BEAUTY WITHOUT THE BEASTS: A Guide to Cruelty-Free Personal Care
Chase, founder of Models with Conscience (MWC), is an advocate for "cruelty-free products." In this book, she urges people to use cosmetics made from natural substances, wear nothing made from animals (including wool or leather) and eat only vegetarian foods. A longtime pet owner, Chase grew increasingly dismayed by the cosmetic industry's propensity to test products on animals, often with little regard for their welfare; this prompted her to form MWC, which promotes cruelty-free products. In her (apparently irony-free) words, "There are three main criteria for becoming a Models with Conscience affiliate: a pleasing physical appearance, genuine compassion for animals, and the ability to radiate confidently in front of the camera." Her positions, however, are rather extreme: she objects, for instance, to the use of silk, arguing that "it has been confirmed" that silkworms feel pain during the silk-removal process. The most useful sections of the book are the lists of "cruelty-free companies" as well as animal-derived ingredients. However, Chase's corny, cliché-ridden prose ("Each of us really can make a difference and leave the planet better than we found it... lead through your own example and inspire others to adopt a more humane lifestyle") is tiresome, and unlikely to change the habits of the unconverted. (July)
Forecast: According to survey research, 60% of women say they prefer to buy products that were not tested on animals—so there may be a market for Chase's information, though perhaps not her platitudes.
Release date: 09/01/2001