Meat production is bad for the planet. Why subsidise it?


A Dutch animal welfare organization is speaking out against long-running European Union subsidy programs that support the animal agriculture industry. The Wakker Dier Foundation claims that propping up the beef, pork, and chicken businesses ostensibly puts the EU in a position of contributing to the global climate crisis.

“Where the EU tries to stimulate meat consumption, the Netherlands is trying to discourage meat consumption through policy,” the group says in a statement. “These are perverse subsidies.”

Each year, the EU contributes €200 million ($216.7 million) in subsidies to go toward the “promotion of agricultural products,” according to the Guardian. About €60 million ($65 million) has been spent in the past three years on close to two dozen marketing campaigns that promote eating meat. In once case, funding went toward a “road show” in which a big pink bus was outfitted to look like a pig with marketing language on its sides.

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