Dear Lush,
Your video of a performance artist highlighting the plight of animals abused in cosmetic research has caused a bit of a fuss, hasn’t it?
I suppose that’s what you wanted. To get people talking. To get them discussing.
Well, you’ve certainly done that.

Here’s what I’ve seen and heard people saying today :
– that it’s shocking and saddening to see images that YET AGAIN use a woman being degraded to make a point
– that you have, yet again, bought into the ‘horrible compromise‘ (your phrase) that presenting another beaten/broken woman is worth it.
– in your (bare) justification linked above you say you are sorry to any women who have been subjected to violence and might be reminded of it by this campaign. Not good enough. By limiting your apology only to those who have been actual victims of violence you disregard the fact that we ALL live in a society demeaned and degraded by violence against women.
– that I, along with many many others, will not shop with you again because you clearly feel it is OK to present images of abused women in your campaign.
– that you have done yourselves a great disservice by not acknowledging that ALL abuse is part of a continuum.
– that your video is naive at best and flagrantly misogynist at worst.
– that it’s irrelevant whether or not the performance artist herself came up with the performance concept, there have always been women who put other women furthest down on their list of concerns (Margaret Thatcher, anyone?).
– that OF COURSE we support the banning of animal testing for cosmetics, many of us were around when Anita Roddick started these campaigns, it’s hardly new. But we firmly believe you have created a damaging, dangerous, and anti-woman piece of imagery.

You know what, Lush? There are women – and girls – that EXACTLY the same things are happening to, day in, day out, right now. Women and girls having acid thrown in their faces, women and girls being blinded, women and girls being ‘correctively’ raped, women and girls being beaten, women and girls being raped, women and girls being blindfolded, women and girls being sold into sex slavery, women and girls being abused by people they know well, women and girls being abused by strangers.

Perhaps you’d like to get behind the campaigns confronting those issues too? You might even like to donate to them, your massively successful high street chains across Europe probably have a few pennies to spare.
Here’s some links :
Women’s Aid
End Violence Against Women
Home Office

Of course, you only need to enter “violence” + “women” into a search engine to see the many many images. Images your campaign has chosen both to copy in its attempt to sensationalise, and to disregard in failing to acknowledge the extent of the anti-woman brutality it is copying.

If your campaign is to work, it’s going to need to acknowledge there is a spectrum of abuse of power.
Your single-issue activity has simply alienated very very many people who should be on your side.
It’s not an ‘either/or’ issue – violence is violence is violence – using one damaging issue to highlight another damaging issue simply pits those of us who want to make a difference us against each other.
Which is, of course, where the big boys with the big bucks want us to be.