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The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Slay Goliath with your pocketbook

By Anne Looser

When I go grocery shopping, I don’t buy Oreos or any products produced by Kraft. A friend of mine does not purchase certain brands of make up. It’s not because we don’t like these products, it’s because of who produces them and how these items are produced.

For instance, Oreo and Kraft are owned by their parent company Altria. Altria is also the parent company of Philip Morris, the cigarette company (along with hundreds of other brands).

Philip Morris targets its cigarette sales toward children and people in developing countries. I don’t want to support a company that targets unknowing victims, so I don’t buy any of the products Altria produces. My friend knows which makeup companies do not test on animals and only purchases products from them.

Stop and think about what you value. Do you value the health of your community? What about animal rights? Find out if the companies you purchase your daily goods from care, too. Use your pocket book to start telling these companies what you value.

Think it doesn’t make a difference? Just think back to when McDonald’s used Styrofoam packaging.

It was a group of well-informed consumers who made McDonald’s start using more environmentally friendly packaging.

Think about the foundations of this very country. Visionary thinkers like Thoreau, Gandhi, and Martin Luther King Jr. all encouraged better citizenship.

Thoreau wrote in On The Duty of Civil Disobedience, “All men recognize the right of revolution; that is, the right to refuse allegiance to and resist the government, when its tyranny or its inefficiency are great and unendurable.”

Later, Gandhi wrote, “It is…the duty of those who have realized the awful evil of the system…to be disloyal to it and actively and openly to preach disloyalty.”

In the tradition of both Thoreau and Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote in his Letter from A Birmingham Jail, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

It is not only our right to speak freely and our duty as citizens to pay taxes and vote, it is our duty to act as the moral compass for our government and society.

In the tradition of these men, I would like to suggest that we raise the bar for consumers. Sure, we have the ability, and the right, to purchase any item we want or need. Before I purchase an item, however, I have the ability to use the Internet to find out where that item was produced, if the person producing it was paid a fair wage and if that person was a child.

I believe as consumers it is our duty to first make an effort to find out about the standards my goods were produced under, and second to purchase according to the standards I believe are fair and just.

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