Monday Musings 3.19.18

Last week I found out that the brand Garden of Life is owned by Nestlé…and I literally felt crushed. Now, I know this is old new so some of you (it happened back in December), but I guess that’s what happens when you aren’t on social media anymore…you become the last to find out a lot of things. This broke my heart because, well, I LOVE GARDEN OF LIFE!!!! They have some of our favorite organic and/or raw supplements, they made our favorite protein powder, and I really just loved what the company stood for. I found out about the “sell-out” through an article my Mom sent me regarding toxic protein powders. After some Google searching, I came across this letter, written by Brian Ray to Garden of Life supporters. While I appreciated the openness about becoming a part of Nestlé, I kind of cringed when I read, “I spent time getting to know the people at Nestlé, their vision and their values. I saw first-hand how much we have in common.”

How much could they really have in common????? Here’s a brand who prides themselves in organic, natural ingredients and to become part of a company who owns somewhere around 8,500 brands…most of which are the complete opposite of healthy and continue to test on animals or support the unethical sourcing of chocolate (slavery and child labor).

BUT then I realized I was jumping the gun and judging…kind of like what I was talking about in my last Monday Musings post. I felt terrible! So I took some time to process, take a step back and look at the situation with a new perspective.

It’s a sticky dilemma and everyone has a different take on it. I know that I personally try to avoid buying brands that are owned by companies I despise (Unilever, Nestlé, General Mills, P&G, Danone, Johnson & Johnson, and a few others) because I hate knowing that they support animal testing and products that are known to cause cancer. I feel like if I were to buy products (even if they’re vegan) owned by these big companies I’m sending the wrong message…like maybe I have my beliefs mixed up.

BUT maybe if we continued to support these vegan brands despite being owned by these companies, we could be sending a different message: we want more products like this! Maybe if we kept purchasing the vegan options, more options would become available? We need to remember that even though these vegan brands are being bought up, they’re still vegan brands. AND by being owned by these bigger companies, this means the brands have more resources…they’re popping up in more stores, in more states. They’re becoming easier to access which means more people will be able to have healthier options…healthier alternatives. I think we also need to remember that sometimes the options are slim and you take what you can get. Who knows, maybe being owned by a larger company could lead to new products that wouldn’t have otherwise been released!

It’s sad to think about how these big corporations own literally everything. I applaud the private brands that are holding their own and I will do my best to support them first. I’m really not sure exactly where I stand right now (pro or against) regarding this whole issue. I will say this…you wont see any judgment coming from me either way. Buying these products wont make you a bad person or a bad vegan. I remember when I was on social media, I would see people harassing one another over products being purchased and it made me sad. I would often times fear posting any photos of products because I was 99% sure I’d get a critical comment about it.

My family tries to eat as whole foods, plant based as possible and we leave the pre-packaged foods as a treat. But it really is shocking to learn just how many brands are no longer private.

Here are just a few (there are lots more) vegan brands owned by non-vegan parent companies:

  • Beyond Meat
  • Coconut Bliss
  • Daiya
  • Earth Balance
  • Gardein
  • Kite Hill
  • Silk
  • Seventh Generation
  • SoDelicious

There’s a pretty lengthy list of beauty brands that I could include, but you get the point.

What are your thoughts? Where do you stand?

Random, but I feel weird not including a photo of some sort in a post. I’ll leave you with a photo of sweet Leila! She’s 12 years old today!

Monday Musings 3.19.18

Thanks for stopping by!

9 thoughts

  1. i am conflicted on this issue as well. In part because it has happened multiple times so can one really avoid it? perhaps if unlimited money or time or energy but that is not the case for me.

    Thanks for the picture of your Pup. Happy B’day Lelia! so sweet – i hope she got some extra biscuits and hugs on her day.

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    1. Right??? So conflicted. I feel like it’s becoming almost impossible to avoid it – every time I turn around I hear of another brand. While we do try and make most of our stuff from scratch, we need those products of convenience – it’s so nice to treat yourself, to give yourself a break!! Like you said, if we had more hours in a day and unlimited funds maybe it would be possible to completely avoid it…but for now, I think I’m just not going to stress over it do my best to support the smaller brands first.

      Thank you!! She’s my parents dog! We didn’t get to see her yesterday, but I have no doubt she got spoiled with love! Thank you!! Hope you have a great week and happy spring! 💗

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  2. Wow such an interesting post! I’m afraid I’m not such a deep thinker and never even thought about who owns what. That’s what I love about your blog. It always make me think and push myself! And is Leila your dog?! I didn’t know you had gotten one!

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    1. Thank you for reading! It’s always nice to hear from you! Oh, Leila is my parents dog!! But I kinda feel like she’s my dog too ❤️ She is such a love and is so great with Willow.

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  3. Gah this is such a hard one! I actually didn’t know about the Garden of Life thing, that one is more surprising then many to me, but in the end I agree with you 100%. I hate animal testing and the false health claims that come with these large corporations, and I worry that they will corrupt brands like Garden of Life in terms of quality to save money, but in the end I think judgement and striving for the impossible goal of perfection as a consumer is far more detrimental. It is definitely a good sign that these large companies are recognizing the value in vegan/organic/natural products. I do wish there was more transparency around it all though, that’s what I dislike the most. And happy belated bday beautiful Leila❤️

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    1. Right??? I was so surprised by Garden of Life because I thought they were doing really well on their own. We’re still going to support them because I love their ingredients and that they’re organic. You are absolutely right – striving for perfection as a consumer is way more detrimental – it’s not worth the stress! Everything you said had me nodding in agreement! Thank you, Natalie!! ❤️❤️

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  4. I completely agree with you! I hold no judgement and honestly, I will still buy vegan brands to show the demand for them is high. I feel like in today’s world, with how many people are becoming vegan, the demand is higher and it is inevitable and I think it is a GOOD thing. This makes vegan seem so much more normal, less weird and more mainstream, therefore opening more people’s minds to try these products. I fully support it. Do I hate animal testing? Absolutely. But we simply cannot control at all and I think it’s impossible to fully control it all. I mean, I still shop at grocery stores that sell meat, right? So, not supporting companies that own vegan brands is kind of similar in a way. The more these products are bought, the more people are considering vegan and that’s what I see in the big picture! Just my feelings! 🙂 And I love the pic of Leila at the end, haha, beautiful dog!

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    1. SO much YES!!!!! Everything you wrote makes so much sense and I agree! It makes me so happy when we’re at the store and I see people putting vegan products in their carts – having all of these options really helps those who are trying to transition. I’ll never forget going to Whole Foods a while back and I went to pick up some Beyond Meat burgers for Josh and this woman said to me, “Those are amazing! I don’t even miss meat anymore!” After talking with her for a few minutes, she explained that she was newly vegan and at first it was hard because she craved meat and cheese…it’s products like these that make it easier! So, I’m all for it! I have to remind myself that just because some of these vegan brands are owned by non-vegan corporations (that test or support animal testing) doesn’t mean they’ve gone to the dark side and have lost sight of their intentions. I think maybe they were looking at the bigger picture and realizing that being owned by these corporations allows for more options – they’re able to reach more people! To help spread the vegan love 😉❤️ Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with me! I appreciate it! Love you! ❤️❤️❤️

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