One of the things that make us vegan is the fact that we often prefer looking for alternatives that don’t harm people’s lives, such as fair-traded goods that weren’t made by children. Although this is regulated in many countries, the developing world still has a lot of work to do to catch up, and we often do not know how the products we purchase were built, picked and/or manufactured.
It is also quite difficult to completely free ourselves from companies that make these products for several reasons. For starters, it is not publicly known that the beautiful pants we long for may have been sewn by a teenage mother who has no other choice but to work in the horrifying conditions the company puts her through to feed her baby. Had we known, would we buy them? Surely most people would avoid making such purchases, preferring the businesses that follow strict ethical rules. So, I would like to suggest you change your habits for a few products at the very least, if only to start out with, by choosing two very famous grocery items that most North-Americans can’t live without: chocolate and coffee. By taking this first step, it is already a large one, since these products are also very well known to have high levels of unethical practices that continue to go unpunished.
To help you get started, I found these sites to look at for purchasing these items online, or to search through the internet to see if they are available in a store near you. Alternatively, you can also do a search yourself.
This is a company that has been working at being the change they want to see in the world since 1986, first in Nicaragua, then expanding to other countries. They sell fair-trade and organic coffee, tea, chocolate, bananas, olive oil and almonds.
Oxfam is an NGO that has a long history of helping impoverished populations across the world in several different ways; from encouraging equality of the sexes (did you know that populations who value equality between the sexes also know a lower level of crime?) to building fair-trade marketing, they built real solutions that teach the hungry people how to fish. Visit them by clicking here.
Treehugger is a site that generally supports various environmental and fair-trade initiatives in the United-States and around the world. This can go from transport to the sale of products to renewable energy. Visit their shop for organic and fair-trade coffees and chocolates, and an amazing collection of environmental gifts for everyone in the family and all your friends.
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