International Justice Mission. (IJM is a human rights agency that brings rescue to victims of slavery, sexual exploitation and other forms of violent oppression.) It was because of our church's involvement in this organization, that I first heard about the dark side of chocolate. I discovered that so many of my favorite brands of very popular chocolate were created at the expense of children, like my own...
not much, if anything is being done to change this. If it says "Fair Trade" on the packaging, you can be assured that you're eating slave-free chocolate but that's about your best guarantee. You'll also need to expect to pay double for it, as the bag of chocolate chips I just bought cost me a whopping $5.99 compared to the well known brand that was on sale for $2.99. But isn't it worth paying a little more to send a message? Make no mistake, it's up to us because we're the ones consuming it. I recently watched these videos. And read countless articles.
I honestly had no idea. I've been blissfully living my life, eating chocolate with no clue where it really comes from, and now I find that a very large portion of the world's chocolate comes from the plantations on the Ivory Coast in Africa where child slavery is commonplace. And get this- most of those children have never even tasted chocolate. But you see... now I know. I let it break my heart and seep out of my tear ducts. Valentine's day is approaching, and I read that 58 million pounds of chocolate are consumed in the days leading up to February 14th. And so I want to put this challenge before you;
hacking away at cocoa plants so that big chocolate companies can process enough to feed our insatiable appetites?
The most loving thing you might do this Valentine's Day, is reach for some overpriced, but untainted chocolate.
It's up to us to send a message girls. We can pretend we don't know and push away the reasons to care... or we can do something. We might not be able to end every single injustice in the world, but a great man once said, "All that is needed for evil to triumph, is for good men (and women) to do nothing."
So.... What are we going to do?