How Far Will Your Ethics Go?

Can you honestly, hand on your heart say you are ethical with the purchases that you make, or do you like to portray the perception that you are?

As vegans, most of us like to think that we make ethical choices regarding the purchases we make in our lives.

We buy things like fair trade chocolates and coffee and avoid as much as we can items made in sweat shops. Some even go as far as boycotting certain coffee franchises due to donations made in the past.

For the items we buy there are logos that we look for to ensure that they comply with our ethical stance. Though what about the places you shop and eat at, at home?

Let’s say for example there is a vegetarian/vegan eatery in Brisbane City that everyone frequented, have you as the consumer, ensured that the staff there are treated fairly and paid the appropriate wage?

What indicator can we look for to ensure that this is the case?

Believing that just because they are employed in Australia, and under the Fair Work Act 2009 that they will be treated fairly isn’t really enough. The Fair Work Ombudsman puts out media releases almost on a weekly basis about the successful recovery of unpaid wages for employees in Australia.

What if you found out that the staff at this eatery weren’t being treated fairly or paid what they were entitled to, would you organise a facebook campaign to boycott this place until all the staff were paid the correct wage?

Social media campaigns were circulated calling for a boycott of Gloria Jeans franchises due to a donation made to a religious group by Gloria Jeans head office. We also saw a similar one regarding comments made by Alan Jones.

Whilst both of the actions committed by the respective individuals/organisations were inappropriate, they were still legal, whereas not paying staff right is illegal.

Does this mean we would all be justified in starting a social media campaign against this eatery, or are we going to over look and possibly ignore it because it has a few vegan dishes and is relatively cheap?

Can you honestly, hand on your heart say you are ethical with the purchases that you make, or do you like to portray the perception that you are?