The Government MUST act to save wild animals in circuses across the UK
The Frost Fairs were held in London in the winter on the frozen river Thames. The first recorded Frost Fair was in 1608, the last in 1814. These vibrant festivals on ice could only happen when the ice was thick enough and lasted long enough to allow tents and swings to be supported by the frozen waters.
Our interactive Christmas video
As you can see when you watch our interactive Christmas video above, the Frost Fairs were also an opportunity for market traders, street entertainers and circus owners to sell their produce and attract huge crowds to their shows. Historical London's enthusiasm for carnival attractions saw elephants led across the ice, dancing bears and dog-fights on every corner, as well as puppet shows and carousels, all presented on what one contemporary commentator referred to as "the great river become a stage".
You would be forgiven for thinking that dancing bears, performing tigers and cruelty towards animals bred and kept in captivity would be a thing of the past; something that we could smugly put down to the naivety of our ancestors. Sadly, even today, in our supposedly enlightened society, it would appear that this is not the case.
Our stance on animal cruelty
At Lush, we are fiercely proud of our stance on animal cruelty and frequently campaign to raise awareness of issues such as animal testing, fox hunting and greyhound racing, as well as giving donations to animal rescue organisations and groups that run campaigns and educational programmes to help bring an end to the abuse of animals.
Our teams in Europe have recently highlighted the issue of keeping exotic animals in captivity for the sole purpose of entertainment in travelling circuses. They wanted to call attention to the suffering of animals in the circus and promote circuses that do not use animals in their shows.
Animals are held in captivity and are forced to constantly travel with the circus
They have to suffer in order to provide people with a few hours of amusement, yet the circus life is not so entertaining for the animals. They hope to promote awareness of this issue with the campaign.
We at Lush find that it is important to get involved with issues close to our hearts, even though they may have no direct connection to our company or our products. We are FOR the circus, but WITHOUT animals.
Action circus without animals
That was invented by Mo and Michelle especially for the European Circus Campaign. - Launched in our Swiss Lush stores. Our customers were able to "free" her by donating money to Action Circus Without Animals (AZOT). This promotion took place in all Swiss stores during the campaign week and the team managed to raise over 4000 Swiss Francs for this charity. Since then the campaign has also run in Germany and France.
Captive Animal Protection Society
Closer to home, we've been helping UK-based charity The Captive Animal Protection Society (CAPS), the leading campaigners in the UK working to end the use of animals in entertainment.
CAPS was founded in 1957 when animal circuses were at their height. The campaign against using animals in circuses remains one of the charity's main priorities. Other campaigns, such as zoos, the exotic pet trade and using animals in the audio-visual industries, followed.
Through a combination of undercover investigations, research, campaigns, political lobbying and education, CAPS aims to end all exploitation of animals in entertainment.
We have given them a donation from the funds raised by the sales of our Charity Pot Body Lotion to support their undercover investigations, which raise awareness of the cruelty of zoos and circuses and provide the evidence needed to lobby for change.
When we all pull together we can stop animal cruelty
International Animal Rescue is one of many groups who have taken action to stop the practice of 'dancing bears'. In December 2009 they celebrated the rescue of the very last dancing bear from the streets of India. Although it is thought that a few dancing bears still exist in rural areas of India and in other countries such as Nepal and Pakistan, this is a fantastic achievement as now hundreds of dancing bears are living the rest of their lives in peace in sanctuaries and bear keepers have been given funds to set up their own businesses to provide them with alternative forms of income and signed legally binding contracts so that they will not be a part of this cruel practice again.
As a company, we're a great believer in traditions
Many of our products contain natural ingredients that have been used in cosmetic recipes for hundreds, sometimes thousands of years. We also draw on historic events and influences when we develop brand new products. Although we occasionally look to the past for inspiration we can separate the good from the bad. Unfortunately there are many cruel activities that continue to this day masquerading as tradition. We don't get blinded by the nostalgia and realize that it's important to continue campaigning to ensure that these practices are eradicated and animals are no longer treated in such an unacceptable way.
More about Frost Fairs