LETTERS [Nov. 1994]

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, November 1994:

IFAW defends The Body Shop
Your October article about The Body
Shop wrongly asserts that following recent
critical publicity, the International Fund for
Animal Welfare does not wish to be associated
with Body Shop International.
In fact we have reviewed the recent
publicity and have found nothing within it to
concern us about The Body Shop’s opposition
to animal testing. Criticisms of the five-year
criteria operated by The Body Shop and others
are well known to us, but have not persuaded
us from viewing it as an effective means of
increasing the pressure to end animal testing
for cosmetic products and especially cosmetics

We are satisfied that The Body Shop
takes all reasonable steps to insure that the
non-animal testing criteria are stringently
applied. In the event that a company operating
the criteria should discover a problem with one
of the ingredients being used, our main con-
cern is that the company should take appropri-
ate action to rectify the matter, rather than that
it has been identified.
The question of ingredients animal-
tested for other purposes, e.g. for use as a
pharmaceutical, is a difficult one. Companies
and animal protection groups supporting the
five-year criteria (including IFAW) normally
apply it with respect to testing carried out for
the purposes of the cosmetics industry and by
suppliers and agents over whom they can rea-
sonably be expected to be able to exercise
some control. This is a pragmatic approach,
not a perfect one.
We believe The Body Shop is one of
the companies most thorough in their efforts to
avoid animal testing. In addition they have
done more than most manufacturers to pro-
mote the non-animal testing ethic to con-
sumers––something for which they deserve
praise, not criticism.
IFAW has no intention of disassoci-
ating itself from The Body Shop, or from any
other cosmetics company which demonstrates
a serious commitment to oppose animal test-
––Nick Jenkins, Director of Public Affairs
International Fund for Animal Welfare
East Sussex, England
Jon Entine replies
We asked Jon Entine, whose exposes
of The Body Shop for Business Ethics a n d
commissioned but not published by Vanity Fair
helped inform our own coverage, if he cared
to respond. He did:
Thank you for passing along the let-
ter from IFAW. It adds another layer of
intrigue to the growing Body Shop fiasco.
The source of the tip about the
IFAW “break” with The Body Shop is
Christine Watt, who was then Information
Services Executive for IFAW. In early May,
Ms. Watt told me that IFAW no longer sup-
ported the “five years from testing” rule as
promoted by The Body Shop. She said that
IFAW believed it was a toothless rule and that
IFAW as well as the British Union Against
Vivisection now backed the far more stringent
“five years from marketing” rule, which The
Body Shop vigorously opposes.
Anyone familiar with the debate
knows the huge difference between these two
policies. Many controversial ingredients take
five or more years after they are tested before
they are marketed, due to the labyrinthian
government approval process in the U.S.,
European Union, and Japan. Therefore a “five
years from testing” rule means there are few if
any sanctions placed on a company that uses
animals to test new ingredients––and these
tested-on animals ingredients can sometimes
be used by The Body Shop the day they are
approved. It should be noted that not one sup-
plier has modified its animal testing policy as a
result of The Body Shop’s “rule.”
Ms. Watt also wrote to say that
IFAW could not pursue questioning The Body
Shop about its growing concerns for fear that
it might be sued by Body Shop International
for defamation under the pro-plaintiff British
libel law. The Body Shop, your readers might
be interested to know, utilizes hardball legal
swat teams on both sides of the Atlantic, and
the Hill and Knowlton public relations compa-
ny, to threaten journalists, social researchers
and activists who question its paper-thin “pro-
gressive” practices.
As this past summer unfolded, and
The Body Shop came under increasing scruti-
ny and attack, it apparently pressured the
BUAV and IFAW––both publicly closely
associated with The Body Shop––to downplay
their growing disillusionment.
