Lines in the Sand

Eliza Bicego on the ethics of Coke.

James is a vegan.

He has so far managed to dodge the siren call of 4am doner kebabs and, has maintained the right to hold his head high and ask with conviction, “I’m sorry, but is there dairy in the vegetarian flan?” He questions a barista for twenty minutes on the Fair Trade certification of their Arabica, and has heated conversations about unsustainability and inherent waste in the production of beef.

James also does coke.

Which is awkward, because coke is pretty shit for the environment.

Growing coke leads to massive deforestation in rural Colombia. About five hundred square kilometres are cleared each year for the growth and production of narcotic substances. The Colombian Andes have suffered for the world’s little habits; experts say that around 73 per cent of the local ecosystem has been negatively affected by the growth, production and transportation of cocaine.

People, like James, are big enough and ugly enough to make their own decisions— it isn’t just cocaine that’s fucking up South America. The Maggi Group is also partially responsible for the severe deforestation of the Amazon rainforest in Brazil, but I’m not going to give up noodles anytime soon.

What strange blind spots we have in our collective consciousness. It can make hypocrites of us all.