May 7, 2008

After This, I Will Step Away From the Soapbox.

I have spent the last week writing about a girl’s best friend – diamonds. You can find the posts here:Preview, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4 and Part 5.

Maybe I just don’t read the right things or watch the right news shows. It just doesn’t seem that this issue is really discussed in mainstream news. It seems to me that mass genocide to provide a market for sparkly finger decorations might be a bit larger on people’s minds. But perhaps not. I do what I can to be a responsible Earth dweller. I recycle, I conserve, I turn off my lights when I leave a room, turn off the water when I brush my teeth. Is this not another responsible Earth dweller concept?

My poor man. One weekend morning, I was up, ready to leave the house and run some errands. He was sleeping in. I mentioned that I was reading this book. He asked how it was going. I went on a diatribe. I don’t want diamonds, but what other stones are acceptable for an engagement ring. And why do I have to have an engagement ring anyway, although I would like one. Sapphire? Ruby? Onyx? Or if instead, a cubic zirconium, isn’t that just further perpetuating the view that women need diamonds. I wear cubic zirconium in my ears and they are pretty. I want them. But that isn’t good. How do I find the proper balance? How do I find an acceptable alternative? What is an acceptable alternative? What stone is completely conflict free? Why do I need a stone? Could I have just a silver band? Where does silver come from? Is silver ok?

Whew…poor man… point is…where does it stop? What becomes acceptable? When do you just give up being absolutely positively correct, and just live in your not so perfect world. I wear clothing made in Bangladesh, Tibet, and Mexico. These can’t be constructed in positive working environments. But I can’t go naked. Cows, pigs and chickens are on my dinner table at night. If I go vegetarian, I am killing plants. Where do you stop worrying about the negative impact you are having on the world and just do your best day to day.

For me, I will do what I feel is right. I may kill animals, force Bolivian children to make my t-shirts and exploit grape vines for my nightly glass of wine, but I will not buy a diamond, or have one bought for me, or otherwise encourage the furtherance of a horrific legacy created by our (Americans) lust for shiny accoutrements. It is a start. Maybe tomorrow, I will compost. Or get my t-shirts strictly from China.

Finally, in a time where the economy is falling down around us, a particular quote on p. 247 of this awesome book struck me. Financial analysts believe a certain internet based diamond store will enjoy strong growth for at least the next 5 years despite how the economy may proceed as a whole. The spokesman for the internet based diamond store explained the reason, “If you think about it, it’s the only luxury product that everybody has to buy.”

If I thought about it, which I did, at length, and wrote a bazillion words about it, it is the one luxury product that I never want. And I hope someone out there who reads this agrees. If I haven’t changed your mind yet, try reading this. And this. And this. And this.

Or watching this:


sophie said...

I think ther are so many things to feel so strongly about (or against). I guess I will enjoy the four small diamonds I have--pair of earrings, engagement ring, and solitaire pendant that my dad gave my stepmom as a wedding gift. I don't really see myself ever purchasing any more.

I have other things that move me enough to boycott, but I also know I am not able to manage a totally green, vegan lifestyle. I doubt there will be a compost in my near future. I don't anticipate researching every company that I buy clothes from to be certain they have reasonable labor practices.

I will continue to be more diligent about my recycling. I will be deligent about reducing the amout of trash I send to landfils. I will be diligent in helping raise twin teens in this society that is so incredibly screwed up about beauty. I will never buy them a silky nightshirt or sweatpants that say "Juicy" on the ass...even if most people think that it wouldn't really matter.

I won't buy Snapple because they advertise on Rush Limbaugh. I won't give Tom Cruise any more money because I feel he put women and childrenin danger with his diatribe on depression.

I can't do everything. But I will indeed do what I am able.

(On a very lighter note--I will also never eat at quizno's because of their hamster commercial--but I don't think making a choice because the commercial wigged me out counts for very much.)

Thanks for the thoughtful posts. It is good to stop an reconsider which things of "the norm" shouldn't really be any more.

Kaytabug said...

How strong was the image of the lil girl with no hand with the sign "Is YOUR Diamond worth this?" More people need to see that.

I have never been a lover of diamonds. I take offense at those ads. So what you are saying is that my hubby doesn't love me enough if he doesn't get me one of your overpriced rings?

I wonder if you could get that image on a t-shirt? I'd wear it!

Heidi said...

Good post, after I watched Blood Diamond it changed my mind.

There's a State Park in Arkansas that has diamonds to find for a small state park enterance fee.

Which is really cool if you think about it. No person died in conflict while finding this diamond!

Every little bit of Green ideals help our environment. Even though it might be difficult to obtain every ideal, the efforts add up!

Jagular said...

I had a rough night at work and I came over to your blog looking for some light reading. Something humorous. Something with your keen sense of wit and mastery of the English language.
But instead i read your bazillion words (the word is treatise) on the diamond industry.

Maybe I didn't have such a rough night at work after all. Maybe my work is pretty decent after all.

But I've known about the evils in the diamond industry for quite a while.

Even so, I have to admire you for your not wanting a diamond for your engagement ring. That's quite a bold way to stand up for what you believe, seeing as you only get married once.

I would encourage you to take the solution that the ivory trade has given. Only get the antique diamond. Go ahead and get a diamond for your engagement ring, but only one who's pedigree pre-dates all of the blood. (sorry, not-craig)

blog template by : header image by Vlad Studio