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FIGHTING FOR ANIMALS
continued--Fighting 4 Animals2
'Truth is on the march and nothing will stop it.'
-- Emile Zola
PART ONE - SCREAMS AND NIGHTMARES
It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential
is invisible to the eye.
-- Antoine de Saint Exupery
I will never forget the day I decided that experiments on animals had
to be stopped. The experience scarred my memory for life. I was a 19 year
old first year medical student - still too ignorant and inexperienced to
be allowed out on to the wards. With several of my fellow students I was
taken into a physiology laboratory to be taught a little about the human
body. The lecturer took a large, miserable looking cat from an assistant,
climbed onto a table, turned the animal on its back and held it high in
the air. Then, after ordering us all to watch carefully, he dropped it ten
or twelve feet to the ground. The screeching cat landed on its feet and
ran off terrified into a corner. I don't know what this experiment was
designed to teach us - but I cannot see what relevance it had to the
treatment of illness in humans. Already feeling uncomfortable I and a
group of students were then ordered to experiment on a live rabbit. I
can't remember the details but I do remember that it was a pointless
exercise which filled me with fury and nausea. How can you learn anything
useful about life by torturing and killing, I thought. I couldn't go
through with it. Along with several colleagues I walked out of the lab,
refusing to have anything more to do with the lesson. As I was leaving,
other students began the experiments. The medical establishment must have
shared some of my views on the irrelevance of this experiment. No one said
anything about my walk out, no one called me back, no one disciplined me.
I never completed the course - but I qualified as a doctor. This sad
experience awakened my curiosity about animal experiments. Secretly, I
began to explore the basement - and the grim cages where cats, rabbits and
monkeys were kept. I was sickened by what I saw. I felt the experiences in
which these animals would die would have no relevance to humans. They
would not help me or any one else become a better doctor - and would never
help any physician treat patients better. The more I studied the subject,
the clear it became that the anatomical and physiological differences
between animals and humans mean animal experiments can never be of
practical use to anyone. Animal experiments were done, I realised, because
no one cares enough to stop them. Scientists were butchering thousands of
cats, dogs, monkeys and rabbits because that was how they earned their
living. They got grants from drug companies, charities and government
departments by promising answers which they knew they could never deliver.
I decided that most scientists who experiment on animals were second rate
academics who didn't have what it takes to become doctors. At the age of
19 I decided that one day I would help stop this cruel, senseless trade.
It was Alice who provided me with the final inspiration and the practical
ability to do what I can to help stop this evil business.
Although I also campaign against hunting and all forms of animal
cruelty - including the use of animals for food - I am sometimes asked why
I've chosen to put so much energy into attacking vivisection rather than
other versions of animal cruelty. There are several reasons.
First, vivisection involves huge numbers of animals - around one
thousand animals every thirty seconds. That is far, far more than all the
forms of hunting, for example. What is more the animals suffer constantly.
They are usually kept alone, in tiny cages, until they are used in an
experiment. Many are kept alive for months or even years in great distress
Second, vivisection is probably the best and longest established form
of organised, officially acknowledged animal cruelty. It is the one form
of animal cruelty for which people have devised apparently credible
excuses. Vivisection is symbolic of the way we treat animals. It has the
support of the world's most profitable industries. I believe that when
vivisection is banned then other forms of animal cruelty will quickly
Vivisection is the most immoral, academically and intellectually
dishonest form of animal abuse. The vivisectionists practice a
particularly cruel form of intellectual terrorism: they terrify ordinary
people into supporting them by arguing that animal experiments are of
Third, vivisection affects human beings as well as animals. The
vivisectors are responsible for countless human deaths - as well as animal
deaths. By stopping vivisection we will also be helping to save human
lives and protect human patients from iatrogenesis.
Now that slavery and apartheid have been abolished I firmly believe
that vivisection is the most evil and barbaric, unjust and unjustifiable
practice on earth. We have to stop it. My aim is simple: to stop all
animal experiments around the world as soon as possible. Evil only
triumphs when ordinary men and women remain silent.
The scientific and medical arguments against vivisection are
overwhelming. No honest scientist could possibly support animal
experimentation (although there are a lot of dishonest scientists who try
to). Morally, there is no question that experimenting on animals is a
vile, inexcusable business. Ethically, the vivisectors are in the position
of slave traders, arms dealers and concentration camp guards. There is no
excuse for what they do. They will, assuredly, burn in hell for their vile
work. Those of us who oppose animal experimentation are ethically right,
morally right, scientifically right and medically right.
So why does society allow these scientists to perform these foul
There are tens of thousands of anti vivisection groups in existence
around the world. Some of these groups have been in existence for a
century. Millions of people want animal experiments stopped. So, why is
the war against vivisection taking so long to win?
The truth is that animal experiments would have been stopped years ago
if the war against vivisection had been better planned and if the anti
vivisection troops had been deployed more effectively. The overpaid
vivisectors and their rich supporters are morally, ethically,
scientifically and medically wrong. They ought to have lost decades ago.
But they are as clever as they are cruel. They are greedy, manipulative
and - because of their own sense of personal guilt and worthlessness -
But we have not fought the war very well so far.
Some organisations prefer a conciliatory approach. They believe that
more progress will be made through talking to vivisectors than through
confrontation. There is no doubt that these organisations have made
progress in persuading laboratories to look after animals better and to
search for other ways of doing experiments whenever possible (I try not
use the word 'alternative' because to talk of 'alternatives' suggests to
some that animal experiments have some value).
However, I fear that the truth is that negotiation means compromise.
And how can there be any compromise? Those of us who love animals want all
animal experiments stopped. The vivisectors want to carry on. And that is
that. How can there possibly be any room for negotiation? There is no
I have heard anti vivisectionists claim that they want to stop
vivisection from within the system. I don't think that approach will work.
No one has ever changed anything from within a system. You can only
produce radical changes from outside.
The time has come for a more determined, better defined attack on
vivisection and vivisectors.
I want all animal experiments stopped now. Improving cage sizes or the
conditions in which animals are transported and stored is not enough for
me. I fear that if one airline stops carrying animals then another airline
will step in. Or the animals will be transported by sea (with journey
times being longer).
I have frequently found myself under attack from anti vivisection
groups for my robust and unforgiving attacks on vivisectors. And the
evidence suggests that many anti vivisection groups now favour a more
conciliatory, diplomatic approach. I have seen reports by anti vivisection
groups complaining not about scientists performing animal experiments but
about the number of animals they have used - and arguing that the
experiments could have been done with fewer animals. I have heard alleged
anti-vivisectionists discussing abolitionists as the enemy. And I have on
many occasions heard anti vivisection group leaders describing other anti
vivisection groups as 'the competition'. Most alarming of all, perhaps, I
have even heard anti vivisectionists arguing that we have to talk with
politicians in order to change the laws which force drug companies to
perform animal experiments. (As I have shown, there are no laws to change!
There are no laws requiring drug or cosmetic companies to perform animal
I fear that those who believe that we can win this battle by
negotiation have been conned; seduced by flattery from politicians ('come
and have tea with me at the House of Commons and we'll talk about it').
Encouraged to be enthusiastic about the possibility of making small steps
towards better conditions (larger cages etc) they forget that the simple
and rational aim is to stop experimentation and they ignore the
overpowering evidence in support of that aim. If lobbying was ever going
to work it would have worked long ago. I fear that too many anti
vivisectionists no longer believe in their hearts that we can win. They
believe that small steps - larger cages, slightly fewer animals, bans on
important animals by air - are all we can hope for.
One anti vivisector told me, rather crossly, 'the vivisectors are not
all bad people you know'. Not bad people! These are hateful, cruel,
psychopathic beings. These are not people with whom we should have any
'friendly' association. And even to talk about cage sizes and alternatives
is to play a dangerous game. Worst still, not believing that we can win is
a self fulfilling prophecy. I believe that all these discussions about
cage size etc are initiated by the opposition - who want to keep us
distracted from the real argument: abolition. They can keep us going for
decades like this (and they have).
The anti vivisection movement has been in existence for decades. And we
have got nowhere. Vivisectors are using as many animals now as they were
half a century ago. Battles like ours are never won by negotiation. The
suffragettes didn't get the vote through gentle negotiation. Apartheid
wasn't smashed by negotiation. Slavery wasn't abolished by quiet,
gentlemanly discussions in panelled committee rooms. To win the war
against vivisection we must fight our opponents in newspapers and
magazines, on radio and television. All we have to do to win is to capture
and mobilise public opinion.
Many people don't understand exactly what sort of experiments animals
are used for. Those who want animal experiments to continue usually argue
that the experiments are painless and that the animals do not suffer. The
truth is very different. I have filing cabinets filled with research
papers from universities and institutions around the world and there seems
to be no end to the variety of indignities that researchers can think up
for the unfortunate animals in their power. Most of these experiments are
performed on your behalf and with your money.
If you are uncertain about the nature of vivisection then try this
simple exercise: imagine you are a guinea pig taking part in a
sensitisation test for a new perfume.
First, scientists would shave a patch of your skin - removing every
small hair - so that the perfume would make the best possible contact with
your skin. Then they would put a large quantity of concentrated perfume
onto your skin and leave it there. A plaster would be put over the test
area to make sure that the perfume remained in the closest possible
contact with your skin. You might be tied down to make sure that you
didn't move about and disturb the experiment. Every few hours or so the
test site would be inspected. And more of the concentrated perfume would
be added until your skin went red and started to itch.
You would want to scratch but you wouldn't be able to. A thick dressing
would be put over the test area and your hands would be tied to stop you
interfering with the experiment. The itching would get worse and worse.
But the scientists doing the experiment wouldn't give you anything to stop
the itching. If they did they would mess up their results.
Even if you cried and begged for mercy they would ignore you. These
scientists are trained to ignore such pleas. It is their job to cause
suffering - and to record the consequences.
Gradually, the area of skin under test would become redder and redder.
