I feel opinionated today.

I don’t like how Brad Pitt, one of the producers of ’12 Years a Slave’, played a character in the last 20 minutes of the movie that led to the freedom of a black slave. It was a brilliant movie, so so so beautiful, and I loved it. But, I truly think that move was extremely self-serving, and I might think a little bit less of him for it.

I feel like being one of those vegetarians who show those awful videos of slaughtered animals about ‘where your dinner came from’. I want to truly express how I feel about that beautiful $350 jacket that I picked up today that I was about to buy… until the salesperson told me how warm the suede inside of it is. The suede that wasn’t even cowhide; It was from a deer. At least with cowhide I could justify (if I wanted to) about how there are so many cows being slaughtered each day and how there is such a large amount of beef being old in stores to show for it, that even I would agree that we might as well put all of their parts to good use, leather being one of them. Except, I don’t know about you, but I don’t often see deer meat in grocery stores; Where are they getting this deer hide from? It just doesn’t seem right to me. And on that note, I also want to truly express how much I hate the amount of leather in my life that I can’t avoid. Each couch and almost each chair in this house is leather, each vehicle in my family has leather interior (except for mine, thank goodness), and I cannot tell you how hard it is to buy good shoes that are not made from leather. I hate looking into the kitchen and seeing flesh. Today, I really feel like being an rude and obnoxious vegetarian advocating for animal rights, something I try hard not to be (the rudely obnoxious part I mean).

After reading ‘The World of Wal-Mart; Discounting the American Dream’, written by Nicholas Copeland and Christine Labuski, for my anthropology class I really truly had hoped that Wal-Mart never ends up opening stores in India. Having been there, and reading about what a Wal-Mart  would do to the economy in India, I think that is one of the worst things that anyone could do to humanity; it would truly ruin so many lives, not to mention the authentic, beautiful culture of the country. In this text book I’ve been reading, it expresses that Wal-Mart hopes to buy right from farmers in India to avoid the’ middle-man’ and avoid unnecessary costs that would then lead to Wal-Mart being able to provide the lowest possible prices. The competition for Wal-Mart in India would be the local markets, the bazaars, the family owned business; basically what the entire country is made up of. What happens to all of these when a Wal-Mart comes in and takes all of their customers? What happens to all of those currently working the jobs of the middlemen? Wal-Mart is projecting itself as a solution to the food crisis in India. But it seems that in reality, it would cause more problems. How are people going to afford the low-prices at Wal-Mart if they don’t have a job that creates an income? “The roots of India’s food crisis go much deeper than the solution proposed by Wal-Mart, which poses unique risks to food security. Wal-Mart’s objective, after all, is not to feed India’s poor, but to turn a profit.” (Wal-mart has made it’s way to India.)

My eyes have also been opened to the what the effects of Wal-Mart in Canada and the US have been. It shocks me how a company like this exists. I mean, kudos to them for having the brains and determination to be as successful as they are. It’s brilliant, really. But the are the consequences of it really all worth it? Good for them for trying to make the American Dream more realistic for the world, and for helping those who are in poverty and cannot afford a lot. “…It has made life in the harsh and unequal economy more liveable for millions. However, Wal-Mart does not solve poverty, social inequality, or environmental destruction.” Wal-mart also has such a large impact on the economy (environment, society, etc.) that they are able to play a huge part in keeping the dichotomy of the rich and the poor existent. I am baffled by how successful they are and how many aspects of the world that we live in they control and how much profit they turn. I am also baffled by how they are able to get away with the awful things they do, how they can bring themselves to do these awful things, and how they walk away with so much money because of it. 

Normally I like to keep opinions like these to myself, especially about the vegetarianism, but today apparently I don’t! Maybe I’m being naive regarding all of this and maybe I only know half of they story, but these are the facts that I do know, and today these are the facts that bother me! This post may make me sound like I am having a really awful day and in a really bad mood, but I promise that’s not the case! I’m having a fantastic day and in a great mood! I blame all the studying I’ve been doing (not been doing? I should really be studying right now…), it’s making me go crazy. Or maybe now that I’ve had some formal education, I’m able to formulate some real opinions about the world we live in.

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