What an absolute honour it was to meet staunch animal rights campaigner, leader of the Common Decency political movement, legendary Queen guitarist and Born Free supporter Brian May as he joined London’s Votes for Animals march to Trafalgar Square.I’ve written about Brian May before, back in 2012, when he was fresh from recording a new version of the infamous Born Free theme song with Kerry Ellis (music video including footage from none other than Shamwari Game Reserve, as shown below – the place of my gap year travels!), after launching of the Pride of Cape Town art campaign. Brian’s own work with his Save-Me campaign – which is dedicated to the pursuit of humane treatment of all animals – is what brought him to the opening of Oxford Street’s new flagship Lush Store. Lush is already synonymous with animal rights, and wears its ‘no animal testing’ policy proudly on it’s paper bags; enforcing this message through a variety of publicity stunts, including live performance art in it’s shop windows. The store has also put it’s money where it’s mouth is, so to speak, launching it’s brand new Animals Matter badger bath bomb with proceeds going towards Animal Aid, The League Against Cruel Sports, and May’s Save Me charity: the groups behind the Votes for Animals campaign. Mr May was only too happy to praise the store’s dedication to the cause, endorsing the May Day badger bath bomb and the efforts of the new Oxford store and the company at large. Topically, given that the General Election is just around the corner and May has already caused a stir with his debate with Russell Brand, Lush’s new product has put his Save Me campaign back in the spotlight. Save Me arrived on the scene during the run up to the 2010 elections, when it was evident that if David Cameron were to become elected as prime minister, he would try to bring back Fox Hunting by repealing the act against it. It was an issue firmly in his manifesto and clearly important to him.
This time around, May has lent his voice to Votes for Animals; speaking up for the rights of animals this election. Votes for Animals encourages voters to be vocal on behalf of animals and urge their political representatives to support animal-friendly policies. Their website lists the political parties’ manifestos on animal issues and can be viewed here.