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Shopping local helps the community, businesses

Buy local, they say. But why, you ask.

Local purchasing is a preference to buy locally-produced goods and services over those produced farther away. It is very often abbreviated as a positive goal, “buy local,” that parallels the phrase “think globally, act locally,” common in green politics.

It used to be that buying anything that was produced in a distant place was more affordable, but, now, with the current market conditions, it can be cheaper in spite of packaging, transport, inspection and facilities. This has to do with foreign labor being cheaper and non-compliance with safety and environmental laws.

A local farmers market supports someone in this area. Corn produced in an industrial-sized agriculture uses genetically modified crops, monoculture and intensive chemical fertilization. Typically, local farmers avoid these.

For the community, the benefits of spending locally are tremendous.

More jobs (and wealth) are generated in the local economy compared to absentee-owned businesses or corporate chains. When you buy your pet products at a superstore, you support shareholders and CEOs and management that may never even visit the area.

When you buy something at your local business that is independently owned, you support your community. The local business not only supports the school yearbook, sports, scouts and community activities, but the owner and the employees then buy things in the community also.

And despite what Betty White and others have said, it is not always cheaper online.

We had a call the other day. Actually, we have calls every day, but this one was about how to buy a product online that required a script.

Erika took the call and, after asking a few questions, it became obvious that it was going to be cheaper to buy the product from us than ordering it online. (I believe that is true of many vets now, by the way.)

But even if it was a little more, I doubt PetsOnlineRus.com actually cares about your pet. If it gets the wrong dose, too bad. Put dog stuff on a cat, cat dies, you should have read the fine print better.

If there is a newer, cheaper, better product, don’t expect online company to tell you. The ability to look to a professional who has gone to college for many years in the eyes and know that they will be there for you should account for something.

That peace of mind is everything.

There are some who argue for the welfare of people in other countries. I think this is a valid point. Caring for poverty everywhere helps people, helps the wildlife and helps the earth. But many of the foreign producers don’t provide a fair wage to these people. Our way to help is to have a fair-trade area with several fair-trade items for sale.

Of course, we have reached a level of globalization that is so deeply embedded that it is impossible (and, in my not-so-humble opinion, not beneficial) to turn back to the “old days.”

Food out of season is a benefit of the modern economy.

And buy local is not an excuse to make an extreme profit, but look at where your money is going and what it is supporting.

At Guardian Animal Medical Center, it is supporting wildlife rehabilitation, kitten and puppy spaying/neutering adoptions, quality veterinary medicine and surgery, ultrasounds, in house lab equipment, physical therapy, drug-free staff, hiring veterans and more.

Buying local means your pet benefits and you have peace of mind.

MJ Wixsom, DVM MS is a best-selling Amazon author who practices at Guardian Animal Medical Center in Flatwoods, Ky. GuardianAnimal.com 606-928-6566