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On Why a Hamburger Should Cost $35

Did you know that if it weren’t for the US government subsidizing the resource-intensive factory farm industry, a hamburger would cost $35? And did you know that the subsidies come from your tax dollars, whether or not you’re a vegan?

Well, if that weren’t bad enough, US Representative Adrian Smith (R-NE) has introduced H.R. 1217, which would amend the Internal Revenue Code to provide tax incentives to owners of factory farms (a.k.a. concentrated animal feeding operations, or, CAFOs) for complying with existing environmental laws. (I reduce, reuse and recycle and only use nontoxic cleaners. Can I get a break?) To help the CAFOs pay for compliance with the laws, the government will dole out up to $500,000 in tax breaks to each CAFO, rather than forcing them to raise their prices to pay for what it takes to comply.

At least 50 times more fossil fuels are required to produce a meat-based diet than a plant-based one, and CAFOs consume over half of all water used in the U.S. And you get to help the CAFOs comply with not new laws, but ones that are already on the books, by paying your taxes.

If you want to put the kibosh on H.R, 1217, urge your Representative to oppose it, and contact the Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Charles Rangel, and urge him to oppose it, as well.

Chairman Charles B. Rangel
Committee on Ways & Means
U.S. House of Representatives
1102 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515
Tel: (202) 225-3625
Fax: (202) 225-2610
Web mail:

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