About three weeks ago I realize that I had been avoiding awareness on a topic that I know I had seen before: chocolate. Anyone who browses articles and info on fair trade has probably seen both tea and chocolate mentioned along side coffee as it relates to discussion on fair trade.
It’s been easy for me to boycott drinking non-fair trade coffee and tea, because I don’t drink tea and coffee anyways. What I had been avoiding is looking into the chocolate industry. Why? Because I like chocolate. But a brief inquiry, proved that if I was going to live my life in a way that keeps me from being involved directly in the injustice machine of consumerism, then I was going to have to stop eating chocolate.
It’s been harder then I thought. I don’t think about it very much, and in the first week I had mint chocolate chip ice cream, hot chocolate, and a chocolate donut without thinking twice, only to realize later that day. I’m getting better though. I also have a box of fair trade chocolate bars to help me slowly wean myself off and avoid major withdrawal symptoms.
I know Valentine’s day is coming soon, and that’s why I wanted to throw this topic out there before people do any major shopping over the weekend. If your thinking about Valentine’s gifts I would encourage you to think about fair trade as it relates to coffee, and conflict free as it relates to diamonds (that’s a whole different ball game).
If your looking for some more info on the Chocolate issue, I enjoyed this creative kid friendly book called:
Chaga and the Chocolate Factory (PDF)
Here are two other links:
Stop The Traffik