January 28, 2005
P&G to Purchase Gillette.
I know I'm not exactly the type of person who reports on, or even follows, business news. Truth is, I could usually care less. I have close to $100,000 in student loan debt (not including my wife's debt); I don't own any stock; money is something I don't like to think about much. But Procter and Gamble is purchasing Gillette, and that's bad news. See, I am one of those bunny-hugging vegetarians who won't buy products which are tested on animals or made by companies who test on animals* (this approach is actually not that difficult, once you do some research). For razors, I used products made by The American Safety Razor Company, gear that is hard to find and which is not exactly up to the standards of Gillette of Schick in terms of comfort. Low and behold, Gillette puts a moratorium on its animal testing, and my friend is right: we should support them so that they make the ban permanent. So I switched to Gillette razors, to the joy of my face and neck. Procter and Gamble is one of the few companies left that actually still engages in animal testing. Check the big lists; the "Do No Test" list is multiple times larger than the "Do Test" list. But put aside whether animal testing is ethical, whether it's cost-effective, whether it makes more sense to use high-tech replicated human tissue like some companies use at times (because animal testing is not entirely reliable). The bottom line is that, if you think about animal testing and feel very strongly about it, it's back to less comfortable shaving (or a less comfortable conscience) for now. The good news is that Bic has a moratorium now, and I suspect their gear might be superior to the ASRCo, not to mention much easier to find. I attended a very good lecture yesterday where I saw a professor in the department whom I admire. He has grown one hell of a thick and hearty winter beard, and I was thinking of growing my customary "winter beard" around now, given that I haven't cut those whiskers in days. I suppose that the business world has helped me to decide to sport my red beard for a few weeks or months now. *[This is not a "principle" that I necessarily want to see universalized per se. I think I do a decent job of not judging people for which companies they buy from. I just got back from Wal-Mart myself.]