Wednesday, 25 April 2012

How far is too far?


I have been tossing and turning, typing and deleting trying to find the best way to start this post but I can't find an intelligent way to start. My mind can't think properly and my emotions have taken over me. I am shocked by what my eyes have seen and I need to find a way to let it out. I have just stumbled on this article about Lush's latest campaign to raise awareness for animal testing practices for cosmetic purposes and every part of me is shocked from deep within. So shocked that I can't even bring myself to screen grab a picture of the campaign to illustrate my post.




So what is the campaign? Lush thought it was a good idea to recreate the scenes of animal mutilation {happening during animal testing for cosmetic purposed} onto humans and show the scenes to the public in a shop window.


The result? Horrific pictures which remind me of some sick PG 18 horror film, which will probably follow me tonight in my sleep for some weeks to follow. Shock Methods in awaresness raising is nothing new, animal testing is a great cause to fight for but in my eyes this was a campaign too far.  Lush wanted to hit the nail on the head once and for all and made us think about awful and unecessary practices out there but in my humble opinion this was not the right way to go about it. 


When I came into this country, I was shut out from the real world to such an extent that I had not even come across a vegetarian person before. The first contact I had with a vegetarian was my ex flatmate who forced her views on me on a daily basis making me feel guilty for, amongst other things for eating chicken. We don't live together anymore.


Through this campaign, Lush forced their views in my throat, eyes, mind and every part of my body and like my ex flatmate, is running the risk of turning the public against animal friendly activists, who are fighting for a cause in a gentle and non militant my way.


Lush: Are you happy with what you have achieved?

44 comments:

Bicky said...

Good. Because people are way too ignorant on this matter and animal testing achieves nothing!

Jayne's Kitschen said...

Great post Liloo, I'll be expanding on this same topic on my blog tonight, as the whole thing has peed me off.

Jane said...

To be honest, I actually rather liked that article/display. I know it was a little too outrageous, but it has to be as its a pretty hush hush issue that, in my opinion is wrong.
I am a vegetarian and have been since i was 13, but I would never think of force my views on someone else, as we have to eat to survive, if someone wants to eat meat that's fair enough. Makeup and beauty products are pure vanity though. I know there has to be animal testing with medical products, that's a whole different issue.
I see loads of blogs talking about products and brands, who actually test on animals yet they claim to be against it, purely cos they don't know that the brands do test. I think, LUSH doing this was needed. The issue needs to be brought into the open, as there is ways to test makeup and beauty items without murdering poor little bunny's. They may have gone about it in the wrong way in some peoples eyes, but its all truth. Why should animals be treated like that on a daily basis, being born to be tortured and killed is not right, not for any living thing.
xox

Bicky said...

@Jane THANK YOU!

Sparklz and Shine said...

If I had happened on that shop window with one of my children I would be very very angry. Having to explain that over and over again to a child with nightmares.... I've seen the stills, couldn't face the video. However much we want people to be made more aware of the reality, a shop window really isn't the place for something as graphic as this.

femketje said...

i think that this is one of the only ways to make it more clear. sometimes it has to be thrown in your face for you to see that this is actually happening to thousands/millions of animals everyday.. it moves me more to see animals suffer than that woman who chose to be part of that campaign.. but maybe that's just me and my huge love for animals ^^

Lizzums - BeneBelle said...

I don't think it should have been quite that public.. the children an all, but I still think it was.. astounding. It does need throwing in your face, this happens to animals every day out of sight. For a lot of people out of sight is out of mind. But if I had kids and walked past that shop window.. I'd be furious. I think there should have been some warning, but it's a subject that could do with addressing really. Face it, it's WORSE than what was shown.. did anyone (out of industry) know just how horrific it is? I have mixed feelings..

nihrida said...

I think they did a brilliant thing!

Ms Bubu said...

I really don't know what to think about it to be honest. Part of me is saying that it is good to raise awareness, but another thinks that the animal activists usually go the wrong way (all those naked girls for PETA???...) As a few people said, having to explain that to children and all must be infuriating.

Katie ♥ said...

I think it needed to be done. A point raised was that if it was a dog in the shop window the police and RSPCA would have been there in minutes.. So if people are so against abusing animals WHY would they advocate animal testing for cosmetic purposes? It's just showing what actually goes on in the world so that people can't just ignore it and pretend it isn't happening.

Marvelle said...

I think it was brilliant

UnevenLemming said...

It's doing what Lush wanted, negative or positive - It's getting people discussing the subject and getting it out there. Yes I did find the pictures unsettling but the real thing is 10 times more distressing than what they did there. Good on them and I fully support.

Safiyah said...

