Taxation logo taxation mission text

Since 1927 the leading authority on tax law, practice and administration

A cow's rear end

Oct 1, 2008, 05:45 AM
Authors : Richard
Show link : Yes
Show link in individual comments : No
Show Printer-friendly URLs list : Yes
User can post comments : No
Display comments : No
Sticky at top of lists : No
Promoted to front page : No
Premium content : No
Feature in listings page : No
Post date : Oct 1, 2008, 05:45 AM
You must have heard the old joke, what’s brown and steaming and comes out of cows?
The Isle of Wight ferry!
Doesn’t work quite so well in print: Cowes (a port on the Isle of Wight) and cows (a ruminant animal).

Get it? Suit yourself.
Anyway, the problem with cows is that it’s not only something brown and steamy that comes out of them.
According to a UN FAO (Food and Agriculture Organisation) report, Livestock’s Long Shadow–Environmental Issues and Options, they produce more greenhouse gases than cars and, as if that wasn't bad enough, are a major source of land and water degradation.
The report reports that 'the livestock sector accounts for 9% of CO2 deriving from human-related activities, but produces a much larger share of even more harmful greenhouse gases. It generates 65% of human-related nitrous oxide, which has 296 times the global warming potential of CO2. Most of this comes from manure'.
This morning’s Farming Today programme (BBC Radio 4 at 5.45 every day, if you are interested or an insomniac) suggested that there could be a point at which farming would have to be brought within the carbon trading scheme.

There’s a thought. Perhaps when you next buy some meat at the supermarket, you could – in the same way as when you buy an airline ticket, perhaps – have the option of paying to offset the greenhouse gases produced by your steak and chips.
Of course, getting something like that off the ground is going to take years, and the way that the Chinese and other developing nations are moving on to meat eating means that the planet will be knee-deep in cow poo and suffocating in methane long before that happens.
So, what’s the answer?
Give up the derogation of VAT zero rating on meat seems the answer to me. This might encourage people to take up a more vegetarian and ecologically-friendly diet.
Don’t squeal! Denmark (yes, where your Danish bacon comes from) has a flat rate of VAT of 25% and no zero rating or exemption for food.
Don’t say I didn’t warn you. Now, where’s that nut roast?

No nuts, just the kernel of good advice at
Tags :
Tax Topic Tags :
  • Blog
back to top icon