Money changes our relationship with morality. The very existence of money, along with complex business and distribution channels, acts as a buffer between ourselves and the origin of our products. This can make us behave in ways that are deeply unethical.
I can prove it to you. Do you think animal torture is evil? And do you also eat factory-farmed meat? Many people who would strongly disagree, in principle, with animal cruelty also eat meat that has been raised in terrible conditions.
I know this myself. I try to eat a mostly plant-based diet, but like the majority of people in most Western countries, I do not eat this diet exclusively.
By reframing the same issue and adding a price tag we make some acts seem far less offensive. We can’t see them first hand, so they feel like they are unrelated to us. All we can see is the price.
Why? When we understand why we eat meat that we know has been raised in poor conditions, we can begin to understand many other forms of behaviour that conflict with deeply held moral principles.