Lab c4: Animal Rights and Vegetarianism

Animal Rights And Vegetarianism

On the OboxPlanet, the focus on conservation and animal welfare began earlier than on Earth, primarily influenced by cultural values and increased affluence.

Increased affluence tends to amplify interest in conservation, and the rationale behind it is quite straightforward. The more one’s personal needs are met, the more likely they are to be concerned about their immediate and distant environment. Simply put, when while you are starving or freezing, concerns about rare species and ancient structures take a back seat. OboxPlanet societies, having experienced rapid prosperity, exhibit a greater overall commitment to conservation and the preservation of values beyond immediate personal gain. Additionally, the absence of wars has spared the planet from the devastating destruction seen on Earth.

Cultural preferences on OboxPlanet are diverse when it comes to the preservation of nature, animals in their natural habitats, or cultural and historic monuments. Different regions and societies exhibit on the one hand more homogeneity within specific territories, and more variety between different territories and societies. Some areas may feature vast expanses of untouched nature, while others boast parks that facilitate human interaction with animals and nature through activities like skiing, boating, or safaris. 

The growing concern for animal welfare significantly contributes to the rising popularity of vegetarianism on OboxPlanet. This lifestyle choice is closely tied to increasing wealth, and as a result, there is a higher prevalence of vegetarians compared to Earth. The enhanced flexibility to join communities with similar interests has given rise to “vegetarian communities.” These groups, united by common values, become hubs for innovation in various aspects of life, including living arrangements, gardening practices, cooking techniques, and health research.

On the OboxPlanet, competition fosters efficiency and transparency, while on Earth, regulations are backward-oriented solution at best and prone to corruption.

Let us take animal welfare to illustrate this universal principle.

On OboxPlanet, the moment people became concerned about animal welfare, a race for quality and transparency ensued. Producers openly advertise their latest, animal-friendly production methods, and independent rating agencies ensure these claims are accurate. The competitive environment discourages deception, as any attempt to corrupt a rating agency is swiftly countered by competitors seeking to take advantage and outshine them. Top producers proudly welcome people to tour their facilities, and in wealthier regions, animals are generally treated in line with cutting-edge knowledge.

On Earth, although some producers aim to promote animal-friendly products, there’s a tendency for people to turn to the state for solutions, seeking regulations and laws. Unfortunately, these laws, no matter how well-intended, have consistent drawbacks. They are based on current knowledge and resistant to change, hindering the progress of new technologies and animal welfare research. Moreover, they often diminish consumer interest, as individuals may assume that the state has taken responsibility. Producers may find it financially beneficial to merely meet the minimum requirements for a specific label, and in some cases, bribery of state officials becomes a cheaper alternative to actual improvements. Unlike rating agencies, which operate transparently with competitors watching, state controls are more prone to corruption due to lower chances of detection.u

What experiences on Earth, past and present, help us understand life on the OboxPlanet?

On the positive side, the 19th century can illustrate the connection between increasing human welfare and animal welfare. Here are some notable examples of the first animal protection organizations:

Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA): Founded in 1824 in England,

American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA): Founded in 1866 in the United States.

Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (MSPCA): Founded in 1868, the MSPCA was the first humane society in the United States.

Société protectrice des animaux (SPA): Established in 1845 in France,

On the negative side, the mass production of animals illustrates the problems associated with state regulations, regardless of how well-intended they may be. People on Earth are increasingly looking to the state to solve just about all of their problems. But once again, in the case of animal welfare, the consequences of state interventions are not only costly but also detrimental to animals and well-intentioned farmers.

When politicians and bureaucrats make rules, they must base their decisions on existing knowledge and technologies. This may hinder or prohibit the adoption of new technologies and discourage progress in animal welfare research.

State laws also have a negative impact on consumer behavior, as they diminish the individual responsibility of consumers who believe that “the state is now responsible.”

For producers, it becomes financially advantageous to meet the minimum requirements for a particular quality label, and in many cases, it is cheaper to bribe state officials responsible for oversight than to make substantial improvements in reality.

Overall, while things are overall improving for animals on Earth, the process is slow and inefficient due to state interference. Transparency and innovation, rather than state intervention, would likely lead to faster progress in animal welfare.

Now it’s your turn: 

concerning the treatment of animals, do you care and if you could, what type of information would you want to have? And if today, you don’t make an effort or want to pay more for products with better animal protection, would this be different if you had two or ten times more money available?

Things we could learn and implement from the OboxPlanet:

Get the state out of the whole business, give the consumers and producers the benefit of market competition: transparency, choice, self-responsibility.