Denis Villeneuve joins Humane Society International/Canada’s campaign for a national cosmetic test and marketing ban.
Renowned filmmakers and international stars have teamed up with Humane Society International (HSI) to produce a stop-motion animated short film with a strong message, Save Ralph, to end cosmetic testing on animals around the world. Although already banned in 40 countries, the practice is still perfectly legal in much of the world, including Canada, and may even be allowed again in some regions, threatening thousands of animals with unnecessary suffering and death. Taika Waititi, Ricky Gervais, Zac Efron, Olivia Munn, Quebec’s Pom Klementieff, Canada’s Tricia Helfer and many others came together to help HSI by lending their voices to the English version of Save Ralph, which aims to highlight the suffering of animals and encourage consumers and policy makers to support HSI’s mission to ban animal testing.
HSI/Canada has been campaigning for many years to force the Canadian Government to ban cosmetic testing and trade in animal use. Polls show that 87% of Canadians support such a ban and to support the movement towards a legislative effort in Canada, the film Save Ralph will also be launched in French on April 12th thanks to the participation of Quebecers Denis Villeneuve and Pom Klementieff who lend their voices to the main characters. Elsewhere in the world, the film will also be available in Portuguese, Spanish and Vietnamese thanks in particular to Rodrigo Santoro and others who lend their voices respectively to the characters in these different languages as well as Maggie Q who recorded a message of support. Writer-director Spencer Susser (Hesher, The Greatest Showman) and producer Jeff Vespa (Voices of Parkland) collaborated with Arch Model studio of the famous puppet designer Andy Gent to bring Ralph to life. To watch the short film, to have access to the latest information on the current status of animal testing and how to help, visit: hsi.org/Ralph.
Jeffrey Flocken, President of Humane Society International says: “Save Ralph is the wake-up call that animals are still suffering in the production of cosmetics and that now is the time for all of us to act together to have this practice banned internationally. There are now many reliable approaches to ensuring safe products are made without the use of animal testing, so there is no excuse for harming animals like Ralph in favour of cosmetic testing or ingredient-making.”
The film stars Ralph, spokesperson for the HSI campaign whose voice is voiced by Taika Waititi in the English version, while he is doing an interview and recounts his daily routine as a “tester” in a toxicology lab. HSI’s #SaveRalph campaign addresses the disturbing issue of animal experimentation in an original and unexpected way, using the story of a rabbit to highlight the plight of countless rabbits and other animals suffering right now in laboratories around the world. It encourages the public to take action and help to ban cosmetic tests on animals permanently.
Director Spencer Susser says: “Animals locked up in cosmetic testing labs have no freedom of choice and it is our responsibility to act to change this. When I was asked to create the new Humane Society International campaign, I thought stop motion would be the best way to get the message across. When faced with horrific images of how animals are treated, you can’t help but look away. So I wanted to create a film that clearly conveys the message but is not too heavy to watch. I hope that the public will fall in love with Ralph and want to fight for him and other animals like him, to ban cosmetic tests on animals once and for all.”
Director Denis Villeneuve adds: “When I was asked to participate in the short film Save Ralph, I didn’t hesitate. The torture of these animals is very real. The public and the government need to understand this in order to make a change”
Aviva Vetter, head of HSI’s International Cosmetics Program, said:“Most people are often surprised to learn that cosmetic testing on animals is still allowed in Canada. But with the help of the #SaveRalph campaign, we aim to have it stopped once and for all. Many people think that companies are the problem. But the reality is that companies are but one part of the solution. There also are the laws that need to be changed and major companies in the industry such as Lush, Unilever, P and G and Avon are already working alongside us to secure significant bans on animal testing in some of the world’s most influential beauty markets. We urge Canada to join the 40 countries that have already banned this outdated practice and are taking the step of living in a world without animal cruelty. “
In addition to the HSI/Canada campaign, HSI is currently working in the territories of Brazil, Chile, Mexico, South Africa and 10 Southeast Asian nations. Partner organizations, Humane Society in the United States and Humane Society Legislative Fund are working to change the law in the United States. HSI also defends the bans already in place, as in Europe where the authorities are trying to exploit a legal loophole by requiring that new animal tests be allowed for cosmetic ingredients under the Chemicals Act. #SaveRalph will focus on these countries and lead them to the animal-free, humane future that the public and consumers want.