EDIT: Reader daisyduck has helpfully given a link to a petition you can sign; I’ve done it, it takes about 10 seconds: Sign the petition
I have no issue with holding my hands up and admitting that I’m not as vigilant about only buying cruelty free beauty products as I probably should be. I abhor the very thought of testing anything on animals, even medicine – but I’ve never been militant about it. This isn’t me suddenly turning over a new leaf, either (I’m sure I’ve featured many brands and products on this blog that have been tested on animals somewhere down the line, and I’m not going to suddenly become an entirely cruelty free blog), but the news that’s sweeping the beauty world that Urban Decay have decided to sell their products in China has thoroughly turned my stomach.
If you’ve not yet read the full statement, you can do so on Temptalia. Rather than copy and paste the whole thing, let’s break down some of the absolute bollocks in this
statement poor attempt at an excuse, shall we?
“For 16 years, we have been committed to two key causes: women’s rights, and the fight against animal testing. Our dedication to those causes will not waver.”
Even in the first few sentences, they’re giving a complete contradiction. By their very decision to enter the Chinese market, they’re doing EXACTLY that. They’re not even just ‘wavering’ their dedication to the fight against animal testing, they’re SHITTING ALL OVER IT.
“For those of you unfamiliar with China’s policies, the sticking point is this: the Chinese government reserves the right to conduct animal testing with cosmetic products before the products are approved for use by Chinese citizens.”
‘Reserves the right’ – a huge euphemism if there ever was one. It is the LAW in China that any and all cosmetic products must be tested on animals. Because apparently Chinese citizens are different from those in the rest of the world and can’t just accept that the products are safe for human use since they are used in other countries. Obviously.
“The government has not told us if they have exercised this right with our products.”
You fucking idiots. THEY WILL BE exercising this right. It is REQUIRED BY LAW.
“But, we believe that change cannot and will not happen by outside pressure alone in a closed market. Change can only happen from within. When we enter the Chinese market, we will do our part to help make those changes.”
So.. let me get this straight. You intend to raise awareness of animal testing issues among the Chinese population by marketing and selling your cruelty free brand? OH WAIT. It’s not cruelty free any more! By it’s very nature of being sold in China, your brand loses its vegan, cruelty free status that you spent 16 years building. Please explain to me how you plan to campaign against animal testing when it will be happening with your very brand?
“The news that animal issues don’t even register with the average Chinese consumer was one of the biggest factors in our decision to go there.”
You think that YOU, a make up brand of which the Chinese have little to no prior knowledge, is going to make a BLIND BIT OF DIFFERENCE? Talk about delusions of grandeur. They seem to think that they can change China’s flippant attitude towards animals.
“We want to encourage a culture of consumers who care enough to buy cruelty-free products.”
Look, UD, it’s not going to happen just by you deciding to go against everything you’ve ever stood for and turn your back on your millions of existing customers. I’ve got to be completely honest; it’s 2012. If China still doesn’t care enough, I doubt they ever will.
“Yes, we are a for-profit company. And yes, we would eventually like to make money in China. But we don’t stand to turn a profit in China for quite a while, partially because the market isn’t quite ready to sustain an untraditional brand like ours. If it were only about the money, we would wait a few years.”
This is the real kicker. Don’t even TRY and pretend it isn’t about money. You must think we’re a bunch of ignorant fools if you think we believe that it’s got nothing to do with the 1 billion plus population of China and the profit potential. As for China not being ‘ready’, what about all the countries that ARE ready and have been waiting for UD to enter their country for years – Australia, New Zealand, Belgium, etc etc – moreover, countries in which being cruelty free is a good selling point and not one that the population couldn’t give less of a crap about.
The thing that’s made me so ANGRY is that they either genuinely believe all this shit they’re spouting, or they think they can outright lie to us. To be honest, I hope they are lying because it’s just embarrassing if they actually think that their cosmetic brand has the power to influence and change the culture, customs and attitudes that China have had towards animals for thousands of years. UD, you are not god. What the FUCKING HELL makes you think that you can make ANY DIFFERENCE? It’s so puzzling, I mean what are they planning to do? “Hey China, look at our really cool make up! Back when we only sold our products in the Western world, we didn’t test them on animals so we wanted to come here and educate about how wrong and unnecessary it is to test cosmetics on animals. ‘Cept we had to test ‘em here so we could sell them to you. Just take our word for it.”
My outrage about the whole thing is less about animal testing and animal cruelty as such – the thoroughly disgusting abuse of animals in China in general and the lack of ANY animal welfare laws is a whole other kettle of fish – it’s more about the blatant hypocrisy, greed, self-importance and absolute shithead-ery that the brand are displaying by making this move. I would LOVE to know who the hell had the idea in the first place and how many people approved of it before the decision was actually made.
As I said at the beginning of this (rather lengthy) post, I’m not as vigilant as perhaps I should be when it comes to buying cruelty free products. But the fact that Urban Decay have literally just destroyed their relationship with their existing customers by going back on everything they’ve ever stood for is enough to put me off the brand for life. Well done UD, you’ve lost your BUAV leaping bunny status, and you’ve lost the respect and custom of 99% of your existing customer and fan base. Me included. Of all the brands that have become what they are today thanks to their cruelty free status, Urban Decay is one of the very last I would have expected to do a complete U-turn like this.
Urban Decay’s slogan has always been “We don’t do animal testing. How could anyone?”. You just answered your own lifelong question, UD. YOU could. Consider me and ex-customer who will no longer purchase any of your products or advocate them on my blog. Good luck in China, you bunch of absolute cunts.