The C.A.S.H. Courier Newsletter
Monetizing Animal Protection
By Peter Muller, V.P. of C.A.S.H.
A common obstacle to passing pending legislation
that would implement animal protection is that opponents to our proposals
have a monetary interest in not having the measure enacted, while our
interest is “merely” ethical. In our society’s decision-making
process, it seems, money trumps ethics every time.
Let’s look at a few examples: We have been trying to outlaw the
production of foie gras in New York State. Foie gras is produced by cruelly
force-feeding ducks or geese huge amounts of corn using a gavage ( a funnel
with an attached tube) until their liver enlarges to many times its normal
size. This feeding method and the confined housing of the animals is cruel
and results in great discomfort and diseased vital organs.
Making the case that foie gras production is cruel is straight-forward
and acknowledged by most objective legislators. However, when pitted against
the position that shutting down the foie gras production facility would have
a negative financial impact on the economy of the area, putting 55 people
out of work, the argument from cruelty is not persuasive.
Another case in
point is the attempt to shut down horse-drawn carriage rides in New York
City. Horse-drawn carriages in New York City traffic are frequently involved
in accidents resulting in both human and animal injuries, and sometimes
fatalities. The cruelty of forcing horses to draw carriages through
congested, noisy NYC traffic is obvious. But shutting down a small industry
and putting 165 people out of work, will motivate the New York City Council
to vote against banning this form of animal cruelty.
I am proposing that
we explore the idea of monetizing our goals. Can we establish enterprises
which are profitable and provide employment which equal or surpass those of
the enterprises that torment and kill animals to earn income?
there are such situations. Let me offer an obvious example:
to limit or totally ban hunting in a region will bring the “fiscally
concerned” citizens out in full force. Allowing hunting supposedly
stimulates the economy. But let’s look at some alternatives.
shows the amount of expenditures and the number of participants of hunters
and wildlife watchers in the United States.
We are using the latest data furnished by the US Government publication
“2011 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated
Recreation.” We showed in the last issue of the C.A.S.H. Courier that
the numbers of hunters claimed in that survey is overstated. See
Cooking the Numbers: The USFWS Survey does NOT show an increase in
Hunting from 2006 to 2011
We are using
their numbers nevertheless since we can make our point in this case very
easily, even with their exaggerated numbers in favor of hunting.
categories wildlife watchers outnumber and outspend hunters by millions of
participants and billions of dollars.
Our strategy should be to encourage
state legislatures as well as Congress to “Wake up and smell the roses.”
There is more revenue to be derived from accommodating wildlife watchers and
The two options, wildlife watching vs. hunting are
not compatible. Wildlife watchers would not be attracted to an area where
animals are blasted to smithereens while they are training their binoculars
Expanding the opportunities for wildlife watching and
concomitantly decreasing hunting opportunities will satisfy more
constituents and generate more income to businesses, as well as generate
more taxes to local governments.
Let’s promote wildlife watching and find
or formulate other animal-friendly money-making enterprises to help
legislators understand that the monetary advantage is not with allowing
animal cruelty to continue.
If you would like to form a think-tank/action
group for this purpose, please contact C.A.S.H. at
Go on to Letter from the President
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