Thursday, September 15, 2011

I Don't Shop at Walmart

I'm Loving it...?
It was when I was traveling with my sister that I first really started to notice an inconsistency with myself.  I truly believe in things that I don't necessarily live out.  An example at the time was McDonald's.  I'm not a fan to begin with.  At all, actually.  I'm also not entirely supportive of globalization and I think McDonald's (or, to a greater extent, KFC) is a perfect representation of all that is negative with the concept.  Still, there were a couple unfortunate times where we found ourselves with hours to waste before taking a bus/flight/taxi/ect but no hostel and we would park our over-sized backpacks on a tiled McDonald's floor and eat ninety cent sundaes that usually differentiated a little bit from one you'd buy in Detroit.

That's right. I am guilty of supporting McDonald's (but never KFC's) proliferation in third world countries.  I always felt guilty about it.  I don't even ever eat McDonald's here at home.

About a year ago I was talking to some friends and the subject of Walmart came up.  Yup, as you would imagine I don't think they're all that great either.  Now, I do realize that Walmart is not all that is evil and wrong with the world.  The just happen to be the biggest example.  My sister, who just returned from local clinic midwifery work in the slums of Manila says that shopping, especially in Walmart type institutions just feels gross.

So one of my friends said, "I don't shop there (Walmart), I just don't.  I think they do a lot of harm to small business and ethical practices.  Sometimes it's tempting to run in and scoop up the cheap 'natural' peanut butter but, you know what?  It's not worth it."

I was all, "Yeah, Allie!  Good for you.  I'm really supportive of that.  I should really do that..."  All the while feeling some nagging guilt that, even though I don't believe that supporting Walmart is a good thing I do it wholeheartedly anyway.

Before I turned twenty-five I decided to quit Walmart for at least a year.  There is no Walmart in my hometown so I figured it wouldn't be hard to avoid that six times a year that I would normally shop there.  That was before I knew I was moving to a small city with a central Walmart for my school year.  I went in there once with a friend.  The price drop signs beckoned me, but I'm extremely happy with my abstinence.  At least I don't have to feel guilty with my fifteen dollar jeans or swear at them when the zippers break after a month.

Maybe eventually I'll put even more effort into eating locally.  I'll drive less, pray more, stop procrastinating, go to bed on time...  Until then I'll just blame Walmart.


Tabs A. Geek said...

Loved this post, especially the end :)

There was a time when I was the same way, and I'm a little ashamed to say I gave in. Two reasons -- one, I got it in my head that one person can't really make a difference in something like this, at least not one person who is not going to go out and actively promote the cause. And two, as a college student falling into debt, and now being stuck in debt, unfortunately that couple dollars less makes a huge difference in my budget, especially when it's things that I need.

Ideally, I would love to hit a point in life where I have enough money that I can support small businesses and local restaurants and the likes, but until then, I feel like I don't have much of a choice.

Kudos to you though for being successful at it. Seriously, I totally admire you for that. :)

starTHINKer said...

Haha, that last comment pretty much sums up life! Well written :)

Kris said...

Haha! Thanks ladies. I've had my years of shopping at Wally, Tabs, so I won't judge you :). Maybe one day we can all really conquer the last paragraph!

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