Chocolate – Is it Vegan?

About a month ago, I watched a video in which vegans got excited about chocolate – of course. Chocolate is amazing.  And, according to them, you could enjoy eating chocolate because no cruelty.

But can you really say that?

Firstly, yes, chocolate can be vegan if you don’t put milk solids or any other rubbish in it.  Ironically, my favourite chocolate is vegan and I didn’t even know it. [The rest of their range is not.]

Secondly, around 70% of the chocolate the world consumes comes from west Africa.  And this is where it gets downright cruel, immoral and what some people might even define as evil.

Suddenly Easter is looking like a cauldron of misery - eggs or chocolate - animal abuse or human slavery?
Suddenly Easter is looking like a cauldron of misery – eggs or chocolate – animal abuse or human slavery?

Child slavery – human trafficking – forced labour for no pay – children bought and sold.  In 2014. Even with Fairtrade certification eating chocolate has always sat uneasily with me, because supply lines are almost impossible to trace with any certainty.

See the documentary below – The Dark Side of Chocolate, for a more comprehensive telling of the story. Warning – It is difficult to watch.

cocoa-bean-63177_1280So, this is why I am so incredibly excited to learn about The Wellington Chocolate Factory.  Bean-to-bar is a concept I had never heard of until yesterday, but essentially what it means is that the chocolate maker starts with single origin beans and sells the finished chocolate bar directly to the consumer.  You know exactly which plantation the beans have come from. Check out the website to find the name of the farm growing the beans for each of the bars and look them up. Each bar has its own variety of chocolate bean. PS – the artwork is incredible.

Of course, it’s vegan chocolate!

I love everything about this company. I will be in Wellington the week after next, so definitely plan to visit.

Even more exciting, they are currently running a Kickstarter to do something incredible.  Please go to their page and find out.  Even though it is for a New Zealand company, it is really raising money that directly benefits Bougainville.  Investing in their economic future without exploitation.  I want this project to fund successfully, because the implications for this community are so huge.

The Dark Side of Chocolate

Warning:  This will change the way you see chocolate.  It is tough to watch.

 

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