishes without red meat or Tofu that have plenty of iron and protein. Indeed such is the creativity these days I can confidently say even if I just mixed White Beans with Berries and Yoghurt/Milk to make a Smoothie or made a Chocolate and Chick Pea Mix I could make eat only delicious smoothies and cake and cover the majority of my nutritional needs. Yet no need for limiting like this as thousands of recipes and food ideas.

Yet I hope we can all agree as you say FACTCHECKER that inhaling animal body parts is unsavoury, children are appalled if you articulate that they are eating cute animals that they would otherwise play with and love. Killing sentient beings can never be justified unless in a survival setting and we don't hunt our food for this purpose, it is taste and pleasure not survival. Pigs have the emotional intelligence of a 3 year old child and we gas them bringing an unjust death.

Dare I say it I have read many stories where individuals have ditched the pills following going wholefood plant based following months after and GP recommendation that no longer required. Nuts, seeds, veg, fruit, grains, beans, legumes. Sorted!

Thanks (1)
Replying to Lesser Tax:
avatar
By Lesser Tax
12th Jan 2024 10:35

Yo Mitch, sorry dude, I forgot one thing. You know that animal feed that is used to feed those animals you eat, that's imported so means 70% of imported plant food is eaten by animals. Work that one out in the gravy train of animal agriculture versus climate change. Think fairly obvious then that if animals eat 70% if imported soy, that food could instead go to humans nobody would ever by hungry again. I can make it taste nice for you I promise.

Thanks (3)
Profile
By indomitable
12th Jan 2024 14:35

I'm afraid like alot of Zealots the author is woefully misinformed.

There is a plethora of research now that suggests if not proves that a meat based diet is much healthier for you than a vegan or plant based diet.

The killers are sugar, refined carbohydrates and especially highly processed foods of which most vegan alternatives have.

Meat (especially beef) has the highest density of ALL essential amino acids, vitamins and minerals of all foods.

Maybe people eat too much meat and certainly anything that contains nitrates such as bacon and sausages should be avoided, but eating some meat is far healthier than eating none. And in the third world where people have issues getting all the nutrients they require it is essential.

You cannot buck evolution which fanatics try and do. We are omnivores and we have evolved this way for millions of year, we have canine teeth so our bodies are used to eating a variety of foods including meat, and our immune systems are often deficient when we do not have any.

So I say to the author you can be vegan if you want but do not try and impose what I regard as completely unreasonable and unscientific views on any one else

Thanks (4)
Replying to indomitable:
avatar
By Lesser Tax
12th Jan 2024 15:48

We can certainly agree in at least in that processed foods like bacon and sausage too much sugar. Another processed food that is bad for you indeed bread in every supermarket shelf and most home kitchens and has copious amounts of chemicals and it’s not right, in its natural form like a sourdough with three ingredients wheat, salt and water.

A question whether we are omnivores with our teeth designed to bite into animal flesh, which is not the case and we do not personally kill or hunt animals. They conveniently turn up on our plates.

Please google black beans for beef nutritional info and let me know what you find.

The Netflix program mentioned in the article is quite compelling. I would encourage you to watch it

Thanks (0)
Replying to Lesser Tax:
Profile
By indomitable
13th Jan 2024 15:12

You seem to continue to try and force 'your truth' on the rest of us.

Once again this appears rather fanatical and missing the point

"A question whether we are omnivores with our teeth designed to bite into animal flesh, which is not the case and we do not personally kill or hunt animals. They conveniently turn up on our plates."

What is not the case? That you don't have canine teeth or they weren't designed for eating meat?

Your ancestors for millions of years ate meat. Your digestive, system your immune system your teeth are designed to eat meat. You are making arguments up to suit your conclusions.

Common consensus amongst health professionals advises that meat should be part of a healthy diet full stop.

If you have a moral issue about eating meat that is a different thing but a vegan diet is NOT healthier than one that contains meat, and I have the the vast majority of health professionals on my side in this.

Thanks (5)
Replying to indomitable:
avatar
By Lesser Tax
13th Jan 2024 16:57

I am neither a doctor or a scientist, would you like to speak to one who is and make your mind up following an expert opinion? I can give you a name.

