Dr.Bronners is a Palm Oil Hero!

dr. bronner's magic soaps
Yesterday, I e-mailed Dr.Bronners inquiring about their use of Palm Oil

They e-mailed me back today and…

http://www.drbronner.com/palm_oil_from_ghana.html

Gooo Dr.Bronners!

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From Palm Oil to Dairy

Cow head

CONTEXT: I am boycotting Palm Oil, and getting responses!

Today I e-mailed:

  • Dr.Bronner’s
  • Gultino
  • and sent a follow up message to Tofutti (info@toftti.com) who I have not recieved a reply from (I e-mailed them two weeks ago about their use of palm oil in their vegan ice cream sandwiches).
  • and stepped into new territory when I e-mailed Mediterranean Snacks (at info@mediterraneansnackfoods.com), initially to thank them for making palm oil and vegan Baked Lentil Chips, but ended up asking them to remove dairy from their lentil crackers!

Today I sent Mediterranean Snacks the following Message:

Dear Mediterranean Snacks,

My name is Jenni and I have been an avid consumer of your products since recently discovered that your Baked Lentil Chips are free from meat, dairy, egg and gluten products! It really means a lot to me that you produce products which support a plant-based lifestyle.

I previously had avoided purchasing or consuming Mediterranean Snack brand products because your Lentil Crackers contain Milk Protein and Milk Cream.

In addition to being a common allergen, dairy products promote the torture and suffering of hundreds of cows per minute. PETA’s page on the dairy industry says…

“Cows produce milk for the same reason that humans do: to nourish their young. In order to force the animals to continue giving milk, factory farm operators typically impregnate them using artificial insemination every year. Calves are generally taken from their mothers within a day of being born—males are destined for veal crates or barren lots where they will be fattened for beef, and females are sentenced to the same fate as their mothers.
After their calves are taken away from them, mother cows are hooked up, several times a day, to milking machines. These cows are genetically manipulated, artificially inseminated, and often drugged to force them to produce about four and a half times as much milk as they naturally would to feed their calves.
Animals are often dosed with bovine growth hormone (BGH), which contributes to a painful inflammation of the udder known as “mastitis.” (BGH is used widely in the U.S. but has been banned in Europe and Canada because of concerns over human health and animal welfare.) According to the industry’s own figures, between 30 and 50 percent of dairy cows suffer from mastitis, an extremely painful condition.
A cow’s natural lifespan is about 25 years, but cows used by the dairy industry are killed after only four or five years. An industry study reports that by the time they are killed, nearly 40 percent of dairy cows are lame because of the intensive confinement, the filth, and the strain of being almost constantly pregnant and giving milk. Dairy cows’ bodies are turned into soup, companion animal food, or low-grade hamburger meat because their bodies are too “spent” to be used for anything else.
Male calves—”byproducts” of the dairy industry—are generally taken from their mothers when they are less than 1 day old. Many are shipped off to barren, filthy feedlots to await slaughter. Others are kept in dark, tiny crates where they are kept almost completely immobilized so that their flesh stays tender. In order to make their flesh white, the calves are fed a liquid diet that is low in iron and has little nutritive value. This heinous treatment makes the calves ill, and they frequently suffer from anemia, diarrhea, and pneumonia.
Frightened, sick, and alone, these calves are killed after only a few months of life so that their flesh can be sold as veal. All adult and baby cows, whether raised for their flesh or their milk, are eventually shipped to a slaughterhouse and killed. ” (via http://www.peta.org/issues/animals-used-for-food/dairy-industry.aspx)I would like to respectfully request that you eliminate the use of dairy in your products. I would happily pay more for an alternative that does less damage to animals and the environment. Can you tell me about how Mediterranean Snacks is improving the lives of dairy cows?

I appreciate your attention to this matter and I look forward to enjoying dairy-free products from you in the future.

This was my first time e-mail a company to ask them to stop using dairy products but I am excited to continue writing letters!

Are You Eating Human Hair or Duck Feathers?

Processed Foods

Max made us vegan pizza today! We used palm-free daiya cheese. The crust came from Max’s freezer and after eating I realized I didn’t recognize some of the ingredients. Today I called Molinaro’s Fine Italian Foods to ask them about some of their ingredients. One of their pizza crusts which contained:

SUGAR: I want to know if it was processed through Bone Char.

