Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Friday 17 September |

The principled consumer?

Simcha Fisher - published on 11/06/13

This is why I consider commercial boycotts to be largely a spiritual and symbolic exercise, at least at the personal level.  I refuse to buy anything with “Nestle” written on it, for instance, because of their repulsive treatment of third world babies; but I know the only difference it will make is if I consciously offer up the (miniscule) sacrifice that involves.

Anyway, I usually buy store brands of food — but aren’t those often made by the same corporations, and just packaged more cheaply?  Blah.  Education is a good thing; but I think we are fooling ourselves if we think we can keep our shopping baskets ritually pure.  If we avoid all taint as consumers, we will quickly starve.  When large groups of people band together and exert pressure on corporations, they can affect real change.  But it does not follow that a single, harried shopper who grabs a bag of Laffy Taffy is committing a sin against third world babies.

What makes sense to me is this:  pick a few causes that you feel really strongly about.  Make a firm decision to make the sacrifice so you can avoid supporting those particular evils. Stick to it.  And then just chill about the rest.

What do you think?  How do you handle being a principled consumer when your choices are not real choices?

Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Top 10
1
CELEBRITIES
Cerith Gardiner
Our favorite stories of celebrities who inspire us in daily life
2
communion
Philip Kosloski
How receiving Holy Communion can drive away demons
3
Kathleen N. Hattrup
Pope considers what to do with pro-abortion Catholic politicians
4
Berthe and Marcel
Lauriane Vofo Kana
This couple has the longest marriage in France
5
As irmãs biológicas que se tornaram freiras no instituto Iesu Communio
Francisco Veneto
The 5 biological sisters who joined the religious life in just tw...
6
CROSS
Philip Kosloski
Why is the feast of the Holy Cross celebrated on September 14?
7
SAINT ANTHONY OF PADUA
Philip Kosloski
This prayer to St. Anthony is said to have “never been known to f...
See More