Save Ralph

Save+Ralph

After a video about animal testing for beauty and health products known as “Save Ralph”  got popular throughout the world, many people started paying attention to what they’re buying and started to research what brands are against animal cruelty. 

The video follows a lab rabbit’s daily life, it starts by showing its daily morning routine, eating breakfast, brushing their teeth, etc; right after, the rabbit is taken to a lab where other animals are being tested, screaming for help and trying to make the scientists stop.  

“As anyone would tell you, it made me feel awful and a bit guilty for ever investing in companies that test on animals,” explains sophomore Ella Velyvis, after watching the video that showed on her screen many times. “It definitely did its job as I’ve been even more aware than usual about the brands I invest in.”  

The video ends with the animal thanking humans for buying products that aren’t cruelty free, saying “well without you and countries that allow animal testing i’d be out of a job, i’d be in the streets, well more like in a field i guess, you know, like a normal rabbit,” at that point he was all hurt with no sight in both eyes and bruises all over his back.  

The project “Save Ralph” was created to bring awareness of something that has been happening for many years but without the public really knowing what was going on, people ignored  the cruelty free and vegan labels not understanding what it really meant. “It’s hard for people to realize that something is real if it’s not happening right in-front of them, but this video, I think, made some people notice it,” commented Hope Mulligan, a Junior at Terra Linda. “It’s an eye-opener and really makes viewers sympathize and even relate to the bunny, in a way, which I think is amazing. It made myself and hopefully others realize, “hey, this is a living being, in pain, because of your selfishness” which was more than enough for me to stop buying animal tested products.” Under the project, a petition was created to stop animal testing on Change.org

In 2013 a video called “Bright Eyes: End Cosmetics Testing on Animals” was released on YouTube trying to deliver the same message as the newest video. At that time, the video didn’t get as popular as it did today, failing to reach as many people necessary to make a difference. 

Another project that unfortunately didn’t reach many people, happened in the UK in 2012, a woman called Jacqueline Trade  volunteered to be tested like lab animals in the streets where many passersby and workers could see as a protest. Her hair was shaved, she was forced to eat, got injections, her eyes were sprayed, etc. She was tortured like many animals are daily, but unlike them, she didn’t die as a result . 

Around forty countries have been limiting or have completely banned animal testing, but that isn’t enough to make the difference when the biggest countries in the world are still allowing it. Here in the US more than 100 million animals are killed per year (PETA) in brutals ways as described by PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) an American Animal rights organization that is working to ban animal testing in America and all around the world. These animals are rabbits, mices, cats and dogs. The most common breed of dogs they use is beagles, because beagles are the most friendly and loyal dogs, making them easy to manipulate.

Now in China, the second largest country in the world and most involved in products commercialization and fabrication, animal testing is necessary for every pharmacy product if you want to sell there. Many brands that say to be cruelty free, might actually not really be, saying, like Aveeno, that sometimes they don’t have a choice.“The fact is, AVEENO® doesn’t conduct animal testing of our cosmetic products anywhere in the world, except in the rare situation where governments or laws require it” they state in their Animal Testing Policy. Many people can be fooled by brands like that, thinking it’s trustworthy without really knowing the truth. “If China obligates brands to have their products animal tested then how is Aveeno legally selling products there? Assuming that’s true, either Aveeno is lying and misbranding, or they’re somehow illegally selling their products in China. Either way, I no longer trust that brand,” Mulligan states

This only shows how important it is to research about the brands we buy and make sure they have the PETA certificate on the products. Brands saying their products are cruelty free isn’t against the law, even if they don’t test on animals in every country they will if they have to for the profit, saying that they’re always looking for alternatives when in reality they’re doing the minimum to  avoid it, not making sure their suppliers aren’t doing testing, and selling on China where the testing is required. 

Companies that do animal testing don’t have to test their products in animals since we have enough technology to create human skin which is in fact more precise than animals since its human cells. There are other ways to test cosmetics now, the brands doing animal testing are choosing to do that knowingly. 

With so many people trying to change the way the world has been working these days, we can almost feel hopeful, but there is still a long way to go since many world leaders have only profit in mind. Many people follow their ideas, ignoring climate change, animal testing, the overwhelming amout of plastic in the oceans, and in times like this, even ignoring the pandemic, among other things. It really depends on what each person does individually to make a difference, even if they think they can’t do much or use it as an excuse. If we really care about this world and everyone in it, we have to start being realistic and responsible about the many ways we are killing it.