A sad fact that most people try their best to ignore is that much of what we buy and consume regularly is made through the planned exploitation of other people, cruelty to animals, and the decimation of natural resources. Some people know and straight up don’t care. Some people find out and feel bad for a while and then seem to forget and keep going like nothing happened. And a lot of stuff we never even hear about.
This thread started by u/tmckey150 on r/AskReddit will make you learn about a lot of stuff you’ve possibly never considered. They asked, “What is a product that if people found out how it was made they’d stop buying it?”
A lot of people answered “nothing” citing examples of widely known abuses like iPhone production or Nike shoes. Sales have not gone down in those quarters, despite knowledge of their crimes against their workers up to and including child labor. There were also a lot of very specific answers and I’ve personally learned I might never buy pre-ground coffee again.
Consumer awareness and choice is important. It should, however, be remembered that a lot of exploitation like this is allowed to continue because of laws that fail to properly regulate businesses or hold companies accountable. If you want to do better for the world, you can do so with your own habits on consumption. You can do even more by demanding accountability for the people really profiting off all this misery.
Coffee and cockroaches are linked in several ways…..
(For those who don’t know: ” This happens with coffee because the large piles of coffee beans get infested with cockroaches and, according to Emlen, it is impossible to remove them completely. So they are simply ground up with the coffee beans. “)—demonardvark
Garlic. The garlic industry is a hell of a lot darker than most people would think. I don’t remember everything, but apparently a lot of Chinese companies that sell to restaurants overseas use prison labor. These inmates have to peel the garlic completely by hand, no tools whatsoever. There were a few inmates missing fingernails.
If I recall correctly, one man said that he had a friend who had to resort to using his teeth because he didn’t have any nails left. They work unimaginably grueling shifts, in which they have to meet a quota for the day or face consequences. They get paid very little, if anything at all. —foxglove37
Fresh juices are not so fresh apparently. A friend whose family owns mango orchard told me these companies buy the leftover stock that doesn’t sell directly and leave the rest to strong artificial flavouring for uniform taste. —Curious_pari
In high school, the girls in my class were horrified to find out what their Uggs were made of. They had no idea. —unfaathomable
Bonus story: Had a friend who worked briefly in bridal and was fitting a woman who was boasting how vegan and eco friendly her wedding was going to be. No one was allowed to wear leather etc. All while wearing her dress with huge amounts of silk on it. —todunsinane
I want to say sneakers by brands like Nike, who exploit, underpay and abuse their workers, but sadly most people already know how they are made and still buy them. —vana_barba
After I found out the story behind the palm plantations for production of palm oil I made it my personal mission to completely throw it our of my life (and that sh.t is in almost everything you eat). —Junduk
“Anyone who enjoys sausage and respects the law should never find out how either are made.” —Deuxclydion
Not really a product but if people knew how much and often people cut corners in construction, I think housing prices would go wayyyy down. I don’t think I was ever on a job where a problem came up, and people were like, “Okay, let’s start over and do this right.”
Or, especially in bigger construction companies, how much time the employees waste to run the clock—heelhooksforchrist
I’ve work in 2 different meat departments in 2 separate grocery stores. The meat in the case that has had work done, (marinated or like put into kabobs) are usually the old meat we didn’t sell that is about to go bad. That marinade is hiding how sh*tty the meat looks. —Mroder1