in a world that feeds on consumerism, nothing stands to threaten the system as effectively as the power we have as consumers, customers, shoppers – someone’s target audience.
why we don’t choose to fully utilize our ability to change the very world we see, i can only guess at. what i do know though is that as a consumer myself, my decisions play a part in this world being what it is now, and becoming what it will be in the future. i have come to see over time that it is not only the big decisions that we make, but also the mundane everyday things we don’t pay attention to that are shaping our society.
imagine if we decided to change our habits. to question who our money is going to, where it is being spent and how those decisions affect humanity on a larger scale. wouldn’t we be so much more careful in spending our hard earned cash? money that makes the world go round. money that people can’t live without. money that time and time again falls into the wrong hands and results in decisions being made for us, behind our backs, without our consent – effectively lowering the quality of our lifestyles.
realising my power, i have chosen to withdraw my unintentional support towards money hungry corporations who care about nothing else but the profit in their pockets at the end of the day. that list includes but is not limited to :-
fast food chains – a&w, burger king, carls jr, dunkin donuts, kenny rogers roasters, kfc, marrybrown, mcdonalds, nandos, pizza hut, wendys.
with obesity being an epidemic and health being a main concern, what better way than to stop feeding money to fast food chains who compete to provide lower, more affordable unhealthy meals to the general public? is their food tasty? hell yes. i myself got fat (20 kilos heavier than i am now) on fast food because when you don’t think about what you’re eating, it’s extremely irresistible. there are absolutely no health benefits from such meals though, and wouldn’t it be much better for the world if those places went out of business and made way for healthier-but-still-yummy alternatives? subway deserves an “honorable” mention here because all throughout my adult years, i thought subway was that healthier alternative. but do you know that if you add on cheese and sauce (which is free, so why would we not), it ends up having more calories and salt than a big mac?
cosmetic companies – avon, bobbi brown, chanel, clean and clear, clinique, clearasil, dove, donna karan, elizabeth arden, estee lauder, garnier, head & shoulders, l’oreal, l’occitane, lancome, mac, maybelline, neutrogena, olay, pantene, revlon, shiseido, sunsilk.
because first of all, THEY ALL TEST THEIR PRODUCTS ON ANIMALS.
secondly, i believe that the advertising industry has over the years led many astray and created a culture in which we are constantly chasing perfection. unnecessary perfection. as a matter of fact, perfection that doesn’t even exist to begin with. and in that search for unobtainable perfection, we expose ourselves to all kinds of chemicals and contaminants which at best, create an illusion of improvement. i recently found out that shampoo washing over my face was actually damaging my skin and the soap i took for granted was getting me clean has also been drying out my skin and fast-forwarding its aging. the alternative here? natural products. from the earth. so much healthier, and cheaper!
monsanto, syngenta, dow agrosciences, basf, bayer, dupont – producers of genetically engineered seeds and their chemical herbicide and insecticide counterparts. environmentally, monsanto crops are engineered to be immune to herbicide so that farmers can destroy weeds without killing their crops, but the process has spawned roundup resistant weeds, forcing farmers to apply bigger doses of the chemical or use even more toxic methods to get rid of the superweeds – poisoning our insects, birds, aquatic life, atmosphere and everything else along the way. monsanto already has an office in damansara. food companies under monsanto (that are not legally required to let you know that their products contain GMO ) – cadburry, campbells, coca cola, famous amos, heinz, hunts, knorr, kellogs, craft/phillip morris, pepsi, pillsbury, pringles, quaker, shweppes.
that seems like a very long list, and in all honesty – it is. i understand how completely reasonable it is for any individual to feel like at least once in a while, they should get to treat themselves to tempting fast food, buy and use products and be an average, normal person. there are days where i’d like to not care about anything and revert back to my old habits too. but i have made a personal choice to be a tad bit extreme and learn to live without such junk because i believe my little purchases count for more than i’d like them to.
as consumers, we are often unaware of our purchasing power or the effect we have on each other – on a global scale. however, consumers no longer need to live in ignorance. there is a whole world of information that has been made available to us so we can (when we choose to) be aware of the truth. my choices may seem educated to some and completely crazy to others. to me, it is not a change i am making only for the betterment of myself and my life, it is a way in which i feel i am capable of giving back to earth and humanity.
there are many ways, many people can make a difference. we don’t all have to do the same thing, but we do have to individually be aware and try our goddamned best. don’t get too comfortable with the world you think you know today. don’t settle for the supposed reality we are being fed. the odds have not been so heavily stacked against good since david took on goliath but as we begin to realise our power together – us many little people who feel like nobodies will see that we have always been strong enough to knock those big guys off their greedy, selfish asses ;)