Eventually it would probably begin to blister. Fluids would ooze out of
your skin and drip out from underneath your bandage. You would probably
notice some blood oozing out as well. Before long your whole body would
probably begin to react. You might start to wheeze and to have difficulty
in breathing. Your skin would start to burn and to itch and your heart
might well start to pound.
The aim of a sensitisation experiment is deliberately to induce an
allergy response by giving so much of the test product that the body
responds violently. You would feel ill. You would probably feel nauseated
and you might start to vomit. Still, the scientists would refuse to give
you any treatment in case the treatment interfered with the test. Instead
they would simply write down your symptoms and make notes about the
condition of your skin. When they had acquired enough information they
would almost certainly kill you.
Those who perform and support animal experiment are so embarrassed and
ashamed of what they do that they frequently use euphemisms to disguise
their activities. It is quite common, for example, for experimenters to
talk of animals 'taking part' in experiments and 'helping us with our
research'. The word 'experiment' has been replaced by the word
'procedure', which is less evocative. Experimenters have their own
language. Here are just a few choice phrases they use (and their
vocal response = crying major airway embarrassment = choking reacting to adverse stimulation with vigorous motor responses = trying
to escape binocular deprivation = sewing the eyes up decapitation = head removal
exhibiting lethal behaviour = dying startle reflex = flinching aversive electrical stimulation = electric shocks
thermal injury = burn or scald
* * *
It is dangerous to be right when your government is wrong.
I am constantly saddened (and outraged) by the fact that the official
line of many religious leaders is that animals have no rights and are here
simply for human beings to do with as they will. A woman with whom I was
debating the whole issue of animal experimentation (in Johannesburg)
concluded her main speech by claiming, as though it was a proven fact,
that animals do not have souls and are therefore on earth for humans to
use. When I asked her how she knew that animals do not have souls she
could not answer. Much formal religion is, it seems to me, more about war,
prejudice, smart clothes and extravagant buildings than compassion, love
or spiritual integrity.
My god loves all creatures equally. He does not believe that the white
man is better than the black man. He does not believe that the black man
is better than the red man or the yellow man. He does not believe that a
man is better than a woman. He does not believe that a cat is better than
a horse or that a horse is better than a dog or an accountant. He does not
believe that a hippopotamus is better than a mouse or that a mouse is
better than a frog or that a frog is better than a lawyer. My god does not
believe that a strong man is better than a weak man or that a rich man is
better than a poor man. My god loves all creatures equally. I believe that
the world would be a happier place if more people were friends with my
The great elephant has by nature qualities rarely found in man,
namely honesty, prudence, a sense of justice and of religious observance.
Consequently, when the moon is new they go down to the rivers and there
solemnly cleansing themselves bathe, and after having thus saluted the
planet return to the woods. They fear shame and only pair at night and
secretly, not do then rejoin the herd but first bathe in the river.
-- Leonardo da Vinci
Here are nine facts about animal experiments:
1. Every thirty seconds vivisectors kill another thousand animals.
2. Vivisectors use cats, dogs, puppies, kittens, horses, sheep, rats,
mice, guinea pigs, rabbits, monkeys, baboons and any other creature you
can think of.
3. While waiting to be used in laboratory experiments
animals are kept in solitary confinement in small cages. Alone and
frightened they can hear the screams of the other animals being used.
4. Many of the animals used in laboratory experiments are pets which
have been kidnapped, taken off the streets and sold to the vivisectors.
5. Animals used in experiments are tortured, blinded, burned, shot,
injected and dissected. They have their eyes sewn up or their limbs
broken. Chemicals are injected into their brains and their screams of
anguish are coldly recorded. If the animal lives through this torture it
will then be killed.
6. Three quarters of the experiments performed by
vivisectors are done without any anaesthetic.
7. Most of the
experimenters who torture and kill animals have no medical or veterinary
8. Most animal experiments are paid for with your money.
9. Animal experiments are now recognised to be of absolutely no value
to patients or doctors or anyone else. Animal experiments are performed by
companies wanting to put new products onto the market without doing more
expensive tests and by second rate scientists wanting to acquire academic
status the easy way.
Think of the animal you love most dearly. If he or she is close to you,
reach out and touch him or her. Now, imagine your pet dog, cat or rabbit
strapped - alive and alert - to the vivisector's laboratory bench. Imagine
the vivisector approaching with scalpel raised. Imagine a tube implanted
into your pet's brain and a scientist deliberately injecting an irritating
chemical down the tube directly into your pet's brain. Imagine the
scientist sitting back and waiting to see what happens. Within a minute or
two your pet begins to shiver. The shivering is mild at first but it
quickly becomes vigorous and widespread. Then your pet begins to cry; loud
and pitiful cries. It begins breathing rapidly and salivating. Its ears
twitch and its hair stands on end. It vomits, wets itself and empties its
bowels. The white coated, cold-blooded scientist who is watching all this
dispassionately observes your pet's distress and carefully writes
everything down in his notebook.
That is no fiction. It is real. It happens every day. In your name.
With your money. And someone else's pet. Every 30 seconds that is exactly
what happens to 1000 animals. It could happen to your pet if the
vivisectors get hold of him or her.
When official spokesmen speak you should only believe their denials.
When official spokesmen deny something you can be confident it is the
Uncertainty and change are the greatest cause of stress among people.
(It is because of the element of change that moving house is one of the
most stressful of all activities). The same is true for animals. So just
imagine the emotional trauma animals must feel when they are taken out of
their field or barn, herded into a cramped truck and driven for hour after
hour after hour to where they know not.
Nobody does what they don't want to do.
The European Community has rules to protect animals while they are
being transported. The rules say that animals must be fed and watered
after travelling for 24 hours. Hands up those who would like to see EC
bureaucrats travelling across Europe under those conditions.
A dog saved the life of his master, an Egyptian government official, by
fetching the doctor after the man suffered a heart attack.
My computer printer broke down. I wanted it repaired. No chance. It's
two years old and out of date. That is progress. I wanted to listen to
some old fashioned vinyl albums. I tried to buy a record player. No one
sells them any more. That is progress. The glass in the wing mirror on my
car got cracked. To replace it the garage had to send away for a sealed
unit. It took for ever and cost a small fortune. Progress.
Every day I find myself hearing the same old litany: 'It's progress!'
When I ask what is so terrific about progress, and why we have to bow
down before it as though it were the God of our times, folk tut and look
at me as though I'm an alien from another planet.
'You can't stand in the way of progress!' they say, implying that it
would be improper, unpatriotic, immoral and probably illegal even to try.
Well, I've had enough of progress.
Without progress everyone would still be in work. Without progress the
workshops of the world would still be alive, men would still be making
things they were proud of and it would be possible to buy things on a
Wednesday and expect them still to be capable of doing whatever it was
they were bought to do by Saturday.
There is a myth that progress means 'better'. It doesn't. Progress
often means that an increasing number of people have to exchange a rich,
varied, wholesome healthy lifestyle for one which is hollow and filled
with despair and loneliness. Progress means deprivation for people but
strength for our social structures. Progress means that the jobs people do
become more boring and less satisfying. Progress means more power to
machines. Progress means that things are more likely to go wrong. Progress
means more destruction, more misery and more tedium. Progress means more
damage to our planet. Progress means that still more hideous ways are
devised to abuse animals.
Those who worship at the altar of progress make two simple but vital
errors. They assume that man must take full advantage of every new
development and invention. And they assume that he must always search for
a better way of tackling everything he does. Neither of these two
assumptions is soundly based.
Just because man invents computers, supersonic jets and atomic bombs he
doesn't have to use these things.
Those who believe implicitly in progress believe that we must always
endeavour to use every new nugget of information we obtain. They believe
that if man invents a quicker and more effective way to kill people then
we must use this quicker and more effective weapon of destruction.
Progress lovers believe that if is possible to make a machine which
makes identical galumps at the rate of 6,000 an hour then we must have
that machine. And that those galumps will be better than galumps which
have been hand carved by craftsmen.
The lovers of progress are so keen to embrace the future and eradicate
the past that they will introduce new laws ensuring that only the new
computer made identical galumps can be sold. The market for the old
fashioned galumps will disappear.
The progress lovers don't care about the fact that their galump making
machine will put thousands of craftsmen out of work.
Progress for the sake of progress often simply means change for the
sake of change. But (and this is probably heresy and will undoubtedly get
me into trouble with whichever masturbatory authority is in business to
protect progress) change is not always for the better.
The problem lies largely with the definition of the word 'better'.
What, exactly, does it mean?
Is a television set better than a radio or a good book?
Is a motor car better than a bicycle?
Is an aeroplane better than a yacht?
Are modern motor cars, equipped with electric windows and air
conditioning, better than ancient Rolls Royce motor cars equipped with
neither of these facilities?
Is artificial turf better than real grass?
Is television rubbish which is in colour better than movies such as
Citizen Kane and Duck Soup which were made in black and white?
Are artificial flowers better than the real thing?
Too often progress simply means more frustration and more unhappiness.
It means that we become more dependent on one another and less capable of
coping with the crises in our lives.
Progress means that when something goes wrong with the electricity
supply your central heating boiler won't work. Progress means that it has
become nigh on impossible to mend anything around the home without calling
in an expert with a van full of tools. Even then he will probably tell you
that he's got to send away for another part.
Progress means that when your windscreen wiper blade needs replacing
you have to buy a new windscreen wiper.
Progress means that when you want to buy a niplet you have to buy a
blister pack of five which can only be opened with a kitchen knife, a
screwdriver and a blowlamp.
What is going on? What are we doing to our world? Who is in charge? Is
anyone out there in charge?
Will people be wiser, happier and more contented when nuclear powered,
seven speed nose hair clippers are finally available?
How much did the invention of the telephone improve the quality of your
It would be stupid to claim that all progress is bad. Progress is good
when we use it rather than when we allow it to rule our lives. In truth,
progress is neither good nor bad unless we make it so. But no longer are
we allowed to choose between those aspects of progress which we think can
be to our benefit and those which we suspect may be harmful. Our society
wants constant progress and that is what it gets. Well I don't like it.
