Blogger Jenn at the Green Phonebooth wrote a very kind and complimentary piece about a small company called The Duggan Sisters. She mentioned a deodorant they make that is greener and better for your health. Jenn praised the product but mentioned that the price of $27 seemed too high for a deodorant that only had 3 ingredients. In response, the company’s owner published a mile-long piece that is the strangest communication from any business owner I have ever seen. I put some parts of it in a PowerPoint slide for you. On the left, you see an excerpt from Jenn’s post that you can find here. On the right, you can see small excerpts from Mary Duggan’s report that can be read in its entirety here.
The reason why I’m publishing this post is not just that I like Jenn and feel surprised that she got attacked in return for writing a very kind post about a small business. What bothers me is that alternative medicine and green lifestyles often get undermined by being presented in a way they were in Duggan’s response. There are many assertions for which no sources are ever cited. There is even what I interpret as a suggestion that some link exists between autism and deodorant (as a Soviet autistic child of another Soviet autistic, I’m kind of stunned by something like this). Here is the quote in question:
My sister Annie and I applaud folks who want to make their own deodorant or soap or candles or lotions. However, we have been working with thousands of busy mommies and daddies for the past decade and we find that few of them have any desire to return to Little House on the Prairie skill sets. More often, they hound us for solutions and guidance in dealing with their children’s autism, learning disabilities, psoriasis, depression, behavioral disorders, explosive diarrhea in the 5thgrade, that sort of thing.
On the company’s website, there is also a suggestion that depression is somehow caused by eating fast food, which is another statement that I find very irresponsible and kind of offensive to the folks who suffer from depression.
I think everybody here has already realized that I’m a very strong believer in seeking non-chemical solutions to health issues. I know people who used natural medicine to cure themselves of very serious diseases. However, placing autism, diarrhea, psoriasis and depression on one list and casually linking these very different issues to “deodorant or soap or candles or lotions” or fast food consumption does not, in my opinion, promote the cause of healthier, greener lifestyles. In any case, Jenn has voiced her objections to Mary Duggan’s response better than I ever could here.