Taking a Small Stand

I try to avoid giving my money to persons and corporations that will do bad things with it – even if I like their product or service.  I don’t have an engagement ring because I wanted nothing to do with the diamond industry, and the violence it fuels, for example.   I refused to buy Motherhood Maternity clothing because of pregnancy discrimination claims.  There’s a large electronics store here that we have refused to go to because we have experienced extremely dishonest tactics by their legal team.

I recently happened upon a complete list of Newscorp assets, holdings, subsidiaries, etc. As you may know, this is Fox News’ parent company and that pretty much qualifies as a “bad thing” in my book.  I support their freedom of speech completely, but I don’t have to support their warped conservative message or their bottom line…which in turn supports people like Bobby Franklin.

Similarly, we don’t knowingly purchase products from Koch Industries anymore.  I cringe at the thought of helping fund right wing extremism, even in these small amounts (though, let’s face it – with a 6 person household we do go through a lot of TP).  Some of the products were hard to let go, but acceptable replacements were found.

Someone asked recently whether boycotts are effective in this day and age, which is a valid question.  After all, these are massive corporations with huge incomes….they won’t notice the shopping habits of one person or even a thousand people.

My answer was this.  I guess it depends what your goal is. If my goal is to spend my money on companies who aren’t trying to take away my rights as a citizen and a human being by funding people who seek to marginalize women, children, and minorities, who would like to eliminate homosexuals entirely, who value the campaign contributions of corporations over the rights of workers and a cleaner environment, who cheer at tax breaks for the rich while cutting aid to the needy, who would seek to push their version of religion on the rest of us (and our children in schools), and who demonize those of us who push for a better America for ALL citizens, then yes – it works.

Am I deluded enough to think that by purchasing Costco paper products over Georgia Pacific products, I’m actually going to change some minds?  No – of course not.  But I will sleep better tonight.  Will you?

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5 Comments

  1. Anne Kelley said,

    February 28, 2011 at 8:53 am

    There’s another reason to boycott. By boycotting the big corporation, even if they don’t notice, you are supporting another – and they just might survive because of it.

    • February 28, 2011 at 12:03 pm

      You’re absolutely right – thanks for bringing up a great point, Anne.

  2. lbwoodgate said,

    February 28, 2011 at 1:59 pm

    How we shop does make a difference. I get polled frequently on consumer goods so not only do I give a negative impression of vendors who support views I oppose but I give input as to why I don’t trade with these people. This may, along with thousands of other similar comments, persuade corporations to rethink who they sponsor and make donations to.

    Use the “hotlines” phone numbers most companies now provide on their product labels. Not to just complain about their goods but to complain about who they sponsor and donate to.

    Your word of mouth can also be an effective method of persuading others to make purchases elsewhere. More important than their ideological preferences are the bottom lines that affect profits. They don’t care who they go to bed with as along as you like them and their products.

    • February 28, 2011 at 2:57 pm

      I do call companies all the time. Often to ask them to remove the high fructose corn syrup in their product or to find alternatives to partially hydrogenated oils. And I frequently call and suggest they put recycling codes on their products if they have neglected to do so. PlayDoh, for example only started coding their containers recently – I’d like to think that my nagging them helped make that decision.

      Thanks for such a constructive comment.

      • lbwoodgate said,

        February 28, 2011 at 10:16 pm

        PlayDoh, for example only started coding their containers recently – I’d like to think that my nagging them helped make that decision.”

        So YOU’RE the one responsible for that! :-0


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