LUSH’s Hard Hitting Campaign Against Animal Testing

I was going to put this in Thursday Treats today but after doing some research I feel a simple link amoungst so many other things isn’t enough. I saw this on a news website yesterday and it literally stopped me in my tracks.

Performance artist, Jacqueline Traide, turned herself a lab test subject in the LUSH Regent St store window to highlight some of the procedures done on animals by cosmetics companies who allow animal testing. Her hair was shaved. She was force-fed. She was covered in products… for ten whole hours.

Hard hitting stuff…

I know this article has nothing to do with weddings, or running your own business, or the pretty sparkly things that I usually publish, but I hope you’ll forgive my deviation as I feel stongly that this is something we should all be supporting. This might make me sound over dramatic but it actually makes me feel sick to my stomach that things like this still go on.

Please visit your local LUSH store to sign the petition to stop animal testing. You can also read more about LUSH’s campaign via their dedicated website Fighting Animal Testing.

I’m off to cuddle Henry & Rachel now…

EDIT: I was just sent this list of companies that allow animal testing on their products or the ingredients in their products. I am utterly appalled.


  1. Lush have had some incredible campaigns in the past – I remember when I was working for the company there were campaigns to save whales and they had a performance artist suspended on hooks to show the damage caused by fishing. I think this one is their strongest campaign so far though. Well done Lush!

  2. I am so glad you posted this Kat. It makes me feel sick to my stomach seeing what they do to animals, testing household products as well as cosmetic. Its disgusting but unfortunately so easy to turn a blind eye. This performance was a fantastic idea to show people what does go on. Share this people! Share, share, share and sign the petition!!


  3. This is AWFUL! Well done Lush |(and the girl who shaved her fringe!!) for bringing it to our attention. There’s a store in town. I’m going ASAP to sign!!! (I instantly miss my dog!)

  4. A few months back I learned about the torture they did on beagles & rabbits and many more animals. In tears watching some of the undercover stuff online. Awful. What the fuck is wrong with us? Why would humans even do this.

  5. Good on you for posting this!
    Well done Lush.

    I totally agree, don’t abuse animals!

    But the sad thing is that it goes much further than this.
    I myself am campaigning against animal cruelty in the dairy industry.
    Not many people know that veal is a byproduct from our need of milk.
    The horrible thing is that there is no need for bull calves and if there is no demand for veal, baby bulls are being shot at birth.
    Which is a huge trauma for the mothers and also is a waste of life.
    There was an incident not long ago where a cow tried to hide her bull calf to save it from death.
    A good way to react to this is to start buying veal with the label ‘rose veal’
    these calves had a good life.
    The veal we find in the stores is usually white veal, these calves were kept alive but that’s all. They are not allowed outside like the ‘rose veal’ calves, they are usually kept on concrete floors where they can’t play or nibble grass.
    By ethical make-up, but also buy high welfare meat.
    You can make a difference when you shop!

    Respect animals.

  6. Ehy Kat, may I suggest that you include that PDF in the blogpost? So that it doesn’t get lost or missed by your readers.

    I’m kind of shocked, I’m probably too naive for this planet but I honestly didn’t think there were still so many tests on animals going on.

  7. So upsetting, but very, very effective. Certainly is going to make me look more carefully at the products I buy. There is no need for animal testing in the cosmetic industry, and it’s wonderful to see a company taking such a controversial stand. Reminds me of the original Body Shop days. Thanks for sharing, Kat!

  8. I was stunned when i realised that hardly any of the products you find in a supermarket carry the peta bunny (cruelty free) logo. Thats why places like Lush are a god send. Some of the Co-Op & Sainsburys own brand are cruelty free but its hard to find them elsewhere.

  9. Thank you for being conscious enough to stand up for this cause Kat and highlight the blatant suffering and misery that continues every day for the poor creatures of our planet. What a lot of people don’t know is that the figures are increasing and in the last decade there has been a 26% increase on testing on cats, bringing the total tests on animals to almost 4 Million per year in the UK alone. That equates to 10,000 test PER DAY.
    The pain and suffering has GOT TO STOP and I really hope that with more social awareness amongst the online community and the ease of which people can now make their wishes known, will go some way towards changing this cruel torture that goes on behind locked doors. We are spoilt for choice in everything we purchase, however we must become more aware of where that item has come from and the ethos behind many of the companies we fund who support this research. Lets hit THEM WHERE IT HURTS… – their PROFIT MARGINS, only then will we be listened to and CHANGES HAVE TO TAKE PLACE for the good.

