Well almost three years ago to the day, I wrote a post stating that I wanted to set up a social justice blog (also eco/environmental), and I wanted to get it set up before the end of 2017. Well that did not happen!
Well I’ve just read an external article about some unsuspected horrors involved in the world of seafood, and I thought to myself “Enough is enough”. I have to do this thing. Right away. Perhaps right this very minute! (4.43 am on a Tuesday morning – oh yeah!)
But really. The way we live our modern lives is completely unsustainable. I have a very unglamorous, but sadly plausible theory that in every single aspect of life that relies on human labour, in the absence of very very tight regulations, there will be egregious human rights abuses. It is only a matter of digging them out. And if human rights abuses, then how much more animal abuses, where animals are involved?
And this is apparently very true in the world of seafood. Did you know that murders and casual assassinations (of human beings) are apparently rife in the world of seafood fishing, according to the article I’ve linked above? I absolutely love eating seafood, as I love eating meat. However no food, none whatsoever could possibly be worth such casual devaluation of human life. Furthermore, according to the same article, no matter what might be claimed on the label, very very few fisheries are truly “sustainable”, it is almost impossible for a fishery to be truly sustainable. And yep, after my years of living in this world, and witnessing endless examples of the lack of integrity in practically every field imaginable of human endeavour, I can fully believe that. (Let’s call it “human nature”.)
Wow. I need to hold myself to account after reading this article, and vow to myself that I must never casually eat fish ever again, unless I can absolutely guarantee that it is sustainable and free from human rights abuses AND unnecessary animal cruelty. (Unless we are talking about Christmas or other family get togethers when someone has poured love and effort into preparing a meal and you don’t want to start preaching.) To be honest, I do have a history of making these vows, then lapsing, as I have previously done with bananas and sweatshop clothes. But even after these lapses, I have to pick myself up, and push forward. Back to fairtrade-only bananas, and non-sweatshop clothes, no matter how inconvenient it might be!
To be honest, this could well be the article that pushes me to go vegan altogether. However, one other shocking thing I read in the article is that lab grown meats (which I was secretly looking forward to as a viable alternative to the environmental footprint of regular meat) currently has an even greater environmental footprint. So for now, maybe plant based only.
But seriously enough is enough is enough is enough.
Off the top of my head, these are some of the areas to think of in terms of social justice/environmental issues:
Clothing: Sweatshops, environmental abuses, sexual abuse of female workers
Leather: sweatshops, tanneries, chemical pollution of waterways
Leather products (bags, shoes etc): Sweatshops
Cotton: Use of pesticides, huge water footprint
Plastics: failure to biodegrade, pollution of oceans, widespread consumption of micro-plastics
Meat (beef): widely known environmental damage; deforestation of the Amazon and other places to turn land into grazing areas for livestock; also human rights abuses, animal abuses
Chicken: Factory farming of chickens, diseases caused by birds being held together in such tightly cramped conditions, unsanitary conditions
Fish: Everything as listed in the article above 🙁
Tea: Human rights abuses on Tea plantations, child labour
Chocolate/Cocoa: Child labour abuses
Fruit and veg: labour exploitation on European fruit farms, sexual abuse of female workers
Palm oil: deforestation of Indonesian forests, habitat loss for orangutans. Actually, there are no orangutans in Africa, which is another big producer of palm oil. However, I was recently corrected that no, African palm oil is not altogether “safe” as increasingly African forests are also being cleared for palm oil plantations. While there might not be orangutans, there are clearly African species of ape and other animals which would also be affected by deforestation. All the same, I would say that currently African palm oil is safe-ish! However, that is sadly likely to change within the next 5 years, max.
Well that has definitely given me enough to start with, and 3 years later I have a clearer idea about how to proceed (although I did say that 3 years ago!) You know what, I am going to do this right this minute (now 05.37) – and stick it on a Huggie-Wuggie subblog while I am thinking of an appropriate domain name!