The vivisectors argue that if they are not allowed to continue their
evil work then science will be threatened. But science is unnecessary.
Progress is unnecessary. We have enough information to last us all several
lifetimes. What we need to do now is to work out how to use the
information we already have - and how to come to terms with the world
which we have re-invented.
We no longer need science.
Walking by the river I paused to remonstrate gently with a fisherman. A
trout he had caught was lying on the bank, thrashing around. I moved
forwards to try and pick up the fish so that I could throw it back into
the water. But I was too far away. The fisherman saw me, reached out,
picked up the fish by its tail and killed it by banging its head on a
rock. When I tried to explain to a fisherman that he was indulging in a
cruel sport he turned round and started hurling stones at me. He told me
to go away and stop disturbing the fish. As I walked away he threw a stone
at me. It missed. He then threw several more stones in my direction. The
stones did not hit me - partly because the fisherman was a rather poor
shot and partly because I kept ducking and weaving - but there is
absolutely no doubt that they were aimed directly at me.
When I got to the nearest village I telephoned the police to complain.
They were not interested in my complaint and refused to do anything.
Can it be that throwing stones is no longer a crime? I wonder what
would have happened if a campaigner had thrown stones at a fisherman, a
hunter or a lorry driver transporting calves or lambs to a bloody death.
Am I unfair in suspecting that the police might have responded
The mad cow scandal should have awakened us all to the fact that most
farmers - like the rest of the huge army of slimy good for nothings
involved in the dead animal business - are pustulant, crooked, self
centered, stupid, greedy bastards concerned only with their own profits.
But the eternally damned farmers are so skilful at manipulating
politicians and the media that they actually managed to make most people
feel sorry for them!
The farmers, the butchers and the abattoir workers have all bleated
about financial losses, redundancies and bleak futures.
Most amazingly, they are succeeding in conning the world into feeling
sorry for them.
But the fact is that for years now farmers and others involved in the
meat business have been taking risks with the lives of those who buy their
products simply so that they could make an extra few billion quid.
It was the farmers - manipulative money grubbers that they are - who
chose to feed their animals the food which created the problem.
Years ago those in the animal murdering business could have protected
themselves - and the meat eating world - from the horrors of Mad Cow
Disease. They could have taken tougher, stricter action ages ago. But they
didn't. They - and the government - insisted that there wasn't a problem.
Even if they didn't know for certain that there was a problem coming
(and I think they should have known) they should have realised that there
was a big risk.
Now, what would happen if any other businessman cut corners, took risks
with your customers' lives and caused panic and chaos?
Would he expect his customers to pay for all his losses and give him
compensation to make sure that he didn't lose any money? Or would he start
looking for a sharp lawyer to protect him against the lawsuits that he
knew would soon start thudding on his doorstep?
Why are the people in the animal murdering business being pitied? Why
are we trying to help them out? Why are you and I expected to fork out our
hard earned cash to pay for their greed inspired error?
The truth is that the Mad Cow disease scandal is just one example of
the many ways in which farmers have for decades recklessly exposed
ordinary people to danger.
I believe that it was the overuse of antibiotics - given to animals to
keep them 'healthy' and therefore increase profits - which has helped
create a world in which infections are now rapidly increasing.
Every time you read about a hospital infection which cannot be
controlled by antibiotics I think you should give thanks to the farmers.
I also believe that the reckless use of other drugs and hormones has
contaminated farm products for decades. The over use of fertilisers,
pesticides and other chemicals has polluted our water supplies and
poisoned thousands of consumers.
Today farmers are messing around with genetically manipulated animals
and crops because they see more ways to increase their profits. They don't
give a damn that they are playing a dangerous game and that they are
likely to produce permanent and terrifying changes in our world.
The farmers don't give a fig for your health or your children's'
health. All they care about is profits.
(Somehow, to add to all this, the farmers even manage to persuade
politicians to give them subsidies! Daft as it may sound it's all a bit
like murderers and poisoners demanding - and getting - financial help!)
The worst thing is that the politicians who are hired and paid to
protect us don't give a damn about what the farmers do either.
They just let them get on with it.
Farmers should be ashamed of themselves.
The only ray of hope in this whole sad and sorry mess is that more and
more people may now stop eating beef - and other types of meat.
Through their ignorance, their stupidity and the greed the meat farmers
might just have helped to put themselves out of business.
I do hope so.
The evidence now shows clearly that meat can cause cancer and can be a
major factor in the development of heart disease.
Mass bankruptcy among farmers, butchers and others involved in the
animal murdering business is the only joyful thought that can be salvaged
from this crisis which isn't going to go away.
A friend in Australia sent me a newspaper cutting. The article on the
clipping described how a rich man is putting fences around huge areas of
land, killing the feral animals within the fences and then installing
animals from endangered species. I totally disapprove. This killing is, it
seems to me, being done for the sake of humans. It may be nice for us to
be able to see lots of different species of animals. But it is of no
concern to the animals concerned. If a species dies out then it dies out.
To kill animals so that you can save other animals is wrong.
We can learn so much from animals. Why, oh why, do our scientists
insist on cutting up animals, ripping out their organs, injecting them
with noxious chemicals and subjecting them to endless tortures when they
could learn far, far more simply by observing them? If architecture
students wandered around the world knocking down cathedrals, palaces and
other structural works of art - and then excused themselves by saying that
they wanted to know more about these buildings were constructed we would
think describe them as wicked philistines. If a man in a white coat said
that he was knocking down the Notre Dame in Paris because he thought it
would help him design a suspension bridge or repair a mediaeval thatched
cottage we would think him completely mad. We can learn much from watching
how animals behave and yet we always pretend that they are stupid and when
anyone who talks about them as having thoughts is dismissed as 'romanticising' and accused of being anthropomorphic.
'If your happiness depends on what somebody else does,' wrote Richard
Bach in 'Illusions', 'I guess you do have a problem.'
All those who love animals, and feel strongly about the way in which
they are mistreated, will know what he meant.
In my book 'Toxic Stress' I argued that many of the most potent,
destructive and stressful forces in our society are outside our personal
control; they are a result of our living in a sophisticated and so called
civilised community. These external stresses, ones which cannot be
alleviated by learning how to deal with stress or by making an effort to
live a less stressful life, are most damaging because the frustration,
anger and sense of impotence they produce cannot be countered by any
Most of my personal concerns and anxieties and pains are provoked by
worries which are of no direct concern to me. This adds an extra dimension
to the concept of 'toxic stress'. The fact that the most frustrating and
exhausting anxieties in my life do not directly concern me and are
generated by parts of society which are outside my control makes them
doubly stressful. The same is probably true for you too.
One of the great injustices of this life is that those who are
compassionate and who care suffer for the crimes of those who are neither
compassionate nor who care. The hunter does not suffer any pangs of
conscience and neither does the vivisector. The caring, compassionate
human being suffers on their behalf.
'Is it not a reproach that man is a carnivorous animal? True, he can
and does live, in a great measure, by preying on other animals; but this
is a miserable way, - as any one who will go to snaring rabbits, or
slaughtering lambs, may learn, - and he will be regarded as a benefactor
of his race who shall teach man to confine himself to a more innocent and
wholesome diet. Whatever my own practice may be, I have no doubt that it
is a part of the destiny of the human race, in its gradual improvement, to
leave off eating animals, as surely as the savage tribes have left off
eating each other when they came in contact with the more civilised.'
Henry David Thoreau
When you and I see an animal we look, we watch, we admire, we respect
and we maybe even love. When the vivisector sees an animal he sees an
object; a piece of scientific material. He thinks: 'I would like to cut up
What sort of people are the vivisectors? I truly do not understand
them. I cannot believe that they are really alive. They are of the same
stock as the Nazi concentration camp scientists who used to perform
hideous, barbaric and cruel experiments on jews and gypsies and others.
I have spent many hours trying to understand how a man or woman can
possibly excuse what they do. Maybe, I thought at first, the vivisector
does not understand the wickedness of what he does because the people
around him are all involved too. But that is no answer. A man or woman
with conscience could not possibly approve of vivisection. It is as foul a
trade as was ever invented by man.
Torturing and then killing cats, kittens, dogs, puppies, mice, guinea
pigs, rats, monkeys, hamsters, rabbits and other animals is morally
indefensible, ethically inexcusable, and medically and scientifically
The things vivisectors do to animals are so awful, so disgusting that I
dare not describe them in newspaper articles or columns. Readers would, I
know, be so sickened that they would simply turn over the page.
I am, in my heart, convinced that all those who practise it are
psychopaths; unfeeling, unthinking, unseeing; blind to all that is good
and with minds open only to the possibility of personal and professional
gain, however it may be obtained.
It is my professional medical opinion that the thousands of vivisectors
who do the torturing and the killing to animals must have the same sort of
general psychological make up as serial killers. They must be deeply sick
to be able to inflict pain on animals for day after day. They are, I
rather suspect, the sort of cruel individuals who obtained pleasure from
pulling the wings of flies and shooting birds with airguns when they were
Vivisectors around the world sometimes claim that their experiments are
of value to doctors. They try to excuse their foul and barbaric deeds by
claiming that the work they do saves lives. I believe that is a lie. And I
believe that the vivisectionists know that it is lie.
I have frequently challenged vivisectors and their supporters to debate
their foul work with me on national TV or radio. But they are too
cowardly; too afraid to risk being exposed for the pseudoscientific
charlatans they are.
The truth is that we would all be much, much better off if vivisection
had never been invented. (When it is stopped it will never be started
again.) I believe that animal experiments are done because they enable
drug companies to get new products onto the market quickly and easily.
It is, I think, a cynical and cruel business.
I believe that animal experimentation is one of the reasons why four
out of ten patients who receive drugs suffer side effects.
And it is, I believe, partly because drug companies are allowed to rely
so much on animal experiments that one in six individuals in hospital are
there because they have been made ill by a doctor.
