Should vegans be boycotting Daiya cheese now that the company that makes it has been bought by the pharmaceutical company Otsuka?
Petitions are being circulated. Facebook posses are being organised. And the wagons are being circled around this defining issue.
Will a boycott of Daiya have any impact, or is it simply a waste of our time?
If, we are to boycott Daiya, who is next? And where do we draw the line?
What The Issue Is
People are getting upset that Otsuka test some of their products on animals.
They claim that by purchasing Daiya products they are ‘supporting’ animal ‘cruelty’.
What is it that makes this such a ‘bad’ thing?
Let’s remember that Daiya was never a “vegan” product.
With regards to the Cruelty Free Shop, how is buying Daiya any different to the support given to other organisations?
If you have a look at the charities that The Cruelty Free Shop has supported in the past, not all of them are “vegan”.
Or, the other products that The Cruelty Free Shop stocks that are owned by companies that produce animal based products?
Bonsoy is imported into Australia by Spiral Foods, who also import and sell products that are not suitable for vegans.
Gardein is owned by Pinnacle Foods who make and sell products that are not suitable for vegans.
Red Seal toothpaste is owned by the EBOS Group, who also manufacture pharmaceuticals, animal based pet ‘treats’, and a number of other brands
Other Things Overlooked
I am not going to dismiss animal experimentation, or down play the impact that it has on other animals.
Though why is that being focused on when they use palm oil in some of their products?
The palm oil they use is EcoSocial and RSPO certified, and I don’t doubt that it is.
The question here is about the use of that product.
There is also the support that Daiya has given to the Salvation Army, Mercy for Animals, and PeTA.
What Will The Boycott Achieve?
In a perfect world, by refusing to stock a product in one store, that store’s customers will follow suit and refuse to by that product elsewhere.
Yet, here in the real world, all that will happen is those who want to buy Daiya will go elsewhere. Thereby giving their support to other businesses that may not be “vegan”.
Sure, the boycott may lead to a few social media Hi Fives, though the reality is, it will have very little impact on the the business they are targeting.
The other side of the coin is that all this is doing is giving the anti-vegans more ammunition to claim that veganism is all about “dogma” and some unattainable level of “purity”.
If you want to boycott Daiya, go for it. Just keep in mind that you may have to do it for ever, as I doubt it will be sold again any time soon.
If you have a business and are refusing to stock Daiya, is it because your customers want you to, or because you don’t want them buying it?
Either way, it may be an idea to use your time wisely, as this is one ‘battle’ that can never be won.