Amazon Has a Donkey Meat Problem

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Amazon Has a Donkey Meat Problem

When Cindy first tried the Artemisia Anti-Hemorrhage Formula dietary supplements that she purchased on Amazon, she had no reason to suspect that she was eating donkey. A California native and lifelong vegetarian, she assumed that the world’s largest online retailer had vetted the bottle’s claims of being made from “100 percent pure, natural herbs.” But while reading the back of the bottle, she noticed an ingredient she hadn’t seen before: “gelatina nigra.” She googled it, and what she found made her stomach turn.

Every year, millions of donkeys are slaughtered and skinned to make the so-called gelatina nigra found in Cindy’s dietary supplement. More commonly called “ejiao” or “donkey-hide gelatin,” the animal product is made from donkey skin. It’s in such high demand due to its alleged health benefits that it’s decimating the global donkey population and has led to increasingly brutal treatment of the animals, according to a 2019 report by the Donkey Sanctuary, an advocacy organization. A video the organization obtained shows workers in Tanzania bludgeoning donkeys with hammers to meet their slaughter quotas. “It’s not herbal. It’s literally made with donkeys,” says Cindy, who asked to go by only her first name for privacy reasons. “Why would Amazon sell something that cruel?”

While some retailers like Walmart and eBay have committed to drop products that contain ejiao, edible items containing this ingredient are widely for sale on Amazon in spite of multiple petitions asking that it stop selling them. A legal complaint filed in California last week by the law firm Evans & Page on behalf of the Center for Contemporary Equine Studies, a nonprofit, claims Amazon’s continued sale of these donkey-based products is more than distasteful—it may be illegal.

The Center alleges that Amazon’s distribution and sale of ejiao violates an obscure California animal welfare law called the Prohibition of Horse Slaughter and Sale of Horsemeat for Human Consumption Act. The 1998 ballot initiative, known at the time of its passage as Proposition Six, makes the sale of horsemeat for human consumption a crime on the grounds that horses, like dogs and cats, are not food animals and deserve similar protections. The Center is arguing that, under the statute, horsemeat is defined to mean any part of any equine, including donkeys.

For Frank Rothschild, director of the Center for Contemporary Equine Studies, the law is clear: Donkeys are equines, and the sale of ejiao for human consumption in California is illegal. “We are a scientific organization and not in the business of national advocacy. We want the defendants to stop selling ejiao because it’s illegal,” he says. “That’s the law.”

Bruce Wagman, an attorney unaffiliated with the complaint who has practiced animal law in California for 30 years, says that while the center presents a reasonable argument, it’s unclear whether a judge would agree because the law’s wording leaves room for interpretation. “Horsemeat is not really defined in the text of the relevant statute,” he says. “But the spirit of Proposition Six is absolutely to prevent equines, including donkeys, from being slaughtered for people to consume. Period.”

I have two thoughts on this…

The first was, @ASV_Vites Really!? :exploding_head:

My next was, California Regulations need to be addressed and stopped by Congress or the Good Lord. I’m all for a few like don’t kill people and/or don’t take their stuff, but it’s getting out of hand when you can’t electric lights in California and you get to sue Amazon for letting someone sell you sliced donkey ???

(mod edit: papy removed poll)

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First for me too hearing about this donkey shit.

I’ll set up a poll:

Should Amazon force all sellers of shit that goes onto or into someone’s body to be fully vetted and test their shit themselves (at the sellers expense) before it’s allowed to be sold on Amazon with periodic random testing (at the sellers expense).

Not giving choices here - the answer is YES.

Something has to be done about all the issues regarding health / safety / legitness.

Any seller that doesn’t want to do / pay for this stuff can leave.


I live in California. We have regulations for everything this side of blowing your nose, and I’m sure that’s coming next. I’ll stay away from specific politics, but :nauseated_face: :nauseated_face: :nauseated_face:


Check out the reviews.

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But none of those reviews were from verified buyers…

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sexual flavour? You can have a field day with that one.


