It's amazing how many times this year I've wondered why I wasn't told something earlier, or why I was unaware of events that should appear in the news in some form or another. I've come to realize, though, some information you need to intentionally seek out to learn anything about it...which means I have become obsessed with research. I hate not knowing things that I should know, or that people in general should know.
That being said: Stop buying chocolate.
Not all chocolate, just the chocolate that relies on slavery. Yes, slavery. Okay, maybe everyone else already knew this. Did you? If you did, you should have told me. But if you didn't know, most mainstream chocolate producers rely on slave labor for their cocoa beans. I knew modern day slavery existed, even in America, but I guess I never really thought about what products I was buying that contributed to this slavery.
This website raises awareness about slave labor used for chocolate production. There's a lot of information out there, and if you are confused or shocked by this I suggest checking out some of the news articles for a brief background. These slaves--usually young boys from the Ivory Coast--don't even know what chocolate tastes like.
Then check this list of Slave-Free Chocolate (generally Fair Trade or organic) and decide that from now on, you will only buy these kinds. Notice that all the big ones (Nestle, Hershey's, Mars...) aren't on the list? Yep, heartbreaking, I know.
I realize chocolate is not the only product fueled by slave labor (coffee is another), so be prepared because I plan on letting you know what else is as I learn more.