Ahead of The Lion King premiere this week, cosplay expert Joo Skellington (born Jose Davalos) created a lion costume using only vegan materials. Davalos—who has been a professional makeup and prosthetic artist for 12 years—collaborated with animal-rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) on the project, which challenged him to avoid using fur, feathers, leather, silk, and other animal products (or products tested on animals) commonly used in the cosplay scene. “There are so many options now to replace the look of leather with synthetic materials instead of using someone else’s skin,” Skellington said in a video documenting the project. “I was surprised to learn that feathers from animals and also their hairs [sic] are often torn away while they’re still alive. It’s really unnecessary to use animal materials in the making of your costume. Nowadays, there are so many ways and so many options to replace the look of actual fur. There’s always vegan solutions and also cruelty-free materials.”

Photo credit: Robin Zamudio

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