It’s sad that IFAW (and the BUAV)
put self-interest ahead of their supposed sup-
port of animal welfare. The Body Shop is a
classic “bathtub” cosmetics company: it nei-
ther tests new ingredients on animals to insure
product safety, nor funds alternative testing
research. Instead, it stirs hysteria for its own
commercial gain. In the past year, responsible
animal rights groups such as the Royal SPCA
and the Fund for the Replacement of Animals
in Medical Experiments have had the guts to
say publicly what many have whispered for so
long: The Body Shop’s animal testing “poli-
cy” is a “complete sham.”
Although we asked The Body Shop in
early September for an official response to
Entine’s allegations and were promised on
September 14 that a response would be forth
coming, we still haven’t received any.
The Lega Antivivisezione writes that
in October 1993, a new law was passed in
Italy recognizing the right of conscientious
objectors to refuse participation in animal
experiments. The law passed the Italian
Parliament unanimously, with three absten-
This is wonderful news, but LAV
wisely recognizes that unless alternatives are
provided, the law will not become a working
reality. Therefore LAV is producing a practi-
cal guide to disseminate throughout Italy to
students and workers who will be affected by
the law. LAV seeks information about 1)
laws in other countries regarding conscientious
objection to animal experimentation; 2) alter-
native courses in public schools and universi-
ties; and 3) methods of experimenting without
If you have such information, please
write to Gianluca Felicetti, LAV, Via
Santamaura, 72, 00192, Rome, Italy. Thank
––Donna Worthington
Mesa, Arizona
Donkey basketball
I am very concerned about what I
witnessed a few months ago at a donkey bas-
ketball game. I had never attended one before.
Before the start I took a look at the donkeys.
They were quite small and looked as if they
were really worn out. The keeper assured me
they were well cared-for, but there were bald
patches on all but one, who was said to be
wild and was ridden only in the last quarter.
The keeper also said they were used until they
were 30 years old. They were at a different
place every night. I was assured that no prods
were used, but a prod was used every time a
donkey balked, and I caught the keeper during
the break repeatedly slapping the so-called
wild donkey because he had gotten a little
scared when a child was placed on his back.
I have recently learned that the
school will be having the donkeys back. I
don’t want to see them suffer, but I have been
unable to locate any organization that is fight-
ing to help them. Everyone I talk to seems to
think there is nothing wrong in dousing tired
donkeys with baby powder and letting people
jerk and jump on them when there is no
strength left in them, only to be prodded if
they refuse to move. There are other ways to
earn money for a class trip!
––Patsy Poore
So. West Va. Equine Education & Protection
Jeffrey, West Virginia
Free Willy?
Although you were correct in point-
ing out in your September issue that using
dentinal or cemental layers in teeth has been
determined to be an inaccurate method of aging
orcas, it was not for the reasons you stated [ed.
note: the reasons we cited were actually stated
with specific reference to beluga whales]. To
clarify, tooth layers become too poorly defined
or thin to count in orcas after about 20 years of
age. Therefore this method was determined by
the International Whaling Commission, in
1984 as you pointed out, to be too imprecise to
use for aging purposes. In fact, this method
established maximum longevity estimates of
only about 25-35 years; because the layers
become indistinguishable at about age 20, any
animal older than 20, even if well over 35,
would seem only 25-35 at the time of death.
These discredited estimates, however, are still
used by Sea World in its publications (as
recently as 1993).
The maximum longevity estimates of
50-60 years for orca males and 70-80 years for
females come from a population in British
Columbia. Olesiuk et al., in an IWC peer-
reviewed publication in 1990, established these
estimates using standard extrapolatory methods
and 17 years’ worth of photo identification data
on a population of approximately 250 known
individuals. In fact, there are dozens of known
individuals in this population who are indis-
putably at least 35 years of age, first seen in
1973 as adults and still alive in 1994, clearly
discrediting Sea World’s claims that orca maxi-
mum longevity is only 35.
