An Open Letter to Mark Magnesen, CEO of Oscar Mayer - March 6, 2024

An Open Letter to Mark Magnesen, CEO of Oscar Mayer - in response to their recent announcement they would start making vegan hot dogs and sausages.

Dear Mr. Magnesen,

Today Oscar Mayer, the company you lead, announced that it will be introducing vegan hot dogs and sausages in partnership with NotCo, a plant-based food company backed by Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon.

In a single leap forward, you have potentially become one of the leading vegan food producers in the world - with the ability to bring about unprecedented changes in our food system.

As a small but popular producer of vegan cheese committed to trying to reform that same food system, I want to congratulate and applaud you and your team for taking that important leap.

It is important for several reasons:
・It will reduce the number of animals killed and tortured for hot dogs and sausages.
・It will mitigate climate change by reducing the number of animals putting out methane (i.e. farting and burping up the stuff).
・It will help clean up water supplies that have been polluted by runoff produced by the raising and slaughtering of animals for food.
・It will improve human health by reducing the amount of cholesterol, saturated fat and nitrites people consume.
・Fewer workers will be injured and emotionally traumatized by working in slaughterhouses and meat packing facilities.

I believe that these new Oscar Mayer products will be very successful and of great benefit to your shareholders. This is because there is a pent up demand for cruelty-free substitutes for hot dogs and sausages. It is also because not even the most committed carnivore eats hot dogs and sausages because of what they are made of, which includes things like fat, bone, connective tissue, nerves, blood vessels and meat scraped off bones. So making them out of plants will not put off many existing consumers. It may even be welcomed by them.

As a producer of vegan food, I feel it is my responsibility not just to make alternatives to animal products - but also to get the word out about why it is so important to make them.

So along with offering my congratulations and thanks, I am asking you to do two things:
・Join me and many other vegan food companies in donating a portion of your proceeds and some of your vegan products to charities that rescue farmed animals and advocate for them by exposing the cruelty of meat, dairy and egg production. Some are national charities (like Farm Sanctuary and Mercy For Animals). Others are local and more grass roots - like the many sanctuaries that struggle to rescue farmed animals all over the country.
・Open all of your plant- and animal-based production facilities, and the slaughterhouses and factory farms that supply the animal-based facilities, to the public during normal working hours, so people can see exactly what the difference is and why the step you took today is so significant.

You have just taken a first bold step towards being a leader in the vegan food movement. I invite you to take the next one and join the movement that will make hot dogs and sausages one of the greatest success stories in the growing plant-based space.

Best wishes and thanks,

Michael Schwarz
Founder and CEO
Treeline Cheesemakers
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