I just had a look at this article, and it occurred to me ... Are we actually paying the true, fully accounted for, cost of meat? ie When we eat beef, we are changing the demand fundamentals of the grain side considerably. Somewhere I read 'it takes 20 kilos or more of grain to produce 1 kilo of meat.' Now that this is occurring on a worldwide scale, causing quite a massive problem with grain supply, is meat perhaps way too cheap? What is the best way to make meat eaters pay their fair share, in other words, make them pay for the increased cost in the underlying rest of the grains that everyone else ultimately bears the brunt for? Tax meats everywhere? I am not a vegetarian, although I should probably become one. But just like gasoline (I don't feel like I'm owed $1.00 gasoline), it occurs to me its not my god given right to eat meat, when most of the world can subsist on much less 'luxurious' (and more humane) plants alone. So 1) what would grains cost right now if chinese meat consumption weren't matching the rest of the developed world? 2) how much more demand will they have? 3) whats the best way to get ag supplies back? do we really have enough farmland? Or are we making ourselves unnecessarily susceptible to famine based on our want of meat? 4) will a tax on meat be the best way of making those who demand meat pay their fair share for it in the form of broadbased increases in grain costs? Or are market prices on meat enough of a deterrent? Anyone have a handle on this? http://bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601109&sid=aGcGIiIwHQ1g&refer=home Summarized quickly: People and livestock are consuming more grain than ever, draining world inventories and increasing the likelihood of shortages, Doyle said yesterday in an interview on Bloomberg Television. Global grain stockpiles fell to about 53 days of supply last year, the lowest level since record-keeping began in 1960, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. ``There is a dietary shift occurring in China today, particularly amongst the young,'' Hugh Grant, chief executive officer of Monsanto Co., the world's biggest seed producer, said in a Feb. 6 interview. ``As protein consumption increases, as they move from fish to chicken, chicken to pork, and pork to beef, the demand for commodities increases almost by an order of magnitude.''