Gervais And Lewis Call For An Animal-friendly Christmas

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December 13, 2011 | 11:20am EST

Funnyman Ricky Gervais, British actress Joanna Lumley and singer Leona Lewis are backing a new campaign to encourage fans to celebrate an animal-friendly Christmas.
The stars are supporting Humane Society International/UK’s Cruelty-Free Christmas Pledge, which asks the public to eat a vegetarian festive dinner and stop buying pets as gifts.

Other suggestions include opting for cruelty-free cosmetics, refusing to buy fur as presents, and buying humane gifts which help neglected animals.

Gervais says, “Animal cruelty doesn’t really make the ideal Christmas gift. It seems so absurd to me that someone might think they’re treating a loved one to a bit of luxury by buying them real fur.

“Actually they’re buying them what’s left of an animal that’s been caged its whole life and then killed by gassing or electrocution. How luxurious is that? It’s the same with perfume – if you don’t check that it’s cruelty-free you could be buying a product that’s been dripped in a rabbit’s eyes until they’re weeping sores.

“It hardly says Happy Christmas to me. So the solution is simple, just think before you buy something – has an animal had to die a horrible death for this? If it has, choose something else.”

Lewis adds, “It breaks my heart that millions of turkeys will be killed for the table, beautiful fur-bearing creatures will be skinned in the name of fashion and hundreds of puppies, kittens, rabbits, hamsters and others will end up abandoned as unwanted presents. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Join me in taking HSI/UK’s Cruelty-Free Christmas Pledge and show our animal friends you care.”