Lush is dedicated to fighting animal testing. But what does that mean?
More than simply opposing the cruel animal experimentation that goes on in the name of ‘science’, Lush actively works to eradicate it.
One of the ways it does so is through the Lush Prize - a yearly, international awards ceremony that rewards and funds vitally important research into ending animal tests.
Each year £250,000 is awarded to a number of scientists, researchers, lobbyists and trainers, so they can continue to make breakthroughs in alternative testing and strive towards universally cruelty-free testing.
A single award prize of £350,000 is available if a major breakthrough in 21st Century toxicology (that’s the science of detecting toxins) is made. This is because Lush believes that breakthroughs in this field could be key to ending animal testing forever.
Where are they now?
Below are some of the past winners of the prize, all of whom are still striving to make animal experimentation a thing of the past:
Name: Save Animals from Exploitation (SAFE)
Role: Animal Rights Group
Won For: Public Awareness Prize 2013
Since winning the Lush Prize SAFE has been instrumental in banning animal testing in New Zealand. What’s more, SAFE has launched an app version of their Cruelty Free list and launched an educational resource, Animals in Science: Ethical Arguments and Alternatives to Animal Experiments, for use in schools and universities.
SAFE campaign manager Mandy Carter says: “SAFE works on all manner of animal protection issues – from rodeo, to factory farming, to dairy and animal testing. SAFE receives no government funding and relies on donations from the public, so winning the Lush Prize was really beneficial for all our campaign work.
“Since SAFE won the Lush Prize we have achieved our aim of getting cosmetics testing on animals banned in New Zealand. This was a huge win for the animals after a four year campaign.”
Name: Dr. Steven Enoch
Role: Member of QSAR and Molecular Modelling Group at Liverpool John Moores University.
Won: Lush Science Prize 2013
Since winning the Lush Prize in 2013, QSAR have funded a PHD student to research in silico testing methods (testing using computer simulations). His work so far has explored methods for predicting chemical reactivity, and can be used to predict skin sensitivity.
The group are currently expanding on this promising research, and hope to develop it further in the future. If successful, this information could be used to predict human and environmental effects of a chemical without the use of animals.
Steven said: “The Lush Prize directly funded the work carried out by my PhD student. Without this funding this work may never have been carried out.”
Name: Line Mathiesen
Role: Lecturer at University of Copenhagen
Won: Young Researcher Prize 2012
Back in 2012, Line won the Young Research prize for her work studying the impact of toxics on placental tissue. Four years later she has won two further grants to support her research into alternative testing methods. This has enabled her to combine her placental studies with human biomonitoring samples (urine, hair, saliva etc.), and come even closer to true physiological values on which to test. This is a major achievement, as it means the results of tests and experiments are as close as possible to how a real-life human body would react - unlike animal alternatives.
Line said: “I am doing research using only animal-free methods, and encouraging every colleague and collaborating researcher to consider alternatives.
“I feel there is a lot to achieve in changing the mindset of both animal experimentalists and researchers working with cell-cultures, in moving away from traditional methods and focusing on ethically sound and better, more thoughtful science.
If you want to know more head over to LushPrize.org