The Guide > Food & Drink > Dairy & Chilled > Butter & Margarine
Butter & Margarine
In order to produce milk, dairy cows have to give birth to a calf every year. Most baby ('bobby') calves are separated from their mothers within 12 hours of birth. Every year 700,000 calves as young as five days old are sold, to be killed and processed as young veal for human consumption, hides for leather and pharmaceutical by-products.
  • Media on RSPCA's campaigning against an industry proposal to let calves heading for slaughter go unfed as a cost cutting means. Sydney Morning Herald
Things you can do:
  • Choose products from companies that have animal welfare on their agenda, such as Elgaar Farms, Barambah Organics or How Now. Elgaar Farms
Palm oil is found in roughly 50 per cent of all packaged products on supermarket shelves including shampoos, baking oil, chocolate, cosmetics, chips, cookies, margarine and soaps.

Unfortunately, not only does palm oil promote heart disease, but the vast plantations that grow oil palm trees have contributed to the destruction of the rainforest of South East Asia and threaten the survival of animals such as the Orangutan in Borneo, the Sumatran tiger, and Asian rhinoceros. Additionally, burning after deforestation accounts for significant greenhouse gas emissions. Despite this, it has recently been deemed a potential saviour as a renewable resource for use as a biofuel.
  • Palm oil may be in a product but labelled simply as 'vegetable oil'. An indicator however is if the nutritional panel lists saturated fat and it's higher than 50%, and yet there no animal fat listed as an ingredient, there is likely to be palm kernel oil, palm oil or coconut oil, as a component of 'vegetable oil' (most likely to be palm). See the various names for palm oil Palm Oil Investigations
  • For a list of branded products that do not contain palm oil, see the 'Helping you buy responsibly' section on the Borneo Orangutan Survival website. Borneo Orangutan Survival
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