  10. Reshmi

    Certainly upsetting seeing how many animals have to suffer for human vanity. However, I do believe some testing is necessary for example medication or new breakthrough ingredients. The ramifications of a wide spread bad reaction could be awful. It’s just when companies portray a “wholesome” image but carry out animal testing themselves or outsource to third parties- I wish they’d stop. it’s deceitful and pretty douchey in mho.

  11. Post author

    Reshmi- an animal subject wont react the same way to a medicine for humans as a human will. they should have controlled tests with willing human subjects.

  12. Reshmi

    Hey Kat! All pharmaceuticals carry out controlled human experiments too (some are rather unethical about it as well by going to poor countries and exploiting ppl there but that’s a whole other nasty unrelated thing). It’s just that government regulations have precautionary protocol set in most cases and pharmas have to abide. Now why lip gloss needs to be tested over and over again when the formula is known to work, or why tape needs testing…I’m not sure :/ there’s hardly been any revolutionary breakthroughs in either of those!

  13. Debs Ivelja

    Hey Kat and all,

    Please don’t take this as me advocating animal testing, because I do not at all. I am a huge animal lover and the first to cry at suffering.

    But having worked for an FMCG company, with a passion for animals, I have done A LOT of work researching this subject and the companies on your list. The truth of this issue is very grey.

    Just because a brand claims to be ‘AGAINST ANIMAL TESTING’ it does not mean that they are not using ingredients that have, at some point in time, been tested on animals. Ingredients that were tested 20 years ago. The sad realitity of life, and this is a fact, is that most ingredients that are in our daily consumer products (even those that claim natural) have been tested in animals in order to pass clearance for use on humans. You can create a product and say ‘not tested on animals’ because that end product uses ingredients already passed the approval and you as a company have not tested the end product on any animal… BUT some of the ingredients are very likely to have been tested at some point on animals. It is horrible and sad and whilst I am very in favour of people raising awareness as she has done, we have to be very careful that all the facts are there too… and that it does not become a war against brands and companies who are doing a lot to change the way things are.
    The better way to approach this would be to demand a change in protocol and target the authorities who will not allow a new ingredient on the market that has not been tested. THEY are the ones that the companies on your list have to adhere to. I know of product ideas that were scrapped in development because one ingredient needed testing and so the brand said no way. As Reshmi says BUT one thing to mention is that it is usually only products with a NEW ingredient in that demands testing of that ingredient. Not a new product made up of known ingredients.

    I support change but I believe in doing so with eyes wide open… people will NOT stop buying the brands they love… they want products that work and are convenient and are cheap. Imagine if everything we brought increased in price by 20% – would we all be happy? We have options to buy organic yet they are still a lot of people out there that choose store brands and lower prices.

    What we can do is fight in the right places, fight to get regulations changed so that these companies have more freedom to create products we want.

  14. Thank you for posting this today Kat. I’m sharing with everyone I know, we have to stop the madness.

  15. Good post Kat, and great that you are getting the word out there about the vile animal testing that goes on. It disgusts me that in this day in age companies still test things on animals. The human race makes me sick sometimes 🙁

  16. Post author

    Thanks for the input debs! I’m defo not as clued up as I’d like to be on the subject so this is really interesting… and also frustrating!

  17. Debs Ivelja

    I really advocate change and I loved seeing it at work first hand in my (old) day job… it’s just that no one really sees or hears about the steps some companies are genuinely making to bring change.
    I think what Lush do are great at raising awareness and making an impact and we need the extreme to balance the situation, for everyone to come together to work towards change. It’s awesome to see this post on your blog Kat, our world is so much bigger than weddings and it’s too easy for us to forget amongst all the pretty.

  18. It’s not at all uncommon for me to mist over at posts on this gorgeous blog but this video made me sob a little for all the wrong reasons.