Not me, but tagging @Tried_Tested

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“sweet taste, flat” :joy:


But not flaccid?

Amazon should have the option to exclude states (not only CA) if the SDS is approved by the Chemtrecs of this world (or at the very least by the WERCs like Wally)


Donkey-Hide Gelatin

To this point, most Gelatin is made out of animal hides. I know this as a (regular) vegetarian, please don’t hate me. I am not a vegan, so I do eat milk products, cheese and eggs.

So for that reason, I do not eat things like Jell-O, gummies etc… After a bad accident 16 or so years ago, when I left the hospital after 6 weeks, none of the nurses ate Jell-O again. This since I had to explain why I would not eat it.

In the 1980’s prior to being a vegetarian, I spent a lot of time in the Asian Basin. Anything gross that is eaten is "good for your manhood.’ So if you understand the culture, and the seller, it all makes sense.


Amazon should also require ALL ingredients to be listed before the price, before the BB, before the bullets. The testing docs should be posted where warranties are, too.

@SawleMill that headline is very misleading. Amazon isn’t selling donkey burgers.

As @Image said, most gelatin is made from animal “by-product”. (And I’m not going to mention gummies to my pescatarian teenager!)

The only regulation I saw was a prohibition against slaughtering horses and selling horsemeat for human consumption, like dogs and cats, which is pretty standard across the US.

I think your real issue was how someone else is arguing that horsemeat means no equine by products for gelatin???


My partner, loves those fruit wedges, she did find them that have no meat in them.

Are we supposed to promote Amazon here? :confused:

ETA; Though I still can’t eat them, something about the texture my brain thinks it is animal.


That’s right and if you ventured into a softgel plant like I have you would know how disgusting it is.

BTW - I am sure you know this but there are pectin based gummies out there that are vegan. Most are smothered in sugar though to keep them from sticking together.


Rereading this thread I’ve got to ask that we remember, particularly as we prepare to open to a broader community, that it is a community guideline to avoid politics and topics that can’t be solved by us.

In the case of state regulations, it is important to share the regulations and to help inform sellers of the potential problems that they may have due to their own ignorance, or even the decisions that others may not consider logical either economically, environmentally or even politically.

The solution to these problems is indeed found here (please note that I did edit part of the quote, even though I’m in the chemical industry and spend a significant amount of time pondering said regulations)

Let’s please keep in mind that the main goals of creating this forums are

  1. maintaining the contacts and friendships between the beta members, understanding that we share very many different views.
  2. preserve the collective knowledge that we as a group have. This of course overspills to many topics beyond just selling online.
  3. teaching others, both because we benefit from stronger platforms and professional sellers and because, we like it.

Good point, my partner and I were just talking about this today.

Lesson 1;
She was recruited for a special assignment, a large financial institution. They retained a lead generation service. One of the leads came back and said, I am done with companies and people that want to force politics on me!

Lesson 2;
For us, my best example is we have very different customers. For non-disclosure the names are similar. You will understand how different.

We do work for “The Beef Council” we also do work for “The Militant Vegetarians” I don’t care. It is business, I am in business to make profits.

Lesson 3.
In our town we have/had 4/5 major farms. They all offer U-Pick, and farm stands. The two major ones, have two attitudes on political issues.

One is in your face, for one party, and positions that are controversial to others. The other restricts Politics 100%, local, regional and national. We know both the owners, workers, staff and seasonal help.

In our opinion the No Politics farm wins at least as it relates to sales and profits.


When I gave up eating animals and by-products such as gelatin in 1970, I did not know a single other vegetarian. It was just something I felt strongly about. I’ve been reading labels ever since, both for animals and chemicals. When I eat out, I ask about ingredients and preparation.

I do not hate you, nor do I hate anyone who makes choices other than mine.


If I could still afford to live in CA that is where I would hang my hat. I have my prop 65 stickers for collectible coin and stamps for anything going there…


You had me at sexual flavour. I’ll take 10.

Also, animals are delicious, if you have not tried them. But I will not hate you for not trying them either.


Need more people like you in the world.