Ethical Consumerism: put your money where your mouth is.
With rising exposure of ethically questionable companies comes rising conflict between serving one’s personal gains and abiding by one’s own values. As more information surfaces concerning the daily purchases of consumers, many are stuck in limbo over the controversy that companies, such the notorious Chik-fil-a, pose.
Every purchase that someone makes, from shoes to coffee to a manicure, represents a variety of choices, whether intentional or not.
The question behind the conflict is whether it is someone’s responsibility to stay aware of and act against the choices that a purchase reflects.
In recent months, liberals who bike at SoulCycle face the debate on whether they should continue “giving their money to” SoulCycle investor Stephen Ross, a well-known supporter of President Trump’s reelection campaign, when their loyalties lie elsewhere.
A similar controversy burdens consumers over buying from Chik-fil-a, an established advocator of anti-LGBTQ+ causes, as CEO Dan Cathy said the company only supports the “biblical definition of marriage,” according to Vox.
While a simple purchase of a chicken sandwich may not be intentionally and immediately directed towards an anti-LGBTQ+ cause, it is important to not neglect the fact that the money will inevitably fund a cause that may not coincide with one’s values.
Therefore, it is fitting to say that one votes with his or her wallet.
However, many consumers believe that although companies like Chik-fil-a are supporting socially unethical practices, we should be able to consume what best fits our wants and needs, because we are not the ones who ultimately decide where the money ends.
In addition, several say that it is impossible to make entirely moral choices, especially considering financial situations.
Although people should try to make the choices that align best with their moral code, they should also be allowed to live without the overarching concern of a negative effect from every decision made.
Though it isn’t the utopian answer, picking and choosing which companies inflict the least damage upon society and against your beliefs is the most reasonable option: you are abiding by your moral code, supporting causes that concern you, and still acting in your own self-interest.