Although you are correct in stating
that the longevity question is hotly debated, it
is not currently going in favor of those in the
public display industry, who say that captive
whales and dolphins live as long if not longer
than their wild counterparts. The study to
which my colleague Michael O’Sullivan of the
Humane Society of Canada perhaps somewhat
inaccurately referred, done by Thomas
Woodley, Janice Hannah, and Dave Lavigne
of the International Marine Mammal
Association, in fact examined annual survival
rates, rather than actual longevity statistics. In
their analysis, bottlenose dolphins and orcas
showed annual survival rates that were statisti-
cally higher in the wild than in captivity. A
study conducted by DeMaster and Small in
November 1993 seconded these results, show-
ing a marginally significant difference in annual
survival rates, favoring the wild, using a
slightly different data base.
You also referred to DeMaster and
Drevanak, 1988, which also examined annual
survival rates. This study showed ambiguous
results for dolphins and much clearer results
favoring the wild for orcas. Belugas in this
study and in the Woodley et al. study continue
to show ambiguous results.
Incidentally, I disagree with your
opinion that these animals are happy performers
and respond positively to applause. Watch
closely, the next time you go to a marine park.
They are in fact responding positively to the
food reward. They are constantly focused on
their trainer and rarely if at all orient to the
audience. They may seem to be enjoying the
applause, but if you recognize their behavior,
you would know they are basically oblivious to
it. “Happy” is an extremely subjective descrip-
tion regardless of whether one is describing a
wild or captive dolphin. I don’t think we as
human beings are qualified to determine such a
state of mind in another animal species, espe-
cially one that always seems to be smiling.
How do you know that the bobbing “curious”
beluga isn’t really just bored silly? I’m not
saying it is; I’m merely saying no one can say,
and it is not a valid argument in this debate.
––Naomi A. Rose
Marine Mammal Scientist
The Humane Society of the U.S.
Washington D.C.
The Editor replies:
As John Lukas of the White Oak
Conservation Center pointed out at length in
our June issue, happiness is to be sure a sub
jective judgement, but is nonetheless a judge
ment that most of us who have spent our lives
around animals are capable of making. A few
days before we received the above letter, we
noted at the Mystic Aquarium in Mystic,
Connecticut, that although three dolphins did
focus upon food rewards from their trainer dur
ing a 20-minute performance, their companion
beluga seemed content with just affectionate
caresses. Both before and after the perfor
mance, the beluga avidly engaged visitors in
animated chirping conversation, while two of
the dolphins swam over to a pair of toddlers
and undertook a series of spectacular synchro
nized leaps, each one higher than the last, as
the children responded with delighted laughter.
Clearly, three of the four animals demonstrat
ed considerable appreciation of their audience,
regardless of the lack of food rewards coming
from that direction.
Concerning longevity:
Comparing the average lifespan of
captive animals to the maximum rather than the
average lifespan of wild animals is unfair;
Failing to take into account the
shorter average lifespan of male orcas in the
wild is more unfair still when comparing the
longevity of captive males to that of wild
females, as HSC recently did;
An honest assessment of the
longevity and survival rates of captive marine
mammals must take into account the huge dif
ferences between the better holding conditions
of today and the conditions of 10, 15, and 20-
plus years ago, which still prevail at many sec
ond-rate facilities;
As we pointed out in September,
the difference between the survival rates of cap
tive and wild whales appears mainly in either
their first year of life or first year of captivity,
and may reflect a lack of reliable data on wild
whale infant mortality as well as difficulties of
whale adjustment to captive conditions.
Humane is for humanity
I wish to commend you for your
very insightful October editorial, “Humane
is for humanity.” Your point that humane
work involves helping people as well as non-
human animals is important and should be
increasingly stressed.
In this regard, we should consider
the implications of the statement from the
recently published new Catechism of the
Roman Catholic Church that was discusssed
in your editorial: “It is contrary to human
dignity to cause animals to suffer or die
needlessly.” No doubt all major religions
agree with this statement.
