"Babe" star and animal rights activist James Cromwell is leading a charge to nix gelatine from candy treats.
Following reports that a pandemic-related interruption in production means there will be no Halloween, Christmas, or Valentine's Day Peeps available in the coming months, the actor has sent a letter encouraging the company's bosses to seize this opportunity and remove the connective tissue of pigs and other animals from their treats.
"The world is in turmoil, and we're facing many pressing concerns, but we can't allow our small pleasures to disappear," Cromwell writes in his letter to David L. Yale, president and COO of Just Born Quality Confections. "People around the world enjoy Peeps, so I hope that production of this iconic treat will continue – with one important caveat: that it be made without gelatin."
"Demand for vegan food is at an all-time high, and it would be easy to replace gelatin in Peeps with a vegan ingredient such as Geltor's vegan gelatin when full production resumes. Making this switch would broaden your product's appeal, opening up a whole new market while losing none of its taste."
"The gelatin used in Peeps comes from pig body parts. I had the privilege and pleasure of learning a lot about pigs when I starred in the movie Babe. The intelligence and inquisitive personality of these highly social animals were a constant delight. They possess a remarkable capacity for love, joy, and sorrow. In contrast to the whimsy of Peeps, gelatin – made from the skin, bones, and connective tissues of pigs and other animals – represents a lifetime of pain and suffering."
James adds, "The tails of pigs are cut off and their teeth are clipped at a young age without any pain relief, and as soon as they've been fattened enough, they endure a terrifying trek to the slaughterhouse, where they're strung up and bled out."
"Replacing gelatin from pigs with vegan gelatin would allow the company to honor its past while moving forward into the future. It would also mean that Just Born would no longer use a dreadful ingredient or support its production and would appeal to customers who don't want to support cruelty to animals."