I bought some new shampoo last week. As I put it away in the bathroom, I noticed this reassuring sentence printed on the bottle: “This product was not tested on animals.” How nice to know I can enjoy a guilt-free shower, secure in the knowledge that no innocents have been harmed in order to help me face the day with squeaky-clean, shiny tresses.
But not all cosmetic companies are so humane. Just imagine the trauma for all the poor beasts who have been victimized by these heartless corporations—forced to endure trials of shampoos, styling gels, hair sprays, lotions, and countless other beauty products.
The following case histories are taken from interviews with a few of the hapless victims. (While the species are real, the names have been changed in order to protect the innocent.)
Toinette, Miniature Poodle. “Mon Dieu, what an ordeal! ‘Conditioner,’ they called it. May a peasant with the hands of a blacksmith ‘condition’ them—the barbarians! What their uncivilized potion did to my beautiful curls was a crime. The frizz! The tangles! One could scarcely endure to be combed. And then, as if such pain were not suffering enough, I was taken—oh, almost I cannot bear to speak it!—I was taken Out In Public. Forced to walk in the park among my friends and acquaintances. Oh, I held my head high. I pretended not to care. But I heard, you understand. The whispers. The stifled laughter behind my back. The humiliation! The shame! Still, to this day, I have the nightmares.”
Attila, Rottweiler. “I don’t talk about it much, see. Guys like me, we don’t. But what they used on me was baby shampoo. Left my coat all soft and fluffy, like a pup that hadn’t been groomed proper. Ruined that sleek, menacing look that us tough guys need. Made me look about as intimidating as a Cocker Spaniel. And the smell? “Lavender and Lilac,” they said it was. Disgusting stuff. Lost my night watchman job over it, I did. Anybody tries to get near me with anything like that again, he’s gonna lose an arm.”
Scheherazade, Pekingese. “Hellooo?! Did somebody really think the magenta styling gel and the spiked hair was my kind of fashion statement? I’m a lap dog, for crying out loud! I need people to see me as cute, cuddly, and in need of pampering and treats. Sure, sure, I know I’m really an egotistical little tyrant, but for cripes’ sake give me credit for being smart enough not to want to look like one! What’s next? Nose piercing?”
These interviewees, like many others, managed to escape their torment. They are now living safely at secret, cosmetic-free refuges, where they receive counseling from animal psychologists and are encouraged to participate in weekly support groups.
Other potential victims, stronger or blessed by Mother Nature with better natural weaponry, manage to fight back on their own. Like Anonymous, a Crocodile, who was interviewed from a circumspect distance. “Body lotion? Keep that greasy glop with its Gawd-awful smell away from my hide. I’m a croc, okay? My skin is like leather. Get over it.”
He added with a grin, “Of course, if you want me to taste the stuff, that’s different. Just smear some on your arm and let me at it.”