Victoria’s Secret made the decision to begin selling its products in China this year, which means the company is no longer cruelty-free.
Regulations in China require animal testing on all beauty, cosmetic, and fragrance items sold there.
To add insult to injury, Victoria’s Secret is not selling any of its namesake lingerie, bras, or underwear in China, only its beauty and fragrance products.
Consumers have been outraged and bombarding the company via social media and email with demands to quit putting profits and greed before the welfare of animals.
A number of organizations including People For The Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and the Beagle Freedom Project (BFP) have removed Victoria’s Secret from their list of cruelty-free retailers.
The company has yet to acknowledge any of its animal-loving shoppers’ ire publicly and it ignored a request for comment from us, as well.
Whenever someone posts to the company’s Facebook page with their disgust over the company’s decision to sell in a country that requires animal testing, Victoria’s Secret insists upon sending private messages with the following canned response:
“Thank you for reaching out. L Brands policy prohibits the testing of our branded products, formulations and ingredients on animals except in rare cases when required by government regulations. Through our involvement in the Institute For In Vitro Sciences, we are supporting research to develop additional non-animal alternative methods which we believe will ultimately result in the elimination of animal testing worldwide.”
In turn, some of the biggest spenders at Victoria’s Secret—VIP Angel cardholders—have been cutting up their cards and calling the company to cancel their accounts. Others are vowing to never shop there again since the company insists upon selling in China.
Shoppers have been posting comments such as “animal killers” on the company’s Facebook page and upon a post debuting the latest VS Angels, one user wrote “The newest angels should be covered in blood to demonstrate Victoria’s Secret greed!”
Others are pleading on the Facebook page for the company’s PINK brand (which should be noted features a dog for a mascot), “When are you going to stop testing on animals?” and “animal testing… is worse than your worst nightmares.”
Kevin Chase, Vice President of the Beagle Freedom Project, confirmed that Victoria’s Secret and other L-Brand subsidiaries have been removed from its list of cruelty-free retailers since 2014—long before other outlets began reporting it.
Beagle Freedom Project is a non-profit organization that rescues animals used for testing, such as dogs, cats, and rabbits, from euthanasia at the end of their laboratory lives and gives them a chance at adoption into warm, loving homes instead. The majority of laboratory dogs used for testing are beagles, which is where the organization’s name hails from.
“We are incredibly saddened to see yet another company turn their backs on what is right in order to turn a profit,“ Chase said.
There’s no ban on animal testing in the U.S., but according to Chase, the FDA does not require it.
“Unfortunately there are still some countries that not only allow testing, but actually require it. China has come under fire for its continued government mandated animal testing of all imported cosmetics and personal care items. This means that any international company who sells these products in China is agreeing to either perform these tests themselves or subject animals overseas to these horrific experiments,” Chase said.
“Victoria’s Secret is one such company and we think it stinks! They went from being a respected cruelty-free company with a clear policy to joining the ranks of companies who are choosing to profit from pain. Staying true to their name, they’ve shunned transparency for their parent company’s generic legalese that provides an exception allowing them to test on animals.“
Consumers have a number of avenues to let Victoria’s Secret know if they disagree with the company’s decision to engage in animal testing and several petitions have been started online.
Shoppers who wish to sign a petition urging Victoria’s Secret to stop testing on animals can do so at ForceChange.org: http://forcechange.com/136426/urge-victorias-secret-not-to-test-on-animals/.
Change.org also has a similar petition: https://www.change.org/p/stop-testing-on-animals-so-you-can-sell-in-china?tk=Es1B3zwGlgsZnHX06_DWQTsevBcHwT1eTBzFhD10ngw&utm_medium=email&utm_source=signature_receipt&utm_campaign=new_signature.
PETA has set up an email form that shoppers can use if they’d like to let Victoria’s Secret know they no longer wish to purchase the company’s products due to animal testing: http://www.peta.org/action/action-alerts/victorias-dirty-secret/.
Has the decision by Victoria’s Secret to sell its products in China, a country that requires animal testing, impacted your view on the company or willingness to buy its products? Will you be boycotting the company as a result? Let us know in the comments below.