The Power of Our Money



Aaron Pellican

It is no secret that the current state of our planet, its environment, and ecosystem is not great to say the least. While our “leaders” continue to brush off scientific evidence revealing the immediate and long-term issues our planet is facing, it is important to be aware of the issues as well as to realize that these problems are very real.

Many of the problems, which offer immediate danger, are large scale problems, but it is quite eye opening to understand all of the different ways that we contribute to these issues.
No matter who we are, given the societal structure which has been built around us, it is actually quite hard to avoid contributing to some form of pollution or aid to harming our planet.

One of the most imminent threats to our planet is the daily extinction of species after species that continues at an extremely high rate and is showing no signs of slowing. In fact, according to The Center for Biological Diversity, we are currently experiencing a species extinction rate that is the highest it has been since the extinction of dinosaurs over 65 million years ago.

If that statistic isn’t the alarm our societal consciousness has been waiting for, then I don’t know what is.  But the most frustrating part of this is that this rate of extinction is directly correlated to human error. While climate change continues to wipe away species after species, big game hunting, along with deforestation, is also digging deep into the open wound our ecosystem already has.

Poaching is a very big reason many species have ceased to exist. Currently, the trophy hunting of elephants for their ivory, tigers for their skin and bones, and rhinoceros for the alleged medicinal value of their horns has left all of the before mentioned in serious danger of extinction.

The extinction of any species can be harmful to our planet as every single animal plays their own role in the ecosystem and domino effects trickle down throughout our ecosystem as this cycle continues.

An awareness of these issues with poaching and extinction rate is so important because we often contribute to the problem in a number of ways including where we place our votes or where we spend our money.

One of the most famous poachers is Jimmy John Liautaud, the owner of Jimmy John’s sandwich shop.

In 2015, Jimmy John himself was photographed with some of his own trophy hunting kills such as elephants, tigers, bears, rhinoceros’, rams, and even more. The images were sickening, and especially sickening knowing that the kill was only for profit or materialistic pleasure.

As someone who tries his best everyday to lend a hand towards the improvement and betterment of nature and our environment, it is particularly frustrating to realize that people who carry out these unethical, irresponsible, and senseless actions are having their pockets filled everyday by the common citizen.

Every time a sub is bought at Jimmy Johns, Jimmy John Liautaud makes a profit and can therefore allow himself to keep living how he’s living with a complete disregard for the well-being of the world around him. It is difficult for me to have a sandwich from Jimmy Johns knowing what the money I pay with will end up representing.

Our systematic neglect of our planet is scary to say the least, and Jimmy Johns is only the beginning of a list of businesses who represent similar ethics.

Chick-Fil-A was met with protests after chief operating officer Dan T. Cathy made public comments opposing same sex marriage. While this is more of a societal issue, it is still eye-opening when we understand exactly who is profiting from our money.

Is a boycott of Jimmy Johns, Chick-Fil-A, and other business who represent similar morals necessary?

Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t. I believe that it is something that we all must individually take into account when we are spending our money.

While our voices often seem muted to the people who are in positions of power, one thing that will always talk is our money. It is important that we consider the power that we have with each dollar we spend or save.  It really could mean the world.