This is a huge departure from my normal antics of traveling, drinking, and drinking while traveling. This is also extremely important, and since hot sauce is my biggest platform to reach strangers, I wanted to announce it here. Last Thursday, I woke up in a terrible mood. You ever have those days? For no reason you just think it’s going to be a bad day, and so it is. I woke up already defeated, and started scrolling through Facebook. You know how when you have those days, rather than look at we rate dogs, or dogs of Instagram, you search for the people on your friends list who you really don’t like, just so you can stay annoyed, and you click on the articles about the world ending, school shootings, immigration disasters, and other massive things that you can’t control very much, but can definitely get mad about? That’s where I was. Scrolling through my feed past the cute babies, the bluebonnet pics, the new houses, and stopping on the “area priest rapes again”, etc. Well, one of the articles I clicked on was basically “You are supporting slavery every day.” And grumpy pissed off me was like, “great, what else am I doing wrong?” But, I read it anyway. The article, which I so wished I had saved, or that I could even remember from where I found it, was from 2018, and talked about Nestle and how they benefit from slavery, deforestation, anti union practices, and child labor. It painted a horrible and very effective picture of children stolen from beds being forced to pick cocoa beans, species of animals becoming endangered due to the over farming and deforesting effects of palm oil, forced slave labor of both children and adults, campaigns that convinced mothers to use formula in areas where they had no access to fresh water. I mean, it was terrible. Still, I thought, it’s 2019 now, probably they were exposed and decided to make a plan to improve. I fired up the old google box and learned that once they were exposed as the monsters they are, they said it would be more expensive not to use slavery, and in fact increased the amount of slavery they use. They argued that the slight cost increase to the consumers was a greater ethical issue than actual child slavery. At this point in my already bad day, I found a flow chart from the free thought project that uncovered the main companies owned by Nestle. Then I learned they even recently bought out formerly Austin owned, and beloved in my household, Chameleon Cold Brew, which I was in fact drinking, right at that moment. Upset and overwhelmed I turned to Facebook, I figured they broke me, maybe they could fix me. The question I put forth was, how do I know what is bad, and how can I find something better? This innocent question, asked from a hopeless place during a bad day, quickly returned an answer. Then another one, and another one. Some were so small like, I’m sorry your coffee is evil now, but Ruta Maya is ethically sourced and delicious, and available near you. So, I was like, OK, I have coffee now, but what about every other thing I buy that is terrible? (Coffee was kind of the least of my problems, since I usually get my coffee from a local, woman, LGBTQ owned cafe any way, shout out to Crema for keeping me caffeinated.) But one game changer was a link to Better World, which lists thousands of companies in dozens of categories, and ranks them A to F based on their extensive research. Once I learned that just because my toothpaste was evil, that didn’t mean all toothpaste was evil, or that I had to start using baking soda and lemon juice or something, to avoid the evil toothpaste giants, I realized it was not going to be that difficult to avoid the big bads, and send them a message by using my money to support their competitors who operate with a soul.
My plan is to create a blog, separate from Hot Sauce, that provides practical guides for all kinds of things. A one stop shop for you before you shop. An ethical pre-store. It will include what to buy, but also where to buy it. How to best travel (hint, southwest isn’t too bad if you need to fly.). Where to bank, what cars to buy. And unlike most of the lists, I will skip the overly crunchy stuff, and focus on cost effective, easily accessible items that receive high user ratings. Doing the right thing shouldn’t be more expensive, it shouldn’t take more time, and it shouldn’t be something you agonize over. Let me do all that research for you, you just keep shopping and living your best life. And if any of my drunkies stuck with me this far, I will be making sure that going forward my hangover remedies are all ethically sourced.
What I need from you all is a name! My friend Leslee (Taming of the Two), said she likes Supreme guide to shopping without raping the earth and its inhabitants. My niece, who is currently in college majoring in environmental studies likes Capitalist Hellscape Survival Guide. I was thinking something short and sweet like The Ethical Capitalist. But what do you all think? Whatever I decide, it will be launching on it’s own site soon!