Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist

What To Do?

When things are cheap in the shops it generally means that someone- somewhere down the line- is being ripped off. A cheap tee shirt almost certainly comes from a sweat shop, a cheap chicken from a factory farm. I was reading about the Peruvian fishmeal industry last night and it's nasty, nasty nasty. Millions of tonnes of small fish are scooped out of the sea to make fishmeal to feed chickens to feed people in the West- and not only are local people being deprived of a nutritious food source, but the food chain in the sea is being disrupted- affecting supplies of larger fish- and the waste product- a fatty, oily slurry, is being pumped back into the sea where it kills everything it touches.

Make things right, farm things right- and it costs money. You have to be rich to afford things that have been made by a craftsman, or meat that's been raised ethically. When poor people demand a share of the fruits of capitalism it's always going to be at a cost to people who are even poorer- not to mention animals and the environment.  I don't have an answer- apart from the blindingly obvious one which most of us either ignore or laugh off.  Yes, we should all become Buddhists or Shakers or Tolstoyans and go and live in communes and whittle our own furniture and lovingly rear our own hens, but we're not going to, are we?
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