… And What Have You Got? Fat Cows
Missouri’s Department of Health and Human Services has estimated that more than one in five Missourians is obese, and that the more than $1.6 billion is spent in Missouri annually on obesity-related expenditures. According to the department, “Obesity is one of the most serious health issues facing society today.”
For people, I guess. For cows, Missouri’s policy is to encourage the bigger-is-better mentality.
The state has a tax credit for Missouri beef producers who raise Missouri-born cows that weigh at least 200 pounds more than the average weight of cows sold during the past three years. Beef producers are awarded $0.10 per pound of the extra weight, up to $3,000.
Regardless of the reason that the Missouri legislature created this tax credit, it is encouraging larger and larger cows by design. If growing larger cows were a more efficient means of beef production, then no tax credit would be needed. But if it’s more difficult to grow cows that weigh at least 200 pounds more than average, why on earth are are we subsidizing this wasteful activity?
I’m sure the cows would appreciate losing the extra baggage.