This story was originally published on May 31, 2017.
It’s relatively easy to shop for cruelty-free beauty products these days, but that wasn’t always the case. For a very long time, a lack of awareness around the topic meant that most people didn’t really know how the practice impacted the makeup, skin, and hair care industries. Only in the past two decades has that changed for the better — and The Body Shop has played a pioneering role in the shifting ideals.
In 1989, with late founder Anita Roddick at the helm and in partnership with Cruelty Free International, the international beauty brand became the very first to campaign against animal testing. Over two decades of continued efforts paid off big time in 2003, when animal testing for cosmetics and cosmetic ingredients was officially banned by the European Union. That was huge — but The Body Shop is about to kick off something even bigger.
Tomorrow, the brand will join forces with Cruelty Free International once again to announce its Forever Against Animal Testing campaign. The goal? To collect 8 million signatures from people all over the world. One million alone will get the petition through the door at the United Nations, so they’re aiming high with this one — and for good reason. The objective is to call for an international convention that will ban animal testing worldwide, for good. With new technological advancements, there are now plenty of viable alternatives to testing on animals that are often quicker, cheaper, and more effective — so why is anyone still doing it?
Look at the numbers: Cosmetics and ingredients have been tested on animals for over 50 years. Cruelty Free International estimates that 500,000 animals are used for cosmetics testing globally each year. That’s 1,390 a day, and 25,000,000 over 50 years. Plus, 80% of countries worldwide don’t have any laws against animal testing. Did we mention that a single ingredient being tested can kill at least 1,400 animals? When you put it that way, 8 million signatures seems like a pretty reasonable goal to reach.
Now, here’s where you (and you, and you, and you) come in: Sign the petition today, and get all your friends to do it, too. (You can follow along and spread the word by tagging #ForeverAgainstAnimalTesting and @TheBodyShop, too.) Because there’s no reason we should have to sacrifice the lives of innocent creatures just to make sure our lipstick doesn’t go on patchy — and in a world where the President of the United States is considering putting the kibosh on a climate-change agreement that helped protect the planet from greenhouse gases, the least we can do is give our fellow animals a hand. Who knows when we might be needing their help?