08/05/2013 02:40 pm ET Updated Oct 05, 2013

Walking Dead Star Takes a Stand for Animals

Fans of the hit show, The Walking Dead, grew to love character Daryl Dixon -- the hardened rough and tumble survivalist who, it turns out, has a heart of gold beneath his tough exterior. Few fans of the show can claim they didn't swoon or bawl their eyes out when Daryl brings a "Cherokee rose" to Carol and tells her he believes it is a sign that her daughter is alive, and discloses, "I'm not fool enough to think there's any flowers blooming for my brother. But I believe this one bloomed for your little girl." There is just something swoon-worthy about a tough guy who seeks to protect the innocent from harm.

Well, Walking Dead fans prepare to fall in love again; actor Norman Reedus, it turns out, is not so different from his on-screen persona when it comes to defending the helpless.


Norman Reedus is the latest celebrity ambassador for Cruelty Free International -- the global organization dedicated to ending cosmetics testing on animals. Norman joins celebrity Cruelty Free International supporters Sir Paul McCartney, Joss Stone and Global Ambassadors Ricky Gervais and Peter Dinklage.

According to Reedus, "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. Join me in supporting the Cruelty Free International call to Congress and the FDA to bring an end to animal testing for cosmetics in the U.S."

For more than 50 years animals have been used in painful tests to assess the safety of certain chemicals used in cosmetics products. More recently, consumers and scientists have become increasingly skeptical about the necessity and validity of animal testing for cosmetics and, with good reason. Modern alternatives are cheaper, faster, and can often better predict human reactions. Sadly, tens of thousands -- and possibly even hundreds of thousands -- of animals are still subjected to agonizing tests each year to bring a new eye shadow or cologne to U.S. shelves. In many cases, industry inertia and bureaucracy are the only barriers to switching to non-animal testing methods. It is a sad fact that the only way some companies will embrace non-animal tests is if they are legally required to do so.

However, in the U.S. there is no national law prohibiting the use of animals for cosmetics testing or even requiring that companies look first to available non-animal alternatives before resorting to animal tests. This stands in stark contrast to the European Union which has been phasing out animal testing since 2003, and in March of 2013 a complete ban on the testing and marketing of animal-tested cosmetics and ingredients went into effect. Earlier this year India also announced a ban on animal testing for cosmetics. Clearly the U.S. has some catching up to do on this issue.

Cruelty Free International is thankful to have the likes of Norman Reedus helping to shine a light on the nightmare of animal testing for cosmetics and setting an example of taking a stand to protect others from a senseless and gruesome end.
Cruelty Free International is the only global organization dedicated to ending animal tests for cosmetics and consumer products. Cruelty Free International was founded by the BUAV which led the 20-year campaign to ban the sale of animal tested cosmetics in the European Union.