PUBLIC Chats: Forever Against Animal Testing
The Body Shop is blazing a trail to put an end to cosmetic animal testing and we are so proud to be along for the ride. Since we joined forces last year, over 640,000 petition signatures have been collected in Canada to ban the sale and production of cosmetics tested on animals. We recently took the fight to Parliament Hill to present the signatures to the Canadian government. Robyn, our Client Lead on the Forever Against Animal Testing campaign, sat down with us to give an inside peek into what went down at the march:
What is #ForeverAgainstAnimalTesting?
Forever Against Animal Testing is a campaign by The Body Shop to ban cosmetic animal testing worldwide. They have been advocating against animal testing in cosmetics for the last three decades, and last year they engaged our team at PUBLIC to go back into market with the campaign in Canada. We created a strategy around the understanding that we not only want to ban cosmetic animal testing on a global scale, but also need to find a way to ban cosmetic animal testing in Canada through a change in legislation.
What was the Pet March?
On Monday May 28th we hosted a Pet March on Parliament Hill to deliver over 630,000 petition signatures from across Canada, to parliament. The great thing about that number of signatures is that it’s the largest petition to be presented to the Canadian government since the Bill of Human Rights in 1949. It’s phenomenal. In addition, Canada has the most signatures out of any country in the world towards the Forever Against Animal Testing petition. This number proves that Canadians really care about this issue and that’s very hard for MPs in the government to ignore.
What was the energy like at the march?
It was so exciting! The actual march started at Bank and Sparks St, a pedestrian street very close to the parliament building. There was over 100 people marching with megaphones and picket signs, rallying together. Dozens of dogs also marched alongside their owners showing their support in their #foreveragainstanimaltesting bandanas. The atmosphere was fantastic! We had a bunch of MPs and senators including Senator Stewart Olsen show up to the event and speak at the press conference. What was really fantastic was that we had representatives from the Conservative, Liberal, and NDP parties all speaking in support of this issue. This really displayed how it’s a nonpartisan issue which is fantastic since it’s not often that you get that kind of support.
It’s amazing that The Body Shop is behind this movement. What was their presence like at the march?
The entire campaign has been largely employee led. Their voices have been the driver of the campaign and the march was no different. The Body Shop employees even drove from outside of Ottawa to join the march and show their support. The international head of the campaign, Jessie MacNeil Brown came all the way from the UK to march at the Hill as well as The Body Shop’s General Manager in Canada, representatives from their partner Cruelty-Free International, and more all came to support and speak. It’s been incredible to see how this campaign has not only engaged The Body Shop’s consumers but also their employee base.
How can people get involved?
Sign the petition! Once you’ve done that you can email, write, tweet, or call your local MP to let them know that you care about this issue. The end goal in Canada is to have legislation to ban the sale and manufacture of animal tested cosmetics in Canada, so having the support of as many MPs as possible will be very impactful. In addition, global petition signatures will be presented to the UN in October. With your help, we can put an end to cosmetic animal testing.