It should be easy to get the information necessary to put one's money where one's values are, and to buy the products that meet these criteria. Unfortunately, this is not the case. There is a wealth of information on the Web about human rights, animal rights and welfare, and environmental concerns, but it takes a lot of digging to tie this information to specific companies or products. When the information on particular companies or products is tied to human rights and environmental concerns, it often is not tied to animal rights and welfare. The purpose of the site is to start filling the information gap. ResponsibleConsumer.net is founded on the belief that torture, cruelty, and suffering should not be inflicted on any sentient being, whether human or animal, and that humans, animals, and the environment are all interconnected and interdependent.
The mission of ResponsibleConsumer.net is to inform consumers about human rights, animal rights and welfare, and environmental issues related to products and securities they buy; develop a large group of socially responsible consumers to advocate for businesses that are responsible to people, animals, and the environment; and provide a central location for finding products and companies that are responsible to people, responsible to animals, and responsible to the environment.
ResponsibleConsumer.net will provide as much information as possible on the ways in which consumer decisions directly affect the wellbeing of people, animals, and the environment. We will use established guidelines and existing research to provide information about social responsibility of specific businesses. Visitors to ResponsibleConsumer.net are invited to submit suggestions for further guidelines: admin [at] ResponsibleConsumer.net.
Unfortunately, ResponsibleConsumer.net does not currently have the resources to verify compliance with these guidelines or do independent research. Even much larger organizations, such as Human Rights Watch, do not have such resources. We must do the best we can with what we have, and advocate, as has Human Rights Watch with the UN, for organizations that do have the power to put more teeth into the guidelines. As they are, the guidelines are still powerful, because corporations that have signed on to them can be exposed to consumer boycotts, shareholder activism, and damaging publicity if they are exposed as having violated the guidelines. On the other hand, consumers, shareholders, news reports, and Web sites like this one can call attention to and reinforce positive behavior by corporations. The more consumers let it be known that they care about the guidelines, the more powerful the guidelines will be.
ResponsibleConsumer.net aims to make a profit, but not at the expense of fulfilling its mission. The site will support itself by providing advertising space for companies and products that enable consumers to be socially responsible. We will keep operating costs as reasonable as possible in order to keep prices as reasonable as possible. We want to demonstrate that socially responsible business can be good business, and socially responsible products can be affordable.