Hodo Soy Remains Defiant

Vows to Keep Cruel Glue Traps

Yesterday we released a blog calling for a boycott of Hodo Soy Beanery until they remove sticky glue traps from their facility. After being inundated with comments on their Facebook page about the issue, and after realizing that their efforts to delete those comments were futile as others simply took their place, Hodo Soy finally responded. Not by promising to do the right thing and rid their facility of animal torture devices, but with a twofold strategy that defends the status quo: 1) obscure their requirements under the law and 2) claim to be concerned with animal welfare, even as they thwart it.

Hodo stated that the glue traps that can be found in their facility are in use in order to comply with the law which states that they must have “visible means” of “pest” control. This is untrue. If, upon inspection, Hodo Soy were found to have rodents on its premises, then it would be required to do something about them. What that something is is entirely up to Hodo. As we’ve said before, rodent proofing their facility – making it impossible for rodents to enter in the first place – is the most humane, cruelty-free option available to them. And yet they refuse to do this. The bottom line: glue traps are NOT required by law, no matter how many times Hodo Soy says they are.

Moreover, they attempt to spin this refusal as somehow in keeping with the welfare of animals. With a play straight out of the Karl Rove handbook, they state that they are happy to see that their customers are “as conscientious about animal cruelty as we are,” even as the previous paragraph defended the use, and the continued use, of devices that are not only universally condemned by animal protection organizations for their heinous cruelty, but which every person with a heart – vegan or otherwise – should find morally reprehensible. Essentially, they have stated that they are glad we love animals as much as they do, and because of that, they will continue to use tools devised for their torture.

While Hodo claims that they have never actually caught an animal in their glue traps, and that they use sonic deterrents as well, neither of these facts were mentioned to us when we wrote the owner, Minh Tsai, with our concerns. So whether they are true or not remains to be seen. But if they are, and we hope they are, they do not change the nature of the debate, and, in fact, make our concerns all the more easy to address. If the traps are there for mere “cosmetic” purposes, then why not simply replace them with a humane alternative (rodent proofing), instead, and spare animals in the future potential suffering? Why not just consider the sonic repellants “visible” means? As long as glue traps are in the factory, they are a potential hazard to animals. And our request is a simple one: remove them.

It is clear Hodo Soy wants it both ways. They want the support of the vegetarian/vegan community, and to maintain this, they pander to our concern for animals, even as they embrace devices designed for animal cruelty. And although this is a side issue unrelated to their use of glue traps, it should be noted that Hodo’s soybean pulp goes to pig farms, where it is fed to animals bound for the slaughterhouse. Just because they make tofu doesn’t mean they are animal lovers. However, given that their customer base is no doubt in large part made up of vegetarians and vegans, we have market power that we lack in other contexts. Collectively, we have the leverage to make a difference for animals in this instance. And if we can use that power to ensure the removal of glue traps in even one food production factory, and, in so doing, potentially spare animals unspeakable suffering in the future, then we have a moral obligation to do so.

When it comes to tofu, we have choices. We have helped to make Hodo Soy the successful company that it is, and in return, they should be sensitive to our concern for animals. If they won’t do it out of common decency, then we have to make them do it out of financial necessity. And if that means “Hodo” becomes a dirty word in the vegan community – then they have no one to blame but themselves.

And Hodo beware: We are community of people who sacrifice for our beliefs. In a culture where the dominance of products made with meat, eggs and dairy can make being vegan sometimes difficult and inconvenient, we none-the-less reject these foods, and put our principles first. If we can do that, we can certainly switch our brand of tofu. And a good reputation, once lost, will be difficult to regain.

What you can do:

Boycott Hodo Soy products and let them know why on their Facebook and Twitter pages, which are the quickest ways for us to reach other Hodo consumers with our message. No matter what their excuse or how much they obfuscate, let Hodo know you will avoid all Hodo products until they commit to removing all the glue traps. BECAUSE TOFU SHOULDN’T HURT!

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/hodosoy
Twitter: http://twitter.com/HodoSoy

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