Ethics vs Economics: Choosing free-range.

For us, it’s not just free-range, ethically-reared meat. I have learned over the years that there are other ethical choices that I can make. I’m not saying I always make the best choices, but I do try.

 

The thing that always bothered me, even when I was on a very tight budget, is fair trade. The conditions for workers when things aren’t fair trade are akin to slavery. I watched a documentary about a 10-year-old boy who was going blind through spraying tea plants with pesticides. He had to work because his family needed the money to survive, but he had no access to healthcare or education. He would have no childhood and would not be able to work in later life due to the chemicals in the spray. These kinds of workers are so poor, they have no choice but to continue to be ripped off by the tea buyers, who represent wealthy foreigners overseas. And who are those wealthy foreigners? Well, if your household income exceeds £23,000 a year, you’re in the world’s top 1% of earners. Even if your household income is less than that, you’re probably in the top 5%, or the top 10%. Wealth beyond imagining to that little boy and his family! I realised I was abundantly blessed, yet ripping off poor people? Wasn’t that a form of abuse? I know more than enough about abuse. Did I want to be the abuser? I just couldn’t do it. I realised I had a choice. We all have choices. They may appear innocuous, but isn’t that what bad things often look like? That’s just what abusers do to their victims – make it all seem like nothing. And that’s what the Deceiver does too – makes things seem like nothing, seem harmless, when they are actually actively causing harm.

 

What does the Bible say about exploitation?

“…on the day of your fasting you do as you please

and exploit all your workers…

Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:

to loose the chains of injustice 

   and untie the cords of the yoke,

to set the oppressed free

    and break every yoke?”

Isaiah 58:3,6

 

Just off the top of my head, these are the things you can buy that are fair trade nowadays, many of which are found in your local supermarket:

 

Bananas

Coffee

Tea

Oranges

Grapes

Sugar

Clothes

Furniture

Rice

Rubber Gloves

Jewellery

Cocoa

Household items

Chocolate

 

It’s easy. Go on – the ‘burden is light’, just as He promised 😉

 

‘Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’

Matthew 11:29-30

 

Be blessed, friends.

JACK MONROE

So, I’ve caused a minor furore with my latest Guardian recipe by using free range sausages at £2.79 for
6. Not as big as the furore I caused by (quelle horreur!) using basic baked beans and rinsing the sauce off them to reveal little white haricot or cannelloni beans underneath (more on that later) but a furore all the same.

I hardly eat meat at all these days, maybe twice a week, and usually sausages or chicken. I tend to get my proteins from beans, pulses, fish and vegetables – I lead a pretty hectic, active lifestyle, and am a healthy size for my height with good general health, so I think I’m doing alright. I do a lot of research into nutrition, and have a permanent mental list of great sources of B vitamins, iron, protein and vitamin C – a lot of which are staples on my shopping…

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