We all know about animal cruelty. We have seen it on the news and even on sports shows with Michael Vick's case of dog fighting. But were you aware of the relationship between money and animal cruelty?

Much of the systematic animal cruelty is motivated by money, our physical object money (POM). Some people like to gamble on animal sports like horse racing, dog racing, and cock or dog fighting. These are industries, although those last two are illegal. Quite a lot of money changes hands over these sports.

There is a large market for popular breeds of cats and dogs. The "puppy farm" tries to make money from such demand. These breeding operations often are conducted in pitiful circumstances and discomfort for the animals involved and the over-breeding (in-breeding) produces animals which frequently have genetic weaknesses. But these operations, too, make money.

In agriculture there are certain practices which raise animals in most unnatural circumstances which are detrimental to the animals and the health of others in the area. Factory farms for hogs and chickens and the producing of veal come to mind but there are many others.

These agricultural practices not only mistreat thousands of animals, they also produce inferior foods for our tables. Animals raised under stress or with unnatural amounts of hormones or antibiotics do not provide the most nutritious meat (or eggs in the case of chickens). These practices also help create "super bacteria" which are immune to most antibiotics and place animal hormones in our food and environment. All these practices have been found to be profitable to many of the larger farming interests.

But the above has to do with our current POM economy and nations in the modern world. What would be changed with a conversion to a non-POM money, a money which had no physical object nature, a money which came into existence when earned and ceased to exist when spent?

In a non-POM society, those who produce food are paid for the net benefit that results from their actions. Thus, all those hormones and the antibiotics would reduce the pay for such production. Those high-stress living environments for the stock would produce less income. That, in and of itself, would cut back on such practices. But also, the family farm as opposed to the large factory farm would likely become the norm. Family farms are much more likely to avoid the over crowding and highly polluting of the factory farms.

Gambling would still exist in a non-POM society, but it would be what one might call "amateur gambling." There would be no money for those who conducted illegal cock fights or dog fights. Those who contributed to horse racing would lose money whenever horses were injured or had to be destroyed. Horses which were not good for the racetrack and were too "crazy" to be ridden would cost the owners money. Since the gambling industry would not exist, and since there would be no money for purses and such, the races that did exist would be more localized and amateur for the most part; run for the love and enjoyment of the animals and competition in general.

None of this should lead one to believe that animal cruelty would cease to exist in a non-POM society. There will still be individual sadists who delight in the pain of others, both human and animal. But these unhappy people would not have the cooperation of others in producing pain. Also, as human activity becomes more and more observed by technology, it would be more and more difficult for a sadist to hide (and get away with) such activities.

Finally, for the inadvertent cruelty of pollution and destruction of wilderness and other habitat areas, a non-POM economy will be less destructive since pollution and environmental destruction will reduce income for all who participate. That reduction will not be a one-time event either. So long as the consequences of that destruction exist, the effect on the actor's net benefit equation will exist. Producers will be very slow to do anything that might cost them money every payday for the rest of their lives.

If you like animals, if you hate to have animals suffer... you will notice that the worst abuses, the abuses that are on the largest scale are being done for money, not for the pleasure of making animals unhappy. Most of the suffering of animals is preventable, unnecessary, and results from the nature of our money.

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