SAFE's campaign against global animal testing giant
Saturday 17 May marked the international day of action against Procter & Gamble, one of the largest animal testers in the world that produces
household products, cosmetics and food items. SAFE staged successful nationwide actions and stalls in Whangarei, Auckland, Hawkes Bay, Palmerston North, Nelson, Christchurch
and Dunedin to highlight P&G's shameful animal-testing record. All were highly successful events in that numerous members of the public were disgusted and pledged not
to buy P&G products any longer, and there were some great media items as a result, including a Prime News TV spot and an interview on Newstalk ZB!
campaigners against animal testing took to the streets urging shoppers to avoid cruelly produced cosmetics, toiletries and household products. The action was part of the 12th
annual Global Boycott Procter & Gamble Day, led by British-based international animal protection group Uncaged, in partnership with animal protection groups around the
world - including SAFE.
Christchurch, Auckland, Palmerston North, Dunedin, Whangarei, Nelson and the Hawke's Bay were part of over 140 cities taking part across the
world, from Sydney to Stockholm. The campaign is supported by stars such as Sir Paul McCartney, Pretenders' lead singer Chrissie Hynde, poet and musician Benjamin Zephaniah
and singer Morrissey.
P&G admit conducting poisoning tests on animals to assess chemicals in their brands which include Olay, Pantene, Pringles, Vicks and Herbal
Essences. Cruelty free campaigners argue that if hundreds of other companies can produce cosmetics and household products without animal testing, so can P&G.
Kriek, campaign director of SAFE explains: "SAFE alerted the public to the suffering behind famous brands such as Olay, Head & Shoulders and even IAMS ‘pet'
food. It cannot be right to abuse animals for the sake of ‘whiter whites' and ‘younger-looking skin'."
Check out the PrimeTV news item.
SAFE has made an impressive list of global actions
on the Uncaged Campaigns website. You can see all the creative actions each country has staged against Proctor & Gamble. Below is what they say. Check it out!
Global Boycott Procter & Gamble
(P&G) Day Down Under makes national news
Uncaged's annual Global Boycott P&G Day inspired a string of protests across New Zealand against the
company's cruel animal testing - and they which received national TV and radio coverage! Any media coverage is excellent - reaching tens of thousands of people. National TV
coverage is fantastic - in this case reaching hundreds of thousands of people on the other side of the world with our "Boycott P&G, shop cruelty-free" message.
Our friends SAFE, organised actions in seven New Zealand cities, and featured on Saturday night's ‘Prime News' as well as Newstalk ZB radio station.
For more info about the international campaign visit: www.uncaged.co.uk/pg.htm.
The following is a recent letter about Procter &
Gamble published in the Otago Daily Times.
I am appalled that Procter and Gamble, which makes world-famous cosmetic brands and other products, continues to test
on and kill animals in the development of their cosmetic, household and even pet food products. These experiments are cruel and unnecessary.
animal testing for cosmetics in 1999 and the European Union (EU) has voted to ban such testing so it must be possible to make safe and good products without this cruel
practice. However, Procter and Gamble looks set to continue testing outside the EU.
Genevieve Robinson , Belleknowes
[Abridged. This letter was sent to
Procter and Gamble but no response has been received.]
A short personal perspective written
by SAFE member Shanti Ahluwalia
I am, by most measurements and accounts, a fairly intelligent person. Given a task, my brain promptly goes to work and
solves most problems to my satisfaction. Recently, however, I encountered something that my mind just could not handle. I experienced what could only be called an utter refusal
of my brain to process information.
What could cause such an event? Severe brain trauma? A temporary abnormality? Perhaps food poisoning? No, it was nothing that
It happened when I
was visiting SAFE headquarters here in Christchurch. I had decided to volunteer my time, and they gave me the task of laminating some photographs for their protest of Procter
and Gamble this Saturday.
Apparently Procter and Gamble is a large company that controls many other companies. The reason SAFE finds their behavior objectionable is
that the company runs a large amount of experiments on animals.
Up until this point, I am able to keep up with the information. Big company, treats animals poorly. We
boycott it. Okay, I understand. Then I saw the photographs.
The first photograph that I saw was that of a rabbit covered in blood. Here I began to feel detachment from
what I was seeing. My brain was still processing the information. I could see a white rabbit, and red blood. Certainly a disturbing photograph, but this I can handle. The
rabbit's fate was unfortunate, but it's just one rabbit. Next, I saw the implements used to restrain these creatures for these experiments. Not only rabbits were shown,
but mice, dogs, and other cuddly creatures. Even monkeys are experimented upon! I'm not certain I can find the words to describe just how uncomfortable these animals looked
in these devices... But still, my brain was keeping up. You have to keep the animals restrained, I suppose; when you're testing how painful a substance is, they're
going to want to move.
Finally, I saw the pictures of what was
actually done while the animals were still alive. Pictures of chemical after chemical burning the skins of these creatures. Pictures of the scars around the eyes of rabbits,
who have their eyes coated in every sort of irritant. Pictures of vivisection. I did not even know what vivisection is. Apparently it's dissection... While the animal is
At this point my brain is having trouble taking all this in. It sounds horrific, but I assure you, my words do not capture a hundredth of the horror. Still,
it is within my means to comprehend what was done to these creatures. After all, it must be for a good reason.
This is when my mental world fell apart. I thought of every
household item I had that was developed by the people that did this- Procter and Gamble. I thought of shampoos, conditioners, cat food, toothbrushes, and every sort of
imaginable household item. And if that isn't bad enough... Consider that for every day I wash my hair with this shampoo, I am supporting people like this. And not just the
instantaneous things I saw in those photographs.
Now my mind really starts to shut out what is going on. Some of these animals are "recycled," for use in later
experiments. Some of them, I am told, live for two years in these conditions. I imagined the tests for these animals. Considering it for a minute is difficult, considering such
a thing happening for an hour is agonizing. Stretching it to a day of such treatment begins to defy the abilities of my brain. Saying 670 days... That's just numb. I cannot
even begin to fathom that, I cannot even begin to give you the words, for I suspect it is well beyond the powers of imagination of any of us. To consider such a thing is
impossible for the human mind, I suspect. Even the people in the photographs doing these things- you can tell they are doing it, but they clearly do not let themselves take in
what it is that they do.
My brain makes one last dash for sanity. All of these things are necessary! You cannot survive in today's world without these things. Okay,
that's fair. I can live with it, I suppose, since otherwise I could not function in today's world. Then SAFE tells me- some companies do not test their products on
animals, but manage to test them for safety in other ways- with greater accuracy! I do not have to support Procter & Gamble at all! I can get safer products from companies
that do not use animal testing!
It has been a few days since I found out about all this, and my mind is still reeling from the experience. One thing is for certain,
however. This Saturday, I'm going to learn everything I can from SAFE about what companies do not use animal testing.