L-CYSTINE: I had never heard of this before but according to Wikipedia it is a semi-essential amino acid. Wikipedia also said IT USED TO BE MADE FROM HUMAN HAIR! And now it is mostly made from Duck Feather! I really do not want to eat that. I think it can also come from peppers and other plants but I am really not sure. Help! This website also had some info.

CALCIUM PROPIONATE: Looks to be a preservative that can sometimes be cultured in whey. Again, it was challenging for me to find clear information.

They had already left for the day so I left them a message. I will report back with more info soon!

Do you know anything about these ingredients? Leave a message in comments if you have vital information!

Jenni’s Vindictuve Vegan Rap (It’s Annotated)

Chicken slaughter

Right now I am two weeks away from finishing my main summer course: The Semester in Dialogue, topic: Sustainable Food Systems. I have been very sad and frustrated lately engaging so frequently with what is happening to animals. We have to write a weekly reflection so last week I wrote this vindictive and annotated rap. Enjoy.

With what feeds us

There is no feedback loop

Hundred of boys and girls are raised on slop:

Oliver, J. (2010). Jamie Oliver’s TED Prize wish: Teach every child about food [TED Talk]. TED. Retrieved from: http://www.ted.com/talks/jamie_oliver.html

and stoop down

Five people drowned in poop:

Foer, J. (2009). Eating Animals. New York: Little, Brown and Company. p. 177

Pig soup, 100,000 feet wide

or more

and what’s in store?

Not just stool in a pool but stillborns and drool

And blood and hair and piss is in there

But please, don’t mention that to me

I don’t want to know where the body I eat could be from

Or where it goes

Nobody knows

how many million lives are taken

And for what?

Our health is at stake and

Fulkerson, L [dir.]. (2011). Forks Over Knives [Film]. USA: Monica Beach Media.

For steak we make such sacrifice

Workers injured and jarred on the line

Foer, J. (2009). Eating Animals. New York: Little, Brown and Company. p. 132

That never stops

As the slaughterers never stop

To think

Or if they do

they keep on buying in

To stories about protein and taurine

Making them strong

So many sing along

With the sad songs of

Charbroiled or tin foiled

Milk is spoiled

Cows are coiled and branded

Castrated after birth

Balls chopped off

Tails ripped, horns merc-i-o-s-ly

Ronald McDonald you can come at me

Please leave the kids alone

They have a right to know

The taste of fresh

A burger is not the best

Way to educate a generation

About food

To teach them

Respect, now don’t be rude

Eat your dinner

Sing a song for the winners

But don’t mourn the deaths of

Animals in the depths

Of the factory that they call a farm

They facility where they shit and are born

Baby chicks ground up at birth

Mercy for animals. (2009). Undercover Investigation at Hy-Line Hatchery [Video Footage]. Retrieved via: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=JJ–faib7to

The cost off eggs might bankrupt your purse

If we value life like we value what we like

If it “tastes good” that doesn’t make it right

And I vow to stop it with all my might

These babies being taken on their first night

Michael Ableman, Personal communication, May 11, 2012.

Boys in the grinder

Mercy for animals. (2009). Undercover Investigation at Hy-Line Hatchery [Video Footage]. Retrieved via: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=JJ–faib7to

Girls stay behind and lay eggs for a few years

Then we’ll chop of your head and eat you with a beer

After we bleed you out

Boil you down

Pump you with water, salt and

Foer, J. (2009). Eating Animals. New York: Little, Brown and Company. p. 131

Ship you round

Wish I knew how it started

Wish I knew why

The whole thing

Makes me cry

I pray at night

For the souls who can’t fight

For those who “don’t know what they do”

Luke 23:34, New American Standard Bible, 1995

In that respect Jesus knew a thing or two

Father give us forgiveness

Mother please don’t grieve for us

Escape! It may be the only way

For us to leave this place

And have our space

To roam free

The animals and me

If we escape through a fence or a rope in a tree

The Peace Abby. (2011). Emily the Sacred Cow. Massachusetts: The Peace Abby. Retrieved from: http://www.peaceabbey.org/tour-guide/emily-the-cow/

We’ll go perhaps to a kinder place

No guarantee but at least we can be

How, and Who we want to

Bees, give us your honey from your hive

It can infect our babies but keeps adults alive

Lewis, N. (2010). Why Honey is Not Vegan. Vegetus. Retrieved from: http://www.vegetus.org/honey/honey.htm

Right?

