If profits are all that matters, I’m switching my major

Ok. Not literally. Until roughly 3 minutes prior to writing this, I could not come up with an answer to whether corporations should worry about anything other than driving profits. I always felt it was wrong, but never had a concrete set of responses to support that feeling. For whatever reason, I’ve spent a fairly significant amount of time independently researching unethical corporate practices in America. One of my housemates loves to talk about it, and that’s probably what inspired me. We’ve watched Food Inc., Inside Job, and recently began watching The Corporation. The real essence of all of them nicely aligns with some of our readings and discussions in class: corporations are focused on pleasing shareholders and themselves with high revenue figures … and that’s about it.

Eat More (locally grown) Chikin

In case you haven’t seen it, Food Inc. is a documentary that deeply investigates and analyzes our food production and distribution in the USA. For a long time I refused to ever watch it. I was convinced it’d make me hate eating meat, and I simply couldn’t have that. I didn’t want to be one of those vegetarians that shouts about animal rights and not eating things with faces and what have you. Well, having finally exposed my brain to the film, I completely understand where these people are coming from with their beliefs. Essentially, the crux of the movie is that the majority of the meat we eat, be it super market or fast food, is produced by only a handful of companies. What does that mean? It means they essentially control what’s in the food you eat, and how that “food” comes to be at your local store. They show that America’s food industry is obsessed with efficiency. Images of genetically modified chickens bred so large they can’t even walk sufficed to make my stomach hurt. These food companies, namely Tyson and Monsanto, will do anything it takes to literally churn out 1000’s of pounds of meat a day for you to enjoy. Why? Because efficiency means money, and money means profits. It’s so damn wrong that I’m actually growing sad just writing this article. If you’re curious about seeing the film, you can get it on Netflix, or read about it here.

Now to quickly explain the title. As a management major at Bucknell, I feel that we are seldom exposed to the problems associated with corporate America. To be honest, the majority of human/animal rights ideas I have gained have been fostered outside of the classroom. I’m not saying that all managerial positions result in 12 dead babies a year, nor am I saying that you need to become a food activist or you’re part of the problem. All I’m asking is that you expose yourself to different ways of thinking about the things we are taught. When you really think about it, it’s really worth a look.

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One Response to If profits are all that matters, I’m switching my major

  1. meghancrawford says:

    I agree. I as well feel that corporations should worry about many other things other than driving profits and have spent some time struggling to find the answer of exactly why. After reading the book Life Inc. By Douglas Rushkoff, I also recently was able to construct more of an opinion on why it is wrong to just strive for profits. Life Inc. outlines how we’ve become disconnected from our world, disconnected from our values and how profit driving corporations have lead us there. After reading this book I am able to see more directly how decisions of corporations can negatively affect more of our society in some ways than benefit it.

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