Global Q&A: ‘Is There Anything You Refuse to Buy?’

October 22, 2009 Updated: October 23, 2009

As consumers, we make important choices everyday when we decide what to buy and what not to buy. This week, Epoch Times reporters around the world asked locals, "Is there anything you refuse to buy?" Consumers—from Sofia, Bulgaria to Kirra, Australia—responded that they use their purchasing power for reasons ranging from moral positions, lifestyle choices and personal taste.

Veneta Dimitrova, Sofia, Bulgaria
Veneta Dimitrova, Sofia, Bulgaria
Sofia, Bulgaria
Veneta Dimitrova, 29, PR Specialist

I would not buy flowers via the Internet because I prefer to choose them personally on site, as this present is very personal by itself. When I give away a bunch of flowers or just one flower, I always choose the flowers based on the occasion and the character of the person for whom they are meant. A well-chosen combination of flowers could refresh everyone’s daily life. A broad smile will surely glow on one’s face when one sees beautifully combined flowers, chosen especially for him/her.

 

 

Renata Alves Monteiro, Recife, Brazil
Renata Alves Monteiro, Recife, Brazil
Recife, Brazil
Renata Alves Monteiro, 30, Public Servant

I’d never buy a shoe with very high and very thin heels, because I think it's very uncomfortable. Although that kind of heel seems stylish and makes women good-looking, I would never buy it just for beauty.

 

 

 

 

 

John Crawford, Christchurch, New Zealand
John Crawford, Christchurch, New Zealand
Christchurch, New Zealand
John Crawford, 52, Chemical Technician (on holiday in Australia)

Food and most products made in China due to quality and human rights, global standards and pollution, fake products—that is, medicine. My belief is this is morally corrupt.

 

 

 

 

 

James Pieris, Kirra, Australia
James Pieris, Kirra, Australia
Kirra, Australia
James Pieris, 26, Car Sales

Drugs—it’s killing our society.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trausti Sigurvinsson, Vancouver, Canada
Trausti Sigurvinsson, Vancouver, Canada
Vancouver, Canada
Trausti Sigurvinsson, 42, Computer Programmer

No. I don't think so. I can’t think of anything. I don’t see any reason for that. I mean if something would come up, say, you see on TV or something that some food is not good, then yeah, maybe, but you know, I eat out a lot, so that's maybe one reason.

 

 

 

 

Meshelle Lee,(R) Singapore
Meshelle Lee,(R) Singapore
Singapore
Meshelle Lee, 31, Purchaser

Dogs. There is an alarming number of illegal and cruel dog breeding activities going on, due to the money dog breeders can earn out of it. At first I didn’t know until I visited one of the plant nurseries and saw small wooden cubicles or kennels, the size of my bathroom.

Inside, there are over 20 dogs; they are a mix of female and male dogs. They are being locked up for breeding and the place is very dirty and smelly. As a dog lover, I find it very disturbing. In Singapore, you can still find stray dogs around and the SPCA [Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals] have lots of dogs waiting for adoption. These puppies are cute, but many are abandoned by their owners when they no longer look adorable as full-grown dogs.

Mattia Neri, 29,(L) Siena, Italy
Mattia Neri, 29,(L) Siena, Italy
Siena, Italy
Mattia Neri, 29, Finance Clerk and Musician

Non-alcoholic beer, because it combines the bad sides of mediocre beer with the lack of fun of non-alcoholic beverages in general. We’d rather have a soda.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Petr Verny, Brno, Czech Republic
Petr Verny, Brno, Czech Republic
Brno, Czech Republic
Petr Verny, 29, Masseur

Well, explicitly animal products, because it causes useless suffering to animals.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ivana Kuncova, Bratislava, Slovak Republic
Ivana Kuncova, Bratislava, Slovak Republic
Bratislava, Slovak Republic
Ivana Kuncova, 18, Student (in Brno, Czech Republic)

I’m a little bit against American products, because I don't like the USA too much.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Manfred Schmidt, Kassel, Germany
Manfred Schmidt, Kassel, Germany
Kassel, Germany
Manfred Schmidt, 59, Administration

I would never buy things that are related with nuclear energy. And I would never buy products from the companies Nestle and Muller Milch. I know that Nestle sells expired products from here to Africa to make money there and Muller Milch is acting against the environment and our nature. Further, they transfer their gain from Germany to foreign countries and do not pay taxes here.

 

 

 

Chou Li-chen, Taipei, Taiwan
Chou Li-chen, Taipei, Taiwan
Taipei, Taiwan
Chou Li-chen, 38, Salesperson in the service industry

Plenty of things. It’s a little difficult to say specifically. Just things that don’t fit my requirements or are of a poor quality, or where the production methods aren’t right, are environmentally unsound, or damage the eco-system—all this I don’t buy.

 

 

 

 

Tomasz Rychter, Warsaw, Poland
Tomasz Rychter, Warsaw, Poland
Warsaw, Poland
Tomasz Rychter, 27, Culture Animator

I don’t buy products from big corporations; I prefer buying in small shops. Corporations destroy the soul; they turn people into cogs of a big machine, which have the task not to think. Their goal is to make money, which is collected in the hands of a small group of people. It was similar in the time of crisis, when some corporation departments, in order to save their companies, were sending their money abroad.

 

 

 

Monica van Es, Woerden, Holland
Monica van Es, Woerden, Holland
Woerden, Holland
Monica van Es, 31, Intern at a nursing home

Animal products—like fur or something made from snake leather. I really like animals, so I will not buy that. I cannot imagine people doing that as a profession, or myself being married to someone who does that. I am not a vegetarian, though, so sometimes I think of myself as a bit of a hypocrite. A burger I will eat, but rabbit or horse meat.

I eat a chicken leg, but when it is of a chick, I imagine a sweet chick and don’t like to eat that. Not that I have never eaten that. Sometimes I think it is already dead and if it is thrown away it died for nothing. Also, when I see the big amounts of good food going to waste in the nursing home I feel sad, but nothing I can do.

With makeup, I pay attention if it is not tested on animals. I do think that what you can buy at the drugstore here are responsible products. Same as with wood; if I hear about the huge amounts of illegal forest logging destroying the habitat of animals, I wonder what those people are thinking. I hope I buy furniture with responsible wood, and I assume that IKEA doesn’t use illegal wood.

Hemanth S, Bangalore, India
Hemanth S, Bangalore, India
Bangalore, India
Hemanth S, 32, Businessman

I would refuse to buy anything really luxurious, for example, a luxurious car, because I feel something like a luxurious car only satisfies us a bit more on the comfort front. An expensive luxurious car also would not be a fuel-efficient option in times like these. I believe a man should live in a simple way. If such costs can be avoided, which basically target on making oneself more comfortable, we could use that money to help other people who are less fortunate.

 


Look for the Global Q&A column every week, when Epoch Times correspondents interview people around the world to learn about their lives and perspectives on local and global realities. Next week’s global question: “What’s the worst job you can think of?”