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Sunday, March 2, 2014

How About Some Truth in Advertising?

At some point, you've probably seen the commercial; wildlife like ducks, penguins and seals, victims of oil spills, being washed with Dawn dish detergent. There's even a website, Dawn Saves Wildlife, which shows videos and asks viewers to "make a difference" by supporting "the brand that supports wildlife rescue efforts." What could be wrong with that, right?

Well, a lot! Dawn's claims along with its self-aggrandizing website are dubious and ironic when you consider the facts.

For one, Dawn dish detergent is sold in plastic bottles made from petroleum, the same crude oil that is spilling into our waterways, polluting our natural environment, and killing wildlife like the aforementioned ducks, penguins and seals. Each plastic bottle requires one-quarter oil to produce and only about 27 percent of plastic bottles are recycled. Furthermore, plastic garbage that ends up in the ocean kills as many as 1 million sea animals every year!

Second, Dawn is manufactured by Procter and Gamble (P&G), a company well-known for subjecting animals like rabbits, dogs, hamsters and other creatures to cruel and painful product tests. Experiments often involve poisoning animals with toxins and product ingredients, as well as burning the skins and eyes of animals with chemicals (watch video here). If Procter and Gamble were so concerned about animals, they would put an end to their animal testing policy immediately.

Third, Dawn dishwashing liquid contains ingredients that are harmful to people, animals and the environment. The Environmental Working Group gave Dawn Ultra Dishwashing Liquid a grade D for its destructive and deadly components, namely: methylisothiazolinone, which is lethal to water species and ecosystems, and can damage skin; sodium laureth sulfate, which is also toxic to water organisms and is an endocrine disruptor, which means it can damage DNA, cause birth defects and other developmental disorders, damage vision, and cause cancer; and the ever-mysterious ingredient fragrance, which is also noxious to aquatic life and can have negative effects on nervous and respiratory systems. Chemicals are frequently hidden under this obscure ingredient because the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn’t require companies to disclose them.

You must admit that P&G is one crafty company to devise a gimmick that tugs on heart strings while fooling consumers into buying a product that they think is helping animals. Moreover, the company makes it effortless by providing a direct purchase link for Dawn on their website. Activism doesn't get much easier than that, but it is a false sense of charity.

The $1 million that P&G says it gifted last year to rescue efforts does not offset the enormous amount of animal suffering it contributes to every day through its cruel company policies and pernicious products.

The bottom line is this: if you want to help wildlife who fall victim to oil spills, and animals in general, then go vegan, reduce your consumption of oil and oil-based products, avoid plastic bottles, recycle always, and never, ever purchase Dawn or anything else made by P&G.

Put P&G out of business for good by boycotting their products. You can find a list here.

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