Olive oil is considered a very healthy and natural product. Above all, it is suits people who follow a vegan diet. But this is now turning out to be an bonafide hoax.
Millions of sacrificed animals
Do you think olive oil is healthy, purely vegetable-based and therefore also suitable for vegans? You thought wrong. Millions of innocent animals actually have to die during the olive harvest.
Olives are usually harvested at night, as the aroma is said to be particularly strong at this time. But the problem is that many songbirds - including protected species - rest in the olive trees at night.
Sucked up by the machine
The animals are taken by surprise by the suction machine used for the nightly olive harvest. The bright light confuses the birds so much that they can't fly away in time. The songbirds are sucked up by the machine.
This leads to millions of dead birds, such as robins, greenfinches, wagtails and more. Some of these species are even threatened with extinction and should actually be protected. But this doesn't bother many farmers - on the contrary.
Farmers profit from dead birds
They even profit from the 'by-catch' and earn a little extra from grilled birds, as the Junta in Andalusia (the local administration) reports.
If you want to be absolutely sure that your olive oil is 100 per cent vegan, you should look for the FAO GIAHS seal. It confirms that the olives are harvested by hand. The only disadvantage: this type of harvesting makes the end product more expensive.