Profits Above People – Why I Choose to Boycott Nestle

I was originally going to post about what a lovely and magical weekend I had. I led a ritual online for school on Friday night. I performed the handfasting (wedding) of two wonderful women reunited after many years apart. I led a ritual for my circle in the grove near my home. I gazed in wonder at the big, bright, beautiful full moon. I read tarot cards at the Farmers Market and was told several times that my reading was “bang on”.

Nestle ProductsI *was* going to write about all that. And then I looked on Facebook this morning. For the second time in less than 24 hours, other friends of mine have posted petitions about the actions Nestle Corporation is taking around the world. And I got mad.

I don’t think of myself as an activist. Most of the time I feel pretty small, like my actions don’t have much of an effect on big business or government. I prefer to make a difference where I can see it – with individuals. Activism is wonderful, and I admire and appreciate all of the amazing people who are called to it. I don’t feel it is my calling.

And yet, when I hear about stories like Nestle wants to privatize around the world, making claims that water is not a basic right (video link), I can’t stay quiet. Of course, they spin it a bit differently on the Nestle website.

Here’s the first petition I saw on Facebook last night – please take a moment to sign it.

This morning, the next story I saw was about Nestle trying to patent a plant. Not a genetically modified seed, not an invention or creation. A plant. You know, those things that grow in the wild. Why, because it has medicinal properties.

A little investigation shows that Nestle is actually trying to patent a compound that comes from the flower, not the flower itself. Again, here is their position on the situation. (You can’t accuse me of not being fair.)

I also remember controversy about their infant formula practices from when my children were little. Essentially, the argument states that corporations advertising formula heavily and giving out free samples of their products has led to the decline in breastfeeding and an increase in infant sickness and failure to thrive. I was lucky enough to be able to breastfeed all of my children. I know several people who had significant challenges breastfeeding, and had they not had formula to turn to, their babies would have suffered tremendously. I’m not saying that having an alternative is bad. The aggressive and insidious marketing tactics are not so hot.

Essentially, Nestle thinks they are untouchable. They value profits over people. And I’m not ok with that.

So I’m going to avoid buying any more Nestle products. It’s not going to be easy – they have their hands in a lot of products, from make-up to coffee to pet food. Here’s a list of Nestle products. Here’s an app called Buycott that you can download to your phone – it scans barcodes and tells you who the parent company is so you can avoid supporting companies whose practices you do not support.

Sometimes, you just have to stand up and say NO!