I don't think any animal experiments save human lives. On the contrary,
I believe that men, women and children suffer agonies - and die - because
of animal experiments.
Every night, when you go to bed, ask yourself: 'What have I done today
to help stop animal experiments.'
You will, I suspect, find that you will sleep easier if you have done
something to help stop vivisection.
Scientists are now studying animals who are naturally long lived to see
if there is some magic ingredient in their blood which protects them
against diseases such as narrowed arteries, heart disease, high blood
pressure, stroke and other cardiovascular disorders which so often result
in early deaths.
But we already know what causes most cases of heart disease, high blood
pressure, stroke and other varieties of cardiovascular calamity.
The individual who wants to avoid these disorders can best do so by
avoiding fatty food and tobacco, minimising his exposure to stress (or
enhancing his ability to deal with it) and taking regular, gentle
exercise. Like cancer, heart disease is, to a remarkably large extent, a
disease of choice.
Sadly, however, I fear that simple preventive medicine is of very
little interest to scientists. How can the expenditure of billions of
dollars on laboratories, white coated scientists and animal houses be
justified when the solutions are so simple?
The scientists have to keep searching for more complex solutions
because they, and their masters at the drug companies, cannot make a
living out of teaching people how to avoid disease.
The drug companies (which pay for much of the world's research) want
complex, pharmacological solutions because they know that their profits
will only be enhanced when they can offer consumers pills for all their
And the drug companies are comforted by the knowledge that the average
citizen is not willing to make even the slightest effort on his own behalf
to maintain, sustain or restore his health. He would much rather take a
pill (however expensive it might be and however hazardous the consequences
might be) than change his diet or take a long term, personal approach to
his health and his life. He would rather hand over responsibility to
people he does not know and will never meet, and who regard him solely as
a source of profit, rather than take responsibility for his own health.
Has anyone else noticed that experiments done on animals seem to be
ignored if the results are commercially or politically embarrassing or
inconvenient? In my book Betrayal of Trust I named around fifty
prescription drugs which are considered perfectly safe for human use - but
which can all cause cancer and other serious health problems when given to
You have just dined and however scrupulously the slaughterhouse is
concealed in the graceful distance of miles, there is complicity.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
The refusal of most editors and producers either to take on the meat
industry or to promote anything which might be seen as sympathetic towards
animals has been illustrated painfully vividly by the fact that my book
'Power over Cancer' has been almost totally ignored by newspapers,
magazines, TV stations and radio stations.
The book explains how it is possible to avoid 80% of all cancers by
avoiding fatty foods and meat products and by eating a healthy mixture of
the right vegetables, fruit and grains. I included in the book excerpts
from no less than 26 scientific papers which provide evidence illustrating
the link between meat and fat and cancer. Details of the book were sent to
hundreds of editors and producers but so far, apart from The People (the
British Sunday newspaper for which I write a column, which ran a fairly
large extract from the book) very few publications have mentioned the
I am genuinely surprised and saddened. I would have thought that even
if editors had decided to attack the book's existence they would have
found it difficult to ignore the claims I make (all of which I can
justify). For example, on the press release we pointed out that 15,000
women died of breast cancer last year - and that half of them could still
be alive today if they had read 'Power over Cancer'. If the claim is false
then I should be attacked. If the claim is true then how can it be
The failure of the media even to discuss this subject depresses me
enormously. How can editors and producers ignore Power over Cancer which
could save between 41,000 and 69,000 lives a year in Britain alone? Every
week I am invited to appear on television or radio programmes to talk
about issues about which I know little and care nothing. (I always say
'No'). And yet this vitally important issue is ignored.
Part of the problem is that no one wants to write or speak about
cancer. The very word itself is 'taboo'.
Part of the problem is that the meat industry is too rich and too
powerful to annoy. Everyone remembers what happens to former British
health minister Edwina Currie. She dared to take on the egg industry (she
said that most eggs were infected with salmonella) and quickly lost her
job when the farmers complained. And part of the problem is that many
editors and producers would undoubtedly regard Power over Cancer as an
'animal rights' book. And the editors who work on broadsheet newspapers
and the producers who work on television and radio programmes hardly ever
take a sympathetic line towards animal rights issues. Indeed, they usually
lean very heavily on the side of those who want to continue to do
pointless and barbaric things to animals.
One of the few reviews of 'Power over Cancer' to appear in a newspaper
was this one which appeared in something called the North West Evening
Mail, Cumbria. The anonymous reviewer wrote:
'The Sun's doctor offers advice on how to cut your cancer risk by 80
per cent. I find this quite frightening if people are going to read this
and believe they will avoid cancer.'
I wrote to the Editor of the newspaper concerned and pointed out that I
had not been a columnist on The Sun for four years. I also pointed out
that if the reviewer had read the book he or she would have seen that I
had filled the book with scientific evidence in support of my claim.
I did not receive a reply. And as far as I am aware my letter was not
Three months later the same newspaper (the circulation of which had,
according to my cuttings agency gone down from 21,800 to 20,700) printed a
review of my book 'How To Stop Your Doctor Killing You'.
The reviewer wrote:
'I'm sorry. I realise Dr Vern is a bit of a national hero to readers of
the Sun, but I don't trust him.'
'This book proves it. It aims to undermine the professionals who have
spent years learning the business.'
'Sure some people make mistakes, but to question the experts every step
of the way is a little insulting to say the least.'
In the book I point out that one in six patients in hospital are there
because they have been made ill by a doctor. I find it alarming to think
that there are people around who feel that 'to question the experts every
step of the way is a little insulting to say the least'.
I read today that one of America's most horrific mass murderers (a man
who is infamous for having eaten the dead bodies of his victims) used to
do foul things to animals when he was a boy. I am not surprised. I am
convinced that people who can do cruel things to animals can do equally
cruel things to other human beings. The boy who shoots cats and birds will
grow up to be a vivisector, a brutal police officer or a mass murderer.
All over the world smokers who have developed cancer or other diseases
after smoking cigarettes are suing tobacco companies. I don't entirely
understand the logic of these lawsuits. Surely individuals who chose to
smoke knew the risk they were taking? I have little doubt that in a few
years time meat eaters who have developed cancer will probably sue
butchers and others. But anyone who eats meat today has chosen their own
destiny. If they develop cancer they have no one to blame but themselves.
Someone sent me a cutting today in which a vivisectionist complained
that anti vivisectionists invariably refuse to engage in debate! The
writer of this piece complained that antivivisectionists are part of the
anti intellectual fringe of our society. What amazing lies these people
tell. And what heights of self delusion they reach. Vivisectionists often
seem to regard themselves as intellectuals. What nonsense. These people
are intellectual froth; all bubbles and no substance. And as for their
claim that anti vivisectionists refuse to debate the issue - the exact
opposite is the truth!
I was invited some time ago to speak at an Oxford University in a
debate about vivisection. The invitation was eventually withdrawn when the
university could not find anyone prepared to debate with me. I offered to
do both sides of the debate but the organisers did not seem to keen on
this suggestion. (I am told that the debate eventually went ahead -
An anti vivisection group told me off for writing an unflattering
article about vivisection. 'We are not in the business of embarrassing
vivisectors,' a spokesman told me. Maybe they should be.
What a tragedy it is that so very few people are prepared to stand up
and make their voices heard. I receive many, many letters from readers who
tell me that they support the things I say about the abuse of animals but
that they dare not do anything or speak out because they are too
frightened. Most people seem to fear that they will be ridiculed by their
friends, relatives and neighbours. Some are frightened that their jobs may
be at risk. I can understand their fear - I have been fired many times for
being too outspoken. But without public support we will never win. And
silence does not help the animals.
The vivisection battle is truly one sided. Those of us who fight
vivisection do so at our own expense. We either use our own resources to
pay for our campaigns or we raise money for stamps and leaflet printing in
pennies. Those who fight for vivisection do so with big money behind them.
My sympathies are entirely with those who want the live exports of
animals to stop. It is clearly wrong that animals should be cooped up in
lorries, without food or water, for hours and hours and even days at a
time. Animals do not like being soaked in one another's urine and covered
in one another's faeces. They suffer from hunger just like you and I do.
They suffer fear just as you and I do. (It occurs to me that the adrenalin
levels in these animals must be sky high when they are finally killed.
Just what that does to the people who eat them I cannot imagine.)
But I do not feel that a ban on animal exports goes anywhere near far
enough. I want to see all cruelty to animals stopped. And this means
completely stopping the meat trade - not just the export of live animals.
I believe that the best way to persuade people to stop eating animals
is to teach them that animals are sensitive, understanding, compassionate
and thoughtful creatures.
When people understand that the steak or chop on their plate is hacked
from a living, thinking being then they will, perhaps, stop eating
animals. Maybe, eventually, they will regard eating animals as just as
barbaric a practice as eating people.
One of the reasons why animals have to be transported alive is that
many abattoirs do not satisfy international hygiene regulations. If the
animals are killed here no one abroad will buy their dead bodies.
Our society sneers at and scorns the unusual or the eccentric.
Politicians are frightened of anything new or challenging. They reject the
innovative, the creative and the imaginative in favour of the accustomed,
the comfortable and the ordinary. It will not, I fear, be long before
mediocrity and incompetence are regarded as essential virtues; the
necessary building blocks for personal and professional success. In
schools mediocrity will be taught as a social necessity; compulsory for
commercial or personal success. Creativity will be regarded as politically
incorrect and therefore unacceptable. Originality will be suffocated.
The danger now is that the great thinkers of tomorrow will never even
develop - let alone survive or thrive to find themselves struggling
against the eternally powerful barriers erected by the establishment of
This is a tragedy of monumental proportions for the lone eccentric
voice, speaking out against perceived wisdom, is often right and the
experts and the officials are often wrong.
If the politically correct have their way and the social workers and
bureaucrats take over the world there will be no place in the 21st century
for great thinkers and leaders like Christ, Paracelsus, Galileo, Confucius
The future will lie firmly in the hands of the mediocre and the
'No humane being, past the thoughtless age of boyhood, will wantonly
murder any creature, which holds its life by the same tenure that he does.