Saw this too and was just as shocked as you.. I get why lush did it, but to be honest you can't shock people into changing their ways.
When the NHS did it for cigarettes it still didn't deter smokers and personally I feel smoking is more detrimental to humans than this.
But people have free will and some shock tactics just won't work no matter how much you're against something!

Bicky said...

Smoking is different though. People know of what it does to them ...

Sparklz and Shine said...

Just back in and wanted to be clear that I don't have a problem explaining to kids that animals are mistreated for the sake of beauty, or that humans are mistreated to provide clothes - In the comfort of our sitting room, with my arms round them, we watched the children scavenging for food on rubbish dumps on Sport Relief. That did not include the infant school aged child. It's good for them to know about reality at a time and in a situation that is appropriate. The images portrayed by LUSH would not translate in a child's mind to animal welfare though. They would remain as torture of a human being. The explaining I referred to, was that of I child waking up from dreams of that happening to them or me - that is the level on which I know my children would process those scenes, which is why they should not be allowed in a shop window.

Emma said...

Personally I agree with the whole thing, and while obviously I appreciate that it was brutal I think so many people think about animal testing and imagine it probably means putting mascara on a bunny's eyelashes.. I think it's something that's always been so hush-hush in the beauty community and it's taken so long for anything to change and STILL people ignore animal testing and the cruelty it brings. I think it's perhaps got to a point where shock treatment is the only way to get the point across! I think so many people brush it under the carpet like beauty's dirty little secret you wouldn't tell your mother about. Personally I am all for anything which gets the message across, and good for this girl for doing this rather than burning down laboratories is all I can say! It's still a form of passive activism. xxxx

jaljen said...

I approve of it.
What is done to the animals is even worse. They don't get to agree.
This has to be said and has to be made visible.
I'm all in favour of such a campaign.

Charlie said...

Its not the first time they've done this it made me really angry the first time and I'm not impressed this time.

LooweezBx said...

I think it is fantastic, I absolutely loved the whole concept, THIS IS REAL and happening on a huge scale! People need to understand that and stop being so ignorant, it is cruel and unnecessary!

Kemcaflipflops said...

I take it that all those jumping on the ' Oooh it's brilliant!' bandwagon don't have young children. Think back to how vivid your nightmares were when you were small and now imagine the effect this campaign will have on all the unsuspecting children who are getting forced to imprint these images on their retinas

Charlie said...

And I've tweeted it but I'll repeat here that anyone who thinks Lush is doing this for anything other than their own promotion is sadly very naive. Not sure there has ever been such a company so self serving despite their constant charity bandwagons. And the staff are like stepford lush staff, they rarely know anything more than the consumer other than the fax release they received the day before, or that day.

Robyn said...

I've said all this in a FB group already but in a nutshell: I appreciate what Lush did because raising awareness is always good. I don't think this was appropriate, however, and this could have really disturbed children if they saw it. Yes, kids have to deal with the world as well, but thsi is too far. If Lush really wanted us to think about animal testing this demonstration would have been along side something more useful. Was there a petition to sign or more information on animal testing other than the shock performance? I doubt it.

Also, shock tacticts have been shown time and time again not to work - people who don't care about the issue already won't be affected by it. Look at the comments on sites and on here - people who are saying the campaign was good are already aware of animal testing, already buy cruelty free. No-one is saying "Oh, that's terrible, I'm going to buy cruelty free now!" It's why smokers aren't affected by shocking "Stop Smoking" campaigns - they already don't care.

Perhaps well meant, Lush (although I doubt it - publicity, yo) but you've done it all wrong.

Robyn said...

Booo, okay, there WAS a petition, my bad. But still. People aren't going to go inside and sign it if they're disgusted by the window display. I wouldn't have.

wassyc33 said...

Good on lush, its about time this cruelty stopped. They are only tellin it how it is.

Sarah said...

What would have been more effective would be a list, in huge capital letters, of the everyday, celebrity-endorsed household name brands who test their ingredients and products on animals. Put that in the shop window next time.

Becky said...

Personally speaking I think Lush went step too far. I understand their point and wanting a dramatic way to get it across but putting this on show has ultimately damaged their family friendly rep. Small children were subject to this and poor parents are going to have to explain the reasons behind it to their unsuspecting children. Its not right at all. I back the reasons behind it to an extent but I don't support in anyway the way which they set about it.

Beckys Makeup and Beauty

Powdered Almond said...

