Progressives Have Always Despised Red Meat

You have never heard of Rachel Premack. Admit it.

Until July 3, neither had I.

On that day, Ms. Premack got her 15 minutes of fame. These minutes marked her as a spokesperson for a Progressive generation that is utterly devoid of common sense.

At about 4:30 a.m., a news story that quoted Ms. Premack in detail was the #3 story on Drudge. It was right there under the bold headline: OBAMA SENT $400 MILLION CASH TO IRAN AS AMERICAN PRISONERS FREED.

That is a true “red meat” headline for meat-eaters, meaning just about everyone.

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The story appeared on an otherwise invisible site, It’s here.

Meat should be taxed at the wholesale level to raise the price and deter consumption, says a new report from the UN’s International ResearchPanel (IRP). This will (supposedly) save the environment and prevent global warming.

“I think it is extremely urgent,” said Professor Maarten Hajer of Utrecht University in the Netherlands, lead author of the report. “All of the harmful effects on the environment and on health needs to be priced into food products.”

This is the standard Progressive party line. It has not changed in a century. Progressives want to use state coercion to help shape people’s behavior in ways deemed suitable by Progressives. The word “progressive” means: “nanny with a gun in a disarmed population.” This is why Progressives want gun control. They want a state monopoly of gun ownership. “Nanny has your best interests at heart. You must listen to the nanny. You must do what nanny says.”

The article went on to quote Ms. Premack as an authority.

“The evidence is accumulating that meat, particularly red meat, is just a disaster for the environment,” agrees Rachel Premack, a columnist for The Washington Post’s Wongblog. [Actually, it’s Wonkblog. It has nothing to do with China.]”Agriculture today accounts for for one-third of global greenhouse gas emissions that promote global warming,” says Premack, “and half of those agriculture emissions come from livestock.”

“Agriculture consumes 80 percent of water in the US — most of that being for meat, says Premack. “… For a kilogram of red meat, you need considerably more water than for plant products.”

“Meanwhile, Denmark is considering a recommendation from its ethics council that all red meats should be taxed,” Premack continues. “The council argued in May that Danes were “ethically obliged” to reduce their consumption to curb greenhouse gas emissions.”


Red meat is a red flag to Progressives. It always has been. Hard-core Progressives have been vegetarians for over a century. This was true of the Fabians in England, who always had an oversupply of vegetarians in their ranks, most notably the playwright George Bernard Shaw.

The problem for the Fabians’ ideological heirs is this: they also want to eradicate poverty by having the state steal from the rich and give to the poor (minus 50% for handling). This political program is promoted in the name of middle-class values. Their problem is this: middle-class values, most notably the desire to get rich, led to increased wealth whenever they are adopted in a private property-based society. Problem: increased wealth leads to an increase in the consumption of meat — all over the world. This creates consternation among Progressives.

Consider this Progressive report:

People in developing countries currently consume on average one-third the meat and one-quarter of the milk products per capita compared to the richer North, but this is changing rapidly. The amount of meat consumed in developing countries over the past has grown three times as much as it did in the developed countries. The Livestock Revolution is primarily driven by demand. Poor people everywhere are eating more animal products as their incomes rise above poverty level and as they become urbanized. By 2020, the share of developing countries in total world meat consumption will expand from 52% currently to 63%. By 2020, developing countries will consume 107 million metric tons (mmt) more meat and 177 mmt more milk than they did in 1996/1998, dwarfing developed-country increases of 19 mmt for meat and 32 mmt for milk. The projected increase in livestock production will require annual feed consumption of cereals to rise by nearly 300 mmt by 2020. Nonetheless, the inflation-adjusted prices of livestock and feed commodities are expected to fall marginally by 2020, compared to precipitous declines in the past 20 y. Structural change in the diets of billions of people is a primal force not easily reversed by governments. The incomes and nutrition of millions of rural poor in developing countries are improving. Yet in many cases these dietary changes also create serious environmental and health problems that require active policy involvement to prevent irreversible consequences.

Oh, woe! Oh, conflicting goals! When the poor finally get richer, they eat more meat. What’s a Progressive to do?

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