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Kelly Goes to London for the 2012 LUSH Prize Awards Ceremony
Kelly, from our Robson St location in Vancouver, BC is a guest blogger this week. She's just returned from the LUSH Prize awards ceremony in London, and shares her experience at the awards and in the fight against animal testing (all while suffering from jetlag). Thanks Kelly!
I have always been an animal lover, and when I found LUSH my love and compassion for animals grew. The passion that LUSH shows towards fighting against animal testing is truly inspiring and goes beyond anything I have seen before.
When we launched our Fighting Animal Testing campaign, I approached it as a chance to really make a difference. I talked to anyone who listened, got signatures for our petition from whoever would lend their signature, and got my whole store team so pumped up they were doing the same. We ended up having almost 1000 signatures, which landed us in the top 10 results in the company. In June, LUSH announced they would be awarding a 250,000 pound LUSH Prize to an organization or individual who could make a change to end animal testing in the cosmetic industry.
Hearing about the cruelty in animal testing made me want to do more. I was angry and wanted my voice to be heard. Tricia from Retail Marketing heard my voice! She set me up with one of our Charity Pot partners, The Ghosts in our Machine. Their Facebook page describes it as, "The Ghosts in our Machine is a cinematic feature length documentary that illuminates the lives of individual animals living within, or rescued from, the machine of our modern world." LUSH was going to be funding a project called the Ghost Free Journey, a 5 day blogging journey of living a ghost-free, vegan lifestyle. I signed up right away! In July I went through my journey and it changed my life. You can read more about my journey here.
In October, Hilary Jones, a driving force behind this initiative and our LUSH Ethics Director, came to Vancouver to talk to all of the North American managers about our fight to end animal testing. As I sat there tearing up and getting fired up, I was shocked when Hilary said that she was inviting ME to come to the UK in November to attend the LUSH Prize award banquet as recognition for the efforts I have been making in the fight for animals. I was shocked, stunned and humbled that I would be rewarded for something that means so much to me. I was also super excited to be part of such a monumental event. She then announced they would send whoever could gather the most petition signatures over the next month to accompany me.
Last week I had the pleasure of attending the first annual LUSH Prize awards banquet in London, England. I traveled with Brandi from our Fashion Valley Mall location in San Diego, and Zen from our Sunridge Mall shop in Calgary. It was a night surrounded by animal activists and lovers from all over the world. There were 5 categories of prizes to be awarded for teachers, scientists, public awareness, lobbyists, and young researchers.
We enjoyed an amazing vegan feast by Tom's Feast, made from wild and seasonal food that would have been otherwise forgotten due to surplus, or wonky appearance. Vegan, organic beer from Pitfield Brewery, accompanied the meal. It was AMAZING. After dinner the awards started and we got to hear from each of the winners their efforts to end animal testing. All over the world, these winners are making a difference by caring.
I encourage you to check out these winners and the incredible work they are doing. You can find the full list of winners here. This was the first annual LUSH Prize, and it will be awarded annually until there is an end to animal testing. We need to speak up; the animals can't.