Comedian and activist Ricky Gervais is taking seriously the news that several previously animal testing-free cosmetics giants have resumed the practice in order to tap Chinese markets. Selling makeup in China, which requires cosmetics to have been tested on rabbits, could bring Avon, Mary Kay and Estee Lauder huge profits, but Gervais maintains that “ethical principles shouldn’t be up for sale.”
Gervais, a vocal supporter of Cruelty Free International, is working with Humane Society International’s Be Cruelty-Free campaign in the fight to ban animal testing. He expressed his distress that in China, “By law, rabbits must have cosmetic chemicals dripped in their eyes or spread over their sensitive skin, causing sores and bleeding, “ saying that it makes him “particularly angry that some previously cruelty-free companies are abandoning their principles and returning to animal testing in order to profit from the Chinese market,” which is “worth billions of dollars.”
But, continued Gervais, “You cannot put a price on morality and compassion.”
Urban Decay got that message; after customer backlash, the company, which had previously decided to abandon its cruelty-free practices in order to launch in China, decided to maintain its ethical stance at the cost of profit. Gervais called Urban Decay’s actions “a very public U-turn […that] has sent a very powerful message to the rest of the industry — you don’t have to sell your soul in order to be a globally successful cosmetics brand.”
He added that “it’s no coincidence that this new energy towards alternatives has happened under the spotlight of consumer criticism. Compassionate consumers have a powerful voice and we can speak up for those animals in labs who cannot be heard. So make your voice count, sign the Be Cruelty-Free pledge and help Humane Society International achieve a world where no animal has to suffer and die for the sake of cosmetics.”
Join Gervais by watching out for statements that begin with “…does not test on animals” but end with “except when required by law.” Those “exceptions” contain a lot of cruelty.
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