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!

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!