BENICIA (CBS SF) – A former member of one of America’s best-selling rock bands is among those urging a yogurt company to make a major change.
Animal lovers have been pressuring Yoplait and its parent company General Mills for about 15 years over changing the container design. The flanged rim can lock over the head and cheekbone of small critters when they poke inside a discarded container.
David Sikes, former bass guitarist for Boston, remembered the first time he saw videos of animals with their heads caught in yogurt cups.
“Oh, I just wanted to cry, actually, said Sikes. “I can only imagine the panic that poor animal is going through, with this thing locked on its head.”
Sikes, who now lives in Benicia, then signed a petition on change.org asking Yoplait to redesign the container and remove the inside flange . Later, Sikes was stunned when he heard one of Boston’s most popular songs in a TV commercial – made by Yoplait.
“I was shocked to see it on there,” said Sikes. “And then I put the two together, of course, and I thought, ‘This is so ironic. We’ve always been so supportive of animal rights.’ ”
Rebecca Dmytryk of Wildlife Emergency Services started the petition, which now has well over 30,000 signatures of people pledging to boycott Yoplait.
She’s thrilled a former rock-and-roller is speaking out. “If we get celebrities involved, and they speak out about this, it just gains more attention, more momentum, more pressure for this to be successful,” said Dmytryk.
KPIX 5 asked Yoplait if it would reconsider remaking the container, now that there’s some celebrity attention. The company pointed out animals will try to eat from all types of containers and that’s the reason Yoplait containers feature the message: ‘Protect wildlife. Crush before disposal.”
Sikes left the band in 1997, had no say in Yoplait’s use of the song, and isn’t getting a dime. “I would hope that companies take a look at this and do the right thing in the end,” he said. “And maybe even decide that money isn’t everything in the end.”
An attorney for Boston founder Tom Scholz declined comment for this story.