I like to think that I am fairly knowledgeable and take action about a few subjects. One of the issues that is near and dear to my heart and belief system is Fair Trade. I strongly support Fair Trade because it recognizes and offers respect to the people that grow many foods but another aspect of it is that it has a very strong anti-slavery bias. I can support that since it aligns with my values.
Some of us have very old world images of slavery – like in 12 Years a Slave, but a lot of modern-day slavery is indentured, sex, child soldiers, rug workers, domestic workers, etc. One is not better than another. Both are brutal and disrespectful.
There are many industries that use slavery to produce a profit. One of the major industries that use slaves to produce their product is in chocolate farming.
Though I commend Cadbury’s for their move to have at least one of their bars Fair Trade Certified I still can not bring myself to eat their products because they knowingly made their fortune on slavery.
If you have seen the latest documentary series from Netflix, Rotten, address garlic in episode 3. This is where one of the people interviewed claims that peeled Chinese garlic is produced by prisoners under slave conditions. Check out Fast Fashion documentary The True Cost (also available on Netflix) or Denim Blues for other industries that use very disrespected labour to produce ‘cheap’ clothes for us.
Why do I sport a red X on my hands?
Because I am anti-slavery. I am pro-justice, pro-peace, pro-respect, pro-equality, and pro-freedom. ‘Slavery’ represents the antithesis of my core beliefs and values.
So on February 22nd I will have a Red X on my hand (I will be in Vancouver that day for a trade show but I will be proudly displaying my Red X).
Yes, we can all wear a RED X on our hands on February 22nd but we need to stop supporting those companies and institutions that support slavery and poor working conditions.
Do it at home, your work, or in the streets! Do it for justice, for solidarity, for love!
We will have large red markers at the store for anyone that wishes to show their support for this call to action.