In a campaign to highlight the tortuous treatment inflicted upon animals in cosmetic lab testing, Lush, a ‘cruelty-free’ make up chain, along with the Humane Society International put on display a re-enactment of cosmetic testings on a woman, instead of an animal.
A social sculpture student volunteered to be tortured in an attempt to draw attention to the pain and cruelty inflicted on animals during laboratory tests on cosmetics.
The display itself is art. Put simply, it fits under the Encyclopædia Britannica definition of art as “the use of skill and imagination in the creation of aesthetic objects, environments, or experiences that can be shared with others.” Albeit, this art piece was a shocking, fear-inducing, and painful display of reality.
The horrific experimentation on animals, on the other hand, should be deemed crime. The 8th amendment of the Constitution protects against “cruel and unusual” punishment, which is what cosmetic testing is. The problem is that this protection is only meant for humans and does not apply to animals, despite their ability to feel pain. Animals do not have rights.
Some proponents of retributive and harsh punishment have suggested that instead of testing on animals, or in addition to, cosmetic testing should be done on inmates. Inmates, who are marginalized members of society, have more rights than animals.