FireCat! The Legend of Amazon Sage©

Sage is a quirky girl who always loved wild animals, funny people, adventure and indigenous music. She still does.

What no one knows is that every night in her dreams, Sage

transforms into a woman of power and wisdom, called

Amazon Sage.

Unlimited by the confines of newtonian physics, she is fierce and full of compassion, traveling where ever she is needed to help relieve suffering in the world.

Only problem is,

Amazon Sage© only lives while Sage is dreaming.

Once Sage awakens, Amazon Sage © disappears. These blogs are written by Sage, telling what happens in this most secret life...

Thursday, April 7, 2011

“Slaves to Chocolate... Really?”

Good morning, friends. Last night, Amazon Sage dream travelled to the Ivory Coast to find out about the dark side of chocolate. That's because just when I thought it was safe to eat the drippy, gooey, good stuff again... Ach! It turns out that slave traders are stealing children to work in the cocoa harvest fields! 

I found out about it after CNN’s Richard Quest, talked with filmmaker U. Roberto Romano, about his documentary, “The Dark Side of Chocolate.” In the latter, he said that each time he visits these farms, he sees children who are not part of the farmers’ families and do not speak the local language.

Not being one to give up on something that is both delicious and showing signs of having health benefits, once I hit the sack, Amazon Sage dream-travelled to Africa’s Ivory Coast to see for herself. There, she saw small children, some looking no more than seven or eight years of age, swinging huge machetes as they hacked into tough bark. After hours of this kind of toil, even the strongest of men might feel weary. For these children, calling them weary is akin to describing a tsunami as a little wave. I  see open sores on their legs and arms and wonder “Where are their parents? Does no one care for these children?”
That’s the real shocker. Apparently, the parents of these little ones sold them to the farm owners. What’s even more startling is that the price paid for a precious child is only about $150.00, the price of a meal for many wealthy Americans. Amazon Sage wonders aloud what we can do to stop this trade and is told, in no uncertain terms, that “we” are the customers who keep these slave owners in business. I hear people say “But I had no idea... I would never...” Neither would I, knowingly, but now that we know, what are we going to do about it?  
That is where we can learn from the coffee growers. Ever hear of something called “fair trade” coffee? Bottom line is it means that the producers of said coffee are paid a high enough wage that they need not enslave children or be forced to feed their own families on starvation wages. The good news is the same can arrangement can be made for chocolate. Romano suggests that we find out where our chocolate is made and then “Buy either a fair trade chocolate or a direct trade chocolate... As a consumer, you can vote responsibly for better treatment of these farmers.” 
As my Daddy used to say, “I’ll bite.” Have a dreamy day, my friends.