UK green utility Ecotricity has launched the world’s first ‘vegan electricity’, an energy label that guarantees no animal by-products were used to make the electricity.
According to UK utility Ecotricity, millions of ethical consumers across the UK are unknowingly powering their homes with electricity and gas using the by-products of the meat and dairy industries, including animal body parts.
Calling these the “secret ingredient” in the UK’s power supply, the practice of using animal by-products and even dead animals to make electricity and gas is widespread in Britain, not just among the major energy companies but among smaller and even ‘green’ suppliers too.
For instance, Scottish energy company SSE admitted late last year that it used dead salmon from factory fish farms in Scotland to generate some of its power. Small green supplier Good Energy generated some of its ‘ethical green energy’ using pig slurry from a factory farm at the centre of animal cruelty allegations, according to an Ecotricity statement.
While using animal by-products to make electricity and gas is not against the law, Ecotricity objects that the practice is hidden from consumers.
“It shouldn’t be a secret, any more than the ingredients in the food we buy should be secret,” said Ecotricity founder Dale Vince. “We need clear labelling of energy sourcing so that people can make informed choices.”
To this end, Ecotricity is now backing up its longstanding policy of refusing to buy electricity or gas from animal-related sources with its vegan electricity, which is registered with the Vegan Society. A gas version is to follow.
“Animals are needlessly used in almost every area of life, and electricity is sadly not an exception,” said Chantelle Adkins, head of business development at the Vegan Society.
“We hope that by highlighting the use of animal by-products to generate electricity we can help people realise just how widespread animal use is in our society and inspire them to avoid it.”
Image credit: Marius Brede via Flickr