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comment by wasoxygen
wasoxygen  ·  3323 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: The 4 Ways People Rationalize Eating Meat

    Is that how you feel about sweatshops? ... Do you prioritize their plights opposite to my claim?

I'm with you: I care far more about a single human sweatshop worker than I do about any animal raised for food. My wish is to minimize needless suffering, and I suspect that humans are more capable of suffering than animals. Maybe I am wrong, maybe humans can use their intelligence to better rationalize and cope with difficult circumstances. I should also feel bad that a food animal has no hope of escape and no voice or agency to try and improve their fate. Still, I feel worse when I see a human suffering; maybe it is just bias because I am in the human club.

Is there any contradiction in not opposing sweatshops? The best way to help sweatshop workers might be to sacrifice all our leisure and spare resources and dedicate ourselves to sweatshop worker relief. I am not willing to do that. Campaigning to get Nike to manufacture with stricter labor standards might cause Nike to improve working conditions in the third world ... or to close factories in the third world and move operations to more developed countries.

The everyday decision we make is whether to purchase or not to purchase an item that was made in a sweatshop. Which decision helps the sweatshop worker more? Can it be helpful to an Indonesian worker to spend nothing on the product they make and buy an $80 hoodie instead? What is the sweatshop worker's next best alternative to working in the sweatshop? Whatever it is, "next best" is at least somewhat worse.

    my actions don't provide much evidence

I prefer to be judged by my words rather than my actions. It's easier to make nice words! So I try not to let myself get too bothered by hypocrisy and the unrealistic goal of living in perfect harmony with ideals. I think most of us are already pretty decent, and it's enough to try and be a little more decent whenever we can.

    I think I am granted far more omniscience here than I have.

What? You don't read every post on this site? I kind of assumed that you did, even though I feel Hubski is a damnable time sink even when I only skim.