Hmmm. I've clicked on and off this post a couple of times not sure what I want to say, but I think if you have the courage to write this post knowing people may disagree, then I have the courage to respond knowing people may disagree.
I think the concept here is great. Really effective. But I agree with what Robyn is saying, which is that shock tactics can make people quite antagonistic and argumentative. Most people don't like testing on the fluffies for cosmetics, but because testing is banned in the UK, people have dragged medical testing into it, which is a far more controversial issue.
As for this protest - yes it is horrific, but anyone with half an interest in animal rights will have seen a hell of a lot worse. I've sobbed over reports of what goes on in labs, never mind videos.
I know people are very concerned about children seeing this, and I don't really think I would like my five year old seeing this, but looking at the articles about this - there was a huge crowd around the shop window so I think a parent would have to put some effort in for their kids to see it. It would be easy to avoid I think.
One problem we have is that it is so difficult to know what is tested on animals. Because it is banned in UK and Europe, but not (yet) illegal to sell products tested oversees (3 certain tests are permissible at present)that means that in theory the exact same product could be cruelty free if it's made in France, but tested on animals if it is made in the USA. And the often criticized L'Oreal has put the most money of any cosmetics company into alternatives to animal testing. Then of course, there is REACH which requires all ingredients to be retested for use in Europe, and that affects everyone even Lush, although they are fighting hard against it.
So in summary............ pfffffff. I don't know. :-( (*Hugs her cat and feels sad*)

30SomethingMel said...

I am shocked by the campaign but more so upset when I think of what kind of market Lush is aimed at. I have 3 daughter all of whom are well known in my local branch of Lush. So much so they are known by name and we have also attended parties etc there.
I would be deeply disturbed if my children say the campaign and am hoping they won't to be honest.
Its a sad world we live in, I do not agree with animal testing and have been a research guinea pig more than once for different cosmetic firms.

Caateryna said...

I'm thrilled with what Lush did. Awareness is incredibly important, most women I know have never EVER bothered to stop and even think about the suffering animals go through to make them look pretty. So what if its shocking, its shocking to think that this testing still happens in 2012. So what if you have nightmares? You SHOULD and everyone should until this stops completely. So what if kids see it? Explain what it means, maybe the youth will grow up being as disgusted as I am with any company that still tests. Children as not stupid, they should be informed.

britishbeautyblogger said...

Great post Liloo ... I had a comment saying 'you shouldn't let your kids have a Disney childhood' or something like that.. but there are different developmental stages that kids go through where they can't always made the intended sense of what they are seeing or being told. It was inappropriate for an unregulated audience. And I think the only ones who would say that kids should see it are the ones with no kids!

Thomas Watson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Thomas Watson said...

Working for The Body Shop who pioneered Animal Testing policies in cosmetics since the 70's and still heavily continue to do so, I think that shock tactics can be an effective method of getting views across. For brands like ours and numerous charity campaigns working for the last 30/40 years to rid our industry of this, and even though so much has been changed, animal testing is still being carried out. It's about time that someone dared show the serious brutality of what goes on and I think they've done it effectively. It's not just spraying a bit of perfume on a cat, it's mutilation, abuse and wrong.

As far as it being pushed down our throats, I had to go onto the lush site and find the video and it's not as if it's being plastered over ad spaces around the internet, in every magazine and on every tv channel, so I think that differs from your experiences, of which I share and strongly agree with, of having vegetarians shove their views at you. I went into a Lush store this week for a browse and signed the petition but still didn't see the video in the store.

xmisslorix said...

Its a difficult one, I get what lush are trying to do but theyve gone about it the wrong way, thrown it in peoples faces as a shock tactic that will upset vulnarable people who may not understand the full reasoning behind it.
Same with those animal rescue donation flyers that come through doors with photos of dead animals on them, my friends 5 year old daughter saw one and was terrified couldn't understand why someone would put it throught the door and still didnt understand after her daddy tried to explain it was to help the little animals.
Im totally against animal testing for cosmetics but still, too far lush

Thomas Watson said...

I've just realised, you're based in Manchester aren't you!? Was this at the Royal Exchange store across from M&S. If it was, I did not see this and I even walked past again today! I must really be unobservant.

Karrisx said...

Liloo, I will be writing a post on this too when I get round to it, but will have almost exact opposite of opinion (and that's the great thing about the part of the world we live in, everyone is entitled to believe what they want and express it as such)

I applaud Lush for raising awareness like this. Let's be honest, if they had just put a post in the window about brands who test (like someone suggested above) then it would not have made the papers, it would not have gotten everyone talking, you would not have written this post and we would not be having this debate.

The point of shock tactics like this is to cause controversy and to raise awareness, and get people talking about the issue at hand, which Lush have done, and done fantastically well.

Yes, it may have been unpleasant for people to look at, but the reality is that it is a million times more unpleasant for the animals which go through this pain and torture unecessarily on a daily basis.

I am happy they did it, and think that it was a great campaign, however I respect your right to disagree! :)

Xxxx

Kemcaflipflops said...

I commented earlier but would like to add

I am TOTALLY AGAINST sanctimonious bandwagonners telling me what they think my children(real or imagined) should be getting forced down their throats when we are out shopping. No doubt if these posters were about religion or race you'd be up in arms against them.