From the Jewish perspective:
1) Many Biblical laws mandate
compassion toward animals, such as that
one must not yoke a strong and weak animal
together; one must not muzzle an ox while
he is threshing in the field, and animals
must be permitted to rest on the Sabbath.
2) Jewish tradition teaches that
Moses and King David were deemed worthy
to lead because of their compassion toward
lambs; Rebecca was thought suitable as a
wife for Isaac because she was kind to
3) Among the many other exam-
ples of Biblical concern for animals are that
Proverbs 12:10 states, “the righteous person
considers the life of his beast,” and that
Psalms 145:9 asserts, “God’s tender mercies
are over all of His creatures.”
4) Genesis 1:26, indicating that
people have dominion over animals, is gen-
erally interpreted in terms of stewardship,
and it is immediately limited by Genesis
1:29, which establishes vegetarian diets for
One major problem is that many
religious people feel that while it is impor-
tant to be kind to animals, this takes second
place to human needs. Hence, it is essential
that they recognize that when we exploit ani-
mals, there are invariably negative effects
for people, related to disease, pollution,
hunger, and the waste of resources.
Unfortunately, religious practi-
tioners have been dodging the many moral
questions related to diet. We should push
for a respectful dialogue, in which we seek
answers to questions such as, in view of
strong religious mandates to be compassion-
ate to animals, preserve our health, help the
hungry, protect the environment, conserve
resources, and pursue peace, and the very
negative effects that flesh-centered diets
have in each of these areas, shouldn’t reli-
gious people (and everyone else) be vegetar-
––Richard H. Schwartz
Staten Island, New York
Thank you so much for print-
ing my friend Sukie Sargent’s account
of the bizarre accident my dog and I
were involved in. I know you must
walk a very fine line about printing such
items. I truly appreciated it. My dog
Taz and I continue to improve every
––Jennifer O’Connor
504 Marthmont
El Paso, TX 79912
O’Connor, acting president
of Voice For All Animals, was acciden
tally splashed with hot tar and burned
over a third of her body on April 28 by
an uninsured truck driver. Her dog was
also burned. O’Connor had no medical
insurance, and the severity of her injury
has kept her from returning to work as a
substitute teacher.
Changed life
If I never thanked you for sending
copies of ANIMAL PEOPLE, then thank you.
Being a woodsman, also part Indian, who loves
and speaks with animals, animals are a subject
close to my heart. Through your work my con-
sciousness has been raised, particularly about
the testing they do in labs in the name of science.
Criminal and horrifying! While I still struggle
with trying to become a vegetarian (we eat meat
only a couple of times a week), I have changed
my hunting style. I no longer hunt with a gun,
just with a camera.
––J.W. Floto, editor
The Diamond Angle
Kaunakakai, Hawaii
The Diamond Angle is a baseball mag
azine to which the Editor of ANIMAL PEOPLE
has for many years contributed opinion pieces,
filling out the envelopes sometimes with a sample
Face branding ad
Just wanted to thank you for the
excellent placement and first-class repro-
duction of our anti-face branding ad in the
October ANIMAL PEOPLE. It couldn’t
have been done better. We look forward
to working with you on future projects.
––Henry Spira
Animal Rights International
New York, New York
Vanity Fair, not Vogue, commis-
sioned and then refused Jon Entine’s expose
of The Body Shop’s animal testing policies
and other alleged misdeeds. (Page 11.)
The Zoo Inquiry (page 7) was pro-
duced by the Born Free Foundation and the
World Society for the Protection of Animals,
not by BFF and the World Wildlife Fund.
The caption below the photos of a
wolf and a coyote on page five was backward:
the wolf was at left and the coyote at right.
Our printer inadvertantly pasted the
photograph of the late Max over the first line
of the memorial notice on page 19, making it
read as if Vicky Crosetti was the deceased,
rather than her German shepherd.
Apologies to everyone concerned.
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