"Aluminum Drink Cans" by David Castillo Dominici

Your Purchase, Your Politics

I was in the queue at my local corner shop today and the woman in front of me was buying a can of Diet Coke.  A few years ago a moment like that would have passed over me, What’s not to like about that?  Just because I choose to eat well and buy organic things that have no ingredients listed on them, things that I can cook from scratch or eat raw, which my body will recognise, just because I am this way inclined, why should I expect others to do the same, right?  Live and let live.  It’s a free world isn’t it? Go lady, buy your Diet Coke and enjoy it.  Have a wonderful day…

But wait!  Free World?  “Wait Lady…I have something I need to tell you. Hey Lady! Got a minute?  Let me show you what your can of Diet Coke is doing to you, me and the world around us.”

And we’re off!

Our Dickensian dream sequence has begun in the offices of the Coca Cola senior executives.  These fat corporate cats are not only as rich as Croesus but they’re making other poison manufacturers rich too, like the GM seed-makers Monsanto.  And the aspartame-makers who, with one drop of their chemical, can turn a whole vat, as large as a city gas tank, sickly sweet.  These food corporations have done so well that they have bought themselves the best seats on the food policy-making bodies of the world, influencing the decisions that normalise and promote their brands of food and drinks, which in turn, slowly but surely, destroy people’s health. Every can of soda purchased will further line the corporation’s pockets.  Why, these guys are so wealthy, they fund campaigns to put presidents in the White House and in exchange for owning the president, they get to decide how the world grows its food.

“Hold tight Lady, were off to India now!”

The farmers there can’t afford much after their Monsanto seed costs and they have no choice but to buy Monsanto’s seeds, and so sometimes they can’t pay for pesticide for their crops.  But look!  What luck! Turns out CocoCola has enough pesticide in it to keep the pests away, so they spray that instead.  “Good bye Indian farmers, don’t worry about your ancient farming practices and the freedom to propagate your own seeds, Monsanto owns your future…and the authorities say its safe, so give your pennies to them, trust them, they have the planet’s well-bing at heart.  There’s no need to take your own life to get out of the vicious seed payment cycle which services no one except the company.

And we’re off, to have a peak at my Lady friend’s future now…”

The date is 2020 and my Lady friend seems down, poor thing.  Why so blue Lady?  What’s that?  Can’t get pregnant?  Depressed?  Fat?  Diabetes?  Alzheimer’s?  Feeling lethargic? Limited immunity?  It must be all that mucoid plaque that built up in your colon from the multiple forms of sugar you’ve unwittingly consumed over the years. Or is it the cancer perhaps? Or simply the brain fog? Perhaps it’s just toxic build up?  Never mind Lady, there are drugs that will help you, loads of new drugs, in fact.  In the last ten years vaccines and drugs have been introduced like no one’s business…or actually like someone’s business, because business is booming!  The system has taken the soda drinkers of the world and turned them into patients, and the best part of this is that once they are in the care of the medics, they further fund other big pharmaceutical corporations who also buy their influence on world policy.  Neat huh?…

Back at the corner shop, my Lady friend has made her purchase, oblivious to what she has just done to the world.  Unaware of the political nature of her purchase.  I watch her head off into the street and I take a deep breath to calm my mind.  She takes a piece of me with her, dragging me down with her consumer choice to back the regime which makes the world unhappy, unfair, sick.

But come on, lighten up, it was just a can of Diet Coke, right?

Take a look at the teeny tiny ingredients on everything you pick up during your next shop. Ask this: Who makes all this stuff?  Why do they want me to buy it?  What will it do to me? In which direction will I cast my food-purchasing vote today? How do I contribute to society when I buy this?

…And if I’m behind you in the queue…watch your back, because my brain is a weapon and I’m not afraid to use it.

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