Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Evil All Around Us

"It is a poverty to let a child die so that you may live as you wish". -Mother Teresea

I've been thinking a lot lately about how we are trying to make better decisions as consumers.  I've shared before but we are trying to start buying more fair trade items; items we know were produced in ethical conditions and not using child labor and espesially slavery.  Here is the thing, Peyton and I are very pro life, but I don't think that should be limited to the chance at life.  I think it should include the quality of life.

For example, I totally understand people who will not support Susan G. Komen because of it's link to Planned Parenthood, which is the nations largest abortion provider. However, during some recent discussions about this, Peyton challenged several of our friends to examine other consumerist behaviors.

Why is it bad to support Komen but it's okay to support a company that produces and markets infant formula in developing nations for the sake of profit, knowing that it will have a disastrous effect on that companies infant population? [And y'all this is not an indictment on formula feeding in the U.S.; this is about babies DYING because mothers mix the formula with dirty water after they have been told it is better for their babies than the breastmilk that could be providing immunity and safeguarding them against disease.] I get that the intent is different (thought both intents are horrible), but in one respect, a dead child is a dead child.

Why is it so important to focus on the unborn and then loose sight of all the children sold by their parents into deplorable conditions?  Child trafficking horrifies me at least as much as abortion.  I don't draw a line between rape and murder and I won't draw one here.

We look back in horror at the slavery that was part of our country's history, but we forget that it's going on right now in other areas of the world.  We say "not on my watch" about atrocities such as the Holocaust, and genocides continue all around us. I stand amazed at my own ambivalence that I've felt for so long.

What if these were my children?

I am not saying Peyton and I do everything perfectly.  I've eaten a box of Oreos in the last week and I have so much more research to do in all these areas.  What I am saying is that we are choosing to try to become more educated, more involved, and more intentional.  And I'm inviting you to do the same.


Mallory Pickering said...

I'm not sure where I stand on the issue of boycotting. I'm just not sure it's the most effective response. I am starting to think more about fair trade items. But I think it's a tough issue. If we get everyone to boycott those items, it's not like they return those enslaved children to their mamas and daddies.

Sarah Denley said...

Fair point, Mal. I'm not *sure* it's the most effective either. Which is why other things are important, too- like writing letters. I need to do much better at that. I plan to write the Girl Scouts this week. I guess my question to you is what do you think is the most effective response? I love having these conversations and that was the point of this post, not to say "Never again allow a Hershey bar through the doors of your home".

I will say that I do feel like if these companies changed their labor practices, I can't really see the children's quality of life not improving, but I could be totally wrong.