The Animal Rights March is passing near the headquarters of Unilever on the 28th of August 2021, to ask the corporate giant to make changes towards a just and sustainable plant-based food system. The mega-company branches over 190 countries and possesses brands of food items, home and personal care products. We are surrounded by Unilever products. In 2018 Unilever’s annual revenue was 20.62 billion euros.
Unilever contributes to animal agriculture and animal abuse through several means. That’s why we gather at its headquarters to show unity for animal justice and propose solutions.
For cows and their babies
Almost all major ice-cream brands that use dairy are owned by Unilever. A few brands, such as Magnum and Ben’n’Jerry, have introduced plant-based flavours – it is the first step. But it is not sufficient, as dairy uses more water, landcover and has a worse carbon footprint than plant-based milk. Worse, mother cows are forcefully impregnated so that they can produce milk for humans. Only twelve weeks after their calves are born, they are taken away from their mothers so that milk can be used to produce dairy ice cream. Delicious, cruelty-free and more sustainable plant-based milk alternatives already exist; there is no excuse for not doing better. Calves and cows are individuals who want to live with their families. Unilever must choose plant-based for all animals and the environment.
For cruelty-free products
No Unilever cosmetic brand is cruelty-free, because they sell their products in China. Even if Unilever is now making its Dove products in China to avoid the required animal testing of imported products, it is not enough because it does not rule out the possibility that experiments on animals occur after the cosmetic have been launched. Alternatives to animal experimentation are validated and diverse. The mega company can use its power as a strong corporate group to further negotiate with China to change its legislation to stop all animal testing on cosmetics and stop selling products in China in the meantime. Besides, Unilever has experimented on animals for food products, out of… cosmetic reasons (certifying specific health benefits). All Unilever brands must step away from animal experimentation. As the UK government is considering reintroducing animal testing for the chemical ingredients of cosmetics made in the EU/UK, we need more than ever to show solidarity with the animals used in labs. United, we are stronger, and we ask giants such as Unilever to only use effective alternatives and go cruelty-free – for good.
For a just and sustainable plant-based food system
Unilever positions itself as a champion of sustainability, but there is no evidence that its products are more environmentally friendly than that of other brands. Nor that the guidelines are better than the current agricultural legislations and guidelines. A detailed investigation revealed a greenwashing campaign. On the ground, not all farmers even know of these guidelines. To reward themselves with sustainability awards, Unilever has created its own « sustainability logos ». In truth, this means that nothing distinguishes the « sustainable vegetables » in a Unilever soup from other vegetables. We demand Unilever to tell the truth.
For healthy water and environments
Unilever contributes to water and plastic pollution which degrades the habitats and damages the health of people and other animals. « Unilever’s pollution footprint amounts to 70,000 tonnes per year – covering more than 11 football pitches a day. ». Detergent from Unilever’s brand pollutes water. As of 2009, we needed thousands of litres of waters to dilute its petrochemicals before it can return to the environment. Plastic is hazardous for sea animals, but also land creatures: plastic rubbish gets eaten by cows in India. Burning the plastic causes respiratory and eye issues. We ask Unilever to act now and move towards sustainable plant-based food systems and house care products.
To preserve forest habitats
Another area where Unilever could improve? Deforestation. Rainforests are still being destroyed to grow plants to feed the cows, for you remember, the dairy ice-creams. The mega-company also cuts down trees to produce palm oil, which has been a key ingredient historically for its soaps and margarines. Deforestation destroys the habitat of millions of insects, birds, mammals and reptiles. Unilever directly contributes to species extinction. They must stop all of this.
Together, let’s unite for animal justice, because none are free until all are free. We can imagine and create a world based on justice and freedom rather than greed and domination. Join the Animal Rights March on the 28th and the Animal Rebellion from the 23rd of August.
Click going to the National Animal Rights March and get more information on the Facebook event here.
You can check out our events and trainings here. To get ready for the Rebellion, you can do trainings with Extinction Rebellion, a movement with whom we act in solidarity.
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