By Kevin Bales, author of Blood and Earth: Modern Slavery, Ecocide, and the Secret Weapon to Saving the World (Spiegel & Grau, January 2016).
For years I traveled the world meeting people in slavery. Whenever I spoke with slaves I focused intensely, trying to understand the depth and truth of their lives. What I saw, what I heard, and what I learned changed me, and led me deeper into the work of ending slavery, but I was missing something important.
Concentrating on their words, gestures, and feelings, I failed to see what was happening all around slaves. Only later did I notice a theme, a common element stretching around the world and touching all types of slavery. Wherever there were slaves, the environment was under assault, forests were being destroyed, endangered species were dying, and climate change was worsening—and all of this destruction was driven by profits from products we buy. Continue reading