A bizarre act was witnessed during the World Week for Animals in Laboratories, London’s West End, in the midst of shops in regent Street when Humane Society International and cosmetic company, Lush, began a world-wide campaign to end animal testing for cosmetic products.Lush decided that the only way to catch people’s attention was by staging the torture existing in animal testing labs. The only difference was that the donor was not an animal but a person who goes by the name of Jennifer Traide, a 24-year-old performance artist and social sculpture student. Joining the staging was Oliver Cronk, a fellow performance artist who was aptly dressed as a laboratory technician.
During the 10 hour suffering, Traide was spoon fed by having her mouth forced open with the help of metal clamps. Lotion was spread on her skin, substances which cause irritation or irritants were sprayed into her eyes and her head was partially shaven so that electrodes and monitors could be attached on her skin.
What should be mentioned is that Traide was a volunteer and wasn’t made to undergo the torture by force. An animal lover herself, she wanted to take part in showing the world the torture that animals go through when cosmetics companies test their products.
It was reported that the Cosmetic, Toiletry and Perfumery Association was concerned about the staging, saying that it could portray the impression that cosmetic products in Europe are tested on animals. It’s to be noted that testing on animals was banned since 1998 and everywhere in Europe since September 2004. However, there are reports that tests are still conducted by European companies in countries having no such laws.
The Cosmetic Association was disappointed that Lush had chosen to run a campaign of such magnitude in London where cosmetic product testing on animals has been banned.
Lush, however, is unfazed and continues to plead people to fight against animal testing by signing a petition at FightAnimalTesting.com.