Over the last few weeks a related issue has been brought to my attention that I wanted to share.
I'm very surprised that I've not heard more about this before as we try to stay pretty current on this kind of stuff, but I've heard it now so the responsibility is mine.
If you've not already bought your candy to hand out this year for Halloween, you may want to think before you buy.
Child slave labor makes up a huge part of the cocoa industry. The sweat and the blood of 8 and 10 year olds are spilled everyday, often kidnapped from their homes and families and smuggled across borders, working in non-paying deplorable conditions in the African bush, while I sit on my couch mindlessly nibbling sweet treats with only a thought of my waistline.
If you would like to join the forces against child labor by educating yourself and then going out and making a difference, here are a few places to start. (I am still doing some reading myself, and know there are many more resources out there):
The Bitter Truth About Chocolate at Mama Manifesto (an easy-to-comprehend description of the issue)
Watch this BBC Series:
Again, I am by no means an expert.
And the brutal work of slaves and children provides us with many of our luxuries. Chocolate is obviously just one of those products.
I also know that issues such as this, and others involving human trafficking, are incredibly complex and not always easily remedied. So I'm not pretending to have one.
But if we increase the demand for fair-trade chocolate, the manufacturers have to respond.
The point is this:
Child slave labor is a hideous injustice.
Jesus lived a life displaying compassion and mercy, especially on the most down-trodden and unloved.
I desire for my life to reflect the same.
I hope you will consider joining us as we do the best we can to steer clear of non-fair-trade products.