Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Animal Suffering Offset Service

Because supply and demand implies a tradeable commodity
  [vote for,

The other evening I attended a restaurant.This is unremarkable in and of itself, but my choice of food is perhaps of note. I chose a vegetarian option. I was very happy with my choice, but I was left with a nagging feeling. Normally, food choice is accompanied by the knowledge that my steak has caused some animal suffering. This could be defined with relative ease. Perhaps my steak is 1/500th of a cow, cows are between prawns and humans on the awareness scale, lets give them a 0.5 multiplication factor. The US meat industry isn't great, but not truly dreadful so let's give that a nasty factor of 1.5. So my steak = 1/500*0.5*1.5 Or 1.5 millicruels.

Now, compared to my average behavior I was in significant credit by selecting the vegetarian option. Tragically, this credit is intangible, or perhaps only tangible on some crystal-powered hippy Karmometer. Either way, I feel short changed. Perhaps I would choose vegetarian options more frequently if I could be certain that a civilized level of cruelty was being maintained somewhere in the system.

If animal suffering were tradable, I could have logged into my trading phone app and bought a little extra suffering to offset my vegetarian meal. Perhaps someone could stamp on 2 rats or tell a labrador that he's a bad dog for no reason whatsoever.

It also occurs to me that vegetarians exist. Some of them choose such a path because of the suffering inherent in the meat industry. Now, they could simply redefine their diet choice as a net 0 animal suffering and offset the occasional bacon sandwich or whatever. Conversely, some cultures expect and demand extreme animal suffering as a matter of routine. Consequently, should a Frenchman visit a western civilization, he may be horrified to discover that the pâté he is spreading was produced by an animal not subject to months of being force fed the French language.

Animal suffering clearly has a value, money is spent avoiding it. I feel a trading system such as this would allow market forces to determine precisely what the monetary value of that is, facilitated by establishing the S.I. unit. Animal lovers in particular would enjoy the ability to offset their cat's needless torture-killings, 1 tortured starling could be offset by 2 people in Wichita letting their parrot out for a bit of a fly. Once it's a social norm, large oil companies could offset a large-scale bird massacre, Such events would change the price, perhaps making a Suffolk hog roast economically nonviable. Only time will tell.

bs0u0155, Oct 24 2016

Pain of living in the wild index Pain_20of_20living_...0the_20wild_20index
Related [Voice, Oct 24 2016]


       I like the idea, but I question your exchange rate.   

       //1 tortured starling could be offset by 2 people in Wichita letting their parrot out for a bit of a fly.//   

       1 quickly and mercifully killed starling should be offset by the purchase of a glorious new toy for the parrot (assuming it didn't have one already, in which case the marginal benefit is halved or worse)
Voice, Oct 24 2016

       According to Google a 1000 pound steer will yield 430 pounds of meat. So you would have to find an appropriate fraction depending on the animal's size, the size of the cut of meat, and an adjusting multiplier how much it cares whether it lives I think. Put a human at 1 and scale as you see fit down to, say protozoa at some insignificant fraction.
Voice, Oct 24 2016

       What about collateral damage? You have to account for animal suffering caused by land-use change, taking away natural habitat and replacing it with agricultural monoculture; the deaths of rabbits and mice in grain harvest, and the inevitable presence of insect parts in bulk dried goods. And how do you score scavenged roadkill, or wild venison culled humanely for the overall benefit of feral herds?
pocmloc, Oct 24 2016

       //According to Google a 1000 pound steer will yield 430 pounds of meat// plus 570 pounds of Richmond's sausages.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 24 2016


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