Tag Archive: slavery



“The difference between a liberal and a progressive is that a liberal is open to everyone’s views; a progressive is as narrow-minded and judgmental (more?) than any conservative.” — Doug Reitsch, Pharmacist at Kamilche Pharmacy in Shelton, WA

According to this myopic internet definition, being “open to everyone’s views” is good and something people should strive for. That is easy, of course, if “everyone’s views” are benign. And if they are not, you can still be “open to everyone’s views” if you are secure in your comforts, privileges, and power, and “everyone’s views” do not perpetuate your oppression. Continue reading

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Eating animals is wrong, vegans say. But so is eating slave-made chocolate, or wearing sweatshop clothing. Guess which one vegans of the Global North care about?

Not that one issue is more important than another, but it is more than frustrating when I see vegans (mostly vegans of the global north) say “this is cruelty-free” about products made from human suffering. Vegan chocolate cake made with trafficked child labor? Mmm, delicious

I wish vegans would demand fair trade/ethical goods, protest the prison-industrial-complex, or fight against food deserts as much as they put effort into getting vegan Ben & Jerry’s ice cream.

What prompted me to write this was a series of exchanges I saw on Twitter, where white vegans from western nations were admonishing people of color for eating animals as part of their cultural identity. Continue reading


Green America: Guide to Ending SweatshopsToday’s post comes from Green America, a U.S.-based non-profit dedicated to creating a socially just and environmentally sustainable society. I wanted to highlight the list they’ve compiled on the sweatshop labor that makes the shoes you most likely wear:

Footwear can be one of the trickiest parts of building a
sweatshop-free wardrobe. Hundreds of shoe companies have shifted their operations overseas in recent years, and many have little or no oversight for their supply chains.

We used two of Green America’s online tools (ResponsibleShopper.org and GreenPages.org)
to build this list of “leaders and laggards” in the athletic-shoe industry. Click the links on the company names [t]o learn more about the conventional companies at Responsible Shopper, or to find the green
businesses’ listings in the Green Pages.

See the list at Green America: Sweatshops: Sneakers, Leaders and Laggards (Summer 2008).


Felled trees evoking the fate of the earth's rainforests as they are cut to make room for palm plantations

Palm oil tends to be in everything these days. Back before exploiting it was this profitable, palm oil used to be demonized as being unhealthy, filled with the “bad fats” people should avoid. Times have changed now that palm oil can be produced cheaply through bulldozing Indonesian and Malaysian rainforests.

Read more on why you should avoid palm oil: Say No To Palm Oil | Whats The Issue.


Source: Sweet Earth Chocolates

Source: Sweet Earth Chocolates

The issue of slavery in cocoa production has gained lots of awareness in recent years, but some people are still are not aware (or don’t care) that children and slaves in West Africa are forced to harvest and process cocoa. You just might be giving your loved one a gift of slavery.

Below are a bunch of old posts of mine on chocolate and slavery—perfect for one of the biggest chocolate holidays. Check out the gift-giving guide for some last-minute Valentine’s Day gifts that doesn’t support slavery.


posh chocolat

This barrage of chocolate-related posts is me capitalizing on the increased traffic I’m getting because of Valentine’s Day searches. By Tuesday of next week, Crunchy & Chic will go back to it’s regularly scheduled programming. In the meantime, enjoy this post from the San Antonio Current:

Valentine’s Day is the chocolate industry’s holiday season. With an eye toward this February’s annual love-fest, the International Labor Rights Forum purchased an advertising slot on a jumbotron outside the Super Bowl’s Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis on which to broadcast a video called Hershey’s Chocolate, Kissed by Child Labor.

Africa produces 70 percent of the world’s cocoa — much of it with the region’s infamously cheap labor. “In West Africa, where Hershey’s sources much of its cocoa, over 200,000 children are forced to harvest cocoa beans every year,” said Judy Gearhart, executive director of the International Labor Rights Forum, via a press release.

On the day the Super Bowl ad was announced, Hershey’s released a statement detailing steps it would take toward improving labor and sustainability practices, including a $10 million investment in its West African suppliers. That was enough to buy the company a temporary reprieve from the ILRF.

“Hershey’s pledged to take the first step to address rampant forced and child labor in its supply chain,” said Sean Rudolph, ILRF’s campaigns director, “so we decided to pull the ad as a gesture of good faith.”

The scuffle highlights the dark side of a food that, like love, can be bitter or sweet. In addition to labor issues, chocolate plantations can be responsible for deforestation, when growers raze rainforest to plant more cocoa trees.

But chocolate production can also be empowering to farmers and relatively healthy for the environment.

Read more at Hershey’s, West African child labor, and the promise of Brazil’s ‘cabruca’ system – Food – San Antonio Current.

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