During the last several years a greater trend has emerged in the cooperation of activist organizations and change-makers with those whom they once called enemy or opponent. The Humane Society of the United States under the leadership of Wayne Pacelle has been chatting up animal agriculture and fast food folks in order to encourage more humane treament of farmed animals. Whole Foods Market has established its Animal Compassion Foundation to ensure their meat is "humane." Organizations have stopped boycotts against companies profiting from sweatshops because of agreements to make conditions for workers marginally better.
There are those who believe that such alliances are akin to deals with modern-day devils. That compromise and moderation and small steps are equivalent to selling out. Others believe that the only way we'll truly have change is through those very small steps and cooperative relationships with companies that wield enormous power.
Can a truly humane world exist with Wal-mart -- even if it becomes an uber-green company? Is there such a thing -- ever -- as "humane" meat? Do we sacrifice those who are currently suffering in order to achieve a truly humane future, or do we try to decrease the amount of suffering now, even if it might mean the oppression and exploitation last longer?
How about a both/and? How about a win-win? How about we try whatever we can think of (within humane, compassionate, just limits) and see what works and what doesn't? And keep trying, or try something else?
Is Adam Werbach a sell-out for working with Wal-mart? I don't know. That depends on whether or not he's aligned with his deepest values. I do know that he's trying something to make the world better. And whether or not he's successful, he tried. And that's all any of us can do.
~ Marsha, Web Content/Community Manager