Exactly we don’t have canine teeth. Our teeth are rather unaggressive compared to actual predators.

https://www.instagram.com/reel/C12JnLxLezb/?igsh=MTVsMnc0NXB4ZmJ3MA==

Thanks (0)
Replying to Lesser Tax:
avatar
By FactChecker
13th Jan 2024 21:45

None so blind as those who will not see (or deaf as those who will not listen)!
Doesn't shouting at people get as boring for you as it does for them?

Thanks (4)
Replying to indomitable:
avatar
By inatrance
16th Jan 2024 13:21

Yes our ancestors ate meat. And yes a diet that contains moderate amounts of meat and dairy can be healthy. But we live in an advanced society where we now have the choice not to do so. There is overwhelming evidence that a plant-based diet can be at least as healthy as a omnivorous diet. So why should subsidies continue to promote the destruction of the environment and the suffering of billions of sentient beings?

Of course everyone is free to make their own lifestyle choices, but the impacts of animal agriculture are important considerations for any civilised society in the 21st century. Articles prompting thought and opinion from this community on relevant matters such as tax strategy should be welcomed with open minds.

Thanks (2)
boxfile
By spilly
13th Jan 2024 00:13

Generally, meat-eaters do not try to force vegans into becoming carnivores. So why do almost all vegans I encounter try to convert me to veganism?
And the compromise of becoming a vegetarian is not seen as acceptable either.
Just accept that we all like to eat differently - free choice for all!

Thanks (5)
Replying to spilly:
avatar
By Lesser Tax
13th Jan 2024 07:06

No problem, let’s accept that women shouldn’t vote or drive and that should smoke whilst pregnant. All things that happened when? Millions of years ago?

Change is an awful thing! As is education!

I’m glad we agree!

Thanks (1)
Replying to Lesser Tax:
boxfile
By spilly
13th Jan 2024 22:38

The difference is that women form 50% of the population and had suffered centuries of discrimination. I don’t believe that vegans are deprived of their right to vote etc, but nor do they form a significant part of the population yet, so not really any comparison there.
You come across as to some kind of ranting hellfire-and-brimstone preacher that is incapable of realising that people are quite capable of reaching their own conclusions.
I reiterate, each to their own, and remember, a little tolerance and kindness is always helpful.

Thanks (4)
Amy Chin
By Amy Chin
13th Jan 2024 11:24

Thanks all for reading my (risky) column. Just answering a few key points as I appreciate the willingness to debate rather than just write the article off as preachy vegan nonsense...

It is true that smaller animals are sadly often killed in crop production you are correct, but the majority of those crops are fed to livestock, not humans. If we fed humans directly from the land we would require far less land - vastly reducing deforestation - less crops and hence fewer small animals killed in the process. Close to 80% of the world's soy bean production is used for animal feed (not tofu munching vegans). We have 795 million people starving worldwide, but we feed 56 billion farm animals. Cutting out the middle man (beast) really should be a no brainer.

Going back to the question of smaller animals being worth less, I would throw that one back to the meat eaters who are happy to pay for cows, sheep and pigs to be slaughtered and abused in so many ways, but would be absolutely shocked and appalled at the idea of someone kicking a kitten or drowning a puppy. Why are some species more deserving of compassion than others?

Cow-calf dairies, they sound great. But they are not scalable and nor are they necessary. We are the only species who drinks milk past infancy, let alone the milk of another species, and its simply not needed. Why do you think so many people are lactose intolerant? Our bodies are not designed to process cow's milk, because we're not baby cows.

I grew and raised three children, all on a vegan diet, including a twin pregnancy, with the consent of a very helpful NHS nutritionist who had absolutely no qualms about my decision. I and my kids do not suffer from anemia, or any other deficiencies. And they are certainly by no means lacking in energy... Veganism is not just an acceptable alternative to an omnivorous diet it is healthier - watch the Netflix documentary referenced in the article for more info.

Finally in answer to the question of why meat eaters don't try to convince vegans to eat meat, have you ever heard the driver of a diesel car persuading a Tesla owner to go back to diesel? Or a smoker encouraging a non-smoker to take up cigarettes? I would hope the answer is no. Progress and education are paramount to protecting our planet and our health.

