As I mentioned in the thread "Is being veg*n a silent boycott?", I think that just boycotting non-veg*n items isn't enough. We need to be vocal about it. The example I gave was the vitamin D in Tropicana and Minute Maid OJ's both being of the D3 (animal source) variety, and that vegans should speak up about not buying that juice for that reason.
Even though I'm not vegan, I took it upon myself to send Tropicana an email through the "Contact Us" link on their web site. I thought you all might be amused by what I wrote, since I tried to appeal to their business sense, so it's probably quite different than what most of you would have written.
It might help the cause of some of the rest of you were to also contact them. The more, the merrier.
Here's my complete letter:
In your Pure Premium Orange Juice, what is the source of the calcium and vitamin D? Your FAQ talks about FruitCal, but it doesn't say where it comes from. And I noticed that the vitamin D is the D3 variety, which is an animal source, not the D2 variety, which would be a plant source.
As you may be aware, there is a growing movement of strict vegetarians, called vegans, who won't purchase or consume any goods that come from animal sources. Unfortunately, the vitamin D3 in your products prevents vegans from buying them. A company of your size probably doesnt worry about losing the business from a few hundred hippy liberal tree huggers, but let me share a few facts that may cause you to reconsider.
Per a joint paper of the American Dietetic Association and Dietitians of Canada, approximately 2.5% of Americans and 4% of Canadians were vegetarians, as of June 2003 (see: http://www.eatright.org/cps/rde/xchg..._ENU_HTML.htm)
. Per the book The New Becoming Vegetarian by Melina and Davis, also published in 2003, a rough survey showed that 25-40% of American vegetarians are vegans. Given that there are currently three hundred million Americans, this means that the number of vegans in America is somewhere in the range of 1.8 to 3 million people.
And the key point here is that every one of those 2-3 million people refuses to buy dairy products, because of the dairy industrys cruel treatment of cows. Not drinking milk, vegans are always on the lookout for good alternative sources of calcium and vitamin D, such as soy milk, dark green leafy vegetables, or calcium enriched orange juice. And currently, to my knowledge, there isnt a national brand of calcium enriched orange juice that also has vitamin D from non-animal sources.
So by switching to a plant source for the vitamin D used in your juice, and confirming that the calcium comes from a plant source (?), you could easily pick up a hundred thousand or more new customers. And these arent just any customers. These are people who pay close attention to what they eat, often have healthy enough diets to consider orange juice a staple item, and are fiercely loyal to companies that produce animal-free products. These arent just customers. Theyre a rabidly loyal fan base waiting to happen.
Think about it.