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article imageComedian Ricky Gervais gets serious for animals

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By Elizabeth Batt     Mar 16, 2012 in Environment
Boston - British comedian Ricky Gervais is passionate when it comes to animal welfare. Ambassador for Cruelty Free International, Gervais' new global campaign seeks to end the use of animals in product testing.
Known for his blunt one-liners and often controversial comedy, British comic Ricky Gervais is deadly serious when it comes to animal welfare. An ardent advocate against animal cruelty in any form, Gervais has stepped into the ring to launch Cruelty Free International, a new global non-profit organization looking to end product testing on animals worldwide.
Gervais' acerbic wit and sarcasm has landed the star in hot water on several occasions and who can forget the 68th Golden Globe Awards, surely a master class in how to piss people off? But it is this type of radical behavior that makes Gervais the perfect fit for animal activism and it's something the bloke from Hampstead doesn't take lightly.
Back in 2009, in response to a question asking if he was radical, Gervais welcomed the moniker in true Gervais fashion when he addressed the cruelty of bullfighting:
"Bull fighting … Really? Really? You want to see an animal [stab] to death for your pleasure? You really… You really get off on that, do you? [...] People shooting for pleasure. There’re people wearing fur of endangered… I don’t know what to do with them. I don’t know what to fucking do with them. Just think, why you’re doing it? Why’d you need that? Crazy. It’s just crazy. I say, I’m going to crack a few heads."
Gervais is far from a part-time activist. He has previously stepped up in support of several campaigns including the Animals Matter campaign and the World Society for the Protection of Animals' virtual dog march. And just this past February, the comedian expressed his devastation on Twitter, over the death of Stan, a bear he sponsored that was rescued from a farm in Vietnam:
"Woke up to the news that my beautiful rescue bear Stan has died. At least he experienced 2 years of freedom and love."
Now the star has launched a worldwide appeal aimed at garnering support for a ban on animal testing for cosmetics. As Ambassador for Cruelty Free International Gervais said:
"I am delighted to support the launch of Cruelty Free International, the exciting global campaign to end the use of animals in product testing. Animal testing for cosmetics is still allowed in most of the world. That means thousands of animals can continue to die for the sake of a new shampoo. We urgently need a worldwide ban on this cruel and unnecessary suffering."
Established by the UK's BUAV, the trading name of the campaign to end all animal experiments, Cruelty Free International has partnered with NEAVS, the New England Anti-Vivisection Society, a not-for-profit organization in Boston, MA to launch the U.S. Cruelty Free International office.
Dr. Theodora Capaldo, Ed.D., President of NEAVS, will be representing this effort in the U.S. as the Cruelty Free International U.S. Executive Officer. Capaldo expressed delight at having "the support of Ricky Gervais for this exciting and dynamic organization."
The NEAV President added:
"The time has come for an international, concerted effort to finally end animal testing for cosmetics. Cruelty Free International U.S. will lead this critical global effort here. We will work with the government, regulatory agencies and public and private companies to push for a ban on animal testing for cosmetics."
According to BUAV, "over 80% of the world still allows animals, including rabbits and guinea pigs, to be used in cruel experiments. In a global market it is important that all countries ban the practice to avoid testing simply moving around the world to those countries with no effective laws."
Gervais, who stars in the campaign video for the new global NGO has launched a worldwide appeal. "It's time to close the door on testing products on animals," Gervais said. "Get involved. Please join me in supporting Cruelty Free International in its global mission to consign animal testing for cosmetics to the history books."
For more information, visit Cruelty Free International on the web, or at Twitter and Facebook.
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