Ladies, there’s one more reason to love Norman Reedus, the phenomenally popular star of TV’s “The Walking Dead.” He’s throwing his considerable star power behind the fight to end cruel animal testing for cosmetics in the United States.
Cruelty Free International (CFI) announced in early August that Reedus has joined their campaign to get animals out of laboratories and end their use for cosmetics testing in the U.S and around the world.
“Scores of countries around the world are beating the U.S. to become cruelty-free by banning cosmetics tests on animals. Nobody wants rabbits or guinea-pigs to suffer for our vanity, least of all the animals. Let’s stop their suffering right here, right now,” said Reedus in the press release announcing his partnership with CFI.
According to CFI’s Chief Executive, Michelle Thew, “Norman is using his voice on behalf of the countless animals who suffer in laboratories in cruel and outdated tests for consumer products. It is vitally important that the U.S. moves with the times and protects animals from unnecessary tests by embracing modern, non-animal science.”
The U.S. Lags Behind Other Forward-Thinking Nations
The United States is woefully behind most of the rest of the world when it comes to ending cosmetics testing on animals. The European Union (EU) began phasing out animal testing a decade ago. After repeated delays, the EU finally ended such testing completely in 2013. It also forbid the sale of animal-tested cosmetics and ingredients.
These measures show real progress in this fight, but there’s still a long way to go. According to CFI, over 80 percent of countries still permit animal cosmetics testing, including Korea, Japan, Australia and the good old United States.
Horrific and unnecessary animal testing that still happens every day around the world includes:
- Carcinogenicity: Rats are force fed an ingredient for two years to determine whether it will give them cancer. They are killed when this test is over.
- Repeated Dose Toxicity: Rabbits or rats must inhale or eat an ingredient, or have it rubbed onto their shaved skin every day for up to 3 months to determine whether long-term use is poisonous. They are killed when this test is over.
- Reproductive Toxicity: Pregnant female rats or rabbits are forced to eat an ingredient and are then killed along with their unborn young. This testing is intended to determine whether the ingredient affects fertility, reproductive behavior and development of the young.
- Skin Sensitization: The skin of guinea pigs and the ears of mice are shaved and then a cosmetics ingredient is applied to their bare skin. This test determines whether the ingredient makes the skin itchy or inflamed when used. The animals are killed when this test is over.
- Toxicokinetics: Rats and rabbits are force fed a cosmetics ingredient over time and then are killed. Their organs are examined to determine how the ingredient has been absorbed into the system, metabolized and excreted.
Norman Reedus Can Help the Cause
Joining forces with CFI isn’t a publicity ploy for Norman Reedus. He is an avowed animal lover, as evidenced by his many Instagram and Twitter photos of his beloved black cat, Eye in the Dark. Many of those pictures are included in this awesome BuzzFeed post.
“My son wanted a black kitten when he was a kid,” Reedus told GQ magazine, “and I found it in the East Village in some rescue shelter, but it was born in a box and the guy that was getting rid of it was like, ‘You don’t want this cat. This cat’s never gonna love anyone.’ And the first time I saw it, it was like just hissing and scratching everything it saw and now it’s like this big, fat, chill cat.”
Not that he needed the boost, but Reedus’ cool factor just went into overdrive. The publicity he brings to this cause is excellent news for the animals. You might say it’s a case of Daryl Dixon to the rescue, once again.
Photo credit: PRNewsFoto/Cruelty Free International, Leslie Hassler