Spoonful every night

It’s digested and spit up fifty times

Lewis, N. (2010). Why Honey is Not Vegan. Vegetus. Retrieved from: http://www.vegetus.org/honey/honey.htm

And to make your home we’ll ship you a pound at a time

Mark Winston, personal communication, June 1, 2012.

Mr.honey bee

Who came from overseas

Lewis, N. (2010). Why Honey is Not Vegan. Vegetus. Retrieved from: http://www.vegetus.org/honey/honey.htm

All for that tasty treat for me

So I ask

who are the animals?

The ones we force to be cannibals

Eating ground flesh and bone from other mammals

PETA. (2010). Drowning, Cannibalization, and Other Reasons Not to Dissect

. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. Retrieved from: http://www.peta.org/b/thepetafiles/archive/2010/10/11/drowning-cannibalization-and-other-reasons-not-to-dissect.aspx

born in crates

Sherrow, M. (2011). Pigs suffer while Smithfield takes its time. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. Retrieved from: http://www.peta.org/b/thepetafiles/archive/2011/12/09/pigs-suffer-while-smithfield-takes-its-sweet-time.aspx

beat with a cane

bred together

as we chose

and they lose

their ability to

copulate

Foer, J. (2009). Eating Animals. New York: Little, Brown and Company. p. 113

the turkeys I mean

but not the humans consuming

meet your meat

instead choose something sweet

that doesn’t cost a life

with a slip or a knife

or a baby

or give diabetes to some old lady

Fulkerson, L [dir.]. (2011). Forks Over Knives [Film]. USA: Monica Beach Media.

make a choice

use your voice

cause the producers tell me

it’s supply and demand

Mark Robbins, personal communication, May 31, 2012.

but i’m not asking

so I want to know what can

I do

other than refuse

and ask you

to join me to

to stop this war

this holocaust

by beasts

who want something to wear or eat

don’t be one more

make a choice at the store

please don’t tell me

that you’re an omnivore

and that this is the only way

‘cause its sick

with a twist

and if you’d look at the pics

PETA. (2012). Graphic. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. Retrieved from: http://www.peta.org/tv/videos/graphic/default.aspx

I bet you’d agree

that this policy

is better left in the past

if we want the Earth to last

before it’s filled up with smoke

and greenhouse gas

passed

by cows and pigs by hundred thousands

millions

Foer, J. (2009). Eating Animals. New York: Little, Brown and Company. p. 43

each year

multiplied by artificial insemination dear

DeJarnette, M. and Nebel, R. (n.d.) A.I. Technique in Cattle. Select Reproductive Solutions. Retrieved from: http://www.selectsires.com/resources/fertilitydocs/ai_technique_cattle.pdf

if I put my hand up your rear

would you say that nature’s right is here?

and lets be clear

grass fed saves no steer

just open the door

and you think that’s enough for

a life given in exchange

hung upside down on a rack

deranged

kicking and screaming

after a bolt to the brain

Foer, J. (2009). Eating Animals. New York: Little, Brown and Company. p. 226

it might miss the skull and leave him in pain

but that’s okay

that’s just the way

we feed the world today

the price we pay

for some bacon and a burger, kay?

it’s easy, hey

fast food

for the mood

of the high school brood

come on dude

you can choose your food

pick your fate

make your name

live in honor and stop the pain.

Palm Oil Update – Vegan Win?

Yesterday I wrote several companies asking them to stop using Palm Oil in their products and I have already received replies!

Daiya Foods published this page on their current stand point. I am excited to continue to enjoy Daiya Shreds on occasion.

Earth Balance has this page. And a white paper.

And So Delicious e-mailed me saying their (vegan) chocolate ice creme bar has phased out Palm Oil. Their (vegan) ice creme sandwich wafers still contain palm oil, however it is not sourced from Indonesia, and the suppliers are members of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO)…

According to their website…

In response to the urgent and pressing global call for sustainably produced palm oil, the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) was formed in 2004 with the objective promoting the growth and use of sustainable oil palm products through credible global standards and engagement of stakeholders.

The seat of the association is in Zurich, Switzerland, while the secretariat is currently based in Kuala Lumpur with a satellite offi¬ce in Jakarta.

