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Collagen - An Ethical Nightmare

Updated: Dec 13, 2023

Collagen peptides have been one of the hottest supplements for a long time now.

Collagen Peptide Powder

One thing often left out of the collagen peptide conversation is ethics. Most people are unaware of where it comes from, who produces it, and its associated problems. While collagen is very popular, nearly all of it is an ethical nightmare. From deforestation of the Amazon rainforest to slavery, land theft, and murder, the production of most collagen is horrific.

The vast majority of collagen peptide products are produced from raw materials farmed in South America, with most coming from Brazil. Some companies will buy these raw materials, refine them in another country, and hide where they come from. For example, a company may say their collagen is produced in Germany, but it is made from Brazilian cattle hides. Brazilian cattle farming comes at a very high cost. It is the leading cause of rainforest deforestation. The Amazon rainforest is often called the lungs of the earth. It’s not worth losing it over beef and collagen that can be farmed and produced elsewhere without environmental and ethical problems.

In just the last six years alone, over 800 million trees have been cut down in the Amazon rainforest to make way for beef production. The hides from this are used to produce the vast majority of collagen peptide products on the market. While the Amazon Rainforest is heavily protected on paper, in reality, that paper is not worth much.

Amazon Rainforest Deforestation

The biggest driver of this is cattle and especially cattle laundering.

It is not possible to source ethically produced collagen peptides from Brazil because of how hidden and corrupt the process is. Any company claiming to is either not being honest or fooled by fake paperwork and good marketing.

The leading suppliers of collagen peptides, such as JBS and others, have their own issues. JBS has had more scandals than you can shake a stick at, from insider trading to bribery, the usage of slave labor, and the sale of rotten meat.

Who doesn’t walk around with a suitcase full of money? That’s not suspicious at all.

This is the behavior so many people are unknowingly supporting by buying collagen peptides produced in South America. The problem is that most companies are not upfront and hide where their collagen comes from, how it is produced, and who makes it.

Cattle in the Amazon Rainforest

Some companies claim that they are just buying the by-products of the Brazilian cattle industry, so they are not contributing to the problem. This argument is a giant steaming pile of horseshit.

Amazon Rainforest Tribe

In addition, slave labor runs rampant in the Brazilian cattle industry.

Now you can see why we never have and never will sell collagen peptide powders and glandular supplements from South America.


There is a better way. As with many of the things we buy, it does not have to be that way. Profits don’t have to come before a better environment or the fair treatment of people who work the fields and labor in factories. Unfortunately, when the largest sellers of collagen are mostly owned by Nestle (such as Vital Proteins, Garden of Life, Pure Encapsulations, and Orgain) and other large corporations, profits will always come before people.

Thankfully your choice does not have to be between a collagen that’s ethically compromised and no collagen at all.

Despite being our most requested product, we refused to sell collagen peptide powders for years because we could not locate any that we could guarantee were ethically produced. We will never sell products that use ingredients that cause massive deforestation in the Amazon rainforest and the suffering of native peoples.

Finally, after several years, we were able to locate a family-owned Australian company producing them. These collagen peptides come from small family farms in Australia. The cattle graze freely on lush pastures and are well taken care of. No forest is cleared; the pastures they are grazing on naturally occur there. They are not given hormones or antibiotics. The Australian government runs a strict monitoring program to ensure there is no risk of BSE (mad cow disease). Every batch is third-party tested for over two hundred contaminants.

As they say, good things come to those who wait, and we have waited a long time to find them. We are so excited to be able to make ethically produced collagen peptides available!


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