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Ask Ecover Dishwashing Liquid Maker to Drop Dairy

June 13, 2007 | Vegetarianism &Veganism / Take Action

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.

Contact Customer Service at

Industrieweg 3
B-2390 Malle
Telephone: +32-(0)3-312-8859
Electronic feedback forms:


Wow, milk products in dish soap. I wouldn't even think of looking for that. Thanks for the tip! We should always remind companies that even "just a little" milk product is too much milk product! Jen

Jen, you're welcome, and thanks for the support.

Just when I thought I was a vegan, I am alerted to yet another product I purchase that contains animal products. Thanks for letting me know. I'll get right on that letter to Ecover.

Thinking about veganism? Vegan Views, an active forum on Google, invites people to join our community. This group began because lately vegan ideals are, in many discussion fora, being diluted or misunderstood as a tool to oppose particularly harsh or painful methods in animal industries. The point of vegan activism is to work for a general acceptance of the ideal of non-exploitation, thereby abolishing vast industries and replacing them with peaceful, respectful methods of providing for our human lifestyles. So we are here not to talk about opposing the worst, but to elicit the best. We are here not to obsessively tinker with the suffering in the system; we are here to encourage the view that other animals should be left free to experience their lives -- with all the pain and pleasure, autonomy and uncertainty, risks and adventure which living in freedom involves. Veganism is the avoidance of animal products. As a diet, it means the avoidance of dairy products, animal flesh, eggs, and honey. As a mode of living, it presents a challenge to society's acceptance of domestication, captivity, and using or thinking of other animals as our instruments. The essence of veganism is an expression of the movement for world peace. Vegan Views has a clear mission, one that takes commitment, energy, and effort. Although counter-arguments may be brought up and examined, this is not the list for attempting to oppose veganism, nor is it the list for supporting or promoting the subjugation of animals or reinforcing invidious social prejudices. (Posts may be moderated and people may be asked to find another forum if a participant appears, in the view of the group facilitator, to be undermining this forum's valuable purpose.) We welcome those who have been vegan for years, those who wish to discuss advancing veganism and understanding it at its best, those who are interested in why veganism matters to environmentalism and animal rights, and those who enjoy reading or taking part in good conversations and will be comfortable allowing a safe space for the discussion and advancement of vegan activism. Interested people are encouraged to visit the site or contact Established Spring 2006 by Friends of Animals.

Just because it says it is plant tested and not animal tested does NOT mean that it is vegan. You should know to look at the ingredients on the back of the bottle before you use it. They never said that they were in the first place.

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