Kids With Machetes

Green Kirsty

The third little traveller came home last night with some harrowing news. After viewing a BBC documentary at school he’d decided we needed to call a moratorium on all Nestle products. As I watched his angelic yet decidedly earnest face I realized I had no alternative. I agreed immediately.

“Mum, Nestle buy their cocoa from people who use children as labour, and these kids injure themselves because they’re working with machetes! Little kids Mum! With machetes!”

I agreed that it was outrageous and offered a couple of my own discoveries. I told him about our days in Indonesia. How women would ask me why I would choose to breastfeed my child when I could afford formula, insisting that formula was better. I told him about the child that we knew who nearly died from drinking contaminated water in his bottle, and how his mother was insistent that we buy chocolate flavored nestle formula for him each week.

“You know what this means Mum – no more kitkats”

“Okay” I said with a sigh “no more kitkats.”

“And Mum, I hate to be the one to break it to you, but you won’t be able to buy that Nespresso machine you’ve had your eye on.”

I was gutted. I’ve had my eye on that machine for awhile. We’d been to the store. “Are you sure Nestle own them?”

“Yep, sorry Mum. From now on everything we do is fair trade.”

His conviction was admirable, familiar, and set for a fall.

After the multitude of drop offs and pick ups, soccer practice, and homework, we sat down as a family at dinner. Nestle once again came into the conversation.

“I told you all this last year” the second little traveller was indignant.

“I know about this stuff as well” said the first. “I agree we shouldn’t use Nestle.”

They began to discuss what they wouldn’t be eating from now on. Most of it everyday, none of it terribly exciting.

“So what about Milo?” I asked.

There was silence. The fourth traveller’s lip dropped. I thought I saw a tear in the second traveller’s eye.

“I guess no more Milo from now on?”

The first traveller (who has a mild milo addiction) began to change tack, and headed towards a new idea. She began to build an argument, something about not banning completely but just cutting back. You know, because it would still make a difference if you just cut back.

I stifled a giggle. “That’s all it took! Milo?”

I threw in a few more “Don’t forget Cheerios, oh and that chocolate Nesquik that we have at the beach, and I think they own L’Oreal and quite a few of the beauty brands, and Haagen Dazs, we’ll have to stop with the Haggen Dazs…”

They were all still stuck at the Milo.

Bottom line. The aftermath.

They’re cutting back on Milo, and I’m no longer getting a Nespresso machine, because “Mum, think about the children with the machetes.”

I will, while I’m using my plunger.

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