There’s an incredible separation between the stuff we consume— like food or products— and the people who are making that stuff for us. Certainly in the States we walk through stores and everything is plastic wrapped— none of us can imagine that all the pieces came from an animal let alone the work environment that people who created the product for us had to endure. Our products are created for us in the same way— we have no idea how they’re made or how it’s affecting other people’s lives on the other side of that chain.
The reality is there’s huge industries obsessed with obfuscating the scary truth because when you strip it back, people are having incredible life-threatening situations and we have no idea. The reason we have no idea is because there’s effort made to constantly pivot or rename bad things so that we think the products that we’re buying are “green” or otherwise humanely created.
This isn’t about being a tree-hugger, there’s just some basic human rights that people should have that make things for us. Certainly, their lives shouldn’t be destroyed making products for us. It might not be the sexiest topic to stop and think about, but this week’s guest, Dr. Paul Blanc, is fighting the good fight. He’s a professor of medicine at University of California San Francisco and has a background in Pulmonology and has written a couple of amazing books. The most recent one, Fake Silk: The lethal history of Viscose Rayon and the preceding, How Everyday Products Make People Sick, both shine a light on the other side of the what-we’re-purchasing equation that really needs it. I know you’ll like our conversation and at least stay away from things like skinless weenies.
Song credit: Dolly Parton, 9-5
Art credit: Davide Bonazzi