Sympathy for the devil? Coconut Bliss & Dairy
When it recently came across my Twitter feed that Coconut Bliss was involved with a dairy company, my first reaction was shock. Well, shock and a mouse click.
However, as I started reading the series of steps that led to Luna and Larry, the founders of Coconut Bliss, selling the majority share of their non-dairy ice cream business to a local dairy, my shock turned more to confused ethics.
Should I stop supporting Coconut Bliss because of their parent company?
Of course, the bigger dilemma this raises is how do you choose who to support and who to avoid ? I often joke that at the end of the day most products are all owned by either Coke, Pepsi, Disney, Microsoft or big tobacco. There’s not much else out there, and the deeper you dig, the more you find out your money is probably somehow going to the pockets of a company that has blood on their hands, animal or otherwise. Hence, research such as the type done by Philip H. Howard at Michigan State University is often a little depressing:
With regards to Coconut Bliss, the issue was not really that big at all, but it was more because of a lack of their products here in Newfoundland than my personal decision. However, finding out that the same dairy company produced and packaged Turtle Mountain products hit a little closer to home. Although it seems Turtle Mountain now has their own production facility, I had always assumed they were a smaller company with no big parent taking a part of my money.
So, where do you draw the line? Is the act of buying from the vegan-friendly arm of a big company a vote for them to focus more on such products, or are you really just throwing your ethical money into a big, messy well of riches? Is buying the veg* burger at the fast food joint a step in the right direction or are we better off just spending that money on fertilizer for the backyard garden? What about those of us who reside in small towns or live life on the road and have few options outside of the major companies that are widely distributed?