The hare in its extremities cries like a child.'
Henry David Thoreau
'If it's the health of my kid or the lives of a thousand cats and dogs
then the dogs and cats have to be sacrificed,' said one young father I
know, defending vivisection.
'Why would scientists do animal experiments if they weren't useful?'
demanded his wife. 'I don't want to know what they do,' she added quickly.
'But I'm sure they wouldn't do what they do if it wasn't necessary.'
Those who believe that animal experiments are useful exhibit a rather
pathetic mixture of ignorance and naivet�. They don't want to know the
facts because the facts - that millions of animals are tortured and killed
with our money purely for commercial profit - are too awful to
A book buyer who had purchased a copy of my book 'Food for Thought'
rang the office to congratulate us on updating and reprinting the book so
quickly. The member of staff who took the call was puzzled. 'Food for
Thought' has been reprinted many times but it has not yet been necessary
to update it. She asked the caller what she meant. The caller explained
that she was very impressed with the updated section referring to the link
between eating beef and the human equivalent of Mad Cow Disease. The
member of staff explained that the section had been in the book,
unaltered, since the book was first published.
I wonder if there is anyone in the country stupid enough to believe
what any politician tells them about Mad Cow Disease (or anything else for
that matter). I suspect that anyone who still eats beef must be so dotty
that doctors won't be able to tell the difference if they do develop Mad
I first warned about the dangers of eating beef early in May 1990 when
I was, I believe, the first doctor in the world to issue a public warning.
I was, naturally, widely vilified by medical experts and journalists
'Mad Cow Disease could be the biggest threat to human health since the
Black Death plague that killed millions in Europe in the 14th century,' I
said. 'There is already evidence to show that Mad Cow Disease is a bigger
threat to humans than AIDS ever was.'
As always I based my view on sound evidence. There was plenty of
evidence to convince me that the disease could spread from species to
species - and that it could affect human beings. I warned that it would
take several years for the problem to develop - and pleaded with the
government to take action.
I have repeated my warning on numerous occasions.
On March 14th 1993 I warned that 'Mad Cow Disease' could be the biggest
killer of the century.
'Don't eat beef, hamburgers or anything made from beef,' I warned. 'If
you do, I believe you could be taking a real risk.'
The government's Chief Medical Officer, Dr Kenneth Calman
reassured meat eaters that beef could safely be eaten by everyone -
children as well as adults.
'To say that Dr Coleman's views are alarmist would be an
understatement' announced Dr Calman.
Over twenty years ago I warned that doctors were over prescribing
antibiotics. I was laughed at. I warned that screening programmes were
ineffective, costly and potentially dangerous. I was scorned. Now who
disagrees with me?
Fifteen years ago I warned that hormones in our drinking water were
endangering male fertility. I was described as a lunatic. But the evidence
now shows that I was right. My warning about the spread of tuberculosis
was ignored too.
Ten years ago I warned that electrical appliances could cause cancer. I
warned parents to keep children at a distance from TV sets. Politicians
and doctors said I was crazy. But now more and more experts agree with me.
Years ago my warnings about vaccines aroused violent and often personal
attacks. My warnings about the health risks of passive smoking were
ignored for years.
I first warned about the dangers associated with tranquillisers back in
1973. For years I was attacked, derided and scoffed at by politicians and
doctors. In 1988 the government admitted that I was right - tranquillisers
could be addictive. Doctors were given an official warning - and the
government publicly stated that they had given the official warning
because of my articles.
But I had been giving the same warnings for 15 years!
When I recently published evidence showing a link between meat and
cancer politicians and the medical establishment ignored my warnings.
I have frequently been accused of exaggerating health risks to make a
But way back in the 1980s, when just about every doctor, politician and
journalist in the country was screaming about the dangers of AIDS, I
pointed out that the available scientific evidence clearly showed that
AIDS was not a major threat to heterosexuals. I was widely vilified for
telling the truth.
I have consistently been threatened, harassed and lied about.
I believe that the government has for years been frightened to admit
that Mad Cow Disease was a major threat. Farmers and the meat industry are
I don't much care any more when politicians lie to save their own
skins. I don't think people expect politicians to be honest. And they know
that if one lot is forced to resign another set of greasy contemptibles
will take over.
But I do object when politicians fail to tell doctors and the public
the whole truth about health matters. And I object too when the government
seems to put business above health.
A columnist in one of the posh papers has written a rather snide piece
about the fact that I have the audacity to write novels as well as a
newspaper column. I don't think the columnist has actually read any of my
Today I read again a claim that animals do not have souls. How can
anyone make such a claim? How can any man or woman have the arrogance to
decide to which creatures god has, or has not, chosen to give souls?
An interviewer said to me today that she thought that my newspaper
column might be an embarrassment to those who love animals and object to
the use of animals in experiments. She pointed out that in a recent
edition of the column I had sandwiched a reply expressing my distaste for
vivisection in between two replies responding to questions about sexual
and social behaviour. She asked me if I did not feel that it was
inappropriate to place a comment about animal experimentation in between
such topics. I pointed out that the column has well over six million
readers, and that without the lighthearted answers and the irrelevance and
nonsense with which my column is studded, I would have far fewer readers.
I argued that in my view the impact of the material about animals is
greater because of the circumstances in which it is placed. And I pointed
out that since I was originally hired to write an agony column - dealing
with psychological and sexual problems - it was, if anything, the question
on animal experimentation which was out of place.
Nevertheless, such letters are commonplace. I regularly receive letters
from animal rights supporters who think that my tabloid newspaper column
is a disgrace because it contains questions and answers which do not deal
with animal rights. I wonder how many of these people ignore their own
employers' requirements and spend the time when they are supposed to be
'working' campaigning against animal cruelty?
Since no honest, intelligent individual could possibly defend
vivisection it is clear that all those who try to defend vivisection are
neither honest nor intelligent.
I regularly receive a small amount of mail from people who support
animal experimentation. Most of them use green ink and print their letters
in large, capital letters. Sometimes they build up their letters with
individual words cut out of newspapers and magazines.
This letter came today.
'You will die. Why you love animals is stupid? Your sick. I am going to
kill you and youre animals. I hate animals. They are all messy and stupid.
I think their should be more experimence. Animals is just their for people
This was, I think, the most cogently argued supporting argument for
vivisection that I have ever seen. This letter clearly came from one of
the most intellectually astute vivisectionists.
I receive as many angry letters from people claiming to be animal
rights supporters as I do from vivisection supporters. There are letters
from people who have been told that I am not medically qualified, that I
support violence, that I have been struck off the medical register and all
sorts of other nonsenses. These people, who claim to oppose animal
cruelty, usually write to tell me that they think I am a disgrace to the
animal rights movement and that they do not want to be associated in any
way with me. Some of the letters are cruelly personal. I wonder if they
also find the time to write letters protesting about hunting, vivisection
and other aspects of animal cruelty?
I have had files stolen from my home. Attempts have repeatedly been
made to burgle my offices. People who work for me have suffered mysterious
burglaries during which nothing was taken. Promotions planned for my books
have suddenly, and mysteriously, been abandoned. Entirely false rumours
have been spread about me. My telephone has suddenly stopped working just
before I have been due to broadcast. And messages have been mysteriously
sucked off my telephone answering machine. Strangers have knocked on my
door, asked me to confirm that I am me, stared at me for a few moments and
then walked away. Private detectives have followed my movements. Papers
have been stolen from my jacket - and my wallet left behind. It would be
easy to become paranoid.
When I was eighteen I worked for eight months as a full time voluntary
worker just outside Liverpool. It was a raw part of the world where there
was so much violence that the buses were routinely followed by police cars
- without police protection the bus drivers and conductors wouldn't go
anywhere near the place. My job there was to act as a catalyst - to
encourage local young people to get involved in helping their own
community. For example, I went round all the schools and youth clubs and
factories recruiting young people to help decorate old peoples flats and
provide other simple services. I then went door to door finding out who
needed help with their home or garden. I don't know why I did this but in
order to encourage the kids to help I told them that it would be fun. I
warned them that what they would be doing might get them into trouble
since we did not have permission to do anything to council property. (This
claim quickly proved to be true: our combined efforts very nearly led to a
council strike when workmen discovered that a small army of young people
was doing work which should have been put on the list to be done
At the end of the eight months I spoke at a conference of voluntary
workers. The hall where I spoke was full of people who were doing good
works. In my short speech I said that in my experience people who did
things for other people, or who tried to improve the world, did so for
purely selfish reasons. I pointed out that the kids who had joined my gang
of painters and decorators and gardeners had, in my view, not done so
because they wanted to help old people whom they didn't even know but
partly because the whole project sounded like fun and partly because it
was against the rules.
Most of the people in the hall were shocked. I was told by several that
I should not judge other peoples motives by my own. The implication was
clear: voluntary workers do what they do out of a sense of spiritual
goodness and not for anything they can get of what they do.
Thirty odd years on I am convinced that I was right. People who do
things for others - or to improve the world - do so for selfish reasons.
There is nothing at all wrong with that. The reasons don't matter a damn.
But it is a fact of life.
I spent much of my earlier life campaigning for people. I now spend
much of my time campaigning for animals. These campaigns were and are
inspired by the fact that I feel anger, sadness and frustration at the way
people and animals are treated by our world. I have to do something to
help counter the cruelty and the injustice or else the anger and the
frustration will eat me away. I have to turn my sadness into anger and my
anger into action.
I hope that people and animals benefit from my campaigns but that
doesn't alter the fact that what I am doing is basically for me.
And the same is, I believe, true of everyone else who campaigns against
cruelty or injustice.
After I been treated rudely by a police station employee I telephoned
'You should have said who you were,' said the senior officer to whom I
It is a terrible indictment of our society that saying 'who you are' is
often a pre-requisite for obtaining good manners from public servants.
