Welcome Back, Boycotter p. 9


This Mud’s For You
Budweiser beer, Eagle snacks; Anheuser-Busch Cos. Inc.

Why would a giant brewery graze cattle in a remote wilderness? We don’t know either, but Anheuser-Busch is indeed the largest grazing permittee in the Golden Trout Wilderness high in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains, where overgrazing is eroding stream banks and pushing the state fish toward extinction. The Budweiser frogs would not be amused. The Golden Trout Wilderness Protection League has launched a boycott of Anheuser-Busch products to help chase out the beery beeves.

Anheuser-Busch is also charged with endangering the lives of marine mammals by keeping them in captivity in its various marine parks, including Busch Gardens and Sea World — critics at the Dolphin Project in Miami, Fla. launched a boycott in 1990, and In Defense of Animals followed in 1992.

The Extreme Right Beer Now
Coors beer, Zima; Coors Brewing Co.

Who haven’t they offended? The Colorado brewery that the Los Angeles Times called “the company Americans most love to hate” has been boycotted for decades by organized labor, Latinos, women, gays, students, teachers, and environmentalists. Today gays and lesbians continue to boycott the company, owned mainly by the right-wing Coors family, because the family members and their foundations give money to anti-gay, ultra-right-wing causes like the Heritage Foundation, co-founded by a Coors patriarch.

Since Coors was crippled by a union-led consumer boycott in 1977-1987, the company has tried to clean up its act, changing its policies towards gay employees, even offering domestic partners benefits. The family’s Adolph Coors Foundation and Castle Rock Foundation recently sold their brewery stocks, severing themselves from the company and fueling a bitter debate in the gay community about reconciliation: Better to continue the boycott and pinch the profits of the right-wing family, or to cozy up to the company for its progressive policies?

Last month San Francisco’s Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender Community Center Project hotly debated whether to return a $4,000 donation from Coors, as skeptics called the gift “a corporate bid to take over the gay and lesbian movement.” And when Coors sponsored Los Angeles’s gay and lesbian film festival, Outfest, only a handful of anti-Coors activists showed up with boycott banners.

In addition to the gay/lesbian boycott, Animal Emancipation of Santa Monica, Calif., calls for a boycott of Coors because the company sponsors rodeos, which the group argues are cruel to animals.

Pave the Whales
Kirin beer, Value Rent-A-Car, Nikon cameras, and Mitsubishi automobiles; Mitsubishi Corporation

Rainforest Action Network (RAN) began sponsoring a boycott against Mitsubishi eight years ago, when the organization discovered the huge corporation’s destructive rainforest logging practices, particularly in the Amazon. In addition, Mitsubishi and the Mexican government jointly own the salt export company Exportadora de Sal (ESSA), which is planning to expand salt mining operations in the Vizcaino Desert Reserve, a U.N. Biosphere Reserve and World Heritage Site located in Baja California. According to boycott organizers, the project would devastate Laguna San Ignacio, the only unspoiled lagoon of the three remaining bays where migrating gray whales spend their breeding months.