by ecorazzicontributor
Categories: Animals, Causes.
Photo: Flickr via Matsuyuki

Usually when one thinks of animal testing, cosmetics and drug companies come to mind. But Unilever— who owns the Lipton and PG Tips tea companies— was recently caught red-handed practicing torturous animal tests of their products.

Tea? Really? Why would anyone need to test their tea on animals? Well, Unilever was determined to be able to make health claims for Lipton products, which meant they needed lab results. So they reportedly fed rabbits high-cholesterol diets to harden their arteries, then fed them the tea to attempt to reduce the lesions. Even worse, piglets were reportedly given strains of E. coli, then given tea to test for prevention of… well, E. coli symptoms (you know the one I mean). It gets even more horrifying, but it doesn’t really need to be discussed. Suffice to say, the poor baby pigs were put through a lot of pain.

Fortunately, PETA stepped in. The organization threatened Unilever with an international campaign against them, and Unilever quickly caved. Shortly after, the company announced an immediate end to animal testing of their products. The battle is won, but the war isn’t over as Unilever still claims that animal testing will be performed when it is “necessary” or “demanded” by the government.

Hopefully that will change as well, as animal testing often doesn’t even yield the same results as human tests do. Plus, does anybody really think that Lipton tea can rid you of E. coli?

Via The Huffington Post

  • herwin

    All health claims on products or made by companies usually are backed up by animal testing that was specifically designed and done so these companies can make the most ludicrious health claims.
    Even the godfathers of raw food have done (scientificly dubious) lethal animal testing on rats to prove their health benefit claims of enzymes.

  • Shea Gunther

    Unilever is also the parent company of Ben & Jerry’s. Not cool Unilever, not cool.

    • Nadine Brown

      IDK that! I freaking LOVE Ben and Jerry’s! If B&J ar ok with this, I will have to stop buying their ice cream!

  • km

    Awesome. This is the type of thing I hope PETA continues to do.

    • Robert

      PETA has done well here.

      PETA has two sides in my opinion. One side that puts out trashy crap like the superbowl wanna-be ad a few days ago while the other side does what excellent campaigns such as this. Great job guys!

      • km

        Yup. I wish they’d continue with the good side. I’d contribute to them if they did. I just can’t give money to a group that does crap like the superbowl ad. I guess they don’t need my money and somehow generate more donations with campaigns like the superbowl. However, I think when you look at their goals of saving animals and promoting animal rights, the Lipton campaign actually accomplishes that. Perhaps I”m a pessimist, but I doubt even all the press regarding the superbowl ad made anyone vegetarian. Instead, it seems PETA has proven that they can generate press. Could it be that by proving they can generate press then they can intimidate companies like Lipton? I do try to find the positive aspects and maybe that’s one of them. Regardless, degradation of women is never okay in my book. Not anything and everything to save animals is defensible when other options exist.

  • Eva @ Four Leaf Clover

    I know! I wrote about the petition and then the good news on my blog. SO exciting! I can’t wait for more and more organizations to follow suit and soon!

  • Christian Burgess

    the fact they have tested ensures lipton will never be in my house again … im not stupid and people need to know the only they reason they stopped testing is because they got busted not because of compassion ….

    • BenCat1000

      so true….they got busted, otherwise, they would still be “testing” their products on defenseless creatures. Wicked, wicked, wicked.

  • Erin Elizabeth

    Not that Lipton was ever my cup of tea …pun intended… But I will make sure never to drink it or unveiler. That is absolutely insane. The funny thing is if people ate healthier ..usually more veggies..people would not need these teas. And even if they did there are plenty of good organic tea formulas put out there by companies that do not test on animals. Rabbits and piglets sad. So sip of Lipton for me… E

  • Whoever…


    They were testing tea on animals…!!?

    What, next companies are going to test water and air?

    Really, the CEOs of these companies should be incarcerated in some lab and tested on for the rest of their lives!!!

    Either that or just hanged on a tree :)