i'm a vegetarian. i have been for 14 years...half of my life!
it's not so much by choice anymore because i've essentially developed an allergy to meat. so, for all you meat loving peeps, no worries..i'm not judging even a little. but, everyone i know knows this about me. they know that even a hint of meat or meat oils or broth in something can make me sick. so they watch out for me. when they know something has meat in it, they say "oh, you can't have it." in a sorrowful voice with pity for their friend that gave up meat at the young age of 15, not knowing what she was getting herself into.
so, recently, well a little over two years ago, i gave up any chocolate that isn't fair trade. i haven't tried to make a big deal out of it when others offer me stuff that isn't fair trade. well, for the most part. sometimes i can be a judgmental jerk. but the thing i've noticed is that friends have started answering for me in the same way as they do about meat.
"oh, you can't have that." with sorrow. or pity. or maybe? occasionally? hope?
one time i was at a party and declined the meat. the friend who brought me explained to a room full of people who seemed not to know any vegetarians, "it will make her sick."
then came desert. it was cake balls with chocolate icing. i, honestly, was more concerned with calories than ethics, but when i declined, the same friend in the same voice with the same tenor said "she can't. she only eats fair trade chocolate." ...he said it as though i was allergic to it just as i am to meat.
what if we were allergic to slavery? what if we realized that it makes us sick? and what if we had a hypo-allergenic christmas with only ethical gifts?