We live in anonymity. Most of us have have great views on the world, deeply held beliefs that we stand by when discussing important topics with friends and family. I believe most people try to think things through, and make good decisions.
One incredibly relevant omission we too often make to this habit of (relatively) clear thinking is how we spend our money. We tend to spend our money on the things we want, not the things we believe in. My vegetarian little sister woke me up to this recently.
She was talking about how they farm chickens for food, and how absolutely and insanely
screwed up it is. Seriously, it’s mental. The weird part is I already kind of knew that, but I’m not doing a damn thing to solve it.
But you know what? If I were, I bet I’d be doing it wrong. I’d go write some post about it (ahem…), shout at the top of my lungs, make the mistake of expressing my opinion instead of acting on it. It’s so tempting to talk about things that sometimes we forget there are other ways to solve problems.
So she said to me – listen. If you want to buy chicken, buy chicken. I won’t force you to become a vegetarian, that’s your call. But if you are going to buy chicken, don’t buy it from a bunch of assholes who lock them in tiny cages, pump them full of disgusting crap, genetically mutate them, and then kill them right next to each other.
Of course she’s right. Of course. There’s absolutely no arguing with that logic. She isn’t trying to force me to change my lifestyle, she’s simply suggesting I use my money to fund the organizations who behave responsibly. That isn’t so difficult, right?
Then there I am. Looking at the prices for chicken at the supermarket and forgetting entirely how absolutely and insanely screwed up the industry is. I see something on sale, and I go for it. I accidentally (or maybe absent-mindedly?) support something I despise. We do this more often than we think, or most of us at any rate.
Even posting a blog has implications. We were just chatting about hosting options, and decided to go with greengeeks. We didn’t make this call because they’re faster or more reliable, ultimately we just liked the idea of being renewable by association with them. It just seems like the right choice.
When you start thinking this way, it almost seems preposterous how much we obsess over things like politics. Your dollar is a little vote you make every single day of your life. Walmart surel is cheap, but it isn’t cheap for no reason. Organic food is expensive, that’s true, but it’s actually the food you think it is. It sucks, because it costs us big money to do the right thing. That’s the test, really.
Talk is cheap, actions are not. Cliche, but…actions speak louder than words. Shout with your dollar, and maybe we’ll all hear you.