The world is changing, and the biggest proof of that? Tyson, one of the largest meat producers in the world, just announced it’s entering the plant-based protein industry with the release of meatless products as soon as this summer. Even though this news shows just how mainstream veganism is becoming, not everyone is on board with the company’s latest endeavor.
According to Bloomberg, Tyson is predicted to become a major player in the alt-meat space with products that could rival the Beyond Burger and Impossible Burger. The only difference? Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods aren’t killing 6,000,000 chickens, 30,000 cattle, and 48,000 pigs every single day. While Tyson’s upcoming plant-based products could appeal to those who are looking to better their health, those who have ditched meat for ethical reasons are going to be a much harder sell.
Tyson has had many controversies over the years. Not only has the company been accused of employee abuse for denying bathroom breaks, causing those who work there to wear adult diapers to work. They’ve also been accused of animal abuse time and time again—something that has been backed up by former employees. Those instances of abuse are almost too graphic to listen to.
Because of Tyson’s history and current practices, this news has sparked an important conversation about buying vegan products from a meat producer that still kills on a massive scale. Many say they wouldn’t give them their money “in a million years.” Others agreed, but with other words I won’t repeat. And there’s really no reason to support them: These days, vegan products are available almost everywhere, and most of the companies behind them are in it for the right reasons.
While there’s yet to be any details on exactly what people can expect from this release, there seems to be an overall consensus: If you treat people and animals badly for years—and still continue to do so—don’t expect consumers to jump on board once you actually do something halfway good. Especially if it’s only because you want to capitalize on a trendy product.