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You may have heard that certain factory farming groups are now telling everyone that ending the use of animals for food is the only campaign that counts. Well, it gets worse: Disregarding cruelties to non-food animals has been overtaken by actually committing them!
Impossible Foods, the maker of the as-yet barely available Impossible Burger, decided, entirely voluntarily, to test one of its burger ingredients, heme, by feeding it to rats and killing them—something it is not, and never has been, required to do to market its products. The company did this in order to try to win Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval. And despite this bid to win FDA approval by using these little mammals, the FDA has not yet granted the approval the company sought.
Impossible Foods founder Patrick Brown has been disingenuous in talking of his "agonizing dilemma" to subject animals to experimentation that the company never needed to do. Here's what really happens: Rats in laboratories usually live in plastic shoebox-sized containers stacked against a wall, deprived of everything that is natural to them, terrified of the humans who hurt them. Studies show their hearts race in fear even at the sound of the doorknob of the laboratory door turning. Brown has said that the rats were euthanized after the test but "euthanasia" means painless mercy killing while, after a test like this, rats are usually killed by thwacking them against the wall, breaking their necks on the edge of a counter or table (yes, this is exactly what is done), or decapitating them with a guillotine. Just as cows aren't burgers, rats aren't tools for lab experiments.
When PETA questioned Brown, he admitted that the test did not have to be done, that if he had to do it over again he would still do it even though it was not required by any regulation, and that he would not commit to never commissioning other tests in the future.
Now The Good Food Institute has approached PETA on behalf of Hampton Creek (after PETA asked the company about its testing policy), which has also just admitted to voluntarily conducting tests on rats. Hampton Creek has now refused to say that it would not test on animals in the future.
Other companies with fabulous vegan meats and other innovative vegan products have confirmed that they do not, have not, and will not ever test on animals. These include Beyond Meat, Field Roast, Gardein, Yves, Follow Your Heart, Sunshine Burger, Amy's Kitchen, Sweet Earth, Dr. Praeger's Purely Sensible Foods, and others.
Please contact Impossible Foods CEO Patrick Brown and Hampton Creek cofounders Josh Balk and Josh Tetrick to urge them to ensure that no more animals suffer in tests for their products. Supposedly innovative companies should be smarter—and kinder—than that. And vegan foods are not vegan if they are tested on animals.