TED Conversations

Kelly Witwicki Faddegon

Organizer, Speaker, Graphic Designer, Direct Action Everywhere

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It's easy to separate a product from its production process. What can we do to change that?

This came to mind with the question of factory farming: www.huffingtonpost.com/anjali-sareen/factory-farming_b_2904891.html

But further applies to our neglect to consider the ripple effects of our actions on, say, labour abuse in outsourcing, or the destruction of the air we breathe.

Branding has a significant role here, showing us the glamourized product and concealing everything about its production. We see a Prius in a cute pristine environment, so no one asks about the car's embodied energy or how the battery material was mined and produced. And even with advertising aside, you cannot see a child's sweat on your t-shirt, and steak looks nothing like a cow.

This makes us take our commodities at face value -- we think the cost is limited to the dollar sign on the price tag. In the interest of improving our farm health and humane conduct, worker treatment, environmental stability, and so forth, how can we remedy these disjunctures?

To start, I think ecological footprint stickers and taxes could do a lot, but can we find a way to learn to see the dominoes without our governments regulating our ability to?


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    Mar 21 2013: it's almost impossible to know how a finished product was manufactured, but there are a few questions that we ask ourselves to realize that something may be wrong.

    for instance, how can a pair of jeans cost under $10? or, what does it mean when you see on the label "assembled in the USA" or "processed in Canada"?

    also, we should refrain from dealing with companies that are not transparent, like Apple and its partner Foxconn. on the other hand, are we ready to pay more for other similar products?

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