You adopt a cat. You spend fabulous years with that fluffy ball of fur, but after some time “Simba” is not as active or young as he used to be. Because of this, you are obligated to take special care of him and buy him medicines and other things to make your pet feel better.
“Simba” is old. He no longer jumps as high as he did. He’s also fat and suffers from kidney disease. So one day, you take him back to the shelter and get a new cat.
Does this sound awful? It’s what some people do, according to the staff of a shelter I went to with one of my friends.
From my point of view, even when this practice might seem “wrong” before our eyes, it’s part of our “throwaway culture.”
You might think that returning the cat is the best option, or that you’ve done enough by taking care of the animal while it was young, but, actually, I don’t think it’s fair just to put aside what isn’t that cool or useful anymore, not without finding a solution or another use for it.
In today’s world, there’s a non-explicit rule that tells people to get rid of everything, and this doesn’t only include pets in shelters. From grandparents that die alone in nursing homes, with no one bothering to make them a visit; old clothes that we just put in the garbage; a relatively old iPhone; or a relationship that is not the same anymore.
We forget about it; we just throw it away without even trying to fix it, without looking for ways to do things better. Everything becomes part of what we don’t want anymore.
That’s why I’ve been reflecting about how much we can become part of a group of people that contribute to waste in society. It also surprises me the fact that the richer a society, the bigger their throwaway culture.
Coming from a developing country (the Dominican Republic), I’m used to making the most of what I have, and I try to reuse as much as possible.
When I arrived in the United States, one of the aspects that immediately caught my attention was how many articles and products I could find in stores and supermarkets and how much people tend to throw aside things. That’s why I’m constantly thinking how to reuse the objects that I have or how I can take advantage of it.
Going back to the cat, the grandfather and the relationship examples, I think that it’s all due to the chronic lack of patience that affects most of us. We don’t want to make an effort to make things better. We lose interest easy because everything comes easy. We are accustomed to wealth, and everything is done fast and in the way we want.
Apparently, we don’t have “a lot of time to waste,” even when our lives are made of waste.
Photo By Indhira Suero Acosta | TCN