Stars support campaign to
ban animal cosmetic testing

Meet Ralph, spokes-bunny and star of Humane Society International’s animated short film Save Ralph

Hollywood filmmakers and movie stars have joined forces with Humane Society International to produce a powerful stop-motion animated short film, Save Ralph, calling for an end to cosmetic testing on animals around the world. Although banned in 40 countries, the practice is still perfectly legal in most of the world, and even making a comeback in some regions, subjecting untold thousands of animals to needless suffering and death.

Taika Waititi, Ricky Gervais, Zac Efron, Olivia Munn, Pom Klementieff, Tricia Helfer and others have come together to help HSI change that by providing the voices for the Save Ralph film, which aims to shine a light on the suffering animals endure and engage consumers and policymakers in HSI’s mission to ban it.

Save Ralph

Writer and director Spencer Susser (Hesher, The Greatest Showman) and producer Jeff Vespa (Voices of Parkland) teamed up with the Arch Model studio of puppet-maker supreme Andy Gent on the production to bring Ralph to life. The film is also being launched in Portuguese, Spanish, French and Vietnamese with Rodrigo Santoro, Denis Villeneuve and others voicing the characters in those languages, and Maggie Q providing a video message of support.

Save Ralph is a wake-up call that animals are still suffering for cosmetics, and now is the time for us to come together to ban it globally. Today we have an abundance of reliable, animal-free approaches for product safety assurance, so there’s no excuse for making animals like Ralph suffer to test cosmetics or their ingredients.”

– Jeffrey Flocken, president, Humane Society International

Save RalphThe film features HSI’s campaign spokes-bunny Ralph, voiced by Taika Waititi, being interviewed as he goes through his daily routine as a “tester” in a toxicology lab. HSI’s #SaveRalph campaign tackles the disturbing issue of animal testing in an original and unexpected way – using the story of one bunny to shine a light on the plight of countless rabbits and other animals suffering at this very moment in laboratories around the world. It engages viewers to help ban animal testing of cosmetics once and for all.

Save Ralph Taika Waititi tweeted ahead of the launch: “This is a cool thing that is coming soon. If you don’t watch it and love it then you hate animals and we can’t be friends anymore. #SaveRalph.”

The campaign is focused on 16 countries including Brazil, Canada, Chile, Mexico, South Africa, and 10 Southeast Asian nations, with partner organizations, the Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society Legislative Fund, focused on legislation in the U.S. HSI is also standing up for bans that are already in place, like in Europe where authorities are attempting to exploit a legal loophole by demanding new animal testing of cosmetic ingredients under chemical law. Save Ralph will shine a spotlight on all these countries, driving them toward the cruelty-free future that the public and consumers expect.

“Animal testing just makes me angry. There’s no justification for dripping chemicals in rabbits’ eyes or force-feeding them to rats just to make lipsticks and shampoo. Science has evolved enough to give us non-animal solutions to end this terrible cruelty – it’s time for our humanity to catch up.”

– Ricky Gervais, voice actor, Save Ralph

Fast facts about animal testing of cosmetics

  • experimented animal In some parts of the world, rabbits like Ralph are locked in neck restraints and have cosmetic products and ingredients dripped in their eye and on to the shaved skin on their back. Guinea pigs and mice have the chemicals spread on their shaved skin or on their ears. None of these animals are given pain relief, and all of them will be killed at the end.
  • Animal testing for cosmetics is officially already banned in 40 countries. HSI and partners were instrumental in securing bans in India, Taiwan, New Zealand, South Korea, Guatemala, Australia and 10 states in Brazil. Such testing is also banned in Turkey, Israel, Norway, Iceland, Switzerland, and in the U.S. states of California, Illinois, Nevada and Virginia. Five other U.S. states – New Jersey, Maryland, Rhode Island, Hawaii and New York – are now considering similar bills to end animal testing for cosmetics, and a federal bill called the Humane Cosmetics Act is anticipated to be reintroduced in Congress this year.
  • The European Union banned all animal testing for cosmetics in 2013, yet today this celebrated precedent is being undermined by European Chemicals Agency demands that companies perform new animal tests on chemicals used exclusively in cosmetics. Read more here.
  • More than 2,000 “cruelty-free” beauty brands are available worldwide, including Lush, Garnier, Dove, Herbal Essences and H&M. These companies produce safe products by using ingredients with a history of safe use together with modern animal-free safety assessment tools. No single global shopping guide yet exists, but HSI recognizes LeapingBunny.org, BeautyWithoutBunnies, Logical Harmony, ChooseCrueltyFree and Te Protejo as useful resources.
  • HSI warns that even cruelty-free cosmetics are in jeopardy if chemical safety legislation continues to demand new animal tests for chemical ingredients used exclusively in cosmetics. That’s why the #SaveRalph campaign prioritizes getting test bans in place and robustly defended.
  • In addition to pursuing legislative bans, HSI and its partners are collaborating to develop a training program in animal-free safety assessment to support smaller companies and government authorities transition from animal testing to state-of-the-art non-animal methods, which are readily available and better at assuring human safety than the animal tests they replace.

Learn more at hsi.org/ralph

Image: courtesy of Humane Society International

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There are 6 comments

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  1. Linda Hammerschmid

    Wholeheartedly agree.
    People should be the only species to be guinea pigs.
    As in economics, if one wants to participate in the profit
    one has to be ready to participate in the loss.
    As the test results are for the benefit of humans, then
    the testing should be on them as well.

  2. Georges R. Dupras

    There appears a concerted effort by the animal industries to block any meaningful efforts to stop cosmetic animal testing in this country. This they achieve through the covert efforts of both the Rural and Outdoor caucuses of both the Liberal and Conservative parties. The Humane Societies International (HSI), Animal Alliance of Canada (AAC), and many other animal protection organizations have worked to stop practices such as the Draize and the LD50 tests (Lethal Dose 50methods) by researchers.

    Concerned citizens should contact their Federal representatives and insist that the cosmetic industry find other options to address corporate liability and consumer protection.

    Georges R. Dupras

  3. Barry Kent MacKay

    You know, there are only so many ways we can “beautify” ourselves, and all ingredients used have been so for so long that we know how safe they are apart from individualistic averse reactions no amount of animal testing can predict. There is something obscene about continuing tormenting animals out of inertia, and possibly as an ill-conceived hedge against lawsuits, or whatever the reason. If a product is so new that such tests have never been done, don’t use it, or test it on willing and humans, paid to take part in them before foisting them on a public that frankly does not need them.

  4. Anne Streeter

    So many countries have managed very well without testing cosmetics on animals. Alternative testing methods have been around for years so there is absolutely no reason to continue with this thoroughly barbaric practice. As well, alternate methods have proven to be faster, cheaper and more accurate. This issue should have been settled years ago. In the meantime ,millions of animals suffer seriously every year for a new shampoo or lipstick!

  5. Sinikka Crosland

    There is absolutely no need to torture animals for the sake of cosmetics or for any other purpose: animals are not ours to experiment on. Willfully causing suffering should always be considered a crime – whether the suffering is perpetrated by individuals or by industries wishing to make a profit. It is time to relegate such heinous acts to history books, where they need to remain.

  6. Vicki Van Linden

    It’s so disturbing to me that Canada has not yet joined with other progressive nations to ban the sale and importation of animal-tested cosmetics. No animal should ever suffer for a new mascara or face cream. All political parties need to finally show real leadership and get a Cruelty-Free Cosmetics bill passed as soon as possible

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