All Thai shrimp isn’t produced the same

These words filled the Associated Press article “U.S. companies buying shrimp peeled by slaves” in Tuesday’s Dispatch about a greedy employer who horrendously abused workers in his Gig factory in Thailand.

The factory has been closed, but the article went on to say “American consumers can speak through their wallets by avoiding slave-produced products.”

How, without demonizing an entire nation and industry?

Yes, the employers of the Gig Peeling Factory and any other abusive companies need to be rooted out, held accountable and fined by enforcing laws.

But we create another problem and punish the wrong people if we choose to boycott all Thai shrimp.

I lived in a small, rural village in southern Thailand as a Peace Corps volunteer from 2006 to 2008, where shrimp harvests occurred three times a year, practically in my front yard. Neighbors eagerly came from far and near to be part of that harvest.

Shrimp harvest was a serious workday with a welcome windfall of extra income for their families. Everyone knew his and her jobs and stepped to it willingly. It was also a friendly, social occasion.

So, consumers should please enjoy their holiday shrimp from Thailand that my neighbors — who need this local industry — have safely raised, harvested and sent to us here in the United States.



Sunday December 20, 2015

Source : The Columbus Dispatch