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Votes for Animals March & Lush Oxford Street Grand Opening

Votes for Animals March & Lush Oxford Street Grand Opening

2015-04-23 
| by Anneka Svenska

Today saw the opening of the LARGEST UK store for the cruelty-free brand LUSH, with an added extra of a huge celebrity-fuelled charity march & hustings, for the new VOTES FOR ANIMALS campaign in the light of the impending general election.

 

 

I was invited along and was told that ‘dress’ was to be suffragette style, as animals have no voice to vote, as neither did women in the early 1900’s. Everyone was to wear a sash which read ‘Votes for Animals’ and finished off with either an animal mask or animal ears etc. I decided to be a fox, as the foxes have an incredibly hard time and it would be amazing if voters could join together to see the end to the cruel fox hunt.

 

 

The new store was simply jaw-droppingly amazing, and as usual you could smell LUSH all the way down the street before you reached the doors. Spread out over 3 floors, this new store encompassed an airy space filled with delicious, colourful, scrumptious yummyness. Just while I am talking about Lush’s cruelty-free cosmetics, let me just mention that not everything is vegan, but everything is CRUELTY-FREE.

 

Brian May (left) with Anneka Svenska (right)

 

The Store opening couldn’t have been more exciting, but then I spied fabulous ‘Animal Champions’ Brian May, Peter Egan and Marc Abraham who were there to greet everyone. It was simply amazing to catch up with friends who are so committed to ending the suffering of animals. It really is the same group of people who commit to ending this abuse and I see them every time something really important for animals is happening. As usual I asked Peter Egan how he had the time to spare and he told me that he actually now books his acting jobs around his animal causes, which was an absolute DELIGHT to hear!

 

Anneka Svenska (left) with Peter Egan (right)

 

Marc Abraham (left) with Anneka Svenska (right)

 

 

Lush had some exclusive bath bombs just for the Oxford Street Store with profits going to LEAGUE AGAINST CRUEL SPORTS & ANIMAL AID. My favourite was the badger pattern bath bombs to which I could see Brian May had closed in on considering he fronts charity ‘Save Me’ which fights to end the badger cull.

 

 

After some filming and some SMELLING, the celebrities took to the stage to open the march to the Houses of Parliament. Everyone was linked in solidarity: to increase compassion and to end cruelty. Brian, Peter, Lush, The League against Cruel Sport’s Tom Quinn and Animal Aid gave riveting and inspiring speeches which launched the march to parliament. Everyone was asked to march in silence as animals do not have a voice and therefore are unable to vote or to defend themselves.

 

Anneka Svenska (left) with Tom Quinn from The League Against Cruel Sports (right)

 

Brian May with the Animal Aid team

 

 

Once at Parliament Square, the celebrities and charities took to a ‘soap box’ to again lend a voice to animal welfare. It was a wonderful march which truly saw a voice being given to the innocent. Public support was strong and many people cheered us as we walked the long walk from Oxford Street to Parliament Square. My feet hurt, but every time I thought about this, I imagined the pain animals go through every day, so I soon forgot about these lesser concerns.

 

 

The afternoon saw an amazing political debate back in the LUSH store and all of the main political parties had representatives discussing their policies on animal welfare. Caroline Allen from The Green Party, Barry Gardiner (Labour), Kate Parminter (Liberals), Tom Bursnall (UKIP) and a refreshing Lorraine Platt from (Blue Fox) Conservative, who fights as a minority within her party as she would love to see the end to fox hunting.



Peter Egan opened the debate with a wonderful speech and one quote which stood out was:

"The RSPCA carries an unnecessary burden in the present climate," referring to the fact that MP’s should step up and put more laws in to protect wildlife & domestic animals rather than leaving it up to organisations like the RSPCA to try its best in dealing with everyday animal crime.

 

Kate Parminter of The Liberals

 

Kate Parminter of The Liberals quoted:

"We've got to get much smarter with our government when it comes to linking health issues with animal welfare issues."

&

"Animal welfare is often about individual members of parliament who can make a huge difference."

 

Caroline Allen of The Green Party

 

Caroline Allen of The Green Party quoted:

"The animals are stressed and suffering from disease because of how they are treated and this is also a risk to our health."

&

"We need a wider review of wildlife crime."

 

Lorraine Platt from The Conservatives

 

Lorraine Platt (Conservatives) urged “We want the public to get in touch with their candidates to support the hunting ban.” It was evident that if we choose to vote conservatives, then we really need to start lobbying our local MP’s into making sure hunting with hounds stays banned for good. Conservatives wobble around all over the place and many voters feel unsafe voting knowing that they may overturn this ban at any time.

 

Barry Gardiner of The Labour Party



Barry Gardiner of Labour quoted:

"Politics is about getting acts of parliament passed that will stop the suffering of animals."

&

"We need to look at the excessive giving of antibiotics in our own farming."

"We will be taking on board The League Against Cruel Sport’s greyhound racing manifesto.”

 

Tom Bursnall of UKIP

 

Tom Bursnall of UKIP was a mixed bag as he quoted:
"We want to triple maximum sentence for animal cruelty."

However continued:

"We would not be looking to ban or review horse racing. These animals are very well looked after in most cases"

He then quoted:

"We would always back support for alternative options to animal testing." ….hmmmm, come on UKIP, you need to stay more consistent.

 

Joe Duckworth from League Against Cruel Sports

 

All in all, a tiring, but extremely productive day which took a couple of months of planning by some committed and amazing individuals. A wonderful turn out, fabulous costumes, inspiring speeches and a hugely positive turn out from both celebrities and politicians.

 

So remember, VOTE FOR ANIMALS on the 7th…….…………………………………………………whatever your decision might be….

 

To find out more, visit these websites:

 

Visit the Angels for the Innocent Foundation website here

Anneka’s Green World website 
Anneka’s Green World TV

Follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram too!

 

Get Involved! If you have a great Vegan news feed, blog, podcast or video channel that you’d like us to include your focus on in the site, then please just contact us at info@vegfest.co.uk with details!






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