A Letter to Trader Joe’s

Back in January, I wrote a letter to Trader Joe’s about their use of palm oil. 

TJ’s has an enormous amount of goodies for vegans and vegetarians, but if you look closer, a lot of those products contain palm oil. If thousands of species like elephants, orangutans, rhinos and tigers, as well as indigenous people, have lost their lives and homes in the making of a product, can it truly be considered vegetarian? 

Orangutan means "human of the trees". Saw this hair-less one being fabulous while walking the Sepilok boardwalk.

Orangutan means "human of the trees". Saw this hair-less one being fabulous while walking the Sepilok boardwalk.

Besides the loss of habitat, the ecological effect is devastating. As the forests are burned to make way for the palm oil plantations, carbon is released into the atmosphere at an alarming rate, which then speeds up the rate of global warming. 

I’m sharing my letter (below) in hopes that you might feel compelled to write one of your own — or, feel free to copy it and send it to Trader Joe’s, too. 

Never forget — your money is your vote!

With love,

Breakfast on the feeding platform.

Breakfast on the feeding platform.


Let me start off by saying I love your store and enjoy shopping there, hence this email, as I wish to continue to do so. Yet, it's becoming alarmingly apparent (from all my label reading) that the use of palm oil in your products is quite prevalent.  

Palm oil is one of the main contributors to deforestation and carbon emissions in the environment, in addition to countless animals — orangutans,  tigers, elephants, etc. — losing their homes, being killed and even forced into extinction through the process of forests being burned to make room for palm oil plantations.

Having recently visited an orangutan sanctuary in Borneo, I can tell you these are amazing animals that deserve much better. Their name literally means "human of the trees,” as they are remarkably human-like. It is up to us humans to protect these vulnerable creatures, as well as to preserve the Earth. It's very disheartening to know a company that I hear such high praise about (in terms of working conditions), is supporting such a despicable trade. Unless, that is, you use RSPO certified palm oil dealers. It's still not great, but it’s a start.

I have attached some articles (see below), so you can review the facts yourself. 

I truly hope your company will want to do better for the environment, and for the animals … so that I can continue to be an enthusiastic supporter of your stores. 

(Your name here)