    I will be signing the petition and carrying out an audit of my products and buying habits – it’s so hard to avoid these practices that we all detest when, as Debs points out, this is all rather complex.

    For example, last night I was explaining how I won’t use any E120 or cochineal red food colouring in my cakes as these come from crushed up beetles (yuck) and I am a vegetarian… then someone said that my lipstick probably has cochineal in it.

    My response?

    “But it’s Chanel…” Hmmm. Will be checking that one!


  19. Nicola

    Great campaign by Lush – I feel sooo strongly about this! There are still plenty of companies still testing or using ingredients tested on animals. HOWEVER the good news is it’s getting easier and easier to find cosmetic and cleaning products that are genuinely cruelty-free – the best way to tell in the UK is by looking for the BUAV (British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection) leaping bunny logo. As someone said above, all of the Co-op, Marks & Spencer and Sainsbury’s ranges are cruelty-free (remember that includes washing powder, fabric conditioner, bleach… and Markies make-up is fab) and for body and face stuff, all of Superdrug’s own-brand products are BUAV approved too. If you live in or near a town where these stores are, and you care about this issue, there’s no reason to buy anything that’s not cruelty-free! x

  20. Camilla Bradshaw-Burke

    This is a hard hitting campaign…and somewhat sensationalist! Psychologists/Scientists have researched the impact of such sensationalism and unfortunately the effects only ever seems to be short term (ie – I wonder how many people who have seen/read about Lush’s campaigns will adopt a fully vegan lifestyle from now on – or indeed still be thinking about this issue next week?) This hideous cruelty is not confined to make-up, but to a HUGE amount of products available everyday (shampoo/household cleaning products/food amongst many other things), so why is that we get so upset about it now? I notice that you have blogged in the past about a number of products that do use animals in there testing processes…is this because you were unaware of their unethical protocol? Will you still be blogging about leather shoes/or the use of any animal by-product/or the eating of meat at weddings? Will this make you consider a complete lifestyle change (Veganism?)….probably not….so why do we all get so upset now? Sounds like I’m being harsh….I do not intend to be….I just hope that this isn’t just another band wagon due to leave town pretty soon. Animal cruelty is all around us…if you really care (and I don’t mean having a cry at the poor rabbit with swollen puss filled eyeballs) but REALLY care….you need to look beyond the make up and consider all other products/clothing/food etc that you use. Animals are our friends…respect them x

  21. Post author

    Hi Camilla. I don’t really ever feature cosmetics on my site…in fact I can’t recall any instance in fact. However if I have any they’ve been tested in animals it would certainly been our I’d ignorance not from not caring. I don’t intend to become vegan no but I do intent to stop buying cosmetics that have been tested on animals

  22. Post author

    It may be sensationalist but in my opinion awareness is awareness and I know even tho my blogging about this isn’t going to suddenly make thong change overnight its certainly got a hell of a lot of people thinking about the products they buy and use. You can see that from twitter alone. And that has to be a good thing

  23. Camilla Bradshaw-Burke

    Totally…if this makes even one person consider their consumer choices, then that constitutes some sort of success. It just reminded me a little of a situation years ago when a friend used to sit sobbing watching ‘Pet Rescue’…then go into the kitchen and tuck into a bacon bap! You see this kind of campaign a lot these days (including drug use, wearing seat belts, drink driving etc). As a teacher of Psychology I have a particular interest in the use of such sensationalist campaigns, and like I said…unfortunately many of them have little to no long term effect on their audience. One of the previous comments suggests a change in protocol….basically making such practice illegal…and with appropriate sanctions for the breakers of these laws)….this seems like a good idea. I hope that the people who have been appalled by this particular campaign will also consider how this issue affects them in other ways….after all, if we ALL stopped buying products tested on animals and animal by-products, the market would collapse (eventually). The meat industry supports the dairy industry which supports the clothing industry (animal products) and so on…individuals need to look beyond this campaign and consider a longer term solution….Perhaps such a utopian society is a little too much to expect? x

  24. Thanks for this post, Kat! For makeup, I only use eyeliner and occasional lipgloss and nail polish, so it’s no big deal for me to toss what I have (buh-bye, Maybelline, ya jerks!) and start purchasing from cruelty free companies, but I can imagine it must be pretty daunting for those who use more products. Also I’m now on the lookout for new sulfate free AND cruelty free shampoo and conditioner.

