Part of my responsibilities in operating this site involves a bit of “investigating,” i.e. checking with shoe manufacturers to see if their shoes are vegan and do not contain some hidden animal products. Sometimes it’s worth giving it a shot even if it looks like there may be some leather on it. You never know when it might be synthetic, which is why I had to check with Adidas to see if these Gazelle RST kicks had non-leather stripes and heel.
So, I sent them a short email inquiry with my typical line – is this vegan? Are there any animal products used in this shoe? In the leather, in the glue? I thought my questions were pretty straightforward. Typically I get a pointed answer. But the response I got from Adidas not only did not answer my question, it was puzzling and pretty hilarious when you think about it.
adidas products are not tested on animals. This is accomplished by selecting raw materials of the highest quality with well-established safety records, and by using extensive ingredient databases, in-vitro testing, and computer modeling as well as studies with human volunteers. adidas shares your respect for life. We’re committed to maintaining the highest possible standards of human safety while eliminating the need for testing on animals.
In fact, all of our products are clinically tested, as needed, on humans before being sold in the marketplace. In the rare occurrence of a government or regulatory body indicating that an animal test is necessary to rule out human safety issues, and where no validated alternative method exists, we may be obliged to commission such a test. In such an instance, though, the need for testing would be very carefully examined and the test itself, strictly controlled.
Our manufacturers help build on the industry’s considerable progress in developing alternative methods that will completely replace animal testing. We’re partners, actively involved for many years in the search for alternative means of testing. We support industry research programs, such as those conducted by the European Chemical Industry Ecology and Toxicology Centre (ECETOC), the European Cosmetic, Toiletry and Perfumery Association (COLIPA) and the Cosmetic, Toiletry and Fragrance Association. Our work together aims to develop and validate new testing for a future that won’t rely on animals to safeguard human well-being.
Interesting, right? I’m struck by the serious tone of the whole thing. I have to say, if I did want answers about animal testing, I’d be pretty impressed. It looks like this was a prepared response that their PR department had ready. While I’m glad that they do not TEST THEIR SHOESon animals, I wonder – are other apparel companies in fact animal testing? And more interestingly, what kind of testing are they doing? I wonder what kind of diabolical experiments they would be cooking up:
- 1-on-1 between Kevin Garnett and a honey badger
- Strapping on running shoes to various fast land animals, e.g. cheetahs, ostriches, timing their runs
- Tackle drills with Lawrence Timmons and a bighorn sheep.
- Determining sweat wicking properties of Climacool gear by putting them on sweating horses.
Seriously though, what the hell? I’m going to follow up with them to get the real information that I was looking for, and hopefully I’ll get a straight answer. TBD…