I’ve been snowed under with college work lately. I’m studying Journalism if you don’t know and it’s 3 nights a week and very intense. One of my modules is Investigative Journalism and we have to do a report of our own. I’m currently investigating into Ireland’s food industry. I am just on the cusp of this investigation and have already found out some very interesting things and I can’t wait to share the report with you when its finished.
As a result of all the college work, I’m not quite in the self-care and love mode. I’ve got my activist hat on right now, so this post will be a bit different. I just want you to know that I do promote self-compassion and empathy first and foremost and my intent with this post is not to make anyone feel bad about themselves, but perhaps to shed a different perspective on how we operate through the world. I am not perfect and don’t support perfection, but progress is always welcome! Anyway, have a read, it is something I feel quite strongly about personally.
How to vote in 2018? Eh, wait for elections and tick the box. Obvs.
Weeellll, it may not be that simple. Sure, we live in a ‘democracy’, but I don’t think this is the only way we can vote in 2018. We can vote several times a day with the most powerful tool we have in our pockets; money.
We don’t just live in a democratic society, we also live in a capitalist society. In democracy, we vote people into power. In capitalism, we vote companies into power. Except, we are trading in our ballot paper for a different kind of paper; money. Unlike democracy, we can vote countless times per day. Every time we buy something, we are supporting the company, the industry and their policies.
In Capitalism, companies are privately owned and have much the same rights as individuals. Companies can sue and be sued, they can buy and sell property. In a capitalist society we all work for our own wealth. I don’t think this is inherently a bad thing, as long as we are aware of how our individual behavior impacts the collective industries and how they operate.
We all know that some companies have a history of doing some questionable things in the name of profit. Pesticides, deforestation, pollution etc. In the end, all these companies are trying to do is to make more money, gain more power and solidify their place in our Capitalist society. However, they need us to do that. You and me. They need our money. They need our demand. When you buy an item off a shop shelf, that brand and company then has to replace what you just bought. You are telling that company; ”Yes, more of this please.”
It is important to be aware that it is not just the product you are giving ‘the OK’ to, but the company itself and the methods they use. You could be saying any of the following and so much more:
Yes, it’s OK that this top was sewn together by a 12 year old girl in Bangladesh working in dangerous conditions for a few cents. Keep doing it!
Yes, I support you putting harmful chemicals into food for human consumption. Do it some more with my money!
Yes, it’s OK to feed these animals food that could be sent to starving communities, so I can eat this burger. I definitely don’t think there is a better way to distribute food sources.
Did you know that we only derive 1% and 4% of the energy and protein respectively from the grain given to a cow when we eat it? 4%. We are loosing 96% of what we could be feeding the rest of the world with.
Read the full Irish times article in which they reference research work done by
Dr. Colin Doyle here.
I know these examples sound desperately cynical, but honestly, that’s just how simple business works. A company and industry is only successful as long as there is a demand for their product. More times than not, you are a company’s target market. You are the average consumer; just getting on with things, not thinking too much into what you buy and how it’s produced. We all just want to get by, we are all just trying our best. Your passiveness towards your consumption makes YOU the ideal customer and ergo, supporter.
If you don’t agree with something, don’t pay for it to be done. If you don’t agree with sweat shops, don’t pay for them. If you don’t agree with landfills and environmental degradation, don’t pay for it. If you don’t agree with world hunger, don’t pay for food to be given to animals instead of the people who need it. If you wouldn’t keep an animal captive, impregnate it and take it’s baby again and again, don’t pay for someone else to do it.
These are all horrific and very real occurrences in the industries which we vote for every single day. You are voting for these practices, you are agreeing with this abuse by voting for it with your money.
We live in a capitalist society in which we all work for our own individual wealth. This makes money the single most important thing in our world, to you and to those companies. You have worked hard for every Euro in your pocket. Now it’s time to make that money work for you. Use your money to vote for what you REALLY agree with.
Your Money = Your Vote,