Ethical consumption?

In an unjust and fragile world, those creatures with the the big brains and opposable thumbs might –after a few centuries of feast and famine, choose care. Or they might choose new Audis. Electric is fine, so long as it’s shiny.

Save for a few insufferably righteous eco-minimalists willing to take the long route, and vegans willing to sacrifice pleasure for righteousness, most folks say something helpless and go to Ikea anyway.

Ethics, like respect, only matters when you don’t want to –and are unlikely to– do it.

What people are likely to do is what their friends are doing, and this is how the hipster movement has helped countless artisan roasters, brewers, bakers and bicycle-builders to build viable businesses.

Hipsters are subject to vitriol because they are seen not to be serious about their ethics. But we might consider that once you start drinking good coffee and eating good bread, it’s hard to go back. So there is a durability to good taste as a social reform, whereas ethics are always subject to excuses.