There’s few issues more topical than animal rights. When I was in my early teens, I told my mom that I wanted to become a vegetarian, and she said that it was nothing more than a food fad (”I’m not making two dinners!”), so I reluctantly went back to eating meat until I was nineteen. During this time, I tried to be cruelty-free in other areas of my life; such as buying cosmetics that hadn’t been tested on animals and adopting pets from shelters. I’ve now been vegetarian for almost five years.

Why? I couldn’t rationalize why it was okay for me to eat the lambs I saw grazing on hills but not my pet rabbit. In my mind, there was no difference.

Being vegetarian is now the elephant in the room when I meet new people. The extreme tactics of many animal rights protestors has made them feel awkward around me. But I’m of the opinion that people can eat what they want. I don’t eat meat for ethical reasons, and, if anyone asks me why, I’m more than happy to explain. Whilst some argue that eating meat is necessary in order to have a balanced diet, I think we can all agree that animal testing in the cosmetics industry is unnecessary.

Popular cosmetics company Lush decided to take a stand, and artist Jacqueline Traide volunteered to be forcibly tested on in front of a London high street audience. The following photographs and footage provide a disturbing insight into what’s really involved in the production of cosmetics…

Cosmetics, unlike food, aren’t necessary to anyone’s survival, and there’s a lot of people who’d happily be paid to try them out. Animal testing’s all the more unnecessary because at some point products have to be tested on humans, and these days I’m sure we know what ingredients are dangerous and which aren’t.