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Body Shop Founder Dame Anita Roddick Dies at 64

Written by PETA | September 10, 2007

The sudden loss of Dame Anita Roddick, who pioneered the sale of cruelty-free beauty products in her Body Shop stores in the ’70s—declaring in letters a foot high, ‘against animal tests’—has left us a bit shaken at the PETA offices today.

From the opening of her first Body Shop store in Brighton in 1974 to her decision last year to enter into a partnership with L’Oreal in order to show that company how easy it is to run a successful business without supporting unethical practices like animal experimentation, Anita Roddick never once compromised her stated goal of “putting idealism back on the agenda” or stopped for one moment in her quest to show by example that kindness not only has a role in a successful business but that it can be its driving force.

It is not an overstatement to say that Anita Roddick ushered animal rights into the mainstream with her work to show the strong demand for products not tested on animals. She was a courageous, progressive pioneer, who risked her business to be the first corporation to announce her staunch support for a ban on cosmetics and toiletries tests on animals. She will take her place in history as a woman who helped to bring a sense of social justice and ethical practices into the business world, but we will always remember her as a deeply compassionate soul who was a true friend to animals.

She will be greatly missed, and not the least by our Senior VP, Dan Mathews, for whom she once cooked a vegan breakfast! We are all profoundly indebted to the great strides she took to make the world a better place for humans and animals alike.

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  • Jody says:

    I had recently picked up an audio book from a second hand store titled “Body and Soul”. It is a 90’s biograph narrated by Anita Roddick herself. It is amazing to hear her passion and vigor in getting started a unique business that transended across the globe. Loreal was not even a glimmer of an idea at this point. If you just want to hear a wonderful story about commitment and drive in unconventionality I suggest you look for it. It will blow your mind at what this amazing women did and stood for. It is unfortunate the the combining with Loreal did not continue her beliefs or bring here dream into the future. Maybe it is up to someone else to take up where she let off!

  • andrea says:

    She did have a good company till she became partner’s with l’oreal. The body shop was cruelty free but not anymore! I don’t understand how they can say not tested on animals but there joined with l’oreal that does animal testing. The body shop should be ashamed of themselves for recking what could have remained a great cruelty free company.

  • Kurt K says:

    64 years old! I thought vegitarians lived forever?

  • Ana says:

    Paul DailyVeg Editor did not say anything disrespectful about the Body Shop or of Anita Roddick. Try not to be accusatory. I am glad Roddick brought to light the gruesome vivisection animals endure in labs by sadists but I too am waiting for L’Oreal to stop testing on sentient beings. I don’t buy from the BS because of that reason especially when there are so many other choices that are completely cruelty free to purchase. Kiss My Face is a favorite for example. RIP Anita.

  • Paul says:

    It’s interesting to me how individuals such as DailyVeg ignore what Anita and The Body Shop did and still do for Animal Rights. I will admit that at first I was a little put off by the Loreal sale but when I actually thought about it I realized how it makes perfect sense. We will never change minds or influence people by making uneducated and misguided comments such as DailyVeg did. Your comment was extremeley disrespectufl and uncalled for. I and everyone I know will ALWAYS support The Body Shop and Anita Roddick!

  • lindsay, age 16 says:

    what a great lady!!!!

  • Judith, Freedom Fighter says:

    Rest in peace Anita.What you have accomplished is wonderful. But please “Daily Veg Editor” Explain to us what Aran has stated. I went to both sites and I simply need an answer. Thank You. Maher and Newkirk 2008

  • Dara says:

    I’m a consultant with The Body Shop At Home in the U.S. and I am so upset by this news. I had the pleasure of meeting Dame Anita Roddick during 3 different conferences we had. I have never witnessed passion in someone before as I had in her. She will truly be missed this is very devastating for all of those involved with The Body Shop. Anita we will continue to carry your torch.

  • BullyDawg says:

    This is just a complete shock to me! When I was in middle school my sister traveled to London and brought back goodies from The Body Shop for us. It was my first introduction to the concept of “Not Tested on Animals” and what that really meant. It was the first step on my journey. Bless you Anita for your presence on this earth and what you brought to it!

  • Tamara says:

    The Body Shop is the first place that I had ever seen the notice about not testing on animals. This was back in the late ’70’s. Of course no one ever thought of it before then. Dame Roddick did a great thing by starting the Body Shop may she rest in peace.

  • Aran says:

    Im very sorry to hear about this individuals death however the sell out to LOreal is not something I view as positive and I fully support the boycott of LOreals Bodyshop. Maybe its just me but animal rights doesnt seem to sit very well with animal testing and being part owned by unethical Nestle. Once again I am sorry to hear about this death and my prayers go out the family. But the Bodyshop is off my ethical list! httpwww.naturewatch.orgshoppingguideNewslorealbodyshop.asp

  • DaliyVeg Editor says:

    We’re still waiting for L’Oreal to stop animal testing in the rest of its businesses though…

  • Michelle says:

    What a hero! Why does all the good ones always leave first? Sad day