Three years ago (wow I can’t believe it’s been that long) while backpacking through Italy with my friend, Lizz, I ran out of shampoo. This was a serious, serious problem as, after almost a month of travelling with the same duffle bag of clothes, that was about the only thing keeping me from not smelling like a moldy ball of sweat and grime. I was gross.
While walking around Rome one day Lizz and I stumbled on a store called Lush, a cosmetic store with only all-natural, organic, handmade products. They also had shampoo bars, which was beyond necessary (and traveled better than liquid shampoo, FYI!). That was my first experience with the store, but since then Lush shops have been popping up everywhere, including in the mall right by me.
I really do like their products, they smell and feel amazing, but I can’t quite say that I like Lush anymore. This week, in the front window of Lush’s Regent Street (London) shop, they decided to put on a performance as an attempt to put an end to animal testing on cosmetic products. They stuck a 24-year-old performance artist in a nude leotard on a table, then streamed a 10-hour long series (before clicking that link please be aware that it includes a very graphic video of the performance) of torturous procedures, depicting what animals go through during one day at an animal testing lab. A “doctor” in a white lab lab coat and mask stretched the woman’s mouth open, choking her with lotions and creams, sprayed contact solution in her eyes, even shaved her head. It was long, graphic and in my opinion extremely unnecessary.
Obviously I’m against animal testing for cosmetics or any other product, because I’m not a heartless monster. Obviously I don’t want to subject animals to pain or poison them or stick them in cages to be used as basically live bait. Obviously. And I don’t know anyone that agrees to animal testing either. But this bizarre and brutal performance does not help curb animal testing, it just displays really terrifying and disturbing images to innocent civilians. It puts a fear in children that stumbled across it while walking past the shop or looking online. It harms human beings and does nothing to end animal cruelty.
It was a cheap and poorly-planned publicity stunt for the company. I don’t know if I’ll ever shop at Lush again, because I’m really offended that they would subject a human being to such pain and their customers to such offenses all to prove an already-obvious point. They could have asked people to sign a petition and people would have signed it without that performance, because animal testing is wrong regardless of that.
If you want to make a difference when it comes to animal testing, check out this list (after the jump) of brands that still test products on animals and don’t buy them. It’s that simple. Hit them where it hurts, in the wallet, and don’t terrify others who don’t have their hand in what goes on with these companies. Keep this list in your wallet, and next time you go shopping skip over the bad guys. It’s as easy as that.
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