‘The one man ban’

Jake Keeley

It is important to stick to your convictions. The personal protest, or “one man ban,” as I like to call it, is a very noble, and under-appreciated approach to protesting. 

If you don’t like something, don’t support it. 

I’ve been protesting establishments, products, and even people for as long as I can remember with my most fervent protest being zoos. I do not support zoos. The king of the jungle should not be wandering back and forth in an area as big as my backyard. These animals have instincts and inclinations that do not translate to an enclosed, fake environment.

When I was a kid, I used to wonder why the animals always seemed so bored, and now when I think of it, it’s because there is literally nothing for them to do. They set out a couple big rocks for the rhino’s to push around. I’m sure they absolutely love that. They have a swimming area as big as my friend’s pool for the penguins to swim in. My grandmother asked me to go to the zoo the other day, and I told her I couldn’t go because I’m protesting and I love hanging out with my grandma.

If you haven’t realized, I think zoos suck, and they won’t be getting any of my money anytime soon. But that’s far from all. Buying gasoline has become somewhat difficult for me. Around the time I was getting my driver’s license, BP spilled a bunch of oil into the ocean. Then I became aware that Exxon did something similar years ago. I can’t support that, so shoutout to West Michigan for having so many Speedways.

I boycott Georgio’s pizza just because I like Vito’s so much and need them to succeed for dietary purposes. I avoided Stella’s for nearly three years after they told me I needed my parents with me at high noon on a Sunday to get a burger there when I was 19. Turns out that Stella’s is now my favorite establishment right now, so make sure your intentions are pure before you embark on a boycott. For the record though, I still don’t regret it.

These are just a few of the more notable protests that stick out in my mind. Some protests end with me re-evaluating my original decision, others end with persuasion from my friends, but most end with me forgetting why I was even boycotting in the first place.

I am proud of the personal protests. If it takes a little longer for me to get gas, that’s fine, because as the saying goes “fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.” My conscience will be clear if BP ever spills oil again. If Marathon Petroleum finds itself in the news, you can all point your finger at me.