Oh and incidentally I personally couldn't give a rat's arse about animal testing so I guess the campaign isn't that good despite its shock tactics


Kirsten x

Andrea said...

If images like that really disturb you that much I think you have a bit of a problem. What's the point of something like this if it's not going to be a little bit shocking? Something needs to be done about animal testing and showing photos of a cute bunny will not help, this is the sort of imagery that we need.

Also, they are artists, it was part campaign, part art installation, but maybe you don't understand that?

Rebecca said...

I was going to do a post of my own but I don't think that I can handle the tirade of opinions right now!

Firstly, I see no connetations to rape, domestic and sexual violence and degradation of woman. None at all. The woman, who chose to be there, represents an animal. She is not an animal, she represents one. I do not take a casual attitude to rape and violence against women, but I also do not see how this has relevance.

Secondly, I might have missed something but has someone actually complained that their child had seen the display? While I understand the concern, I haven't seen someone actually complain their child saw it and has had problems with it. And this seems to be the lead of most people's arguments.

Thirdly, more horrific than any of those images are the comments and opinions of certain people, not just on this specific post but on the plethora of comments I have read on a variety of blogs and news sites. I saw someone say they didn't care that cosmetics were tested on animals. In all my life I have never heard or read ANYONE say that. I have read many that continue to buy them as they don't want to stop but they always acknowledge that the actual act of animal testing is cruel and in many cases unecessary. I would also point out, this is an issue of cosmetic testing, medical testing is a whole different kettle of fish. Fish that are irrelevent on this topic.

Fourthly, animal testing is not a simple practice. It is not as simple as saying a brand do or do not test and that a country do or do not test. Therefore, although I understand the idea of seperating them in shops, this is not a viable option. Also, it's like saying "buy me" and "don't buy me" do you really think compaies and governments would go for this?! Animal testing is such a complex issue and on paper a company can look squeaky clean but delve a little deeper and you will find links to animal testing. Not in every case but what I am trying to say is it is not a simple option.

Finally, for those that think it's all part of some ploy and bandwagon and publicity stunt, think about it. From day one they have been anti animal teting, they have been around years, hardly jumping on a bandwagon. As for a publicity stunt, I suppose it is but only to get their voice heard, not so much to drive their sales. And even if it was to drive sales, every brand uses tools to drive sales be it shock tactics like this or the use of celebrity endorsement. I can be as cynical as the next person but really, spend your whole life so cynical it will wear you down!

In my personal oinion I love everything Lush stand for, I love them as a brand and I love many of their products. I think it is good that they are not afraid to stand up and speak. I would also say though, I think this campaign was maybe a step too far. The scenes were clearly equatable to those of a rated 18 horror and that is not an acceptable thing to have on view to the public where there is the potential for younger audiences to see. While I don't think an apology is wholly necessary I do hope Lush think twice before doing a similar campaign and perhaps rein it in a little.

Annie said...

I think that Lush did what needed doing. A campaign has been going on to stop the postponing of the law against animal testing for almost 30 years now. Clearly peaceful, subtle protesting isn't working. Lush and fightingagainstanimalcruelty.com have very little time to gather a lot of support for their cause. There is currently another bid to postpone the act for a further 10 years being debated by the EU parliament for when the current one ends in 2013 so they need to use methods which will spread word of their cause.
I understand that the images are hard to see as they are so incredibly shocking but that woman made the choice to go through the pain and humiliation, the thousands of animals all over the EU that are being tested on have no choice in the matter. And there is no denying that what they did has worked; word is spreading like wildfire and I think their campaign will gain a lot more backing now that people have been made aware of the horror of animal testing. xx

Grace London said...

The thing that makes me most uncomfortable about this and the discussions afterwards is the viewpoint of those who believe that because their cause is just, any action is justified. I do not agree with this.

I also think Lush overstepped the mark, and everyone is talking about the stunt, not the issue (which I happen to agree with.)

Powdered Almond said...

Wish I could click "Like" on Rebecca's comment. She's hit the nail right on the head, every point she made I agree with. :-) x

Skin Scrubs said...

I don't agree with animal testing but I also choose to eat meat, wear leather shoes, and take my necessary prescription medicine has no doubt been lab tested on animals at some point.

It's great that Lush has brought this to our attention again but it is difficult to live truly cruelty free.

Gemma Meredith said...

I totally agree that although it's a worthy cause, this is too far
http://theredoneblog.blogspot.co.uk/

spittingglitter said...

Just followed the link and read the article - this really is too far. If my child had seen this he would have been really disturbed. There's no explaining to a 7 year old that something like that is 'just acting' or has a deeper meaning.

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