For those unaware, it seems that both Phillip Morris and R.J. Reynolds, two of the world's largest tobacco manufacturers, are presently using animals to test the quality of their products.
More precisely, one recent testing campaign carried out by the people at Phillip Morris involved forcing rats to breathe in cigarette smoke for several hours in a row, and J.R. Reynolds went as far as getting both rats and mice to ingest tobacco, something which lead to their developing health conditions such as hair loss, skin ulcers and swollen sexual organs.
As pointed out by PETA
such tests are not requited by present legislation and can therefore be easily replaced with alternatives that do not involve acts of animal cruelty, provided that the tobacco manufacturers presently using them agree to re-think the ways in which they test their products.
Hoping to witness such a major achievement for the cruelty-free policies they wish to see implemented worldwide, green-oriented organization PETA bought stocks both in the Philip Morris, and in the R.J. Reynolds companies.
Their plan is to from now on attend shareholders meetings on a regular basis, and use whatever opportunities present themselves during these gatherings to push for their cause.
A few days back, PETA took similar action against cosmetics company Revlon
, which refuses to make it public news whether or not it is paying for animals tests to be carried out in China.
Speaking on behalf on this organization, Senior Vice President of Laboratory Investigations Kathy Guillermo explained how, “Forcing rats to breathe cigarette smoke for hours on end in cruel and won't make smoking any safer.”
“By joining Phillip Morris' and R. J. Reynolds' shareholders, PETA will push these companies toward the exclusive use of more humane and accurate non-animal testing methods that are already employed around the world,” she further added.
Just for the record, testing tobacco on animals is already banned in various countries around the world, such as the UK, Germany and Belgium.