Money talks

Consumer activism is all about accountability.

If a company that is pushing their goods is not in compliance with consumer, workplace and environmental laws, well, then use the power of your purchase to hold them accountable. If your beliefs conflict with what they’re making money from, let them know by withholding bucks.

Consumer boycotts helped forward the ending of apartheid in South Africa through corporate divestment. More recently, boycotts and other forms of consumer activism have forced corporations to diversify the makeup of their workforces, clean up sweat-shop conditions and even reduce the sales of old-growth timber.

I have nothing against chains per se (this paper is owned by a company that runs two other papers), but I do try to shop at small, individual neighborhood stores. It’s a sort of one-person boycott of large chains.

We usually don’t think in these terms, but there are individual consumer choices that have an effect on animals as well. This is not a PETA rant, but rather an encouragement to consider the implications. Our cover story on the production of Premarin (See “Neigh Sayers” by Amy Yannello, page 18) reveals the connections between paying for a prescription and another living thing, namely a horse.

Hopefully, it’s something significant to think about as your eyes glaze over on the next trip to the mall.