Everyday Living, Reader Input

Putting my money where my mouth is

I am susceptible to suggestion. This comment means a multitude of things to me, whether its following the vampire craze and reading the Twilight books in one weekend or going to those damn catalog parties and finding myself the owner of jewelry that I rarely wear. Then there was that time that I became a vegetarian for a year because I was honoring River Phoenix. Oh yes – I did that, just ask my poor mother about that one and how fun it is to try and cook around one person’s preferences when the bulk of your food is provided by a pork farmer (my dad.)

So we’ve established that I’m a nut. Not very practical, but I will tell you this – most of my schemes are rooted in wanting to do what is best. Whether it is for me, my family, the late River Phoenix … I like to think that my heart is in the right place.

But sometimes, what my heart wants is not really within the realms of what is contained in my wallet.

Still following this odd tangent? Good. Thank you … anyway. I recently expressed to my husband that I really wanted to strive to buy products that are not tested on animals. I mean – why does my deodorant need to be tested on an animal? I do not know that they have rogue armpits like I do. Same thing with lipstick, soap, laundry detergent … mouthwash! The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has a great web resource that allows consumers to search for cruelty-free companies and armed with the knowledge that Tom’s of Maine makes a mouthwash that is not tested on animals, I went to Target to stock up on supplies yesterday. And I came home with the ginormous, generic bottle of mouthwash that was held a greater quantity of mouthwash and cost a great deal less than the teeeeny bottle of Tom’s of Maine that I considered for a split second before running to the Scope.

Uff da. Here’s the conundrum – my husband and I cannot watch those ASPCA commercials without getting teary. (We usually turn them as soon as we hear Sarah McLachlan’s “Angel” song come on.) I adopted my cat off the street. I think that Michael Vick should be shunned from society permanently and if my bastard cat would like other animals, I’d consider being a foster parent for pets.

But I’m not a vegetarian (bring forth the steak!). And now I’m finding out that my good intentions are being thwarted by the limitations of my wallet. How do you achieve balance?

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1 thought on “Putting my money where my mouth is

  1. Wow, tough topic! I also cry and usually write a check to the ASPCA or some animal shelter when I see those commercials – their communications director should be commended for their work 🙂

    I think unnecessarily using animals in product testing is really not acceptable in this day and age. Medical testing is a somewhat gray area to me though, as I don’t know all the science and reasoning.

    Since, as you said, most of us are non-vegetarians, I try to make the distinction between “cruelty” vs. “respect”. I believe we can eat meat and other animal products like milk and eggs, while still respecting animals and respecting nature. You can raise cows for food and treat them with respect throughout their life – yes, they are going to get slaughtered and eaten at the end, but it doesn’t mean you have to beat them or needlessly confine them. I know there are people out there who disagree…that’s how I deal with it.

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