By Paul Bedard, Washington Whispers
Nothing gets a cattle-state senator riled up more than elites promoting vegetarianism in the name of public policy. So you can imagine what South Dakota GOP Sen. John Thune thought when Britain's Lord Stern, a leading authority on global warming, called on the world to give up meat to save the planet.
"With falling beef prices, higher costs of production, and onerous cap-and-trade legislation looming, the last thing ranchers and employees of America's meat industry need right now is elitist lecturing and misinformation from Lord Stern—a reported meat eater," Thune told Washington Whispers.
What got him going were Stern's comments that "meat is a wasteful use of water and creates a lot of greenhouse gases. It puts enormous pressure on the world's resources. A vegetarian diet is better." Stern, an economist, told the Times of London that cows and pigs are a significant source of greenhouse gases.
Thune has seen this before, of course, and this year was able to prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency from pushing a "cow tax," where producers are taxed for "naturally occurring livestock emissions."
Said Thune: "Fortunately, we've been grilling the cow tax efforts here in D.C. but need to keep the fire on these extremist views from across the pond."