Every year, poor animals sacrifice their lives unwillingly in the name of human beauty. Big brands use the unethical practice of animal testing on thousands of innocent animals, claiming they do it to ensure that cosmetics are safe for human consumption.
Last month, animal rights non-profit Humane Society International (HSI) released a powerful short film calling the beauty industry for the end of animal testing.
The organisation teamed up with Hollywood stars to produce "Save Ralph," a powerful animated stop motion mockumentary against animal testing for cosmetics. "Save Ralph" features a cute bunny named Ralph, who was born into a family of testers.
Ralph, voiced by Ricky Gervais, is being interviewed and talks about his daily routine as a tester in a lab. Ralph looks tired, has wounds, red eyes and suffers multiple injuries.
"At the end of the day, it's ok. We do it for humans, right? They're far superior to us animals anyway."
He says: "I just like to say to anyone out there still vying animal-tested cosmetics like eyeliner, shampoo, sunscreen, pretty much everything in your bathroom: Well, without you and countries that allow animal testing, I'd be out of a job. I'd be out on the streets, well not the streets; more like a field, I guess. Like a normal rabbit."
The list of stars who worked on the film includes producer Taika Waititi, Ricky Gervais, Zac Efron, Olivia Munn, Pom Klementieff, and Tricia Helfer who have come together to help HSI end animal testing and provided the voices for the film.
Ricky Gervais says: “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.”
Writer and director Spencer Susser and producer Jeff Vespa teamed up with the Arch Model studio of puppet-maker Andy Gent to bring Ralph to life.
Director, Spencer Susser says: “Animals in cosmetic testing labs don’t have a choice and it’s our responsibility to do something about it. When the opportunity came up to create a new campaign for Humane Society International, I felt that stop motion was the perfect way to deliver the message. When you see the horrifying reality of the way animals are treated, you can’t help but look away. What I was hoping to do with this film was create something that delivers a message without being too heavy handed. I hope that audiences fall in love with Ralph and want to fight for him and other animals like him, so we can ban animal testing once and for all.”
The film follows the #SaveRalph campaign, which aims to public advocacy and awareness and shows the terrible suffering that animals endure in testing.
According to a press release from HSI, the 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."
Through the film and campaign, HSI wants to engage viewers to help ban animal testing of cosmetics once and for all.
The campaign is focused on 16 countries, including Brazil, Canada, Chile, Mexico, South Africa, and 10 Southeast Asian nations. The film will be launched in several other languages, including Spanish, Portuguese, Vietnamese and French.
HSI president Jeffrey Flocken said "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," he added.
Until now, 40 countries worldwide have banned animal testing for cosmetics, including Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, India, Taiwan, New Zealand, South Korea, Guatemala, Australia, several states in the United States and Brazil. The European Union banned all animal testing for cosmetics in 2013.
According to HSI, there are more than 2,000 “cruelty-free” beauty brands are available globally which produce safe products with animal-free ingredients and modern animal-free safety assessment tools.