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,” which 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, 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 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, CEO, 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 the Betty White commercials 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. Kayla 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 to order 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. Suppose it gets the wrong dose—too bad. Put dog stuff on a cat; the cat dies; you should have read the fine print better. There is a newer, cheaper, better product, don’t expect an online company to tell you. The ability to look 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.

Some of these online companies will call vets multiple (10-12) times a day to get approvals. With a busy staff, it is impossible to keep track of calls that are filled vs. waiting or not to be approved. The company can then use multiple approvals to approve many different scripts. Many other vets and we have stopped approving scripts verbally because of this, and the instructions often don’t get transcribed correctly. Medicine that is not given correctly can be dangerous. I care about my patients, and I also don’t like to be blamed for something I didn’t do it.

We write scripts at no cost anytime a patient is in for an exam or recheck. If the patient is not in, we do charge a nominal fee to pull the record and check the history. A good friend of mine, Andy from Alabama, advises them that they have terminated the veterinary client-patient relationship and they need to go elsewhere for care. I will say it is much harder to keep track of what drugs the animal is on, refills, and instructions without direct oversight.

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 produce 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 IMNSHO not beneficial) to turn back to the ‘old days. Food out of season is a benefit of the modern economy.

And buying local is not an excuse to make an extreme profit, but look at where your money is going and what it is supporting. 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, veterans, and more. Buy local means your pet benefits, and you have peace of mind.