At what cost …?

You know the times are a changing when conventional companies like Becel start putting out vegan products. I saw this ad in a magazine today and was floored. Wow. Becel has packaging with the word “vegan” on the label!

Now before you get all excited that the price point is cheaper then say a product like Earth Balance – at what cost? Let’s remember who makes Becel. Unilever. What is Unilver guilty of? Animal testing … while they state on their website:

“Unilever is committed to the elimination of animal testing. We are equally committed to consumer health and safety, and to the safety of our workforce and the environment. Where some testing is required by law or currently unavoidable, we aim to minimize the number of animals used.

In pursuit of these goals, Unilever on the one hand applies strict internal control procedures to ensure that animal testing is only carried out when no alternatives are available, and on the other hand, invests in developing and applying alternative approaches to replace animal testing in safety assessments for consumer products.

By adopting this dual approach, we advance the elimination of animal testing and reduce the number of tests to the absolute minimum. We provide transparency both in the use of animals and in the progress made in developing alternative approaches.”

To me it’s just lots of blah blah blah. NOT GOOD ENOUGH! There are so many fantastic vegan products on the shelves – why bother purchasing from companies who are trying to capitalize on a growing vegan market while continuing to test/exploit animals for profit.

Don’t forget that where/how/who you spend your $$ on dictates the marketplace and that’s why I will continue to support vegan friendly companies like Earth Balance.

In happier news Earth Balance now has a SOY FREE product!!

I haven’t seen it in the markets in Victoria yet but you can be sure I’ll be first in line when it arrives! Wahoo!

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0 Responses to At what cost …?

  1. Daisy says:

    OOH awesome! I’m going to see if we can stock that!

  2. Melissa says:

    Thanks for the “heads up”! I try to be careful of vegan products of non-vegan companies. Hope you get the soy free Earth Balance soon! It’s quite good.

  3. Alison C. says:

    Yes, that does seem unreasonable that Becel claims that they MUST do animal testing – like they have no choice. I’m assuming that Earth Balance, on the other hand, doesn’t do testing. Maybe Becel should give EB a call and and see how _they_ do it and learn from them. I have a hard time believable that it is “unavoidable” for them to test on animals to make their product. I wonder if this vegan version of Becel is available in Canada now?

  4. Caitlin says:

    We just got soy free EB here in NJ a few months ago and it is delish! I have a soy sensitivity (luckily not a full blown allergy) so this is a god send. Hopefully it will make the rounds soon.

  5. Holly (Ottawa) says:

    @Alison C: It’s not Becel that does animal testing to make margarine, it’s their parent company, Unilever, that does animal testing to make their other products (cosmetics and cleaners). So it’s not as simple as just asking Earthbalance how they make margarine without animal testing.

    I don’t know if they’re required by law to test on animals to sell their other products, but if they are, then maybe they should just use ingredients in their other products that don’t require testing on animals; you can make almost ANY cosmetic product or cleaner without using ingredients that by law must be tested on animals. They just CHOOSE not to, because it’s cheaper to use the other ingredients.

    I’ll stick with Earthbalance 😀

  6. Jennifer says:

    That’s so great to know! I never would have thought that food companies would test on animals. Are there other non-vegan companies who produce food items?

  7. Jennifer says:

    ps- I’m from Ottawa ON too, Holly!

  8. I saw the vegan Becel yesterday at Thrifty Foods in Victoria.

  9. Erin says:

    Interesting… I definitely don’t want to support businesses that test on animals, and although I’m sure I have accidentally here and there, I do my best to avoid them. However, I’ve thought about situations like this before, and just for the sake of playing devils advocate: what if these companies don’t sell enough of their “vegan” products, conclude that there isn’t a sufficient vegan market, and stop moving in that direction?

    I’m not trying to say that we can overlook the animal testing… I’m just saying it seems that there’s a bit of a catch 22.

    On a separate note, I’m elated whenever I see the word “vegan” on a product, whether I plan on purchasing it or not. Although it’s very subtle and/or maybe on an unconscious level, I think it will register with the general public and at least become a blip on their cognitive radar. I think if a certain level of familiarity builds up between people and the word – especially in such a neutral way (no scary, off-putting peta activism attached to it) – people will become less and less afraid of the word and, as a result, the philosophy.

  10. Chris says:

    Just an fyi, from a gal whose had the soy-free EB—it tastes *better* than the original EB! I’m amazed by that fact, but it is 110% true! YAY!!

  11. Wendy says:

    NOT GOOD AT ALL – they do animal test and they also source their Palm Oil through Sinar Mas from unstainable sources, so they have a hand in the destruction of Orangutans native homelands, therefore NOT VERY VEGAN TO ME – and all margarine shoud be banned totally anyways

  12. SoyaMan says:

    Wendy, why would you say “all margarine shoud be banned”?

    Are we supposed to use butter, which comes from animals? That’s not vegan either! And what about those of us with dairy allergies?

    What do you use if you don’t use neither butter or margarine?

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