How Many Slaves Do You Own?

Granted, they’re timeshared, but they’re slaves all the same.

Brazil's government anti-slavery team freed more than 1,000 laborers from this sugar cane plantation in the Amazon. The International Labor Organization called the raid the largest single bust ever made in Brazil. (Photo: Paulo Santos/Reuters)

Allan MacDonell is TakePart’s News + Opinion editor, with a focus on social justice.

Some websites are more opinionated than others. SlaveryFootprint.org, for example, has an absolute point of view and is unlikely to be dissuaded. Succinctly, SlaveryFootprint believes that human beings should not be traded as livestock and forced into labor for distant consumers who fail to realize that a vast traffic of indentured serfs is linked to a supply chain that produces the impeccable gadgets and adornments that are so valued by responsible citizens of the enlightened free world.

The results aren’t too bad. If having 43 slaves at your disposal can be defined as aren’t too bad.

If SlaveryFootprint is to be believed, that global supply chain—dragging home cotton, coffee, tantalum and so much more—“enslaves more people than at any time in human history.” The site, which gives every indication of employing a vigorous fact-checking apparatus, estimates the world’s huddled slave masses at 27 million, or more, approximately the combined population of Australia and New Zealand.

“Yes,” you might quibble, “but the percentage of the population that is enslaved is not quite the highest in human history.”

Then you feel a tad sickened for entertaining such a shabby rationalization. To atone, you consent to take SlaveryFootprint’s “How many slaves work for you?” survey.

The results aren’t too bad. If having 43 slaves at your disposal can be defined as “aren’t too bad.”

Don’t become conscious stricken or cynical! SlaveryFootprint’s defining point of view is that slavery can be ended. The people behind the site have a plan to make “abolition” happen, and they are reasonably confident it will work. All they need is for you to keep your eyes open and ask a few pointed questions. It will be fun.

Start here.

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