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Not So Lush, After All

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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.

Go vegan, learn about abolitionism, and educate others to recognise the implications of animal value.

Photo from Refinery 29

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  • Corey Anna James Straits

    Radical Vegans, go Fuck yourselves. There is such a thing as obtaining animal products in a humane way.
    Instead of supporting all the processed, genetically modified and sodium rich non-food vegan “food”, support small farms with livestock. Fucking idiots!
    ::roll eyes::

    • Latika

      Ehhh…. excuse me Corey Anna James Straits…. Can you tell me what’s a humane way to kill a baby animal and use that animal for all sorts of things? Don’t you think raising a baby pig till it can’t walk anymore and than kill the pig to eat its body parts isn’t more radical?

      • clare

        ok u dont kill a cow for its milk and u also dont kill a chicken for its eggs and u dont kill bees for its honey read into this omg

        • Jim Miller

          Good Lord – please educate yourself!

        • Kevin Deane

          Please research the dairy and egg industries. In the egg industry, baby male chicks are killed en masse as they are useless for egg production, and the hens are forced to lay mass amounts of eggs until they are no longer useful, at which point they are slaughtered for meat.

          Cows do not produce milk unless they have offspring. So, to get the cow to produce milk, they forcibly inseminate them (in some cultures we describe this as ‘rape’), then when the cow gives birth they take the calf away from the mother so that it doesn’t drink the milk. If the calf is male, it’s slaughtered for meat. If it’s female, it becomes another dairy cow. The cow is then forced to produce milk until it goes dry, then inseminated again, and on until it collapses and is slaughtered.

          There is nothing humane about either of these industries.

    • Carter Felder

      This is how I read your charming comment, dear Corey… “People who encourage those who purposely harm animals for no good reason to stop doing so should go fuck themselves. There is a way to exploit, harm and kill animals in a happy way, just as there is a way to enslave and kill humans in a happy, humane way. Instead of eating unhealthy vegan food that does not involve the intentional, unnecessary harm of animals, eat from animals who are exploited and killed on family farms which are morally no different from factory farms. Maldito idiotas!”

    • Jim Miller

      What a bunch of nonsense. Please educate yourself!

  • clare

    they are all organic and ethically bought and are labeled as vegetarian they dont use animal meat or fat and they dont test the animals etc they go out there way to make sure of that and organic is a non cruel source
    of animal products so everytime u go to lush make sure it says vegan bc vegan and vegetarian are two different things

    • Carter Felder

      They are not a vegan company. Some of their products have animal products.

  • Meg

    Spoken from someone who is closed minded and clearly has no idea about the ethics or methods. How about instead of reading other articles and twisting them; try asking about the Zambian bee-keeping and locally produced ingredients? Awful article. Try writing quality.

    • Carter Felder

      Bees and *their* honey are not products. Animals are not ingredients. The only way to respect animal life is to live vegan, it’s easy and it’s the very least we can do to stop harming animals for completely unnecessary, unjust reasons.

      • Verity

        Wow Meg you’re so right honestly lush does so much for people and starting company’s and all everyone can look at is the fact they use animal by products and think it’s the same as shaving the actual animal and testing horrid chemicals on them.

        • Carter Felder

          “In some cases, we do use ingredients like honey, yogurt and eggs in our vegetarian products” -LUSH #Oops!

          • Verity

            Yea and what’s the problem

          • Carter Felder

            Non-veganism is the problem. Using animals is a harm to animals. There is no right way to use another sentient being.

          • Verity

            Ok just think about it if we didn’t farm animals like cattle and sheep they would die out because we have no reason the keep them around and I’m sorry to tell you this but because of how small our little world is we don’t have room for things that are useless. It’s just the reality, sorry if it’s to harsh for you to take in.

          • Carter Felder

            Hi Verity, the thing is, these animals are brought to life just to be killed a few years later. Also, all male chicks are killed at birth because they cost too much money to raise for meat. We have no right to bring these animals to life just to torture and kill them. Even if they lived the best lives ever, it is still wrong to kill them in order to eat them or wear them. Lastly, domesticated animals have *already* filled up all the room we have. We raise and kill ~70 billion land animals a year, that is a *ton* of waste (leading cause of environmental destruction) and unjustly taken life just for mere palate pleasure, convenience or tradition. We must push for a vegan world. That means living vegan ourselves and educating others to do the same. When we live non-vegan, we are harming animals for no good reason.

      • Meg Crewes

        I never said animals are ingredients. The point I’m making is Lush go out of their way to be cruelty free and you should try learning how they do that exactly. Until you do your point is invalid as you haven’t researched anything.

    • Jim Miller

      Try educating yourself!

    • connor

      It’s so sad that the ‘writer’ of this ‘article’ obviously has obviously never been into a Lush store in their life. Yes, to be vegan is a beautiful thing, but consciousness of the environment and using an ethical mind when considering (and always considering) the animal’s wellbeing is also important, whether not you are vegan or not. I suggest that anybody who has an issue with the way Lush do things or source their ingredients should email Lush HQ, I’m sure they will be happy to answer and quandaries that you should have regarding the high ethical standards that the ingredients are sourced with. Try educating yourselves before posting such accusations of animal cruelty.

