If making money is more important than being civilized, then we are no longer civilized.

When I go for a walk I’m not thinking about the value of the trees or the water, I am just eternally grateful that they are there for us. A stream is for water animals to live in, not for us to pollute. The trees provide oxygen and clean the air, but to us they’re paper and wood and we use it without even thinking about it. How long can the earth sustain us with this mindset? How long before the people getting rich by abusing our natural resources have to find some other way?

In Canada we have a Prime Minister who spends more time trying to hash out deals with China than he does trying to maintain what Canada stands for. China wants our oil and Harper is salivating at all the money this could mean. To Harper, when he looks out at our vast open spaces, all he can see is money to be earned. He doesn’t care about habitat preservation, he doesn’t care about ecosystems being destroyed, and in fact he calls those who do care radical. He is disgustingly good at presenting himself as Mr. Rogers whilst he steals from your back pocket the things you care most about. I believe we call that a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

So the world today is being run guided by the economy vs. quality of life. But here’s the thing, WE CREATED ECONOMY AND WE CAN RECREATE IT TO MEET OUR NEEDS TODAY.

My dad ran a family business. I did not once hear him talk about ‘growth’. He had his rates and when life became more expensive he raised his rates. He didn’t try to outdo himself every year. What he focused on was relationships and providing the best service he could.

Everyone is trying to earn more and more money and the quality of our existence has plummeted. The atrocities committed against animals through harvesting resources (where they live) and trying to get larger and larger yields through factory farming has turned us into a completely despicable race. We don’t know it as consumers because what we see is what ad agencies are paid to deliver – to make products look squeaky clean and to get us thinking we can’t live without them.

So how can we live in this world without being part of this devastation?

1) Ensure our investment portfolios are helping the good guys undo the damage. The stock market makes companies do terrible things to make our money grow, which they feel obligated to do because we invested in them. Be aware of this and take some responsibility for it.

2) Research how the products you want were manufactured/grown/harvested and if you couldn’t do it yourself, don’t buy it. Because in buying it, you’re doing it.

3) Reduce your consumption.

4) As animal lovers, take a good look at how we use animals and at how our behaviours and lifestyle may impact their existence. Hint: it’s in everything we touch.

5) Remember that the only ads we see are from corporations that can afford the ads. We don’t hear the other side of the story because no one can afford to tell it to us. We need to be smarter than this.

When it comes to money, it’s only worth something if we can hold our heads high with pride about how it came to us, anything less is just an embarrassment. If making money is more important than being civilized, then we are no longer civilized.

 

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