Not So Lush, After All
The popular beauty company, Lush, has just undergone some rebranding and is now sticking “be cruelty free” stickers on a selection of its popular shampoo bars. Given the reality of the company’s practices, however, the sticker would be more accurate if it read “be cruelty specific.”
Lush seemingly prides itself on being against animal testing. Its new shampoo bar campaign is written in both Chinese and English in an attempt to “bolster [the] campaign to end animal testing.” It’s launched by the welfarist group Humane Society International, a group explicit in its promotion of “happy” animal products and “happy” death.
The “ethics director” (wow…) at Lush, Hillary Jones, says “the horror of cosmetics testing will not be over for animals until the whole world switches to more modern, non-animal safety testing methods.” She continues with saying that “only when this ugly practice is over will our industry truly be a beauty business.”
Bold words from an “ethics director” whose company still uses honey, eggs and dairy in a number of its “beauty” products.
Apparently, the exploitation of animals for cosmetic ingredients isn’t “ugly” enough for Lush to oppose. Indeed, Lush are campaigning against animal testing whilst simultaneously profiting from the products of suffering and death.
Jones has a perverse notion of “beauty” if she believes her company will be “truly beautiful” whilst still selling animal products. Eggs, dairy and honey belong to the animals who produced them and not smeared over a human’s body as a “luxury” cosmetic item. It seems that justice is nothing but a matter of business for Lush; it’s quite profitable to support a campaign against animal testing but when it comes to using animals as resources for ingredients, their use, suffering and death – morally indistinguishable from the suffering and death Lush opposes in animal testing – is nothing more than a necessary overhead in order to ensure a healthy bottom line.
Lush, like other companies and groups that “oppose suffering” but that participate in animal use are no different, and are merely opportunists profiting from both a normalised form of animal use and the opposition of one animal use that doesn’t sit well in the public consciousness. In perpetuating that arbitrary divide, they not only promote continued animal exploitation, they profit from the deception.
Photo from Refinery 29