Jet.com, a brand owned by Walmart has banned the use of ‘ejiao’ which is a donkey-derived gelatine. It is derived from donkey hide and often referred to in Chinese medicine to be a cure-all type of remedy.
This is often thought of as a by-product of the donkeys; however, the reality is that the animals are bred to be killed for the product. The gelatine is used in sweets and confectionary to make it chewy, the same way that beef and pork gelatine is used. The product is also used in beauty products and some snack foods, too.
PETA President Ingrid Newkirk commented on the production of ejiao, educating retailers about where the product comes from. Speaking of this she said: “They pulled the product from their shelves. It’s time to bust the myth that using rhino horns, deer tongues and donkey skins anything except cause enormous suffering.”
Recent undercover footage filmed by PETA Asia revealed this information, with other animals falling victim to the ejiao trade. The exposé found that horses, pigs and cows are slaughtered to make fake ejiao.
According to the statement on PETA’s website, they name the companies in the US that have withdrawn the cruelly made ingredient from their products. The companies are: Acu-Market, Acupuncture Atlanta, Albert Max, Inc. (previously DBA VitaSpring Health), CAI Corporation, Chef Masterpiece, eBay, Fresh Bites Basket, Golden Needle Acupuncture, Good Price Appliances, Grocery Grove, Jet.com, Magical Chefs, Maxnature for Herbs Direct USA, and Stocked Farm.
With many alternative options to use instead of gelatine, the raised awareness of this is providing retailers with the knowledge to make more responsible and informed decisions about the ingredients that they use. This is a big step in the right direction, which will hopefully end the practice of breeding and slaughtering donkeys for this cause.