Veganism is currently on the rise in the western world. In the UK vegans are estimated to makeup 2% of the population which is more than 1.2 million people. In America this number is even higher at 3.2% of the population which is 7.3 million people, who follow a vegetarian-based diet. Approximately 0.5 percent, or 1 million, of those are vegans, who consume no animal products at all.
With this increase in veganism, we have also seen the rise of vegan product in stores and more fast food restaurant are introducing vegan alternatives.
However, if you are the kind of vegan that is against animal products on moral grounds you may have to change the products you use.
For starters, Alpro which is available in most supermarkets and is one of the most popular milk alternatives, is actually just another product from dairy companies looking to cash in on the vegan movement.
Alpro was founded by Vandemoortele Group, who then later sold the company to WhiteWave foods.
On July 7, 2016, French food and beverage manufacturer Danone announced a $12.5 billion deal to acquire WhiteWave. You make recognise Danone from their yogurt products including Actimel. Danone is a huge player in the dairy industry. In 2015, fresh dairy products represented 50% of the group’s total sales.
The other vegan brands Danone owns include: So delicious, Silk, Provamel and Vega.
But it’s not only vegan dairy products that have been infiltrated by big corporation. Another mainstay of the vegetarian and vegan diet Quorn is owned by the Monde Nissin Corporation. They are based in the Phillipines and their biggest exports are noodles, biscuits, packaged baked goods.
Although, Monde Nissin have also now moved into the dairy industry with their Dutch Mill brand.
Next up is another beast seller, Oatly is another dairy-free product and on their website they claim:
The Swedish company remains independent and dedicated to upgrading the lives of individuals and the general well being of the planet through a lineup of original oat drinks
This would be true if they weren’t owned by a number of investors including verlinvest who have also invested in Genius bread, and other meat restaurants.
If you are vegan on moral grounds it’s best to avoid this products as you are indirectly supporting the dairy and meat industry. Best case scenario, it better to go to your local vegan fair and support the vegan businesses in your local community.