the westminster news
Published by the students of Westminster School
By Taylor Hill ’22
All over the globe, many animals are suffering because they are held captive as test subjects for cosmetic products. Every year, in U.S. laboratories alone, over 100 million animals have harsh chemicals and creams injected into their eyes, throats, and skins before being thrown aside to die. These animals include rabbits, mice, guinea pigs, birds, reptiles, monkeys, and dogs, all bred solely for testing. In many countries — one of the most prominent being China — the government requires these tests to assess the dangers of new cosmetic formulae. Animal cruelty includes the animal testing of cosmetic products and chemical ingredients and the marketing of these products. Everyday toiletries like shampoo, eyeliner, deodorant, and almost any bathroom product could be subject to these inhumane practices.
While animal cruelty seems like a thing of the past, several non-profit organizations are still fighting against it, such as Humane Society International (HSI). HSI and its partners have worked to outlaw cosmetic testing on animals. Already, HSI made an enormous amount of progress since they first launched their #BeCrueltyFree campaign in 2012. Besides driving the European Union to become one of the largest cruelty-free markets, HSI also passed legislation to ban animal testing in Taiwan, India, Norway, New Zealand, Switzerland, South Korea, and various other countries and states. However, they want to go even further by pushing the adoption of modern non-animal testing methods and taking it upon themselves to assist companies while transitioning to these methods.
Here is where Ralph comes in. He serves as HSI’s official spokesperson for animals used in government-required testing. “Save Ralph,” a short film depicting the horrors of animal testing, is the next step of Humane Society International’s global campaign to ban all cosmetic animal testing for good. In the trending short film, we follow Ralph — a tester rabbit — through the process of chemical and cosmetic testing. Featuring a diverse cast that includes Taika Waititi, Ricky Gervais, Zac Efron, Olivia Munn, Pom Klementieff, Tricia Helfer and others, the film is a wake-up call to the rest of the world. It illustrates that even though it seems animal testing is over, it is still very much legal in many countries. “Save Ralph” brings into light the suffering testing animals have endured and captures the absurdity of it all through deep storytelling and vivid animation. The entire short film is available on YouTube.
So what can you do to save others like Ralph? Well, for one, we can speak up against animal cruelty and raise awareness through social media apps like Instagram, Snapchat, and even Titkok, by using the hashtag #SaveRalph. Just by telling others about the harsh procedures animals undergo almost every day, you can make a difference. Another thing: check your beauty supplies or any product found in your bathroom to see if it is cruelty-free. If it says cruelty-free on it, the brand does not test on animals. You can research which brands are cruelty-free and adopt them into your self-care regimen. If you want to go even further, you can take action by donating to the Humane Society International. With just a little effort, you could help defend animals from cruelty worldwide.