Uncaged Campaigns, campaigning against vivisection  
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Retro-orbital bleeding
Many Cosmo readers are unwittingly supporting animal cruelty.
Companies like P&G exert great control over the media.
Nastia Liukin
Nastia Liukin (Creative Commons. Author: Jamie Lantzy)

Cosmopolitan ignore animal testing

In a recent survey, 67% of women said they “would switch from using a particular line of cosmetic or toiletry products if I found out that they had been tested on animals”. We’ve encountered this widespread opposition to animal testing on countless Uncaged stalls and in general conversation. However, factors such as poor product labelling and corporate control of the media mean that many people are unaware of which products are tested on animals, and end up paying for animal cruelty.

As Dan wrote in the article Gagged and Bound, we don’t face a level playing field in our battle against animal testing. Companies like P&G have massive advertising budgets and exert great control over the media, so critical opinions rarely see the light of day. Top women’s magazines are hugely influential - Cosmopolitan has a circulation of over 450 000 in the UK - but generally refuse to mention the issue of animal testing, let alone criticise companies that test on animals. Searching on Cosmopolitan’s website for “animal testing” or “vivisection” reveals exactly zero results.

As a result of this failure to engage with the subject, Cosmo’s readers are largely unaware of the extent of animal testing, and which companies do and don’t test on animals. They continue to buy animal-tested products, even voting Herbal Essences as the “readers’ choice” shampoo in the Cosmopolitan Beauty Awards.

Cosmopolitan haven’t been completely silent on animal welfare issues - they have come out boldly against the cruelty of the fur industry, and have published shocking undercover footage from breeders of ‘handbag dogs’ - so their silence on the issue of animal testing is disappointing.

Uncaged are calling on Cosmopolitan to acknowledge the concerns of their readers with two actions: publishing an article on animal testing, and establishing a category in their Beauty Awards for ethical products. A “readers’ choice” award is meaningless if readers are unaware of the cruelty behind the shampoo - exposed only to adverts and not to the truth of pointless and painful experiments. We want a real “readers’ choice”, where readers are presented with the full facts - free to vote in favour of or against animal testing for cosmetics. We think we know what the outcome would be...

Please email cosmo.mail@natmags.co.uk to request an article on animal testing, and a new ethical beauty award. If your email is for publication on the letters page, please make that clear. In addition, you can make your voice heard on the Cosmo message boards, where people are discussing animal testing of cosmetics, and Herbal Essences specifically.

Nothing's Nastia than animal testing

Gold-medal winning Russian-American gymnast Nastia Liukin has accepted sponsorship from Herbal Essences - part of the shampoo brand's marketing drive to distract attention from the cruel reality of their animal experiments. Herbal Essences are used to intellectual acrobatics - making bizarre mental leaps to try to justify why they still test on animals - but Nastia's Olympic glory shouldn't be used to promote animal cruelty.

Unaware perhaps of the cruelty behind the label, Nastia Liukin’s endorsement of Herbal Essences gives the shampoo a veneer of respectability that it doesn't deserve. Please write to Nastia's management company - who deal with her corporate sponsorships - to let them know about Herbal Essences' cruel experiments, and to ask that Nastia starts Liukin behind the label, and stops her implicit endorsement of animal cruelty.

Please email Evan Morgenstein, president of Nastia's management company, PMG Sports, at evan@pmgsports.com.

Uncaged Campaigns 08.12.08


Uncaged 1993-2012: This is the archived website of Uncaged. All information correct at the time of archiving - November 2012.