Everyone knows about casting votes to elect an official but often don’t realize that they actually vote many times every day.
Every time you purchase a product or a service, you are casting a vote. When you buy a product, you support everything about that product. The way it’s made, the way it’s distributed, the way it’s marketed. Everything.
It’s tough to make these daily decisions all the time and it takes a conscious effort and some education to do so. Education on how the product is made, where it’s made, what goes into it, and so forth. I definitely don’t make quality votes every time I purchase something but I’m improving myself every day.
Take eggs for example. Many people buy eggs. A dozen usually cost around $2.30 which is very cheap. However, if you look into what makes them so cheap, you might be quite shocked. I won’t get in to the whole details hear but essentially to get them that cheap, hens are treated like machines rather than living creatures. They live in a cage barely bigger than themselves, standing in their own shit with their beaks cut off. They are fed all kinds of genetically modified crap that makes them deliver the most eggs. What a life huh?
If this bothers you but you don’t want to give up eggs, you could make your vote by switching to free range eggs. Of course, even with this, you have to watch the brand you buy since the regulations aren’t always so clear on what “free range” means. It should mean that hens are free to roam the pasture eating grass and insects as they normally would. Healthier hens = healthier eggs. They are a little more expensive but if you really care about the treatment of animals and the quality of your egg, the extra cost shouldn’t bother you too much.
This same concept is true for any product or service you can think of.
- When you buy foods loaded with artificial ingredients and colors, your voting that it’s okay to make them this way.
- When you buy non-organic meats, your voting that it’s okay to put various hormones and chemicals into the animals and your food.
- When you buy cheap products made in sweatshops, your voting that it’s okay for those companies to conduct business that way.
Everything is tracked. Think barcodes. When people start buying more organic items for example, grocery stores and companies realize that that’s what people want and will start supplying it. The prices drop as well or at least they should.
Just realizing that every purchase you make is a vote is a great step. The worst is that so many people know they should “vote” when something is wrong yet they continue to do exactly what they hate seeing other people do in the first place. I have been guilty of this as I’m sure everyone has at some point.
Some things I used to do:
- I used to always say that people should work out, keep fit and eat healthy but I wasn’t really doing it myself. Finally, I started a three month fitness program, lost half my body fat, and inspired others to do the same
- I used to say long-term travel would be awesome but put it off for 5 years. Finally, I left my job and followed my dreams to Australia & New Zealand
Those are just a couple examples of initiative I took to make the change I wanted to see in my life.
Here are some areas I haven’t taken initiative yet:
- I say I don’t like the ways animals are treated or the hormones that are pumped into the meat but I still buy it.
- I tell myself how good meditation would be but I still haven’t tried it.
These are just a couple examples but there are lots more.
If you don’t like the way animals are treated these days in terms of feeding them hormones and not letting them see the light of day, then you should only buy purely organic free range meat or become vegetarian. (You should also watch the documentaries Food Inc. and The Future of Food for a taste of just what’s in your kitchen.)
If you hate seeing waste like I do, stop buying so much needless shit and when you do buy stuff, make sure it comes in a package that you can recycle and then recycle it!
If you truly hate a specific corporation for what they do whether it is slave labor, environmental destruction, or simply not giving a damn about anything but money, then stop buying from them and take a stand. Don’t say it and then buy one of their products when it goes on sale. Corporations are only as strong as the money they have. If people give up buying, they go bankrupt.
Constantly saying you don’t like how something is but then doing it anyways sends a mixed message. It makes you a hypocrite. No one is going to listen to your rant if your doing exactly what your saying should be stopped.
I have to smile when I see this:
- The person who says smoking is bad as he lights one up
- The guy who says coffee is bad for your stomach as he’s drinking one himself
- People who complain about their job every day but never attempt to change it
If you want something to change, you need to take the initiative and change it for yourself. This will set an example for everyone else to follow.
A friend of mine always says there’s no way he can make a difference. It’s the same thing as someone saying his or her vote won’t matter in an election. If everyone thinks this way, nothing will ever change.
The next time you’re about to make a purchase, take some time to think about it. Do a little research so you know what exactly is going into your food or your clothes or anything else you buy. You will be amazed!
It always starts with one. Then two. Then three. As people see the positive change, they will follow suit. Be the change you wish to see.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead
What is one thing you wish to change in your life right now? It could be related to personal fitness, a problem in the community, genetically modified food, or anything else. Whatever it is, Write it below in the comments and let us know how your going to do it. It always helps to have a little community behind you.
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