      • Jim Miller

        You clearly have absolutely no clue about the production of “animal ingredients”. Please educate yourself, then come back!

        • connor

          Lmao myself and Meg actually happen to work for Lush & have worked for Lush for a year and a half. We are trained extensively on the ingredients in our products & where they are sourced. I also happen to be vegan myself, therefore I do not eat nor buy and ‘animal ingredients’, as your obviously ‘well educated’ self will know. Lush do not use milk or dairy in their products, only soya milk. Buying from Lush means that you are being conscious and assured in the fact that you are buying the most ethical product that you can buy. Cya

          • Carter Felder

            “In some cases, we do use ingredients like honey, yogurt and eggs in our vegetarian products” -LUSH

          • Jim Miller

            So you have worked a year and a half for Lush and do not know that they use animal ingredients? This is truly embarrassing!

          • connor

            I know they use animal ingredients, I never said that they didn’t. But the way that they are sourced are ethical.

          • Jim Miller

            “I know they use animal ingredients, I never said that they didn’t.”

            Then this is nonsense: “Buying from Lush means that you are being conscious and assured in the fact that you are buying the most ethical product that you can buy.”

            The most ethical product you can buy is obviously one that doesn’t contain any animal products and isn’t tested on any nonhuman animal.

          • Meg Crewes

            I fully know only 80% of products are vegetarian. However Connor and I know the methods used and how Lush are moral with any ingredients, from an animal or plant. You should try read what we’re saying. It would save you time and myself because I’m just repeating myself really.

          • Bryn Eland

            Ok. As an employee of lush let me help you out. Since all you can say is “educate yourself” I’ll educate you a bit. Lush as a company is 100% vegetarian and around 80% vegan. That number changes as new products come out and recipes are changed. Lush use 0 milk in products and use eggs in only 5. The farm is a free range farm that’s adheres to strict welfare standards. The honey used in the products is as ethical as possible with keeping bees wings uncut etc. The honey sourced from Zambia is entirely natural, the beekeepers climb trees to harvest honey from natural hives and lush trading with them is a main source of income for many farmers. “For many farmers in Zambia’s north-western province, beekeeping provides an additional and vital source of income. Widowed beekeeper, Ruthie, for example, has been able to support six children through school and even build her own house from the profits of beekeeping.” Where Lush can, products are replaced with vegan alternatives. Honey bee bath bomb for example was discontinued and replaced with shoot for the stars over Christmas. Same scent and effect, but vegan. Milky bath has recently been made vegan as well. Lush helps farms introduce permaculture ect so that they can make a better living as well. Lush doesn’t claim to be vegan. But it’s a progressive company, one that’s paving the way even though it’s gradual. It should be celebrated not shunned. Positive reinforcement is the best method for progression. Hostility does nothing but create enemies to the cause. The sooner you learn that, the sooner we’ll live in a cruelty free world ☺️

          • Jim Miller

            “Where Lush can, products are replaced with vegan alternatives.”

            And why doesn’t Lush cut out non-vegan stuff altogether?

            “The farm is a free range farm that’s adheres to strict welfare standards.”

            Please, not the happy exploitation stuff again. Where do the roosters live on this “free range farm”? Are they not gassed or grinded shortly after birth? What happens to the hens if their productivity declines? Do they live out their lives in a sanctuary or are they slaughtered?

  • Carter Felder

    Wake up call: Lush is not a vegan company. If the company is not vegan, they cannot be “cruelty-free.” If you sell products which weren’t tested on animals, but you sell products which involve the use, exploitation, torture and death of animals, you’re still harming animals. There is no right way to sell animal products.

    • Meg Crewes

      All I can really say is research it. Lush isn’t vegan, no. But can you be cruelty free and 100% vegetarian? I’d say have a Google

      • Carter Felder

        Vegetarianism is non-veganism. There is no moral distinction between meat, dairy, eggs and honey. It’s all immoral. Veganism means no animal use, vegetarianism means animal use.

        • Meg Crewes

          I’m sorry. I can’t reply to you when you don’t know facts about the company. Sorry…oops

      • Jim Miller

        Yes, have a google indeed.

  • Alan O’Reilly

    Any company which adopts some sort of moral or ethical position as a marketing strategy must expect criticism if its actions do not match its words. If Lush sells products containing animal ingredients they cannot say their range is “cruelty free”.

  • Sleepy Chan

    Thank you for all people explain for Lush, this person just couldn’t accept opposit opinion.
    Thing is simple, just don’t buy the products if you don’t like them…go for Loreal, they even won’t tell you they are cruelty or not, or won’t highlight they are using animal for testing….

  • Got_rolled_over

    This sort of thinking is damaging to the vegan identity. Vehemently blasting a company because they have a few non vegan products foesnt help anyone. Many of the products have replaced milk for soya, honey for honey-scent and other humectant alternatives. This happened at the positive support of vegans within the company. This happened even though the vegan market of lush is in single percentage digits.
    Maybe stop spitting venom and get some perspective and you could make a real change.

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