Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Everyday Speciesism: Dawn Saves Wildlife

For some time now, Dawn dish soap has been advertising itself as the favorite among activists who work to save free-living animals harmed by oil spills.  Commercials have aired in the United States for about as long as I can remember depicting precious little ducklings and squat penguins wiggling clean and free out of a foamy Dawn bath back into nature.

The scheme has become foundational to their brand image over the decades.  The images of these animals are featured on some bottles.  Dawn also has a website specifically discussing their work with free-living animals.  They have announced a 1 million dollar donation to wildlife rescue efforts.  Dawn soap saves animals, the Dawn company saves animals, and the warm-hearted customer saves animals.

But where is this one million dollar donation really coming from?  Most mainstream detergents are based in slaughterhouse renderings.  And, as a Proctor & Gamble product, Dawn is certainly tested on other animals.  Furthermore, harsh detergents like Dawn that are dripping down drains across America are not exactly good for the environment either.

So, Dawn builds a company on the death and torture of pigs, chickens, cows, rabbits, and other animals, then advertises behind the suffering of free-living animals like the iconic duckling. It's pretty twisted.  Fortunately, vegan alternatives are becoming increasingly easy (and affordable) to find.  When I first went vegan back in 2001, I had to special order my dish detergent online and believe you me, I made that bottle last!  Now I can find it in many grocery stores, increasingly in remote rural areas.  For those who can't find these convenient vegan detergents, try a homemade recipe.