An anonymous letter came from a reader who wanted me to expose
something his or her company is doing which he or she regards as immoral,
unethical and cruel to animals. He or she insists that I cannot use his or
her name or any of the information included in the letter (there wasn't
much, but what there was seemed pretty damning). There are no names or
addresses so I cannot check out any of the information myself. The
anonymous letter writer explains that if he or she is identified he or she
may lose his or her job. Why do so few people have any courage? What
miserable existences they lead. So few people are prepared to put their
heads above the parapet. But they all seem happy for me to take all the
risks for them. Sadly, I cannot do anything with the information which I
was sent because I cannot go into print without evidence.
What sort of person could work as a vivisector or abattoir worker -
hearing, ignoring and working through the screams of animals every day?
And what sort of person could possibly marry or live with a vivisector or
abattoir worker? The relatives of these evil people must be constantly
ashamed. I wonder if the incidence of mental illness and depression is
greater among the relatives of vivisectors and abattoir workers? If not
then the only answer must be that vivisectors and abattoir workers (and
others in similar employment) must attract and develop 'relationships'
with psychopathic individuals.
I have heard vivisectors arguing that because animals are sometimes
cruel to one another it is perfectly all right for human beings to treat
animals cruelly. This seems to me to be a very poor argument - even for
vivisectors. It is rather like arguing that Dr Mengele and his colleagues
were cruel to human beings and so it is perfectly all right for all of us
to be cruel to one another.
We are supposed to be a superior species; and yet we are far crueller
than any other species.
It seems to me that the majority of 'broadsheet' newspapers (the ones
which regard themselves as 'intellectual' and which have been described as
the 'unpopular press' in contrast to the tabloid 'popular press') are in
favour of vivisection. I cannot remember ever having seen an article in
broadsheet newspaper attacking vivisection. It is, I suspect, for this
reason that they are so antagonistic towards me and my books. Writing for
the 'broadsheet' newspapers is very easy. I wrote for The Guardian when I
was in my teens and I contributed regularly to the other major broadsheet
newspapers during my twenties. I suspect that the broadsheets take this
stance because the journalists who work for them are of rather inferior
intellectual quality and are greatly influenced by the minor academics who
favour animal experimentation. There is much friendship between these two
groups. The journalists are flattered to be able to associate with the
academics and the academics are delighted to be able to use the pages of
the broadsheet newspapers to defend their evil work. And both groups
receive healthy financial subsidies from the ever generous and grateful
pharmaceutical industry which constantly benefits from their
collaboration. The tabloid newspapers are much more inclined to publish
articles attacking vivisection, much braver and much more courageous about
attacking or challenging the scientific and medical establishments.
I met a doctor who is a vegetarian. He told me that his colleagues all
regard him as a lunatic. He genuinely believes that his vegetarianism has
had an adverse effect on his career. He says he is pointed to and laughed
at when he goes to medical meetings. Other doctors make lots of weak jokes
about lentils and lettuce. He says he particularly dislikes the colleagues
who feign concern for his health and ask him what vitamin and mineral
supplements he takes. He is, he told me, surprised at the level of
ignorance about nutrition among members of the medical profession. I told
him that although I was sad I wasn't in the slightest bit surprised to
hear about the way he is treated. I told him that I had recently received
a letter from a girl who was complaining that when she visited her doctor
she noticed that her computerised medical notes contained the words
'Inadequate Diet'. The doctor admitted that this referred to the fact that
she is a vegetarian. Even more worrying is the fact that the phrase had
not been put into the computer by the girl's doctor but that it was part
of the software the practice used. Whoever had written the program had
decreed that whenever the word 'vegetarian' appeared by a patient's name a
warning about 'inadequate diet' should be added to the records.
I received a letter today from an angry reader. She says that when she
telephoned to talk to me on a radio programme she was told by the producer
that I was a 'nut case who will go off on a tangent if given the chance
and as this is a live programme we can't risk him slandering a large
conglomerate who may sue us.' 'What a sad statement regarding a so called
professional man', she writes, wrongly assuming that I knew that callers
were being told this. 'Have you not a grain of self respect? Do you not
find it demeaning to be gagged by a third rate radio presenter on a third
rate radio station?'
Why, I wonder, are so many people so keen to believe the worst?
'Your trouble is that you see things in black and white,' said a
friend. He was right. I do see some things in black and white. Hunting and
vivisection are black. I cannot see any white in these activities. There
are those who believe that we should compromise in order to move forwards.
I cannot see why we should compromise at all. We are right. They are
wrong. These foul, barbaric and evil activities should be stopped.
Driving through the countryside I came across a hunt. What a barbaric,
mean spirited activity hunting is. If a gang of impoverished city dwellers
drove around on motorcycles, intent on chasing and killing animals, they
would undoubtedly all be arrested. A man in fancy dress on a horse was
arrogantly holding up a whip to stop the traffic while a party of men and
women in fancy dress clip clopped leisurely by. I wound down my window and
tried to open a debate on the cruelty of hunting. The man on the horse
stared down at me with empty, unfeeling, unseeing eyes and then cracked
his whip down hard on my car roof, doing a considerable amount of damage
to the paint work. I did not bother to complain to the police.
Driving around the countryside I often see the red coated barbarians
preparing for their evil rituals. They clutter up the roads with their
horse boxes and pollute the countryside with their very presence.
For years I have successfully managed to avoid meeting any hunt
followers. I keep out of dark corners and avoid the sort of slime covered
holes where these creatures hide away.
But by accident I did once find myself in a room with a few of them. My
first inclination was to leave the room as quickly as I could. But, as an
ardent student of human nature, I thought it was probably time that I
tried to understand what makes these stag and fox murdering creatures
So, I metaphorically manacled myself to a chair and allowed a bunch of
these miserable, perverted miscreants to speak.
The first, a chinless, dull, dark haired fellow had the sort of
incisive intelligence that one normally associates with house bricks. He
probably spends his days working in council offices somewhere. Or he may
be a hospital administrator.
His first argument was that stag hunting is essential. He claimed that
stags are vermin and that some of them need to be killed. He said that if
they weren't killed then they would cause untold damage to the farmland
upon which they wander. I countered by pointing out, firstly that the hunt
itself causes a considerable amount of damage to land and property and
wildlife and, secondly, by arguing that if the stags do need culling
(something I do not accept) then it would surely more reasonable and
responsible to do so humanely.
The chinless, weedy hunt supporter got quite excited by this. A speckle
of froth appeared upon his lips as his tiny brain struggled to send
messages to his mouth.
'Ah,' he said, waving a podgy finger at me, 'but the stag enjoys the
The second hunt supporter looked female. She was probably somewhere
between 25 and 50 years of age and she wore a headscarf printed with
pictures of men in red coats being accompanied by hounds. She hesitated
before speaking as though she found ordinary, everyday speech a difficult
task. When she finally spoke she did so in a high pitched nasal whine that
reminded me of a moped stuck in second gear.
'You don't understand the ways of the country,' she said, in a
patronising tone. 'These creatures, foxes and stags and such like, have to
be kept down. It's the way of the country. The hunt is a remarkably
efficient and economical way to do it.'
I told her that I thought she probably make more sense if she stood up
and communicated through another orifice.
The hunt supporter seemed baffled by this so I explained my thought in
more detail. She reddened and then looked offended.
'My husband is very important,' she told me haughtily. 'Don't you dare
speak to me like that.'
I gave her ten pence so that she could telephone her important husband
and pass on my sentiments.
The third hunt supporter was male and dressed in a tweed jacket and a
pair of old tweed trousers. He smoked small pieces of old underfelt in a
battered pipe and his nose and cheeks were lined with purple veins. Any
decent wine merchant would have probably given a tidy sum for the right to
wring out his liver and sell the proceeds.
'You can't stop the hunt,' he told me. 'It's something that has been
going on for centuries. It's part of life. It's an important social
ritual. It's part of our heritage.'
I muttered something about smuggling, slavery and highwaymen, hanging,
scurvy and press gangs.
'Well, its perfectly legal,' said the man with the pipe. 'You can't
stop us hunting. And if you ever do we'll kill all our horses and dogs.'
And that really seemed to sum up the argument in favour of hunting.
After the two remaining hunt supporters had left I sat and thought
about what I had learned. And I tried to understand what sort of person
could possibly get any enjoyment out of hunting.
Here are the conclusions I came to.
The men are almost certainly inadequate and possibly sexually
incompetent. The men who hunt or follow hunts are full of guilts and
repressions. They carry around with them an enormous but unfulfilled
sexual burden. They try to rid themselves of all their guilt by taking
part in cruel and savage rituals. The women also have severe sexual
problems. They are desperately repressed and deeply unhappy. They go
hunting or follow hunts because they get little satisfaction from their
sexual partners. They are desperate to be fulfilled but, like many evil
folk, can only obtain release when blood is shed.
Those who hunt or follow the hunts are deeply unhappy people. They
desperately need help.
Sadly, however, because they are unintelligent, invariably semi
literate and inevitably cowardly they do not have the wisdom or the
courage to ask for help. So we will do what we can to help them.
If you know anyone who goes hunting or who follows hunts you can help
them in the following simple ways.
Try to make their lives as miserable as possible. Like most sadists
these people also enjoy being maltreated. Inside every sadist there is a
masochist trying to get out.
I know it sounds cruel but if you have a huntsman working for you then
sack him. If you have a hunt supporter working on your payroll give him or
her the push. They may seem aggrieved but in the fullness of time they
will thank you for your kindness.
If a hunt supporter wants to join your club then blackball him. If a
hunter wants you to mend his plumbing or service his car tell him to piss
Deep down these people know that they are foul and evil. They know that
they need to be punished. They feel deep shame and guilt and by
persecuting them you will be helping them.
Animal are the truly oppressed citizens of our world. Philosophers
write long books about whether or not animals have rights. How can there
possibly be any doubt? How can animals not have rights? Who gave us the
right to decide whether or not animals have rights?
