Suzy Hill is the Lush staff winner of the competition to judge the Lush Prize 2014. She's vegan, has two cats, and is a long time animal rights activist.
What do you do for Lush?
I work in the UK Customer Services team and I've been here for just over a month, I'm now based in Bournemouth and work in Poole. Before that I was a trainee manager in a Lush shop and was working there for almost two years.
How long have you been vegan and what does that mean to you?
I've been vegan for over three years now. For me, being vegan means living a lifestyle that is consistent with my morals and beliefs, living more sustainably and causing the least harm to animals, myself and the planet . I also feel healthier and happier for it.
Tell us a bit about how you got involved in the fight against animal testing, and which aspects are most crucial to you?
I have always been an animal lover, but like many people, I assumed that animal testing in cosmetics was a thing of the past. When I adopted a vegan lifestyle I was shocked that animal testing was still so prevalent. I think educating the public is so important, to make them aware of how much still goes on and to get them interested in challenging today's practices. That is one of the reasons I enjoy working for Lush so much, as they make the issue visible on the high street.
You have been involved with work for the charity Orca, please could you tell us a bit more about it?
I got involved with the charity Orca through my dad, who was already a supporter. He has always been very passionate about ending whaling and unsustainable fishing practices. I went with him to an event called Whalefest, where Orca were doing a talk and I won the chance to attend a Marine Mammal Surveyor course. Orca have voluntary wildlife officers on board ferries and cruise ships around Europe and further afield, and survey cetacean sightings to work out where the animals would be disrupted or risk being injured by ships. They then use the data to encourage ships to alter their routes where needed, amongst other things. I have surveyed the crossing from England to Spain across the Bay of Biscay and seen common and striped dolphin, minke whale, harbour porpoise and even a fin whale. I'm hoping to do more surveying next year.
Why is the Lush Prize important to you?
The Lush Prize is important to me because I think ending animal testing is a crucial step to providing a more humane, ethical environment for animals in today's industries. The use of animals in cosmetic testing is completely unnecessary and cruel. Science is improving fast and many alternatives are out there. I hope the Lush Prize provides recognition for all the hard work people are doing globally to encourage the use of alternatives.