Why I am Boycotting Kellogg’s
By Rabbi Daniel S. Brenner
I love Special K cereal – it was my mom’s preferred brand when I was growing up (dad likes Shredded Wheat) and I continue to eat it and buy it for my kids. Two of them love it. But daddy isn’t buying it anymore.
When I heard this morning that Kellogg’s was pulling their endorsement relationship with swimmer Michael Phelps because of a photograph of him smoking marijuana I knew that it was time to find a new favorite cereal.
I have strong feelings on this issue for a personal reason. One of my close friends from childhood wrestled with a drug addiction and because he purchased drugs, he ended up in Federal prison. Hundreds of thousands of our tax dollars went to imprisoning him - a non-violent and generally productive member of society – not to mention the devoted father to his young son. What he needed, desperately, was treatment. Instead, our society continues to send the message that if you try drugs, even relatively mild drugs, you should be barred from employment and treated as a pariah. This is the very message that Kellog’s is sending today.
But my real anger on this issue comes from another direction.
Thirteen years ago one of my friends was killed by a drunk driver. She was visiting her mom and went out with a group of her friends from high school. She was in the back seat of a small car when a drunk driver rear ended them. She was in a coma for two days before she died.
When Phelps was arrested for DUI, Kellogg’s did not think that this was reason to not have him as a spokesman?
Kellogg’s should immediately release a statement explaining why drunk driving was acceptable in their eyes and smoking marijuana is a reason for someone to lose their job. Until they explain their position, I encourage everyone to buy other cereals and to let the Kellog’s corporation know that their public message is rotting our sense of responsibility and morality the way that Frosted Flakes is rotting the teeth of our children.