After spending most of my evening yesterday thinking about the disadvantages of supermarket shopping and then writing my blog post, it cemented in my mind what has been gradually dawning on me…I’m going to struggle to go back to using supermarkets again, amn’t I?
When I started blogging about this topic, I was interested in the idea of 28 days without the supermarket, I thought I’d enjoy writing about it and I liked the thought of supporting local business. I don’t think I really expected I’d be entirely giving up the supermarket…forever…
Stop! Stop! I’m not saying ‘I’ll give it up forever’, I’m just, kind of, well, trying out the phrase in my mind, dipping my toe in the water, seeing how it feels because if I am honest the stuff I read about how powerful the big supermarkets in the UK are and some of the conditions they subject food suppliers and animals to make me feel extremely uncomfortable and it’s not something I want to be a part of. (If you are new to this blog, please see the links I provided yesterday for more details).
I do feel that I actually actively have to make a decision about my use of supermarkets. I have been a regular supermarket visitor since I was a child and I slipped into being a customer myself without questioning what I was actually choosing to do, what I was choosing to support.
Is this how supermarkets get their customers? Do people just, sort of, keep going into them after they have their own incomes and then start spending a significant proportion of those same incomes in them without really considering what they are doing?
In some ways that is what happened to me, although I can’t claim to have been totally ignorant as I had heard rumours of ‘sweat shop’ conditions for workers making inexpensive clothes and, being vegetarian, I was only too aware of how badly animals can be treated. So why, having some awareness of potentially serious issues, did I not at least follow up on my concerns and do some reading? I’ve been meat-free for almost half of my life, I don’t use Amazon or Starbucks after the recent publicity surrounding their tax-paying practises and, crikey, only this week I admonished my other half for allowing the children to have a disposable straw with every drink on the grounds that those evil coloured bits of plastic would just end up in landfill!
I suspect that the reason I ignored my concerns is because living without the supermarket would be very uncomfortable. Perhaps I’ve been picking and choosing my principles, based on the sacrifices I’m prepared to make in my life?
I think I am finally being pushed out of my comfort zone…
…but I’ve not made any decisions yet! Don’t hold me to anything!