What’s All the Buzz? Water Daphnia Testing By Method: People Against Dirty?

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.

Water Flea
Water Daphnia

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:

Please share. Thank you in advance, and thank you so much for reading!

For the Love of Animals,




Water Daphnia Image Found On Pixabay






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