What is animal testing, is it bad and what is it used for?

What is animal testing, is it bad and what is it used for?

What does animal testing mean?

Animal testing refers to procedures performed on living animals to research biology, diseases, conditions and assessing reactions to particular products, ingredients and raw materials. Also called animal experimentation, animal research, and in vivo testing, it means animals - non-humans - are used in experiments to find out the variables that may affect the biological system or behaviour through studies. They can also be used to learn how safe or effective treatments, medicines, or ingredients are before they move to human testing.

When did animal testing start and how long has it been around?

Animal testing began as early as the 12th century, or the 1100s. Ibn Zuhr Avenzoar introduced animal experiments as a way of testing surgical procedures before testing them on human patients in Moorish Spain. Earlier than that, animal models were used in experiments as early as 500BC, in ancient Greece - so animal testing has been around for thousands of years in some form.

Taking modern medicine, or as modern-adjacent, in the UK as an example, animal testing was listed as starting in the 17th century. Animals would be used as they were similar to humans, with mice sharing 98% DNA with homosapiens, so would be used to test for medical treatments for cancer, heart disease or diabetes etc.

How does animal testing work?

Animals in laboratories are experimented on, whether it’s force-feeding them, injecting substances, or exposing them or certain organs to particular ingredients and raw materials to test whether they have an effect. In some cases, it leads to the animals death or they have to be killed following the result. Sadly, some of the procedures may include forced chemical exposure, whether that’s inhalation, feeding, skin or injection.

Why should animal testing be banned?

Why is animal testing is bad? There are many reasons, the first being causing harm and killing innocent animals which is abhorrent. Secondly, it can also not be 100% effective at predicting whether the experiments or testing would lead to less human suffering or results - as no animal shares 100% of the same DNA as humans.

Animal testing is also expensive and time-consuming, modern technology and computer programs are more effective and cost-productive in cruelty-free testing methods used today by some labs and companies.

For example, we only work with suppliers who are cruelty-free to make our soaps, lip scrubs and candles - because our cosmetics are kind to you, animals and the planet.

How many animals die from animal testing each year?

PETA reports 110 million animals die each and every year in the USA from animal testing, including rats, frogs, mice, dogs, cats, hamsters, rabbits, guinea pigs, fish, birds, monkeys and bunnies. In the UK this number stands at three million, or, every 8 seconds, one animal dies. Therefore, the number of animals who die from testing globally is a figure much bigger than this, at least 190 million or so were used for lab tests and more than 115 million of them die from the experiments.

Different animals are used in experiments for various reasons, whether its rabbits or bunnies, or mice because they share a lot of DNA, or beagles because they’re small, docile and easy to manage.

Is animal testing good?

With current technology and scientific methods of using donated human tissue and cells, or even volunteers, there is no set answer to if or is animal testing good. However, animal experimenting in the past has led to the development of antibiotics, surgical procedures and immunisations. They have also been used previously to educate students in medicine, biology and related scientific fields.

Buff is proud to oppose animal testing and producing handmade soaps, lips scrubs and cosmetics that are cruelty-free.

How to stop animal testing?

There are several ways you can get involved to help stop or prevent animal testing, from donating to a registered organisation, buying cruelty-free products over brands who use animal testing, and donating your body to science when you die so that you can ensure animals do not need to be used. You can research initiatives and strike up a conversation with friends and families, and try to educate others.

By using cruelty-free brands, who are vegan and oppose animal testing, you are helping the movement towards leaving the cruel practice behind.

What brands use animal testing?

There are endless companies that use animal testing, including Calvin Klein (they sell in China where it’s mandatory to use animal testing), Johnson & Johnson, Procter & Gamble, Clorox, Estee Lauder and L’Oreal. Some of the big brands have smaller brands and companies under their giant corporations, and not all use animal testing but some do. For a comprehensive list, you can look up online to see if your favourite brands or companies use animal testing.

Which countries allow animal testing for cosmetics?

China is the only country that holds a nationwide order where its mandatory to impose cosmetic animal testing. Russia has mandates for some animal testing on cosmetics, but it’s not clear on the full regulations. The USA and Brazil have parietal bans in place, usually, this is where cosmetic or vanity products are banned but scientific or medical fields are not.

Where is animal testing banned?

The UK banned animal testing back in 1998, and it was implemented for finished cosmetic products and any ingredients primarily used for vanity items. The EU’s ban on animal-testing cosmetic products came five years earlier, but the full ban came into effect much later, in 2013. These bans are related to cosmetic and skincare products, whereas Switzerland in 2022 took to become the first country to completely ban it across all sectors - including pharmaceuticals and drug companies.

In total, 21% of the world’s countries have banned animal testing on cosmetics - this does not include pharmaceuticals or household products. This adds up to 41 nations.

Shop our full range of cruelty-free products, including soap and sugar lip scrubs - kind to you and animals.

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vegan soaps, lip scrubs and candles you'll love

our handmade soap bars are vegan, homemade in the UK and cruelty-free. there's no palm oil, parabens or SLS in our products and they're designed with you and the earth in mind. soaps have added shea butter for nourishment, whereas lip scrubs are infused with vitamin E and sweet almond oil to help nourish the skin. when it comes to our soy wax candles, they're made up of vegetable wax, eco-friendly cotton wicks and recyclable glass jars which can be re-used or re-purposed to prevent waste.

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