Mystery Solved. Bunnies may now exhale.

One of my resolutions for 2011 is to renew my dedication to not buying products from companies that test any of their products or ingredients on animals. I used to be very strict about this, but in recent years have let myself slip, using such excuses as, “Ohhh, it’s 2010; I doubt anyone tests on animals anymore; it’s so outdated.”

However, when I revisited Peta’s lists of companies that do and do not test on animals, I was annoyed, to say the least, at the number of companies that still DO test on animals (even though it is, indeed, long-since outdated, unnessary, and not required by any law). Most appalling to me is that many PET FOOD companies torture DOGS in order to do things like put a “new and improved” label on their food. Blergh, it makes me sick. I hope one day those dogs get loose and run into the CEO’s office and bite them in the crotch and don’t let go. That’s what I’d do. (I mean, if I were a dog. As my human self, I probably wouldn’t bite anyone in the crotch, at least not literally. Maybe metaphorically.)

So anyway, in my quest to be a responsible and animal-loving consumer, I set out on a quest (read: sent an email) to find out if Bath and Body Works tested on animals. The wording on many of their products reads, “Finished product not tested on animals,” leading me to believe they were trying to be tricksters, and that their ingredients might be bunny and puppy tested. That would make me madder than if they hadn’t said anything at all, because you know, if you’re going to be evil, at least own up to it. But anyway, the results of my quest (emails) ended up being positive, which is happy news, because even though it’s not even my most favorite store, it is one of the three stores near my work, so by default, it is one of my three favorite stores near work.

Oh, and side note: just in case you’re unclear on what is involved in animal testing, it’s not just rabbits and mice sitting in a little salon getting their hair washed and nails polished. (“Hey, Louise, what you up to today? Want to sneak into Mr. MacGregor’s garden and nibble on some carrots?” “Aw, nah, it’s cool, I’m heading over to the Procter & Gamble lab to get my hair did.” “Aw, ok, girl, I’ll check you later.”) It’s pretty grizzly, and you can read about one common test here, if you have the stomach for it.

For your reading pleasure (pleasure being relative, of course) and purchasing knowledge, here is the email chain between Bath and Body Works and me. (I’ve changed the customer service people’s names. Obviously.)

——————————————————————————–
Hello,

Can you tell me if the ingredients in Bath and Body Works products are tested on animals? I saw your company listed on Peta’s "Does not test" list, but the wording on many of your packages suggests that the individual ingredients are indeed tested on animals. Either way, it’s confusing, so I’d like to hear it from the source.

Thank you for your prompt reply.

Best regards,
Marcy
——————————————————————————–

Dear Marcy,

Thank you for your email regarding our Animal Testing policy. We are happy to assist with your inquiry. At Bath and Body Works, we share the public’s concern about animal testing. Bath and Body Works does not conduct animal testing to substantiate the safety of our product. We support, advance, and utilize current alternative methods when evaluations are required.

Our products are not tested on animals. In addition, we require all of our suppliers to adhere to our no testing on animals policy for products supplied to us. This policy applies to every product that is produced, supplied or tested on behalf of Bath and Body Works, in both the United States and abroad.

Thank you for your interest in BathandBodyWorks.com. We hope you enjoy our products and look forward to serving you in the future.

Sincerely,

Person
Customer Service Specialist
Bath & Body Works Direct

——————————————————————————–

Dear Person,

Thank you very much for your reply. Not to… ahem… beat a dead horse, but I’m still confused as to whether any of the ingredients used in Bath and Body Works are tested on animals, by anyone, on behalf of anyone. I’m not satisfied purchasing a product that contains any ingredient that has caused an animal to suffer, regardless of who ordered that testing. I think you’re telling me that indeed, no animals suffered in the making of any ingredient used in Bath and Body Works products, but I want to make absolutely sure I’m interpreting your reply correctly.

Maybe an easier way to ask would be to find out if Bath and Body Works adheres to the EU Cosmetics Directive: http://europa.eu/legislation_summaries/consumers/product_labelling_and_packaging/l21191_en.htm

Thank you kindly for your further attention to this matter.

Best regards,
Marcy
——————————————————————————–

Dear Marcy,

We appreciate you taking the time to write us in regards to our policies, services and products. We value your inquiry and your interest in Bath and Body Works and The White Barn Candle Co.

We want you to know how much we appreciate your insight on the wording of our Animal Testing policy listed on our labels. We will note your request to make it less confusing, but also want to take the time to explain why it is worded this way.

We want you to know that we believe all living creatures deserve respect and we would never think of testing any of our products on animals. Likewise, we don’t ask anyone who may be helping us develop or make our products to conduct these kinds of tests on our behalf.

At one time, we had stores in the United Kingdom as well as the United States. Under United Kingdom law, all labels on cosmetic and toiletry items must read, “This finished product not tested on animals.” As a convenience to our customers in both countries, we decided to have the same labels on all our products instead of keeping separate inventories for the UK and the US.

We hope this information has put to rest any concerns you may have had, and helps you enjoy all your favorites from Bath and Body Works. We will certainly take your comments to heart and will also forward them to our Executive Team for future consideration.

If we can be of any further assistance, please reply to this email or contact us at 1-800-395-1001, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. EST, Monday through Friday.

Sincerely,

Human McWorker
Customer Relations
Bath & Body Works

——————————————————————————–

Dear Ms. McWorker,

Thank you very much for taking the time to reply to me so quickly and thoroughly. From now on, I will enjoy shopping at Bath and Body Works and will tell my friends that they may do the same, knowing that rabbits around the world would support such an endeavor. :)

Many Thanks,
Marcy

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *