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Opinion Writer Eliza

More stories from Eliza Dames

February 14 should be just another day

Roses are red, violets are blue. Valentine’s Day is dumb.

Every year millions of people participate in what they believe is the most romantic day of the year by buying cards, chocolates, flowers, etc. In all, people spend hundreds of dollars on superficial items to prove their feelings and intimate relationships to the world. Valentine’s Day is the most superficial and pointless holiday.

Why dedicate a whole day to show the ones you love that you love them? Aren’t you supposed to do that every day? It is no fun when you are obligated to do something romantic and buy overpriced gifts for someone. It is estimated that jewelry companies make 4.3 billion dollars every year on Valentine’s Day gifts. 2 billion dollars on flowers. 1.7 million on candy, and 1 billion on cards. In all, consumers typically spend 18.2 billion dollars on Valentines Day every year. All that money spent on sappy materialistic items that don’t mean anything on the other 364 days of the year.

Valentine’s Day also hurts the environment. The weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day, 34 million tons of mine waste are accumulated from gold jewelry sales. And those cliche red roses you buy? Yeah, they emit 9,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide into the air. These red roses are also shipped from South Africa, which burns up a mass quantity of our fossil fuels to ship them to the U.S. Reminder: fossil fuels are non renewable! So if we are wasting the things that keep our world running on buying flowers that will die within a week anyway, then we won’t have anymore Valentine’s Days in our future!

Valentines Day has also become a nationwide metal health hazard as people who are single notice just how lonely they really are. Diane Brice, the director of Suicide Prevention of the Central Coast, says “the expectation to be in love or feel better, often intensifies depressive thoughts,”. These studies have suggested that Valentine’s Day is nationally the time with the highest rates of suicide.

Have I still not persuaded you? Well how about the fact that the creation of Valentine’s Day is related historically to prostitution. The origin of the holiday comes from the ancient Roman festival, “Lupercalia,” which celebrated the start of spring by selling off women to men in a form a lottery. Tradition then called for men to sacrifice a goat and a dog, then beat their women with the animal remains.

So if after hearing how consumer-based, environmentally damaging, and the effects on mental health from Valentine’s Day and your sappy heart is still looking forward to buying a overemotional card, bouquet of flowers, and a overpriced box of chocolates, then I hope you are looking forward to the other 364 days of our world recovering from a day that causes more destruction than we can see.  

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