    As I’m looking through the lists, I’m finding that it’s actually surprisingly difficult to find products that aren’t affiliated with animal-testing parent companies… ack what am I gonna do for “feminine products” now? And 3M, that’s just crazy, guess I’ll be writing notes on tiny pieces of non-sticking paper from now on, haha, not too bad. But man, there’s be sooo much stuff we don’t even think about that is animal-tested, it’s kind of mind boggling.

    By the way, did you see that there’s also a list of those who *don’t* test on animals (including strictly vegan products)? I’m finding that helpful as I look for alternatives.

  25. Post author

    Thanks danielle. The more I think about it the angrier I get. Esp the cosmetic companies. Its sooo pointless and only for vanity. I mean its not like medicines or bleaches where people might die if we don’t know the resections we’d have to them. Its all so we can look pretty gaaah

  26. Teresa M

    Kat, this is a great post. What frustrates me is that 1. the list of companies that do this is SO LONG… how can I boycott all of them? and 2. I don’t feel like I can do anything about it.
    I’m glad that LUSH had such a visible campaign abut this though. I will continue to try and patronize lush.

  27. Aebbe

    Kat Im so glad you blogged my wedding
    I knew there was a reason I loved your site so much and not just for the amazing wedding blogs and tips

    I work for lush and was one of the people dressed as bunnies that did the demo outside
    the European Commission in Brussels to end animal testing.
    we took over 300.000 signatures that had been collected in stores
    to show them how many people are against animal testing…
    so that was the next step after this amazing performance

    just thought you may want to know 🙂

  28. I am vegan and Lush are not 100% vegan so I have never come across them. I thought this video was very thought provoking though. Thank you for the share, I had seen photos from it before but not the video

  29. Pauline

    I’ve been against animal testing for many years but LUSH’s campaign was simply amazing.

    Reduced me to tears.

    This is such an effective way to affect people, to undeniably show them the “rotten bones” of major corporations – show them this happening to a fellow human being – totally and unequivocally unacceptable now isn’t it?!?! For years pamphlets showing animals on testing stations in various states of agony have been getting handed out to the public with varying effect. My only hope is that LUSH’s extremely astute campaign manages to reach out to so many more people who may have otherwise not been reached with other campaign methods.

    I’ve sent this link to everyone I know along with the link to the list of companies still accepting this *ucking antiquated system of testing.

    I agree Kat – testing for this purpose is vacuous. It shows us who inhumane us humans can be.

  30. Been away on holiday and just catching up on your posts now and read this. I think it’s great that you were moved enough by Lush’s campaign to blog about it and find it interesting the many diverse comments people have left. I’ve been vegetarian since Jan 2011 when my husband pointed out it was hypiocritical for me to be so passionate about some animals while eating others (I couldn’t argue with that so stopped eating meat there and then!) I then went on to educate myself on what being a vegan meant (but cow’s produce milk, that’s what they DO or so we’re brainwashed by the dairy industry to believe)- Er no, like humans, they produce milk only to feed their young and so are forced to spend their lives going through a cycle of pregnancy and lactation only to have their calves removed at 1 or 2 days old with the males being murdered or turned into veal (even rose veal calves do NOT have a ‘good’ life) we’re the only species who drink the milk of another species – that’s kinda gross when you think about it) so I became vegan in August 2011 and yes, it is difficult to eat out sometimes but no, it isn’t difficult to find replacements for pretty much everything you use in terms of cosmetics etc – there are some fab online shops that cater for veggies and vegans where you can be sure no animals were harmed and Superdrug’s own brand products are clearly labelled as well. Whilst it’s true that at some point in history everything was tested on animals, we can only change things going forward – those brands who commit to being cruelty free adhere to a fixed cut off date whereby their products and the ingredients in them will not have been tested on animals after a certain date (which differs from company to company). It is possible to still be as girly and glamorous as you and the vast majority of your readers and still be compassionate to the creatures we share the planet with! Sorry for the long rant but this is something I am so passionate about!


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *