How a Tax on the Pet Industry Could Save Our Planet

Almost $80 BILLION is spent on the U.S pet industry annually, up $10 billion from 2018’s total of around $69 billion. The American Pet Products Association (APPA) says that pets are now in more than 85 million American households, and millennials have recently overtaken baby boomers as the largest demographic of pet owners. So here is an idea: If companies in the pet industry had to pay an extra tax on supplies, foods or other pet-related expenses (which would get passed on to the consumer), the country would raise billions in support. Based on the estimates of the total market, just a 2.5% tax on the pet industry would bring in about $2 billion in funds that could be invested in either clean tech companies creating sustainable solutions, national parks, or put towards cleaning our polluted oceans. 

How far would $2 billion really go?

I’m sure you’re familiar with Beyond Meat, the plant based meat company that went public this year in probably the most successful tech IPO. The company raised only $750 million to accomplish that feat and are now in grocery stores, restaurants and fast food chains across the continent. OxfordPV recently broke world records for solar cell energy efficiency creating the most efficient industrial solar panels and have only raised around $100 million. The Ocean Cleanup, attempting to remove trillions of plastic particles from our oceans, has raised only $35 million for their efforts. Infarm, the vertical farm startup bringing fresh produce to busy cities has raised just over $130 million. These revolutionary companies combined have raised just over $1 billion to create these technological breakthroughs. $60 billion would solve a lot of environmental issues, and a small tax on that money could at least solve some. 

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Majority of pet owners are considered middle or upper-class, and if you have the extra income to own, care for and love an animal you should have to pay to support the environment they naturally live in. If pet owners cannot afford a small increase in price to their animals needs, they probably shouldn’t own an animal in the first place. That’s besides the point though. It should be mainstream to love wild animals as much as domesticated ones. I would not be upset if pet owners, pet suppliers and the pet industry were forced to support animal habitats a little more. 

I don’t believe that a small tax on the pet industry would provide anything other than tremendous benefits to our animals, people, and planet. Awareness needs to spread that we can do a lot for our environment by just being mindful of our impact on it. However we get it, a fair amount of money should be set towards protecting the environment that provides us with fresh water, trees, plants for medicines, food, and most of all… these beautiful animals that we love and cherish. The size of the pet industry shows human beings love animals, and care about all of the living things that cover the entirety of our planet. Join the Millennial Online Community for more information on sustainable developments and ethical brands creating a better future for the next generation. 

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