#SaveRalph short film aims to ban animal cosmetics testing in SA


Ralph the bunny undergoing testing

Hollywood filmmakers and movie stars have joined forces with Humane Society International (HSI) to produce a powerful stop-motion animated short film, #SaveRalph, to end cosmetic testing on animals around the world.


Says HSI-Africa campaign manager, Joseph Mayson: “Forty countries across the world have banned animal testing for cosmetics but South Africa isn't one of them. According to a local poll, 90% of South African consumers support a ban on using animals in cosmetics testing, while only 72% stated that a ‘no animal testing’ claim is an important factor they consider when buying cosmetics.


“Animal cosmetics testing is still legal in most of the world, and is even making a comeback in some regions, subjecting untold thousands of animals to needless suffering and death. By working together we can ensure that no animal is ever again made to suffer in the name of beauty. It’s easy to assume that companies are the problem, but the truth is they are a vital part of the solution. It’s laws that need to be changed, and industry leaders like Lush, Unilever, P&G, L’Oréal and Avon are working with us to secure meaningful animal testing bans in many of the world’s most influential beauty markets. We’ve recruited Ralph as our spokesbunny to help get these laws over the finish line.”


Taika Waititi, Ricky Gervais, Zac Efron, Olivia Munn, Pom Klementieff, Tricia Helfer and others have come together to help HSI change this by providing the voices for the #SaveRalph film.


Writer and director Spencer Susser (Hesher, The Greatest Showman) and producer Jeff Vespa (Voices of Parkland) teamed up with the Arch Model studio of puppet maker supreme, Andy Gent, on the production to bring Ralph to life. The film is also being launched in Portuguese, Spanish, French and Vietnamese with Rodrigo Santoro, Gad Elmelah, Denis Villeneuve, George Lopez and others voicing the characters in those languages, and Maggie Q providing a video message of support.


Click here to access the full-length film.


HSI president, Jeffrey Flocken, says: “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.”


The film features HSI’s campaign spokesbunny Ralph, voiced by Taika Waititi, being interviewed as he goes through his daily routine as a ‘tester’ in a toxicology lab. HSI’s #SaveRalph campaign tackles the disturbing issue of animal testing by using the story of one rabbit to shine a light on the plight of countless rabbits and other animals suffering at this very moment in laboratories around the world. It engages viewers to help ban animal testing of cosmetics once and for all.


Actor Ricky Gervais says: “Animal testing just makes me angry. There’s no justification for dripping chemicals in rabbits’ eyes or force-feeding them to rats just to make lipsticks and shampoo. Science has evolved enough to give us non-animal solutions to end this terrible cruelty—it’s time for our humanity to catch up.”


The campaign is focused on 16 countries including Brazil, Canada, Chile, Mexico, South Africa, and 10 Southeast Asian nations, with partner organisations, the Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society Legislative Fund, focused on legislation in the U.S. HSI is also standing up for bans that are already in place, like in Europe where authorities are attempting to exploit a legal loophole by demanding new animal testing of cosmetic ingredients under chemical law. #SaveRalph will shine a spotlight on all these countries, driving them toward the cruelty-free future that the public and consumers expect.


The #SaveRalph short film and educational materials on the current status of animal testing, as well as information about how you can help, are available at hsi.org/save-ralph