I am generalising greatly. However, research published in the journal Royal Society Open Science involving almost 500,000 people in 109 countries concluded that the most prosperous societies tended to be the most open, cosmopolitan and secular (least religious). Losing religion is good for your wealth. My argument is that wealthy families are more likely to own their own home, be better educated and more enlightened about cat guardianship. They’ll have more disposable income for cat welfare such as vet’s fees. These factors lead to improved cat welfare.
I am convinced that a lack of funding and education are the primary reasons for failures in optimum cat caretaking. Many cat owners fail to grasp before adoption or acquiring a cat that high standards of cat ownership demands a certain level of funding. Clever people can find ways to be good owners on limited funds but in general terms money translates to better cat welfare.
The USA is religious for a highly developed country, which is unusual. However it seems that this religious fervour is congregated in the bible belt as shown on the map. In general terms, the country’s wealthiest regions are the east and west coasts where citizens are more secular according to Damian Ruck, a computational social scientist from the University of Tennessee. He led the study that I have referred to above.
Being cosmopolitan means a ‘willingness to have neighbours that are foreign, homosexual or from another race’.
The study showed that an increase in ‘secular-rationality’ and cosmopolitanism is a good predictor for an increase in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita, democratisation and enrolment in secondary school. GDP per capita means how much the country earns per year through exports and services divided by the country’s population.
I am indebted to Rhys Blakely of The Times for info on the study.
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