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‘Save Ralph’, an animated short film, drops bombs on animal testing for cosmetic products, finds support from Unilever

Ralph is a rabbit, who enjoys being a tester because he’s doing it for “far superior humans”.

Ralph is a tired and defeated rabbit. He can’t see from his right eye, and can hear nothing but an “eeeeeeee” ringing in his right ear. He has chemical burn marks up and down his back, but he doesn’t mind.

“We do it for the humans. They are far superior to us animals,” he quips.

Ralph is a tester for cosmetic brands. He is also the protagonist of ‘Save Ralph’​​, a stop-motion animation short film produced by Humane Society International (HSI) for its global campaign to ban animal testing for cosmetics.

The short film premiered on April 6, 2021, and features an all-star multinational cast, including Oscar-winner Taika Waititi, Ricky Gervais, Zac Efron, Olivia Munn, Pom Klementieff, Rodrigo Santoro, Tricia Helfer and more.

Jeffrey Flocken, president, HSI, 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.”

Sunny Jain, Unilever’s beauty and personal care president, praised the short film on LinkedIn and wrote, “As part of our new ‘Positive Beauty Vision’, Unilever has stepped up calls for a global ban on animal testing for cosmetics by 2023... I’m proud that Unilever is supporting our friends at Humane Society International and sharing their thought-provoking film.”

The ‘Positive Beauty Vision’ is a set of progressive commitments and actions for Unilever’s beauty and personal care brands, including Dove, Lifebuoy, Axe and Sunsilk. It will champion a new era of beauty, which is equitable and inclusive, as well as sustainable for the planet.

One of its major commitments is to “support a global ban on animal testing for cosmetics by 2023, working alongside lawmakers, animal protection organisations and like-minded companies. Twenty-three Unilever beauty and personal care brands are now PETA-approved, with more working towards certification.”

On its website, the consumer goods giant (Unilever) says: “We use a wide range of non-animal approaches to assess the safety of our products. Since the 1980s, our scientists have been developing and using alternatives to animal tests. For example, computer modelling and cell culture-based experiments.”

“We regularly present and publish our work, and continually collaborate with others to share our knowledge and apply exciting new science to assure product safety.”

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