Thanks (7)
Replying to Amy Chin:
avatar
By Lesser Tax
13th Jan 2024 12:41

Sorry Amy, I respectfully disagree.

The earth is flat. Pregnant women offspring are unaffected by smoking and tobacco company advertising their products must be allowed to champion their health products as children have been produced for thousands of years without brushing their teeth (do you think cavemen had Colgate?!?) and smoking is healthy for them. I gave my children cigarettes at the age of 2 and they are both still alive above the average age of what children live to in Africa.

I see what you are saying about cow milk, this is why I have tried a variety of milks. Pig milk and horse milk have a nice kick, need an extra sugar or too but I guzzle the white stuff for all that calcium as otherwise I would be deficient and nutritionally what comes out of a horse mother for their baby is something paramount to my health and aids athletic performance.

I take your point regarding climate change. I am mostly vegan but I can’t live without juicy steaks, this is why I BBQ dogs at least twice a week. People need to get off their pedestal, meat is meat. The dog tastes unbelievably juicy and seasoned to perfection. The dogs live amazing lives. They are loved from start to finish until I eat them. Thank goodness as otherwise I would have no iron or protein in my diet.

Lucky I still look ten years younger for my age and compete in sports at international level. Without my fix of dog meat and horse milk, I would likely be hospitalised.

I do wonder in all seriousness whether to complete the cycle of life we should be feasting on each other. Personally there is nothing I enjoy more than human flesh, I often do taste tests on guests who think they are eating vegan burgers or dog but it’s usually a neighbour who has lost a leg. Skin on or skin off is a regular debate but if cooked right, it’s all a fantastic taste and extremely pleasurable. Shame for anything to goto waste. Just doing our bit.

Thanks (0)
Replying to Amy Chin:
Profile
By indomitable
13th Jan 2024 14:57

"I grew and raised three children, all on a vegan diet, including a twin pregnancy, with the consent of a very helpful NHS nutritionist who had absolutely no qualms about my decision."

That is not NHS advice! If you ask 99.99% of doctors and nutritionist what a healthy diet for children is they will tell you to include meat and dairy

"Veganism is not just an acceptable alternative to an omnivorous diet it is healthier - watch the Netflix documentary referenced in the article for more info."

This is NOT fact this is your opinion and not the advice of the vast majority of doctors or nutritionists! Oh and that well know resource of science - NETFLIX

I am afraid this all comes across as rather fanatical

Thanks (4)
Replying to indomitable:
avatar
By Lesser Tax
14th Jan 2024 10:25

Tim Spector is behind the Netflix study - “you are what you eat, a twin experiment”. Widely regarded as a neutral expert, interviewed on diary of a ceo, widely acclaimed and the importance of the gut micro biome. 99.99% of doctors and nutritionists certainly do not think omnivore is the correct approach. Nonsense.

Thanks (0)
Replying to Lesser Tax:
avatar
By FactChecker
14th Jan 2024 14:24

Tim Spector a "neutral expert"?
The guy behind Zoe, which (according to CH) made a pre-tax loss of £10.5m in the year to the end of August 2022, up from £7.9m the year before, despite a jump in revenue to £5.9m from £1.8m, as distribution and salesforce costs also surged. So hardly without skin in the game.

And if you're going to make up statistics, then here's a hint ... claiming 99.99% is never believable.

But I agree with your final word (assuming you're marking your own work now)!

Thanks (2)
Replying to Amy Chin:
avatar
By Mitch
13th Jan 2024 16:59

Amy, I don't know what you think the job of "Consulting Tax Editor" entails but I'm pretty sure your job description doesn't include preaching on non-tax related issues on which you have absolutely no authority and no real knowledge.

Also, you obviously have no knowledge of working in animal husbandry. I have lived and worked on livestock rearing farms my whole life. Never have I seen any behaviour which could be compared to kicking a kitten or drowning a puppy. I have spent months looking after orphaned calves and lambs only to cry the day they go to meet their maker. However, I always take on this job in the full knowledge that I know this is what will happen. I also take comfort from the fact that they have led as happy and healthy a life as possible and the ending will be painless. If they weren't needed for breeding or meat they wouldn't have been born in the first place.

Thanks (3)
Replying to Mitch:
avatar
By Lesser Tax
14th Jan 2024 10:23

Glad we agree Mitch. Immoral actions are not justifiable because of a happy existence.

