Originally published September 17 2015
Nestle now being sued for sourcing cat food from slave labor operations
by Jennifer Lea Reynolds
(NaturalNews) Taking care to purchase items that keep your health intact is essential, as is knowing that what you bought was created in an environment that treats its employees with care.
To an extent, the public can take steps to shop wisely in order to meet these needs. For example, most of us are aware that we need to look for organic labels, avoid using Monsanto's Roundup and think twice about eating at many fast-food restaurants. However, there are all kinds of behind-the-scenes horrors unfolding. The latest company to steer clear of is food giant Nestle, which is currently involved in a class action lawsuit for allegedly selling cat food from a supplier who uses Thai slave labor to obtain its ingredients.
Unfortunately, the fish in Nestle's Fancy Feast cat food brand is caught from individuals facing unimaginable conditions including young boys and men who are forced to work at least 20 hours daily. Some of these boys are a mere nine years old. If these people -- who are trafficked from Thailand's poorer neighbors Myanmar and Cambodia and then sold to fishing boat captains in need of crews -- are thought to be delivering unsatisfactory work, they are beaten and even killed in some instances.
Many of these people who are taken in don't even know how to swim, yet they are forced to work on a ship in the deep seas. They've lost fingers while catching fish, have been shackled by the neck and have been said to sleep in cramped, hot areas in the company of roaches and rats. Their dinner consists of some rice and leftover or throwaway fish caught by their own hands or that of other tired and abused workers.
Public deception in the name of corporate greed"By hiding this from public view, Nestle has effectively tricked millions of consumers into supporting and encouraging slave labor on floating prisons," says Steve Berman, a managing partner of the law firm involved in the case. "It's a fact that the thousands of purchasers of its top-selling pet food products would not have bought this brand had they known the truth -- that hundreds of individuals are enslaved, beaten or even murdered in the production of its pet food."
Suddenly, Nestle doesn't quite evoke that warm and fuzzy, feel-good image any more, does it?
Thai Union Frozen Products PCL is said to import more than 28 million pounds of seafood-based pet food for top brands that are sold in the United States. One such company is Nestle, which is coming under fire from pet food buyers who filed a class action lawsuit in a Los Angeles, California, federal court. They maintain that had they known about Nestle's role in slave labor, they would never have purchased Fancy Feast for their cats. People are outraged that Nestle has remained hush-hush on the matter, apparently not caring that human beings are killed in the name of enjoying sales of their popular cat food brand.
How you can help end Nestle's involvement in human rights violationsThe next time you gravitate towards Fancy Feast in the store, think twice. Consider the fact that you're supporting a company that has ties with human trafficking, cheap labor, deplorable working conditions and murdering just so a brand can continue to thrive.
Sign this petition to urge Nestle to stop the atrocious Thai sea slavery.
If you currently have cans of the brand's food in your home, toss them.
Share this story to make other pet owners aware and do everything you can to spread the word about the horrific violation of human rights that Nestle is involved in.
Sadly, according to Free the Slaves, there are upwards of about 36 million slaves around the world who generate $150 billion annually. The most common form of slavery today is labor slavery (78 percent), followed by child slavery (26 percent) and sex slavery (22 percent).
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