People seem to want easy solutions for everything these days. People
want to get rich by winning the lottery. It is far easier to acquire a
million pounds, dollars, marks or francs by winning a prize than it is by
No one who is fat wants to make any effort to lose weight. They want to
take a magic pill and watch the fat drop off.
And no one wants to make any effort to avoid cancer or heart disease -
they want doctors to find a cure for such diseases so that they don't need
to worry and can carry on doing all the things which are known to be bad
for them. The truth is that most cancers and most heart disease are
avoidable. But most people don't want to be bothered. They don't want to
give up their fatty foods. They want scientists to find a cure so that
they can carry on as before.
It is this laziness, this eagerness to hand over the responsibility to
some one else, this reluctance to accept responsibility for one's own
destiny or to take action which might be troublesome, this unwillingness
to deny oneself the harmful activities one enjoys, which sustains the
morally and intellectually bankrupt cancer industry. And it is the wish to
have someone else find an instant solution, a quick cure, which sustains
the vivisectors. They are, they tell everyone, looking for a 'cure for
'If I put a few coins in the collecting tin,' thinks the smoker, the
fat individual or the over-eater, 'the scientists will find a cure and I
won't have to give up the things I enjoy doing.'
And the smoker, the fat individual or the over eater don't mind what
the scientists do in their search for a magic cure. They believe what they
are told because they want to believe. And they are happy to accept the
idea that animal experiments are done on their behalf (and with their few
coins) because they believe that the animal experiments may enable the
scientists to find that elusive but oh so convenient cure.
I had for years wanted to write a book listing examples showing that
animals can be kind, thoughtful, sad, comforting - and, generally, exhibit
the variety of emotions associated with human beings. The other day I
found a note which I had written to myself seven or eight years ago which
said simply: 'Book on animals' humanitarian behaviour: intelligent and
kind behaviour; general and specific examples'. 'When Elephants Weep: The
Emotional Lives of Animals' is written by Jeffrey Masson and Susan
McCarthy and is just the book I would like to have written. (As an author
I can think of no greater tribute to give). It is packed with examples
showing that animals experience emotions. I found the book almost too
moving to read. Here is one short extract from the book:
'In one grim and inexcusable experiment on fifteen rhesus monkeys, they
were trained to pull either of two chains to get food. After a while a new
aspect was introduced: if they pulled one of the chains a monkey in an
adjacent compartment would receive a powerful electric shock. Two thirds
of the monkeys preferred to pull the chain that gave them food without
shocking the other monkey. Two other monkeys, after seeing shock
administered, refused to pull either chain. Monkeys were less likely to
shock other monkeys if they knew those monkeys, and were less likely to
shock other monkeys if they had been shocked themselves.'
I am constantly ashamed to be a member of the same race as those who
devise such experiments. I am glad that Masson and McCarthy have already
written this book. I really do find it distressing to be constantly
reminded that animals have qualities which we, arrogantly, regard as
uniquely human and I would have found it very painful to have to write
such a book. This is, I suspect, why I never got round to writing the
Animals live to six times the age at which they reach maturity. If this
was true for humans we would live to be well over 100. Since humans are
the only animals to spend a fortune on health care, why are humans the
only animals who don't normally live this long?
Of course we can splice genes. But can we not splice genes?
Jean Paul Sartre
For years we've been told about the wonders of gene therapy.
We've been told that by messing about with genes scientists will be
able to eradicate disease and create wonderful new foods. But there has
been far too little discussion about the dangers of gene therapy.
Now scientists, pundits and commentators all seem to have accepted gene
therapy as a 'good thing'.
I am not so enthusiastic. I believe that messing about with genes is
one of the greatest threats to mankind.
And now that gene therapy has been given the green light our future is
firmly in the hands of doctors and scientists.
If you have children then I think you should be worried: for the world
you bequeath them may not be the world you know.
What worries me is not simply the prospect of a mad gene manipulator
producing a human baby with fins, a tail and horns (and don't believe
anyone who tells you that that is impossible) but the fact that once you
start messing around with genes you can, if things go wrong, change the
whole nature of the human race.
What, for example, if someone makes a mistake and slips in a dominant
gene that ensures that all white baby boys grow to be eight foot tall? Or
what if somehow a gene that causes a rare disease gets mixed up with a
gene that causes blue eyes?
What if politicians work hand in hand with genetic scientists and
decide that some races should be 'altered' or even 'eradicated' in some
way? What if a group of doctors, politicians and social scientists decide
that in future everyone should be six feet tall exactly - and have blue
eyes and blonde hair?
(Those of you old enough to remember another Germany may have heard of
something like that in the past).
What if the scientists decide that all women should have the same sized
breasts? What if it is decided by decree that all children will look the
same? What if the scientists impregnate a female monkey with human sperm
in order to create a 'slave' being that can do routine daily tasks?
(What would you say if I told you that I suspected that scientists have
already done this?)
Genetic scientists say they will be able to tell you what diseases
you'll get as you get older. But do you really want to know what horrors
Food scientists will make square egg, bacon and tomato plants so that
sandwich making becomes easier.
Do we need that?
I know the 'experts' will dismiss my fears as nonsensical.
'They' will, of course, insist that nothing can go wrong - and that
there will be committees and regulations to make sure that nothing
frightening happens. But accidents do happen. Experts said the Titanic was
safe. And one in six hospital beds are occupied by people who have been
made ill by doctors. Since those medical errors weren't produced on
purpose they must have been a result of medical accidents. Remember
thalidomide? And the scores of other drug related health problems which
have hit the headlines during the last few decades?
Time and time again scientists assure us that nothing can go wrong. And
time and time again something does go wrong.
To the risk of accidental disaster we must add the risk of fraud and
corruption. Surprise, surprise, not all scientists are honourable and well
meaning. Fraud and dishonesty in science are now commonplace. A recently
published book concluded that 12% of all research work in America is
With fraudulent and incompetent scientists playing around with our
genes we could all be in big, big trouble - soon.
The idea of mad scientists using genetic experiments to create a master
race, or inter-breeding men and gorillas to create stronger workers used
to be just science fiction.
Now it is no longer science fiction.
As writer Andrew Tyler put it in a paper in the European Medical
Journal: 'The new gene technologies have the capacity to change everything
- to alter the actual physical fabric of every species on earth, our own
Or consider leading economist, Robert Beckman. Writing in his book
'Into the Upwave' he said: 'Theoretically, we can take the genetic
structure of a rabbit's reproductive capacity and transfer it to a man,
giving him the sexual reproductive capacity of the rabbit...'.
Genetic engineering now enables scientists to alter the genetic
constitution of any animal or plant.
But is that really what we want?
Should we let scientists mess around with nature in this way at all?
Some scientists will claim that through genetic engineering they will
be able to prevent some diseases appearing at all. They will be able to
eradicate diseases which are transmitted through the genes. And that is
undoubtedly an attractive proposition.
But is the risk worth taking? Where do we make the scientists stop?
I think we should stop them now. I don't think the alleged commercial
and economic advantages of genetic therapy to society are worth the risks.
Animal researchers received a �100,000 grant to study how worms
defaecate. Other researchers, who received �160,000, found that monkeys
were less stressed by repeated electric shocks if they had a companion
nearby. A third group of researchers, who received �71,000, found that
male monkeys were more likely to get erections when there was a female
monkey in heat nearby. Remember all this next time you are invited to put
money into a tin for 'medical research'.
The truth is that animals can help doctors save human patients.
But through observation - not experimentation.
Many vertebrates - including monkeys, pigs and elephants, use plants as
medicines as well as food. Sick animals seek out and eat plants which they
know will help them; they eat some plants, they hold others in their
mouths (we call it buccal absorption) and they rub yet others onto their
skin (we call that topical application). Ethiopian baboons who are at risk
of developing schistosomiasis eat balanites fruits, which are rich in a
potent antischistosome drug. Chimpanzees in Tanzania use a herb which has
a powerful antifungal, antibacterial and antinematode activity. If they
just ate the herb it wouldn't work because the valuable compound would be
destroyed by stomach acidity. So they hold the leaf in their mouths in the
same way that angina patients are encouraged to hold glyceryl trinitrate
in their mouths to expedite absorption. Kodiak bears apply a drug
topically which helps to kill parasites. They scratch the root into their
fur. European starlings combat parasitisation to their nests by fumigating
incubating eggs. Lethargic chimps with diarrhoea treat themselves with
vernonia. Howler monkeys use herbal medicines to control birth spacing and
to determine the sex of their offspring.
We can learn an enormous amount by watching other animals.
But instead of watching these sensitive, intelligent and thoughtful
creatures the vandals in white coats cage them, torture them and kill them
with all the scientific sense of youthful hooligans tearing the wings off
In a generation or so our descendants will look back at the vivisectors
and wonder not just at the sort of people they were, but at the sort of
people we were to let them do what they did.
Animal experiments must stop. And they must stop now. For your sake;
for your children's' sake; and for the sake of the animals the vivisectors
'Like many of my contemporaries I had rarely for many years used animal
food, or tea and coffee etc; not so much because of any ill effects which
I had traced to them, as because they were not agreeable to my
imagination. The repugnance to animal food is not the effect of
experience, but is an instinct. I believe that every man who has ever been
earnest to preserve his higher or poetic faculties in the best condition
has been particularly inclined to abstain from animal food.'
We like to think that the Germans who worked in the concentration camps
were exceptionally evil individuals. But every nation contains thousands
of pustulant beings who will obey orders as long as they're paid well,
given heaps of authority and provided with smart uniforms. Any government
which decided to exterminate beggars or jews would find it easy to recruit
Most of those who satisfy the requirements for gas chamber attendants
are currently working as vivisectors, lawyers, policemen and traffic
For years politicians and lawyers (two words which, I feel, go together
like 'vomit' and 'floorcloth') have been doing their efficient best to
take away all our rights.
Now the greatest threat to our liberty comes not from criminals but
from the legal system. New laws will soon mean that you're guilty if the
police say you're guilty. Human rights have been replaced by police
rights. Those paid to run the legal system have forgotten that the law was
invented to protect the ordinary citizen.