RSPO is a not-for-profit association that unites stakeholders from seven sectors of the palm oil industry – oil palm producers, palm oil processors or traders, consumer goods manufacturers, retailers, banks and investors, environmental or nature conservation NGOs and social or developmental NGOs – to develop and implement global standards for sustainable palm oil.

Based on the replies I have received I feel comfortable consuming products that contain palm oil from these companies. I don’t eat these things very often and I was very touched that they all replied to me so personally and so quickly. I plan to keep writing to companies when I see Palm Oil listed on their ingredients list in the future. Goooo vegan!

I am Protesting Palm Oil

This week I committed to boycotting Palm Oil.

The following websites have great information about why and how we can and must reduce palm oil consumption: Life Without Palm Oil, Liberation BC, Orangutan Protection, Say No To Palm Oil.

In short…

Up to a hundred species are now becoming extinct every day (Rainforest Rescue)
Did you know that  the production of palm oil is one of the main drivers of deforestation,  as vast tracts of rainforest are daily cleared to make way for palm plantations?
 Far from being old hat, protection of the rainforest is now critical.
In Indonesia, it is estimated that 98% of the forest there will be gone in nine years and that orang utans will have become extinct in the wild. Now, fewer than 400 Sumatran Tigers remain in the wild
Deforestation also destroys the lives of tribal peoples and worsens climate change dramatically, whereas when left, undisturbed tropical forests are absorbing nearly a third of all CO2 emissions.
 Palm oil is extracted from the fruit of the palm plants (not to be confused with coconut palms) and it is now in half of supermarket products.It is even used in vegan products. including cakes, chocolate, soaps, make-up etc.The Vegetarian Society has this month agreed to bring up the palm issue with its manufacturers. – Via

Today I wrote to the following companies respectfully requesting that they eliminate the use of Palm Oil (often labelled as Palm Fruit Oil) in their products:

Here is an example of a letter I sent:

Dear BLANK,

My name is Jenni and I have been an avid consumer of your products since I became vegan three years ago. It really means a lot to me that you produce products which support a plant-based lifestyle. I ahve especially enjoyed your delicious BLANK product.

I recently learned that the production of palm oil causes much damage to the environment and the habitats of many animals in Indonesia. Habitat destruction is a major threat to the Orangutan population. I was deeply moved by this news. I was very disappointed to see palm oil listed on the ingredients of PRODUCT NAME. I have resolved to boycott palm oil and sadly, for the time being, I am not able to allow myself to purchase or consume your products.
I would like to respectfully request that you eliminate the use of palm oil in your products. I would happily pay more for an alternative that does less damage to the Earth.  I appreciate your attention to this matter and I look forward to enjoying palm oil free products from you in the future.

Mahalo!
Jenni Rempel

If I get any responces I will report about them here, and I will also e-mail them to sw@naturealert.org

Yay animals!

Time to Move: A Song for a Sunday Night

I have had a tough few days emotionally. I have been feeling really sad thinking about many terrible things that are happening in the world (for example…) and today that experience turned into a song.

I heard recently that the reason the new Jason Mraz album took so long was because he wrote tons of songs that didn’t make it on to the record. I have decided that I want to start finishing a recording as many songs as possible to practice my performance and presentation skills. Even if some of them are depressing like this one, or things I wouldn’t want to be MY song, I think it is all part of the creative process that I am getting in touch with. So here goes.

G

I can say thank you with a smile

C

But I’m weeping

Em

all the while

Em

The pains too great, This sadness makes me

C

weak

D

and weary

G

I can pray all day and night

C

But that wont make things

Em

alright

Em

Our world is sick

C

inside

Em

The light is hidden

D

by the night

G

There is something telling me it’s time to move,

Em

Weather I stay or weather I go there’s a part of me I’ll lose

C

Either way maybe it will all work out the same

D

Cause I’ve lost hope in the status quo

D

And I need help to travel

A7

through

G

Wish I could change the world I see

C

but I can’t do it

Em

just with me

Em

the world is wide, the web is

C

finely

D

connected

G

I want to stop all of the pain

C

without creating foes

Em

to blame

Em

the sun hurts

C

my eyes

Em

I wish for guidance

D

through the fight

G

There is something telling me it’s time to move,

Em

Weather I stay or weather I go there’s a part of me I’ll lose

C

Either way maybe it will all work out the same

D

Cause I’ve lost hope in the status quo

D

And I need help to travel

A7

through

REPEAT

G

Today.