After bringing Fluffy the golden hamster home from the pet store, I was shocked to discover six babies in the cage shortly thereafter. Suddenly, I had SEVEN hamsters instead of the one I intended to care for.
I knew I couldn’t keep all seven hamsters, but I had plenty of friends who would be more than happy to take hamster babies when the time was appropriate.
But they never grew up. I never had the opportunity to see my hamster babies all grown up because they disappeared.
I looked high and low, thinking that maybe six baby hamsters somehow escaped.
What really happened was that Fluffy ATE her babies. Apparently, hamsters turn into cannibals on occasion because of stress. Gross.
Fluffy isn’t the only cannibal I know.
Sometimes, I’m a cannibal, too.
Billions of people display cannibal-like behavior. I see people consuming other people every single day that I turn on the TV or scroll through a social media feed.
This never-ending cycle of “earn-spend-buy crap” is consuming us. People are literally working to death because of status symbols. Why are we working to death?
Where did this cycle come from?!
I’ve been trying to figure it out since I started examining my own cannibalistic ways. Here’s the little that I’ve found so far…
I read somewhere that the 40-hour week was created by Henry Ford to give employees time off to buy crap. I can’t verify that, despite my best Googling skills, but I did see in a Business Insider article that there was a time when manufacturing employees worked 100+ hours.
So we should be so grateful, right?
Companies produced MORE stuff because it became easier and cheaper than ever before. Advertising and marketing agencies popped up to sell consumer goods. People see ads, buy more stuff than they need, and end up working a bunch more hours to pay for it all (sometimes for the very companies that produce the stuff). Fordism at its finest.
Then, people see their neighbors and relatives buying stuff. Bigger stuff. Better stuff. So what do they do? Sign up for debt to have the stuff because it’s the AMERICAN DREAM.
Stuff is just crap that’s some number of steps away from the trash (credit to Seinfeld for that sentiment).
Debt is a mortgage on the future. Avoid going into debt for stuff that you’re going to end up tossing anyway. Love your babies and save them from a future of hamster cannibalism.