Using an accounting analogy, should accountants be content that January is a nightmare because they have 11 months of an ok life but life stops in jan.

Or should they improve their practice so that jan ISN'T A NIGHTMARE.

Same thing with animals. Can’t breed them into existence and give them life then slit their throats and say “you wouldn’t have enjoyed that meal yesterday without me so I am justified in ending your life”.

Thanks (1)
Replying to Amy Chin:
avatar
By FactChecker
13th Jan 2024 22:06

Back to basics ... this wasn't a "(risky) column" - but it was:

a) wholly inappropriate to this website ... shoehorning in an ill-defined proposal to drive adoption of your belief system through taxation does not turn it into an accounting/tax issue, anymore than the next article where someone proposes (say) to use taxation to terminate ownership of every residential property;

b) unnecessarily offensive to a substantial swathe of people who neither share your idiosyncratic views nor have an interest in swallowing all the unqualified tales you wish to promote ... Netflix documentaries, really?; even BoJo didn't claim that kind of source as 'scientific evidence'!

You are of course free to hold whatever opinions appeal to you - but should not use your position to promulgate them in inappropriate media.
I hope you've noticed that amongst all the vituperative comments that you've generated ... no-one is suggesting forcing vegans to eat meat, so why should your beliefs get a free pass?

Thanks (7)
Replying to FactChecker:
boxfile
By spilly
13th Jan 2024 22:49

This is an issue that should be ranked alongside religion, political affiliation, Brexit, and money, as impolite topics for the dinner table. Therefore it stands to reason that they should also not feature on a professional forum.

Thanks (3)
Replying to spilly:
avatar
By Lesser Tax
14th Jan 2024 10:19

Is that because you feel uncomfortable that the cows and pigs can’t fight back?

This is about taxation!

Ethics v tax. The point is ethics will win so tax is not the answer.

However preserving the ecosystem for example the oceans so humanity can continue is paramount.

Give seaspiracy a watch on Netflix and politely consider why we eat sheep and not pandas.

It might be the pandas would taste good but they would be harder to control.

Thanks (0)
Replying to FactChecker:
avatar
By Lesser Tax
14th Jan 2024 10:20

So many meatflakes here.

Thanks (0)
Replying to Lesser Tax:
avatar
By FactChecker
14th Jan 2024 14:11

That's the first interesting thing you've said ... if only because it shows your creative side for a change (all the rest just being parroted from various 'spiracy bubbles).

Thanks (2)
Replying to FactChecker:
avatar
By Lesser Tax
14th Jan 2024 19:14

Agreed. Climate change is a conspiracy to introduce more taxes and for us to be controlled further by the nanny state.

Thanks (0)
Replying to Amy Chin:
avatar
By Paul Crowley
20th Feb 2024 18:58

'I grew and raised three children, all on a vegan diet, including a twin pregnancy, with the consent of a very helpful NHS nutritionist who had absolutely no qualms about my decision. I and my kids do not suffer from anemia, or any other deficiencies.'
Jeeze
You decided to do that?
Your poor children.

Thanks (0)
Profile
By indomitable
14th Jan 2024 16:25

How did accounting web ever let this article be posted?

I really am not interested in the opinions of what appear to be two "fanatical vegans" who want to impose their almost religious views and opinions on the rest of us.

Thanks (6)
Replying to indomitable:
avatar
By Open all hours
14th Jan 2024 16:54

At last, the post I was intending to write. Some seemingly want to create division for the sake of it which is really sad. This is not the forum for the original article.

Thanks (2)
Replying to indomitable:
avatar
By Lesser Tax
14th Jan 2024 19:10

Agreed. I just want to eat my dog steak in peace. Wish all the fanatical vegans would leave me to my meal. Can you pass the ketchup?

Thanks (1)
avatar
By Paul Crowley
20th Feb 2024 18:34

Hilarious
Tax subsidies to Vegans only
This must be a joke, if not then get it republished on 1st April and get double the bang.

Thanks (1)
Replying to Paul Crowley:
avatar
By inatrance
22nd Feb 2024 07:38

Where does the article state that subsidies should be for vegans only?

Thanks (0)