Supporters of Friends of Animals are asking Ecover, maker of an internationally popular brand of dishwashing soaps, to drop dairy.

Many people use Ecover products because the labels say they’re plant-based and not animal-tested; yet the Gentle Herbal Formula With Chamomile and Marigold contains milk whey. (The packaging doesn’t indicate the presence of whey until the small type on the back, so people concerned about avoiding dairy products are unlikely to notice it in the store.) The company’s Lemon and Aloe Vera dish liquid, and every other product in their range, carries the Vegan Society symbol. Please contact the company and ask them to adopt a consistent brand ethic. No one needs milk products in dish soaps.

We have found that the staffmembers of this company are responsive and polite. They seem to be gentle, open-minded people who simply do not know the trouble with whey. So in polite communications with them, here are the points to make:

The label tells consumers how they strive to “benefit people, animals and the environment.” Ecover should drop the dairy industry as it contradicts the essence of their name and their explicit mission. Collectively, the dairy and meat industries create a bigger global warming threat than the transport sector does.

Male calves, considered useless to the dairy industry, are slaughtered at just a few days of age or sent to veal farms for sixteen weeks. The mother cries for her child. Why should a dish soap be a party (even indirectly) to the auction yard where you’ll see three-day-old calves being thrown from the back of trucks to the ground, or find young calves being loaded up for their trip to the slaughterhouse?

Whey is not just a “by-product”; it is a product of animal agribusiness. And it might only constitute .5% of only one Ecover product, but it all adds up. The right percent for the cows would be zero.

Ecover maintains that whey is helpful for people with sensitive skin, but dishwashing gloves offer the best skin protection.

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