Why aren’t ethics more important?

I was watching a typical animated family movie with my kids this weekend. It was called Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron. It had the typical evil humans, in this case the American revolutionists around the time where the railway was being built. And it had the innocent animals. 

The movie got you feeling that the humans had no right taming this wild horse. How could they claim ownership over such a beast? You catch a wild horse and then it’s yours? 

The people behind these movies really know how to play on emotions. They use ethics as main content for such a movie. Now most people in business have been subjected to movies such as these. Most people in business have to deal with ethical decisions all the time. My question is why aren’t ethics more important in business decisions? From childhood to adulthood, where does money become more important than what is right?

If you look at big oil companies, everything that they stand for is wrong. What gives us the right to take ALL of the oil from the earth? What gives us the right to pollute the earth to where we kill off species on a daily basis?

Look at consumerism. Why do we deserve a new __________ every month, year, 5 years? Only to ship off our waste to either our local dump or landfills overseas.

Cigarette manufacturers. How can people work for companies when they know they are killing people?

Cosmetic manufacturers. How can you still put ingredients like Lead into a product and sell to the world?

CD manufacturers. How can you still put out physical copies of CD when you know in 5-10 years that plastic is going to a landfill?

Computer recyclers. How can you feel good about shipping our old crap over to China, Mexico or Africa to allow them to dismantle and poison their rivers, people, society?

The list goes on.

Why does money play a bigger role in business than just doing what’s right? Wouldn’t it be great if a company like Shell Oil to just shut down their Oil Sands projects stating that there is too much of an environmental impact for them to keep working there. Wouldn’t it be great if Philip Morris stated that they are going to take all addictive additives out of cigarettes to make it easier for people to quit if they wanted? Or if Johnson & Johnson said that moving forward there will be no Sodium Lauryl (Laureth) Sulphates in ANY of their products because of the health impacts? Why do we need to wait until government regulations tell us that something is bad for us? The evidence is there already. Teflon is bad for you. Packaged foods are bad for you. 

We live in a messed up world. Humans need to act from their heart, not their wallet. Money isn’t going to save us, but our hearts just might.