«Consumir perjudica gravemente su salud… y la del planeta», Esther Vivas

“La mujer, desesperada por obtener las mejores ofertas en la tienda de descuento Wal-Mart, regó con un spray de pimienta a las personas que esperaban con la intención de alejarlas de la mercancía que ella quería”. Ésta podría ser la escena de una película de Pedro Almodóvar si no fuese porque la imagen pertenece a la realidad y tal relato fue publicado, el 25/11/2011, en el periódico Los Angeles Times.

Visto lo visto podríamos sugerir que frente a los grandes centros comerciales, y aún más en época de rebajas, se colocaran grandes carteles advirtiendo que “consumir perjudica gravemente su salud”, al más puro estilo de las Autoridades Sanitarias. Y es que el consumismo irracional, superfluo y no necesario, que promueve el sistema capitalista, no sólo puede afectar de manera inesperada y contundente nuestra salud vía “ataque de spray pimienta”  sino que sobre todo afecta la “salud” del planeta.

Sólo por poner un ejemplo, si todo el mundo consumiera como un estadounidense medio harían falta cinco planetas tierra para colmar nuestra voracidad, pero de planeta tierra sólo tenemos uno aunque se nos quede pequeño. Nos hemos acostumbrado a vivir sin tener en cuenta que habitamos en un mundo finito y el capitalismo se ha encargado muy bien de ello. Se asocia progreso a sociedad de consumo, pero tendríamos que preguntarnos progreso para qué y para quiénes y a costa de qué y de quiénes.

Los cantos de sirena de la modernidad nos dicen que consumir nos va a hacer más felices, pero tal felicidad nunca llega por más que compremos. “Ahoga tus penas con una buena compra” parece el slogan del capitalismo de hoy, pero nuestra insatisfacción nunca queda satisfecha. La felicidad no llega golpe a de talonario.

Nos dicen que compremos unas gafas Chanel, un osito Tous o unos pantalones Mango para sentirnos Claudia Schiffer, Jennifer López o Gerard Piqué. La época de vender un producto ha pasado a la historia. Ahora, como enseñan las buenas escuelas de marketing, nos venden al famoso de turno junto a la promesa de “salud, dinero y amor”. Y nosotros pagamos encantados el precio de nuestros sueños.

Nos venden lo anecdótico como imprescindible y lo banal como necesario y nos crean una serie de necesidades artificiales. Cambiar de ropa cada temporada, un móvil de última generación, una televisión de plasma, etc., etc., etc. Con el consiguiente monto de residuos tecnológicos, de vestir, electrónicos… que desaparecen tras nuestra puerta y que pasan a engrosar las pilas de deshechos en los países del Sur, contaminando aguas, tierra y amenazando la salud de sus comunidades.

O bien el sistema contra-ataca con su obsolescencia programada… planificando la fecha de caducidad de todo aquello que compramos para que al cabo de X tiempo se estropee y tengas que adquirir otro nuevo. ¿Para qué una bombilla que nunca se apaga, unas medias sin carreras o un ordenador que no funciona? Mal negocio. Aquí sólo gana quien vende.

A lo mejor ya va siendo hora de plantearnos que podemos “vivir mejor con menos”. Y ser conscientes de cómo nos quieren hacer cómplices de un sistema que nos han impuesto y que sólo beneficia a los mismos de siempre. Nos dicen que hay sociedad de consumo porque queremos consumir, pero -más allá de nuestra responsabilidad individual- nadie, que yo sepa, ha escogido esta sociedad donde nos ha tocado vivir, o al menos a mí no me han preguntado. Y es que desde que llevamos pañales hasta que se nos caen los dientes nos bombardean con el “comprar comprar comprar”. Ahora nos dicen que saldremos de esta crisis “consumiendo”. Yo me pregunto si “consumiendo” o “consumiéndonos”.

*Esther Vivas es autora “Del campo al plato” (Icaria ed., 2009) y “Supermercados, no gracias, Icaria ed., 2007).

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