Anyone who pays attention at all should not be surprised to learn that how we spend our money can profoundly influence social and economic justice, environmental preservation or degradation, animal welfare, and democratic freedoms—especially in third-world countries.
Of course, it is difficult to always be 100% ethical in everything we do. No one lives a blameless life, and in our capitalist culture it is very difficult to monitor and be aware of every injustice that occurs for the sake of profit. Clearly, most economic or consumer injustices take place out of sight – and therefore out of mind for most of us.
Add to that the sheer burden of just getting through the day: working, commuting, doing chores, meeting our obligations and responsibilities, etc., that it seems damn near impossible to be mindful of how, what, and even whom we consume day after day. But doesn’t mean that we can’t try to make better consumer choices as much as possible.
The Consumer Ethics group will allow us to share information that will help us understand and address the above issues and become conscientious consumers by:
We must rapidly begin the shift from a thing-oriented society to a person-oriented society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, militarism and economic exploitation are incapable of being conquered. A nation can flounder as readily in the face of moral and spiritual bankruptcy as it can through financial bankruptcy. -- Dr. Martin Luther King, April, 1967