“Justice at the Checkout Counter” by Yitzhak Husbands-Hankin

Reference: Tikkun

Each time we pass cash from our hand to the hand of a checkout clerk we are participating in a global process that shapes our collective reality. When we buy products that are made in sweatshops, we affirm and support the legitimacy of that exploitive production process. When we buy products that have been produced through the inhumane treatment of animals, we fund the continuation of that cruelty. When we buy products that are made at the cost of environmental degradation, we fund the worsening damage to Creation.

Though we collectively exert an enormous influence at the checkout counter, we typically do not base our purchases on our value systems. We often don’t realize the power we do have to change the world through what we buy. Even if we do, as consumers we do not usually have adequate information about the working conditions, treatment of animals, or environmental impact that went into creating the products we see at the store. What incentive do stores have to provide us with this information? The fact is, they have a disincentive, due to the efforts of organizations such as the WTO and multinational corporations who actively seek to suppress information about production processes.

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