Over the weekend I had a discussion with friends about my refusal to go to McDonald’s any more. Even though I love and crave their iced tea and drank it daily for years. (Yup, years. That’s no exaggeration.) I stopped recently because I am disgusted with the way they treat employees and stupid things they post on their website for employees such as complaining causes stress, break food into pieces to feel full faster, and return presents for cash. I know other fast food restaurants aren’t treating their employees any better, but they aren’t blatantly rubbing it in their faces either.
I won’t shop at Walmart, because they don’t get to double dip in my pocketbook. It’s enough that they get tax breaks for their corporation and their employees get public assistance for being underpaid, I”m not adding to their billion dollar bottom line.
I’m doing without Chik-fil-A sandwiches because the owners are homophobic bullies. They can donate all the money they want to anti-gay legislation, but none if it will be from chicken that my family consumed. And taking on the little farm stand owner selling Eat More Kale t-shirts because it infringes on your “eat mor chicken” trademark is just being an uber asshat douche canoe!
And then there’s Hobby Lobby. Their refusal to provide birth control to their employees under the Affordable Health Care Act because they are Christian has made it to the Supreme Court. The owners are Christian; not all employees are. Women’s body-autonomy is a biggy with me so I no longer can shop at Hobby Lobby. I cannot spend my money there without feeling like I am selling out every woman in the country. I don’t need glitter, plastic pearls, and glue guns at cheap prices that bad. I can shop elsewhere.
I also won’t spend my money at Papa John’s, certain Ace Hardwares, the hair salon in town, a restaurant in Carol Stream…unfortunately the list grows.
But I wonder if I am making a difference. In my own corner of the world, am I taking a social stand? Am I changing the world a little? Are there others out there like me who are doing the same thing? Can we make a difference together?
I just can’t give my money to people who are so blatantly nasty. It would just be easier if I knew I was accomplishing something. What do you think? Do you perform pocketbook protests? Are you helping?