When I see an interesting quote on Twitter, I save it in order to mull it over and perhaps to use it later. Below is one such quote that is popping out at me now. This in light of a dialogue (sorry, can’t find it now!) I participated in on Facebook and a subsequent conversation that I had with my son.
A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep.
— Saul Bellow
The Facebook dialogue followed a thread about Palm Oil, how it is produced and the ensuing displacement and death of tigers, orangutans and other species in the Rain Forests these beings call home.
Basically, people were wondering whether or not it is okay as vegans to use Earth Balance, that delightful Buttery Spread and those handy Baking Sticks as a replacement for butter made from cow’s milk. Knowing what I now know, I say No!, but some others disagreed. Sadly, these products are in my fridge.
After all, these products do not contain ingredients made from nonhuman animals and as far as I know, are not tested on nonhuman animals. One might be able to label them Cruelty Free and Vegan even though the labels certifying it to be so, do not appear on the sides of the packages.
PETA however, does include it on its list of Favorite Vegan Substitutes. And I wonder why that would be?-about PETA, I mean. Earth Balance contains palm oil sourced from our rapidly diminishing rain forests. Nonhuman animals are being abused, displaced and killed for the sake of this oil. And I am thinking, that can’t be right. I need to read more about PETA and their mission statement.
In the meantime, I decided to check out Earth Balance’s website and see for myself what they have to say about their products and how they view their responsibility in what I would call the Palm Oil Crisis.
Responsibility-according to the good people at Earth Balance (E.B.)
E.B: “…palm oil is one of the critical elements to our proprietary blend of oils.”
Me: Non Dairy butters are a non essential food, so how can palm oil be a critical element?
E.B: “…only a small palm oil user (we use less than 0.05% of all palm oil).”
ME: “Worldwide production….should reach 48.98 million tonnes (Mt) in 2011″ We can all do the math. Even 0.05% is what amounts to mind boggling nonhuman animal and mega fauna devastation.
E.B: “…we are firmly committed to sustainable sourcing, and we believe in the power of informed consumers to change the world for the better.”
ME: They will continue to buy palm oil labelling it as sustainable sourcing. It is a way to fool (inform) customers that this is okay!
E.B: “Thirty percent of our palm oil comes from Brazil. Our Brazil-sourced palm oil is 100% organic and is used in all of our organic products (and because orangutans are not native to South America, the Brazilian palm industry does not adversely impact their wellbeing).”
ME: Basically, they are saying they are not harming anyone or anything and as an added plus, their products are organic (a moniker that the consumer knows and loves).
So, I asked my son and this is what he had to say about Earth Balance’s stance.
Ya, these guys are BS artists. They’re only interested in managing how people perceive them, which is why they highlight how they’re doing everything they can to save a species of mega-fauna (which is what people most identify with and feel sympathy for) as opposed to addressing their role in the destruction of an ENTIRE ecosystem.
Annie’s Vegan View
Products advertised as vegan are not always so.
Information supplied by companies is often a marketing ploy designed to assuage our fears and open our wallets.
We all have a huge responsibility to educate ourselves about what is happening to our planet and all the living beings in it.
Individually and collectively we can make a difference.
May all beings be happy and free.