There is much to like about this new generation – their concern for the earth, their desire for world peace, their continuation of the legacy of horrible teen musical tastes. These Millenials, also known as Gen Y or the iGen, are beginning to enter the workforce and public life, and are bringing with them a demand for meaningful careers, work/life balance, world betterment, and the guts to stand by their principals, even at the expense of risking their socioeconomic status. I find that refreshing and much more admirable than the conspicuous consumption of the 80's and 90's.
I don't agree with everything they do, however. The proclivity for tattoos, piercings, and other body modifications confounds me. Part of it is a matter of taste, and there's no accounting for taste. Also, preferences are not absolutes, and although I unequivocally dislike their self-mutilation (my interpretation), I also realize that it is, for the most part, harmless in the larger scheme of things. Will most of them end up regretting their youthful indiscretions? Undoubtedly. But the long-term consequences aren't dire, particularly since it will be an entire generation.
I also lament, as all older folks do, their tastes in music, books (if they even read them), film, art, and culture. But that's the same song our parents sang, and their parents before them, ad infinitum. Again, no dire long-term consequences. Same with drug use (who am I to talk, I grew up in the 70's, man!) and casual sex (who am I to talk, I grew up in the 70's, man – er, but without rampant AIDS/HIV/Hepatitis/etc).
In short, the older I get the truer the statement "youth is wasted on the young" becomes. They waste their time on things that are of no import, and ignore the real stuff of life. Just like I did. Just like all young people do. That's part of life.
But there is one area with which I take an absolute exception, and that is that they are continuing the horrible legacy of smoking. What in the name of all that is true and good are these kids doing perpetuating such an absolute evil in the world? They want to halt global climate change, save the environment, move to cruelty-free foods and products, feed the hungry, and do all sorts of absolute good things.
But they support tobacco companies.
They either refuse to accept or don't care that tobacco companies are merchants of death.
They either refuse to accept or don't care that even the United Nations sees tobacco use as a human catastrophe as big as, or even bigger than, global warming.
They either refuse to accept or don't care that while they support a better environment and less cruelty to animals, they blithely fund tobacco companies, whose executives and scientists routinely test their products like this:
Poor smoking beagles.
A short non-smoke break for one…
A monkey and a rabbit take a smoke break (and break your heart)…
Sad little puppies…
Stop for a moment and put yourself in the place of one of these animals. A little beagle puppy, bred to trust and love humans unconditionally. Ripped away from your mother by callous scientists (doing the bidding of their tobacco executive masters) who immobilize you in little holding pens, ignore your wagging tails and imploring eyes, day after day, week after week, year after year, and strap devices to your head, forcing you to breath tobacco smoke day after day, week after week, year after year, until you either die or get sick enough that the experiment ends, then callously toss you aside for a fresh batch.
You know they aren't testing the flavor, because why would a Beagle being forced to smoke care how it tasted? What they're doing is testing to determine just how dangerous their products are to health. And so they force these poor animals to smoke, sometimes until death, so they can learn from the autopsies of their poor, imprisoned bodies exactly how many toxic chemicals they can put into their products while still allowing their human customers to live long enough to provide the maximum profit.
Okay, I get it. You don't care about the harm you're doing to yourself. You don't care about how nasty and offensive smoking is to those around you and the world in general. You don't care that tobacco companies are evil and make their profits by hooking the young all around the world, while killing off their parents. It's all about choice, right?
In the above pictures I see tobacco companies choosing to torture and kill innocent souls, and I see poor, scared animals who have no choice.
Enjoy your cigarettes, you rebels.