I'm learning to cook and bake, but I've always been terrible at it. That's why when I got into the kitchen for the first time, I decided to make something simple like a batch of cookies. They came out great, except that they weren't very pretty and they were missing their tops. So my mom threw them away while they were still warm! They didn't even have time to cool down before she tossed them in the garbage—and that made me so sad! However, once she was gone and it was safe again, I reached into the trashcan and pulled one out...
You shouldn't have taken a cookie out of the garbage.
There are many reasons for this, but here are a few:
Is it okay to take a cookie out of the garbage?
Well, that depends on how good or bad the cookie is. If it's a good cookie and you want to eat it and no one else does, then yes! You should definitely eat it. But if it's bad and smells gross and looks like something that came out of an animal's butt (gross), then no! You shouldn't take that cookie from the garbage because someone threw it away for a reason--it sucks!
It was there, and it wasn't like anyone was going to eat it.
It was right in front of me, so I couldn't resist.
It was just sitting there, so I ate it.
You know, we've all been there. You're standing in the kitchen, staring at your cookie jar, and you see that one lonely chocolate chip cookie left over from last week. It's still warm from the oven and covered in crumbs from being shoved into the jar with so many other cookies that day. But it looks so good! For a moment, you wonder if someone else took this one out of the garbage.
But then again--who cares? You're hungry...and it's just sitting there waiting to be eaten!
It's not okay to take food out of the garbage. Food should never go to waste, and there are hungry people in the world who could use that food. It's a waste of food and energy to throw it away, and it's disrespectful to the person who left it there if you don't ask them first.
And those lines about how "it won't hurt anyone" or "they'll never know" are just annoying.
Well, maybe it's because you're hungry. Maybe it's because you're bored. Maybe it's because you're a little bit crazy or desperate or lonely and need some comfort food to make yourself feel better. Or maybe all of those things are happening at once and so now that cookie looks like heaven on earth to my poor soul!
It's not theft. It's not stealing. You're not doing anything illegal or immoral, so don't worry about it!
In fact, if you want to feel better about yourself, think of this as an opportunity to help out your fellow human beings: you were willing to rescue a cookie from its fate in the trash and give it another chance at life. That's pretty cool of you! And hey--maybe someone else will come along later who needs help finding their way back home after being lost in the woods for several days (or something). In any case, there are many ways we can use our resources for good deeds without breaking any laws or causing harm to others; this is one of them!
It's unlikely that someone who took a cookie out of the garbage would be prosecuted for theft. Theft is usually defined as taking something from someone else with the intent to deprive them of it--but since you didn't intend to deprive anyone of their cookies, and there were plenty more where yours came from, it seems unlikely that anyone would press charges against you.
Besides: even if they did try to prosecute you, what would happen? You'd have to pay back some amount (probably small) in restitution because you took something without permission; but most people don't consider this kind of thing criminal enough to warrant jail time or fines beyond what restitution demands.
However, it might be considered stealing if you take something while you're on duty at work, or if you're trying to get out of paying for something.
You should also be aware that there are some reasons why taking things from the trash might not be legal in your state, even if it isn't theft. For example, if there's a "no Dumping" sign on the dumpster and you take something out of it without permission, then you may have broken some kind of law like trespassing or vandalism. If you aren't sure whether or not your actions were considered illegal by local authorities, ask them!
If you are in doubt about whether or not something is legal to take from someone's garbage (or any other public place), just don't do it until someone can tell you for sure that it won't get anyone in trouble (like yourself).
In the grand scheme of things, taking a cookie out of the garbage isn't that big of a deal. It's technically stealing but most people won't care about it and only a few would go out of their way to report it.
It's likely that someone who took a cookie out of the garbage would be prosecuted for theft. However, it might be considered stealing if you take something while you're on duty at work or some other kind of job where you have access to things like food--like say, if you were working at Starbucks or something similar where they give away free samples all day long but ask customers not come back every five minutes asking for more (which has happened).
I know that it's not okay to take food out of the garbage, but I also think we need to be more forgiving of ourselves. We're only human and sometimes our brains just don't work the way they should! If you find yourself in this situation again, try not to beat yourself up too much about it; just remember that next time around it'll be easier for everyone involved if you just buy some new cookies from the store instead.