Yesterday at the Iowa caucus, a PETA “pig” hit the campaign trail to ask presidential candidates to stop eating pork and start taxing meat.
The pig, holding a sign that read: “Cut the pork: Tax meat!” stood outside the restaurant where Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum were meeting and greeting. And although it appears that they both ignored the pink campaigning pig, Rick Perry didn’t. In fact, when the presidential hopeful walked past the pig, he gave her a big high-five and said, “Yeah! Cut the pork!”
The PETA pig used the opportunity to not only win over Perry’s support about eating less (or no) meat, but to also point out that because of meat’s negative impact on people’s health and the environment, it should include a “sin” tax from now on (similar to the taxes on alcohol and tobacco). In other words, people who want to eat meat should have to pay more for it. The idea here is that the “sin” tax would make it financially unfeasible for some to continue eating meat, so more people would opt for a vegetarian lifestyle.
While we support vegetarians and vegans, we find it hard to believe that a presidential candidate would too. In a country where only 3% of Americans are non-meat-eaters, Rick Perry–or any other leader–would probably not mean it when he says, “Cut the pork.” After all, that would likely cost him votes. And isn’t that what politics is all about? Saying what voters want to hear?
Even so, it would be interesting to see a presidential candidate who is a vegetarian or vegan while they’re in office. Maybe they could take their cues from Bill Clinton.