Just when you think one of your new favorite brands is cruelty-free…you find out it might not be. I woke up a few of days ago faced with the news that one of the brands that I have grown to love over the past several months, since I started on my cruelty-free journey, is possibly no longer cruelty-free. I heard and read from 3 different sources that Method, People Against Dirty, is now testing on water daphnia, also called water fleas. That kind of information caused me great sadness, and I am sure it did to others, who trusted this company to not engage in animal testing of any kind.
Method makes hand soap, body wash, laundry detergent, dish detergent, glass cleaner, and a other products for the home. Method is actually just one half of People Against Dirty. The other half of People Against Dirty is Ecover. Ecover makes household products that are supposed to be natural, biodegradable, vegan, and not tested on animals. I have been using Ecover dishwasher tablets for a while now, and I might add that they leave dishes super clean and smelling much fresher than all those chemical based brands do. So, I immediately felt a pressing need to look for something else to go in my dishwasher (sigh..)
Water daphnia are tiny crustaceans that live in lakes, rivers, streams, and even swamps. They are invertebrates and are virtually see-through and their organs can be easily viewed. In my research of water Daphnia, I found that they are often used in the testing of certain drugs, especially caffeine, on heart rate. I found that they are sometimes raised and harvested for such purposes. Very sad indeed.
Daphnia are sensitive to stress created by changes in water temperature and other variables. They seem to recover quickly once back in a stress free environment. Their heart rate is easily monitored because of their transparency. Water Daphnia are apparently used for experiments in biology classes and the like. I found several recorded experiments, and it looks like everyone who experiments with them measures their heart rate. I do not see the point, and no one can convince me that it is beneficial to humans to do this.
First and foremost, I am of the opinion that testing on any living creature is unethical and cruel. Here is a quote from a Dr, Suess Book, Horton Hears a Who: “A person’s a person no matter how small.” I feel the same about all living beings. A creature’s a creature no matter how small. An animal is an animal, no matter how small. Just as I feel that cochineal beetles should not be senselessly crushed for red dye, I also feel that water daphnia should not be subjected to the testing of products of any kind.
The news that Method, the company that makes the hand wash that is so gentle on my hands, might be testing their products on water Daphnia was so upsetting that I immediately decided I had to contact the company. I was very upset, and I am sure they could tell that from the tone of my email. This is what I wrote:
I have been buying your products for several months now and loving them. I also have a website where I write about cruelty-free products, mainly beauty, but I include bath and body. I have found information, from 3 different sources, that your company now tests on water daphnia. Could you please expand on that and let me know if this is true? I noticed on your site that you believe in transparency. I believe in transparency also, so please be transparent in your answer. This issue is very important to me, and it is to my readers as well.
Thank you for your prompt reply and for any information you can give.
Before I get into their answer, let me say that I stressed transparency for the simple reason that, if a company has nothing to hide, it can lay it’s cards on the table without reservation. If you contact a company to ask about its it’s position on animal testing and get a vague reply, you probably need to question whether the company is truthful, whether it may be involved in animal testing in some way, and whether you want to buy its products. Companies that have nothing to hide usually give unreserved, bold, and complete answers.
I checked my email early this morning and saw I had a reply from Method. I was practically holding my breath when I opened it. I expected vagueness, as I just described. Or some statement trying to justify just why a company like Method would need to test its products on water daphnia.
Little did I know such a pleasant surprise awaited me. Here is the response I received:
thanks for reaching out+ we’re happy to provide more clarity on the daphnia testing story. the short answer is that method products have never been tested on animals, including daphnia. we’re as committed to our mission to be 100% cruelty-free as we were when method’s cofounders were named PETA people of the year.
the long answer is that we have a sister brand, Ecover, who we joined forces with to create a new global family: people against dirty. we believe brands that are part of larger company are equally accountable for the ways everyone across that company does business, including their policies around important issues like animal testing. in our effort to stay authentic by recognizing Ecover’s history of testing on water fleas to comply with EU REACH laws that required it, we may have created some confusion about method’s practices. to be clear, method has never been tested on animals, including daphnia.
we’ve unified our policies for both brands under a collective people against dirty mission to never test on animals—from whales to water fleas. for more information on our global cruelty-free mission, check out our blog post: http://methodhome.com/blog/our-cruelty-free-mission/.
please let us know if you have any additional questions + enjoy your evening.
Yes, you read it right! And yes, I was very relieved, and I let them know this. I sent another email thanking the person who sent this for her prompt response and letting her know how very happy I was to get this information. And I had just been on their site before I emailed them, looking for information about their animal testing policy and hoping to find something that would steer me in one direction or the other about whether they test on water daphnia. I have no idea why I could not find the page that I was referred to in their email response, but when I went to the blog post mentioned, I was again very happy. You can read what they have to say by going to this post.
Maybe this is old news. Maybe you have already heard that method does not test on water daphnia, but when I first started using Method, I had read that they were cruelty-free, and I had not even heard of water daphnia. So when it was mentioned to me, and then I found it in print in a couple of places on the web, I became concerned!
After reading their email, I was still a little confused about whether Ecover, their sister company, was continuing to engage in water daphnia testing because the “law required it.” If you have read a few posts on the site, you probably know by now how I feel about animal testing “as required by law.” To me, that is just a company’s way of saying “we test on animals because we don’t want to give up revenue we gain in these markets.” No one forces any company to sell in any market. The company makes that choice.
But assuming I read it correctly, although Ecover once tested on water fleas, both companies, that together make up People Against Dirty, have unified their policies and are committed to not test on animals. Therefore, I give Ecover the “okay” for its dish washer tablets to keep cleaning my dishes. Right now, it looks like both sides of People Against Dirty are clear. Yes, as customers, we get to decide whether a company’s products are worthy to be found in our homes.
So I can still give Method People Against Dirty a thumbs up for some of the best hand wash you’ll find anywhere. Lots of scents to fit your mood or perhaps the different locations in your home. Kitchen scents of Green Tea and Aloe, Lemongrass, or Grapefruit, and for the bath perhaps Sea Minerals or French Lavender. The scents are not overpowering. They are subtle yet they speak to the senses. And they very best part is that they leave my hands feeling oh so soft! I have such dry skin. Method comforts and softens skin so nicely, even in the winter.
I get carried away, speaking about their hand washes. But let me not forget to say, they have body wash with that is equally as wonderful. And many products for your home, should you be interested in knowing. I’m glad Method People Against Dirty is keeping it cruelty-free!
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For the Love of Animals,
Water Daphnia Image Found On Pixabay