I am not the only one talking about Chocolate this month. I didn’t just pull this topic out of thin air. Chocolate is big business this month, and there are a lot of wonderful people speaking up about it all over the intranets.
Tsh from Simple Mom just posted this one today:
I couldn’t agree more with both of these ladies. But there is more…
Last year, Kristen Howerton of Rage Against the Minivan wrote some comprehensive posts about this topic. Both are WELL worth the time!
the inconvenient truth about your Halloween chocolate and forced child labor (PS… this one has some great follow-up info on laws and how the big chocolate companies are complying (or not).
from problem to solution (great follow-up to the above post)
Ideas for an Ethical Halloween (ps… this one has lots of links and ideas for WHAT to give out on the 31st if you can’t get your hands on ethical chocolate)
Full disclosure… I hate Halloween. For so many reasons. I get nothing, NOTHING out of looking at all things dark, bloody, gruesome, and death related. And my body is apparently telling me, at mid 30’s, that sugar and candy are not my friend. But my mind is telling me to eat it all. Every.Single.Sugary.One. It is a battle, always, to figure out how to handle the bucket loads of candy this time of year. The irony of posting about this topic for a whole month is not lost on me.
But here is the deal. I can not like Halloween as much as I can not like it. But it’s still happening. And I am still going to buy candy and my kids are still going to dress up. And they are still bringing home the mother load of sweet stuff. So I have to pay attention.
And honestly, so do you.
(photo credit: mindthis.ca)
This is where I give you the bad news.
Chocolate is a dark part of the slave trade that most of us are not privy to. I had no idea about this, really, until about a year ago. As Tsh said in her post, The far majority of chocolate is in our stores because of forced child labor.
Isn’t THAT ironic? The very thing that we run to buy for our kids and to give to other kids is predominately sourced by child laborers and sometimes slaves in dangerous, inhumane conditions on the other side of the planet…
This is bad news.
Oh but there is still some good news… you see, this isn’t one of those big, global, seemingly untouchable, justice issues that seems to have no answer, no hope. This is a justice issue that is really, extremely easy to effect change.
What if, dream with me here… WHAT IF we all said no to child labor chocolate this Halloween and purchased fair trade, ethically sources chocolate (or something other than chocolate all together) to give to the kiddies? WHAT IF those of us who chose to do this one, easy thing ALL sent a digital letter to one of the offending companies telling them what we did and why? WHAT IF thousands of consumer moms did this, hundreds of thousands?
Yeah, ok, I get it. I know it costs more. Its way easier to run to Target to grab a cheap bag of mixed candy (with a few offensive chocolate pieces). I KNOW. But as Kristen says it so well,
Would we pay less for a product if a child was being abused to make it right in front of us? We’ve got to hold to the same standards for the treatment of children, no matter where they live.
THIS MONTH YOUR CALL TO ACTION HAS TWO veryveryveryvery EASY STEPS:
1. Jump online and purchase a Fair Trade Halloween candy kit OR don’t buy chocolate at all this year:
ENDANGERED SPECIES BUG BITES on amazon
YUM EARTH LOLLIPOPS (at Walgreen, whole earth and amazon)
(check out Tsh’s post again for even more ideas for chocolate sources)
2.) Let your voice be heard with the click of your mouse.
It’s a simple step this month. A small tweak in the well-greased Halloween machine. A few extra dollars spent. But more than all of that, we are staying something to our kids. To our neighbors. To the marketplace.
(stay tuned next week… it’s all about the kids getting their do-good on)
So, tell me…. what did you decide? Fair trade chocolate or no chocolate?