Tuesday, November 8, 2011
An Attempt at Moral Shopping
Turning away from spending money with companies that are linked to Planned Parenthood, began a few years ago in our house, when I began to read disturbing articles about Planned Parenthood's link to the Girl Scouts (OSV also has an article here). If you search for the topic online you can find enough disturbing information to make you think twice about buying thin mints, much less taking your daughter to weekly meetings to be exposed to their... literature (they also make the "dishonorable mention" list on this lifesite news article).
From what I'd read about the link between Girl Scouts and P.P., the claims usually involve more about indoctrination into the culture of death and promiscuity than anything else, but in many ways that's more disturbing than large donations from corporations. P.P.'s trying to warp the minds of the young, so that they think that killing the unborn, for any reason whatsoever, is just a part of life.
Since I can easily put away a package of Girl Scout cookies in less than an hour, this first step in the boycott was rather hard. After all, who wants to walk by those cute little girls in front of the super marker, with their delicious cookies, and say "no." But it was a first step for our family in spending our cash in ways that didn't disturb our consciences.
After giving up G.S. cookies we learned about the Susan G. Komen foundations connections to Planned Parenthood (at least I think it was after... it was around the same time when I began to learn about PP's connections that I learned about both companies...). Suddenly shopping during Breast Cancer Awareness months became exceedingly difficult. But the Komen foundation has given millions and millions of dollars to P.P... and so I find myself scouring labels with the little pink ribbon to see if the money is going to Komen or some other, non PP donating organization and trying to make purchases accordingly.
The next step in our own family campaign for more ethical spending came when we read about Kraft, Pepsi and Nestle and their involvement with aborted fetal cell research (mmmm! Making your food taste better by using artificial flavors and making sure they wouldn't harm an aborted unborn child's kidney cells!). Kraft was the most honest in their response with: hey-but-using-dead-babies-helps-us-come-up-with-innovative-flavors, but they must have standards of some sort, because at least they didn't completely lie in their response like Pepsi did, with a very untrue note about how they don't do that sort of thing. There are Pepsi stockholders who are fighting Pepsi's involvement at the moment, but I think it's important to remember that they haven't won yet... If they do I'll be happy to buy Pepsi for Paul and eat at Taco Bell again. And of course there's Nestle who tiptoed around the question without answering it (with a we don't do anything that everyone else doesn't do! sort of answer), which also helped them onto our personal boycott list.
It wasn't easy giving up Kraft. In fact, I still find myself discovering companies that are owned by Kraft every week. As I'm writing this I hopped over and checked out the wikipedia entry, and found out Cadbury was part of Kraft (Nooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Did I know that before and block it out?!?!). However, giving up Nabisco, Philadelphia (as in kraft's cream cheese), Oscar Mayer, A1, Cracker Barrel, Capri Sun, Dentyne gum, Handi-Snacks, Halls, Jell-O, Kool-Aid, Nutter Butters and Newtons, Planters, Ritz, Stove Top, Triscuit, Trident, Toblerone, Velveeta, and Wheat Thins hasn't been easy (for a full list of their "large brands" from the Kraft website go here. And the brands above are just the tip of the iceberg...). It's hard to remember what Kraft owns. But we have made an honest effort to avoid buying from companies that think it's business as usual to include the destruction of human life as part of the process when testing their products.
After all, if I can check labels for nutrition information, I can certainly check to see if they say "Kraft Foods" anywhere.
the pro-life boycott list (at least what's freely available) and I'm thinking of taking the plunge and paying $19 to get the actual list from Life Decisions International so that we can feel more confident shopping. Red Lobster and Olive Garden both make the list of places we won't be frequenting during special occasions, and we won't be visiting the nice looking Whole Foods across town any time soon either (okay... I wouldn't have been shopping their anyways...).
I do encourage everyone to buy from Kohl's and Mrs. Fields since they made their way off the list in the past year!
I know that a lot of people probably think we're a little bit crazy for taking this so far, because it's not the easiest thing in the world, but after lots of thought I knew that in good conscience I couldn't continue to support these businesses in any way, knowing what they pass the money along to. It seems to me that often times the things we should do aren't easy, and I think spending our money responsibly to avoid supporting abortion providers should be high on the list!
What companies do you avoid for moral reasons?