Dear Wayne Zink,
We see the Endangered Species chocolate bars in the store with attractive wrapper promising "10% of the net profits donated to support endangered species, habitat and humanity" and, like many other chocolate lovers, assume a portion of the money we spend will go to help the free-living animals beautifully illustrated on each candy bar. So it was with great alarm and dismay that we read in the New York Times story "No Golden Ticket, but More Than Candy" (7 Jan. 2007) that Endangered Species Chocolate has promised to donate at least $25,000 to Chimp Haven, a government-funded holding facility for chimpanzees who can be used in federal laboratories.
Enclosed is an excerpt from an article by Lee Hall, legal director for Friends of Animals. "Chimp Haven: What's the Story?," explains the role of Chimp Haven as a holding area for the National Institutes of Health pursuant to the CHIMP Act, signed by President Clinton in 2000. Chimp Haven, with its substantial government funding, competes with true sanctuaries that depend solely on private funding "“ sanctuaries far more deserving of donations, be they over $25,000 or under $25.
As a vegan organization, we at Friends of Animals appreciate that Endangered Species Chocolate offers vegan certified dark chocolate, but of course we also oppose the company's use of dairy. Far from upholding your expressed core value of Reverence for Life, dairy means the commodification of cows who are forced to endure continual impregnation and separation from their young, half of whom are sold into the veal industry. Eventually, it's likely that every one of these "happy" cows will wind up slaughtered for commercial gain.
Furthermore, scientists have implicated dairy as a significant contributor to global warming. Dairy cows are one of the largest sources of methane "“ which, according to United Nations reports, accounts for a substantial portion of relevant greenhouse gas emissions, and with about 20 times the potential warming effect of carbon dioxide.
Protecting nonhuman animal communities from extinction is important work. And it's important work because chimpanzees and other animals matter for their own reasons, not because they may be of use to researchers. Please read the enclosed document and make a commitment to support only true sanctuaries.
And please further consider how the use of land for the dairy industry is directly responsible for usurping habitat of a number of the world's endangered species. Indeed, animal agribusiness now uses 30 percent of the earth's entire land surface is the critical factor putting endangered species in North America at risk.
Your own product line demonstrates that the use of dairy ingredients simply isn't necessary to produce good chocolate.
We hope you'll consider these ways to really respect other animals' lives, and we'd appreciate your timely response on both of these issues.
Friends of Animals
Wayne Zink, CEO
Endangered Species Chocolate Company
5846 W. 73rd St.
Indianapolis, IN 46278
Toll Free: 1-800-293-0160
See Chimp Haven: What's the Story?
and Reality Check: Primarily Primates' Resident Chimpanzees Taken Away to Chimp Haven