Friday, March 16, 2012

What's Behind All the Anti-Meat Propaganda?

The other day my mom forwarded me an email of the "You Know You Are a (insert variable) if You..." variety, concerning being a native of my hometown, Kumanovo, Macedonia. Among the ten or so reasons listed was "You always think there is a conspiracy afoot." For all I know this may have been a swipe at my dad and me, since we always try to see "that which is unseen," as Frederic Bastiat would have put it. Now, I hasten to make the distinction between seeking out the beneficiary of a government policy from that of a conspiracy theory. The former is based on evidence--though often chosen to be overseen or obscured; the latter is normally used by those who seek to obfuscate the fact that someone is benefiting at the expense of someone else.

In that vein, I got to thinking: What's behind all the State funded anti-meat propaganda of late? Being one who believes that people only look to gain a material benefit, I normally don't buy the argument that people seek to impose a lifestyle on someone else squarely out of being "bleating hearts"--or out of being plain evil, for that matter. Case in point: me! I propagate the ideology of liberty and capitalism because I believe it to be the ideology that will give me the most benefit in life.

For instance, I would not be able to enjoy the luxury of owning an automobile at a more than affordable price had Henry Ford not become stinkin' rich. Very few people take this idea further: if not for the mass produced automobile, there would be no mass produced transport trucks which deliver us countless consumer products that we enjoy at very affordable prices. Henry Ford's wealth is the result of the benefit he has bestowed on all of us; yet it's something that is of no concern to me. What concerns me is the fact that my life has been made all the better for it.

So, what can be behind all of the anti-meat propaganda? Approaching the issue logically, one should suspect producers of meat substitutes, like soy and tofu; but also nuts, mushrooms and beans.

How about the meat producers themselves? Crazy as this may seem at first glace, Agriculture Canada's Tobacco Transition Program suggests otherwise. Under this government boondoggle, Canada's Federal Government tried to encourage tobacco farmers to quit growing tobacco in favor for something "healthy," by buying out the entire annual crop from tobacco farmers. Instead of completely abolishing tobacco farming, this program managed to more than double the number of tobacco farmers in Canada (to the tune of no less than $284 million). A closer look at the issue revealed that, in a sense the number of tobacco farmers did not really double, since most of the "new" farmers were just spinoffs of the existing tobacco farms.

To anyone that understands the first thing about the interrelations of supply and demand, the notion that one's entire produce was guaranteed to sell no matter what, would have suggested that the Tobacco Transition Program was going to fail. However, the program was a failure only from the Taxpayers point of view; but not from the point of view of the tobacco farmers that got paid despite not having to make the same sort of forecasts about future demand that any other free market entrepreneur has to! Therefore, Canadian tobacco farmers in collusion with the Canadian Government cheated the every honest business person and laborer in the country.

And, there would have been no such opportunity to make easy money on the backs of Taxpayers had tobacco not been declared a demon crop first. Thus, it makes perfect sense to me that the meat industry itself may be behind some of this anti-meat push; for once pronounced deadly, meat farmers will also need to be transitioned into growing something "healthy."

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