Dec 092002
Authors: Jesse Lucas

This is in response to Sarah Laribee’s opinion column, “Solution is not to buy nothing,” from the December 3rd, Collegian:

The political position of Kalle Lasn (founder of, and originator of Buy Nothing Day) is irrelevant to my personal decision to participate in Buy Nothing Day. However, as far as I know (having read his book, “Culture Jam”) Mr. Lasn is not a Communist, or a proponent of the hunter-gatherer lifestyle, but simply someone who sees the need for the Western world to be aware of the effects of it’s over-consumptive lifestyle on the rest of the world economically, politically, and environmentally.

Buy Nothing Day is a chance for us to send a message to the money men of corporate America that we, as “consumers,” have the power to make or break their fortunes, based on our judgment of their behavior.

For example, if you don’t like the fact that cattle are fed protein from other ground up cattle to make them fatter (a practice that is regarded as responsible for the spread of mad cow disease), then boycott McDonald’s (the United States’ largest purchaser of beef), and write them a letter stating that you’re not going to eat there again, until they offer only clean, grain-fed beef burgers.

When they read that and see their diminishing returns, what choice will they have but to buy and sell only clean beef? An entire industry could be remolded overnight by consumer demand, but only if the consumers know three things: 1) there is a problem, 2) they have a choice, and 3) how to make their voices heard.

As Republicans and Democrats drift closer to being one and the same, pandering more to multi-national corporations than to the people who they are supposedly representing, arguably the most important vote we cast is where we choose to spend our dollars every day.

Perhaps Buy Nothing Day is a misnomer. Perhaps it should be renamed “Be Mindful Where Your Money Goes Day.” Whatever you call it, unfortunately, one day a year of thoughtfulness isn’t enough to counter 364 days of ignorant capitalism. We must make every day a politically and environmentally aware spending day.

Jesse Lucas

Fort Collins resident

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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