Many vegans have been left questioning the ethical implications of one of the world’s biggest dairy companies owning vegan brands. With Danone claiming it signifies a move towards sustainability, will consumers see through this greenwashing and realise these multinationals are simply trying to cash in on the global vegan boom?
Other meat and dairy companies that own vegan brands
At Ethical Consumer, we have found other cases of this ethical conundrum for vegans. Take dairy free spreads such as Pure and Vitalite for example; Pure is owned by the Kerry Group, whose other well known brands include Richmond’s sausages, Wall’s Sausages, Dairygold and Cheesestrings.
While Vitalite’s owners Dairy Crest, produce a wide range of cheeses and butters, including Cathedral City, Clover and Utterly Butterly.
We also found links between the meat industry and cornerstone vegan brands such as Linda McCartney, whose public championing of the meat-free lifestyle has contributed significantly to the current boom in alternative diets.
The brand is currently owned by Hain Celestial, a company who sells poultry products in the US, as well as owning Ella’s Kitchen baby food, much of which contains meat.
One of the world's largest multi-nationals, Unilever, also has a stake in the vegan market through their dairy-free soy ice cream brand Swedish Glace. However, the group continue to profit from the meat and dairy industries through their other brands, such as Hellman’s, Ben & Jerry’s and Knorr.
Although it may be well known that Quorn and Cauldron are not exclusively vegan brands, their growing number of vegan products warrants their inclusion. Their Philippine owners Monde Nissin’s other brands include Dutch Mill yogurt and Lucky Me instant noodles (many containing meat).
Vegan companies producing vegan brands
You will be glad to hear that this is not the case for all vegan products. There are many listed in our plant milk and meat-free burgers and sausages guides that have no links to the dairy or meat industries. Such as: