I often hear one sentence which is usually used to knock down my theories for veganism and zero waste:
“But the trees have already been cut!”
“But the water is already bottled!”
“But the animal is already dead and that’s what they’re raised for anyway!?!”
But that misses a very basic and misunderstood condition of every single industry - SUPPLY AND DEMAND!
The rule is extremely easy: if there is demand, there will be supply; if there isn’t demand, there will be no supply. The demand is measured in only one way – according to the price we pay for products and services.
In a consumerist society, we all have a very strong voting power – our wallet. Every time we take out a coin, a note or a card, we directly support the product and all elements of its production. It’s completely logical – supporting products and companies leads to the production of more and more of the given product or service. Therefore, boycotting it has the reverse effect. When no one is buying it, no one will be producing it.
Whatever we buy, we are telling the producer: “I want that to continue to be produced, I support its future and stand behind all processes that go into it”. Regardless of whether we buy an apple from organic farmers, dine at a local restaurant, buy meat and clothes, our monetary voting supports the industry…
IT SUPPORTS IT 100%!
Exactly that is often the element we miss out on. In Bulgarian, there’s a saying “one bird doesn’t bring spring” and I would think that is why we often don’t think we can make a difference. However, I like to live my life according to another Bulgarian saying: “Drop by drop makes a pool”. Regardless of the situation we’re in, the truth is anyone and everyone can be the start of a critical mass.
I personally take responsibility in this situation as an active participant in the consumerist society. I know what my personal values are and I am careful to exercise my voting right correctly.
Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world” for a reason. I want less plastic pollution, therefore, logic dictates that I stop purchasing plastic items. I support the animal rights. It’s not logical to pay someone to kill them for me. I believe that fashion industry workers and India and Bangladesh deserve more; the right thing to do is to stop buying clothes for pennies. I want better, I should invest in something better.
It doesn’t matter what your point of view or values are, it’s possible that your wallet is mismatched with them. Look in your shopping trolley next time you’re in a shop and have a think whether you truly want to 100% support everything about it. If you have doubt I am sure you can find good information online and eventually a more suitable alternative. Just don’t go with the flow and use the opportunity to influence the world around you…
There’s nothing wrong in questioning the things in life. Only then can we widen our horizons…