The Products I Boycott

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The Products I Boycott

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Disclaimer: This is merely an article to alert the audience and bring awareness to a few of the common place items and brands that I find unethical and do not promote the use of. I understand that not everyone may or will agree with me on certain items or brands, however, I will try to explain my reasoning behind why I find these unethical in nature and therefore “boycott”. 

To boycott means to stop buying or using the goods or services of a certain company or country as a protestWhen I found out that dairy was causing my massive stomach pains, I was devastated. No more ice cream, no more grilled cheese, no more lasagna, all the things I was eating at the time contained one form of dairy or another and I was paying the price. I tried the enzyme pills, but they got expensive so finally I cut dairy all together. I still stumble and eat things containing dairy, but I will never again buy a carton of milk, not after finding out what really goes on in the dairy industry. 

Chained, beaten, forcibly impregnated, jabbed with electric prongs, dairy cows have their babies taken from them at three weeks after birth where the males are slaughtered and sold as veal and the girls end up just like their mothers. The cow’s milk we buy from the supermarket was meant for their babies not ours, five billion of which can’t even consume the milk brought home from the store. 

We’ve all heard the news reports that meat is bad for us and then only certain meats and now in only certain amounts. We’ve all read the posts on social media telling us to “Go Vegan” but honestly who can give up bacon? Well I have. 

I am not vegan; however, the evidence is mounting, and more people are waking up and changing how they affect the environment through what they eat. Switching from a meat-based diet to a plant-based diet can lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 50-78% there is a 42% lower risk of dying from heart disease and a 15% lower risk of dying from cancer (healthline.com). 

Going meatless was a challenge as well. While I still consume some seafood, I was cutting out a major source of protein in my diet. By going meatless I was able to expand my taste buds and try all sorts of different, unique, often unusual sources of protein and despite the difficulty involved with this decision to go majorly meat free and all the stigma that came with it, I still felt solidified in my decision. It has been proven that many of the large meat processors abuse their animals. These companies don’t see the animals as living beings but rather as a source of income and profit, so they shove the animals into smaller and smaller pens to create more revenue. 

These smart, innocent beings are housed in heartbreaking conditions and lead to their deaths far before their natural life expectancies. Cattle are slaughtered at 18 months, Pigs at 5-6 months, Male chickens in egg industry are ground in 1 day (Kristen Leo). If that’s not enough to make you cringe did you know that many of the employees who work in the slaughterhouses develop PTSD (mercyforanimals.org). Having been to the Holocaust Museum and hearing the screams of people being gassed and the sound of a pig gas chamber, I can attest to just how hauntingly similar they are. If you’ve made it this far congratulations I’ve only just begun. 

Every single movie theater sells three things: entertainment, popcorn, and soda. Soda, the fizzy fun way to get yourself a stomach ulcer. The carbonation in soda is bad enough by itself but big bottling companies, like Coca-Cola and Pepsi have added spoonful after spoonful of sugar.  According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information “in some circumstances, intermittent access to sugar can lead to behavior and neurochemical changes that resemble the effects of a substance of abuse” in short sugar is addictive and much of it is produced though inhuman means such as child labor, unpaid labor, and threats. 

There is a common misconception that when the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 was passed, placing limitations on child labor and setting minimum wage and maximum hours, that children under fifteen were no longer abused in the work force. This is a dangerous way of thinking. Child labor still occurs in the U.S. and is prevalent in developing countries like Guatemala, Thailand, Mali, and Bangladesh. These people are paid well under the legal minimum wage and they work over fifty hours a week. Children are threatened and beaten if they refuse to work and it is not uncommon to find that the women on the plantations are sexually abused and forced to work while pregnant. 

Families have pulled their children, some as young as eight, out of school to work in order to meet the daily quota. These billion-dollar multinationals are profiting from the exploitation of their workers and they’re getting away with it because when someone takes a stand, they throw their weight around and shut it up. So, now not only do we all know that these products are bad for us, but when we consume these items, we now have no idea if we are supporting child and slave labor in other countries. I am simply not willing to take the chance that other humans were used to produce a product that serves no other purpose other than to satisfy our wants. No one said that ethical consumerism would be easy in a capitalist society. 

 

For more information: 

FLOW (For Love of Water) documentary – filmsforaction.org 

Kristen Leo (YouTube) 

  • The Meat and Dairy Industry exposed in 5 minutes 
  • 3 Popular Companies That HATE You 
  • Blood Candy 

www.hrw.com (search el Salvador sugar plantations) 

The Dark Side of Chocolate documentary 

 

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