Letter: Tax dairy industry instead of a carbon tax

To the editor:

In response to (Bobbe Wemock’s letter) “Why don’t the worst polluters pay a carbon tax?” (March 20), I agree our federal government’s carbon taxing appears to be selective.

Why did our federal government announce a $250 million investment in the declining dairy industry last December? I say declining because more and more, people are becoming aware of superior alternatives such as almond, soy, cashew, coconut and oat dairy products including milk, cheese, sour cream, yogurt and ice cream to name a few. Even our new Canada Food Guide has omitted a daily dose of dairy from its roster in favour of plant-based foods and water.

The dairy industry is one of the biggest polluters of our clean air and water. It’s methane emissions contribute more greenhouse gas emissions than all modes of transportation combined. According to the UN’s IPPCC report on climate change, animal agriculture, particularly meat and dairy products, account for 70 per cent of global freshwater consumption, 38 per cent of the total land use and 19 per cent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions.

Dairy also has human health implications. The casein in dairy has been linked to prostate, breast, colorectal and other cancers. Why are we supporting a declining industry that destroys our environment and makes us sick? Last, but not least, the inherent cruelty to animals in the industry is appalling!

It’s time we put carbon taxing where it belongs. If any investment is to be made in the dairy industry, it should be to help farmers transition to growing crops, not animals that are destroying our planet and our health.

Karen Stiewe

Kelowna

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