Ricky Gervais stars in animated video ‘Save Ralph’ to ban cosmetic animal testing

Read Time:   |  15th April 2021

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A team of Hollywood filmmakers have joined forces with the Humane Society to create Save Ralph, including voiceovers from Ricky Gervais and Zac Efron.


We all know that animal testing for cosmetics is absurdly cruel and unnecessary. But millions of innocent animals around the world are still being used to trial cosmetics such as makeup, shampoo and skincare.

A team of Hollywood filmmakers and actors have joined forces with the Humane Society International to campaign for an end to the cruel practice.

‘Save Ralph’ is an animated stop-motion filmed in a documentary style where Ricky Gervais interviews ‘Ralph’, a rabbit in an animal testing lab.

At the start of the film, Ralph is blind in one eye, deaf in one ear, and has painful chemical burns on his back. But by the end, he is completely blind, exhausted, and his neck is encased in a cast.

Ralph’s friends beg him to ask the documentary team to rescue them from the lab, as a syringe enters his eye causing significant pain.

Speaking out about the film, Gervais explained: “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 has been voiced in multiple languages to be launched in 16 priority countries including Canada, Brazil, Mexico and 10 South-East Asian nations.

The hope is that the heartbreaking animation will shine a spotlight on these countries and drive them towards a cruelty-free future.


‘Ban animal testing once and for all’

Speaking in a statement sent to Vegan Food and Living, Save Ralph director Spencer Susser said:

“Animals in cosmetic testing labs don’t have a choice and it’s our responsibility to do something about it. When the opportunity came up to create a new campaign for Humane Society International, I felt that stop motion was the perfect way to deliver the message.

“When you see the horrifying reality of the way animals are treated, you can’t help but look away. What I was hoping to do with this film was create something that delivers a message without being too heavy-handed.

“I hope that audiences fall in love with Ralph and want to fight for him and other animals like him, so we can ban animal testing once and for all.”

‘A wake-up call to European citizens’

Troy Seidle, Humane Society International’s vice-president for research and toxicology, added:

“Save Ralph is a wake-up call to European citizens and lawmakers who believe that animal testing for cosmetics is over in the EU. It’s not—it’s just been given a new name of ‘chemicals assessment’ but it’s the same old animal suffering.

“The decisions to perform new animal tests are coming not from companies – in fact, some of the leading cosmetic and ingredient brands are furious and fighting these tests. The requirement is coming from the European Chemicals Agency which is using Europe’s chemicals law to circumvent the EU’s historic ban on animal testing for cosmetics.

“Regulators are demanding new chemical poisoning tests that consume the lives of thousands of animals apiece for cosmetic ingredients that have been used safely for years.

“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 in any type of test for cosmetic ingredients.”

You can find out more about the Save Ralph campaign here.

Looking for cruelty-free cosmetic alternatives?
Here are our top vegan beauty products you need to try this spring.

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