Recent governments have passed endless oppressive and unjust laws.
Consequently, the prison population is rising so fast that it won't be
long before prisoners will have to come outside and law abiding citizens
will have to go inside.
No society has ever had as many laws as we have. And few societies can
ever have had less justice.
Ring up and complain that you've been robbed, mugged or raped and a
snotty, supercilious, patronising overpaid thug with an
voice will reluctantly take down your details before explaining that
they're far too busy to do anything.
But leave your car outside the police station to complain that you've
been assaulted and when you get back to it you'll find that someone has
found the time to give you a ticket.
Motorists are easy targets. Most have an inbuilt fear of authority and
a long established respect for the law.
It's far easier to make the crime statistics look good by catching a
few generally law abiding middle class motorists than it is to try and
catch potentially troublesome criminals.
Vandalism is now so commonplace that I know of a church where they are
installing video cameras. They're worried that they'll turn up one morning
and find the church gone and the spire propped up on bricks.
(Policemen and traffic wardens are quick to grovel if they think
they're dealing with someone whom they regard as important. A year or two
ago I acquired a large and impressive looking Buckingham Palace car park
pass for the windscreen of my car. I quickly discovered that once they saw
the sticker traffic wardens treated me very reverentially. When I parked
in a shopping arcade I found a traffic warden waiting for me. But he
didn't give me a ticket. Instead he stopped the traffic while I reversed
out of the arcade. He then saluted while I drove away, leaving him
enveloped in blue exhaust smoke. When I lost my sticker I had a flag made.
In the place where Lizzie's car flies a royal standard I fly a skull and
crossbones. I get more salutes than tickets.)
It is now a mistake to confuse the law with justice, liberty, freedom
and equality. Today's law has very little to do with these fundamental
The law, man's inadequate attempt to turn justice into practical
reality, is inspired more by the self interest of the lawmakers than by
respect or concern for human rights.
This is why protest with a purpose attracts far more attention than
If animal rights activists do �50 worth of damage to a building where
evil people are doing indefensible and unspeakable things to animals the
whole area will turn blue with policemen looking for clues. There are
always thousands of highly paid policemen and policewomen available to
protect lorries transporting animals when those lorries have to drive past
animal rights protestors.
The law was originally introduced to protect individuals but the law
has itself become one of modern society's greatest tyrants. The law now
oppresses the weak, the poor and the powerless and sustains itself and the
powers which preserve it. The cost of litigation means that there is one
law for the rich and no law for the poor. The law threatens and reduces
the rights of the weak and strengthens and augments the rights of the
As political parties come and go so we accumulate layer after layer of
new laws. We are now all living in one huge concentration camp. And as the
oppression of individuals continues, lawlessness grows among officials and
those in power.
Brutality, arrogance, corruption and hypocrisy have all damaged public
faith in the law but the only response from the establishment has been to
create new laws to outlaw disapproval. The primary interest of the legal
establishment is to protect itself. They are not concerned with justice,
freedom or equality since those are values which give strength to you and
When a cat has died well meaning friends will sometimes say something
like: 'Why don't you get another one?' This is rather like suggesting to
bereaved parents that they just go out and adopt another child. Or, to
someone whose parents have died, suggesting that they adopt a pair of old
people they've never met before.
I saw an interview with Henri Cartier Bresson in a newspaper. The
legendary photographer described himself as a 'libertarian' and an
'ethical anarchist'. These are words with which I feel great sympathy. I
am driven by the need to right injustice, fired by the exploitation of the
weak, the dumb and the gentle and constantly saddened by the fact that the
truth is no longer a treasured commodity.
People these days do not want wisdom, information or knowledge. They
ask questions but do not want answers. They do not value experience.
Everyone wants a quick, simple, slick solution. It is, I fear, the
television age. We live in the age of thirty second sound bites;
politicians and others produce meaningless three sentence homilies and
people believe them. Those in the healing business offer quick solutions
to problems which can only be solved by abstinence or self awareness.
The scientists who perform animal experiments rely heavily upon this
yearning for quick solutions. They know that by promising 'magic bullet'
solutions to diseases such as cancer they can excite the public into
supporting their evil work.
And to a large extent they are right.
The reality - that most cases of cancer and heart disease can be
prevented - is of no importance. This is the media age and perception is
far more important than reality.
There were three women, all wearing fur coats, looking into a shop
window. Heaven alone knows how many animals had died so that these women
could impress one another and make bold, traditional fashion statements to
'These animal rights people who object to fur coats make me so angry,'
said one of the women.
'I'm quite sure the animals are proud that their fur is used to make
coats.' said another.
'My fur is made from animals which were especially bred,' said the
third. 'If it wasn't for me those animals would have never lived at all.'
'If I didn't like animals why would I want to wear fur?' said the
I moved away.
But I felt guilt for those woman and I are members of the same species.
'The anti vivisectionist has nothing to prove; many animals used in
experiments are sentient and purposive and thus have prima facie rights to
live and be left alone.'
Professor Arthur L Caplan
I like animals. Most of them are more intelligent, more charming, more
faithful and more fun than most people and all vivisectors. And the rights
of animals is going to be the biggest issue in politics in this country
for the rest of the decade.
People who like animals, and who have been sickened by the barbaric way
evil spirited farmers, scientists and other barbarians treat them, have
been campaigning for animal rights for years.
It's taken a long time to get animal issues to the forefront. But it
isn't something that has happened overnight. For five years now just about
every MP I've spoken to who can read has reported getting more mail about
animal issues than any other subject - including health, education and
Animals are abused in three main ways.
First, we cage them in tiny boxes, move them about soaked in their own
urine and knee deep in their own faeces, scare them senseless and then
slit their throats and eat them - tonsils, intestines, faeces and all.
This is known as the meat trade and is doomed because there is now 22
carat gold evidence available to show that people who eat meat are far
more likely to get cancer and die young.
Indeed, since it is impossible to be sure that the animal you are
eating doesn't itself have cancer there is a good chance that the nice
juicy steak you're looking forward to eating could well contain a nice
juicy lump of cancer in the middle of it.
'How do you like your cancer cooked, sir?'
'Mustard with your fried cancer, madam?'
Eating meat is bad for you and bad for the rest of the world too. When
the meat trade is finished there will never again be any need for human
beings to starve. Feeding cattle uses up vast quantities of grain and good
land and meat eaters are directly responsible for the starving millions in
Africa and Asia.
In a few years time restaurants will have meat eating sections and
vegetarian sections in the same way that they now have smoking and non
smoking sections. The meat eaters will be crammed in a corner by the
kitchen and sensitive, sentient beings will treat them with disdain.
Second, we abuse animals in the name of science.
Every thirty seconds another thousand animals are tortured to death in
laboratories. Cats, kittens, puppies, dogs, monkeys, rats, hamsters: you
name the species they torture it and kill it.
The scientists who perform animal experiments, and their supporters,
claim that what they do helps human beings.
They say this because they are evil, soulless, liars whose morals (if
they ever had any) have been bought and paid for.
No animal experiment ever helped a human being. Animals are so
completely different to people that experiments on animals are dangerously
Drug companies use animal experiments to get new products on the market
without testing them properly. If tests show that a new drug causes cancer
in five animal species the company will dismiss the evidence as irrelevant
- because animals are different to people. But they will then use the one
experiment showing that their new drug doesn't cause cancer in a sixth
species to get their product on the market.
It is hardly surprising that one in six people in hospital are there
because they have been made ill by doctors.
Third, we abuse animals for fun.
People put on fancy dress and ride around chasing foxes, stags and
other animals to their death. They then claim that they are trying to
preserve the countryside. If challenged they sulkily threaten to kill
their horses and hounds if their hobby is stopped.
They don't even have the guts to admit that they are blood thirsty
psychopaths who get a kick out of killing.
Those who want to continue abusing animals - for money or for fun -
fight foul. I've been followed by private detectives, my life has been
threatened and my telephone has been tapped by those who want to silence
my campaigns for animals.
There are going to be some surprising and unexpected casualties in the
last great civil rights battle.
Catholic teaching is that animals are here for man to use in any way he
sees fit: to eat, kill for fun or play around with in the laboratory.
Catholics seem to believe that it is a sin to show affection to animals.
Jews kill animals for food in the most barbaric way imaginable. And a
sanctimonious Christian once informed me that it was perfectly all right
to treat animals badly because they don't have souls.
I like animals.
And so does my god.
And the campaign for animal rights will continue until we win.
'One farmer said to me, 'You cannot live on vegetable food solely, for
it furnishes nothing to make bones with' and so he religiously devotes a
part of his day to supplying his system with the raw material of bones;
walking all the while he talks behind his oxen, which, with vegetable made
bones, jerk him and his lumbering plough along in spite of every
Henry David Thoreau
If there was a button I could press to destroy the entire world
(including myself and those I love) I would fight all obstacles to reach
it. This is a foul world, dominated and controlled by the dishonest, the
inept, the barbaric and the cruel, the selfish, the greedy, the mean
spirited and the narrow minded, the bigoted, the prejudiced and the
hollow. I would cross rivers, climb mountains and drag myself to the
button that would save animals from the unspeakable cruelty of this world.
Those who are cruel to animals - and who argue that animals have no
rights - lack understanding, intuition, wisdom and knowledge. And I regard
them as evil.
The world's vivisectors - the barbaric psychopaths who perform
allegedly scientific experiments on animals - torture and kill countless
millions of animals every year.
Every thirty seconds these Mengele think alike pseudo intellectual
thugs get through around one thousand cats, dogs, puppies, guinea pigs,
monkeys, baboons, chimpanzees, rabbits, hamsters, mice, rats and kittens.
They obviously need a constant supply of animals to satisfy their
They often obtain monkeys, chimpanzees and similar animals from
countries where these animals breed naturally. In some countries animals
of this type are treated like vermin and can be hunted, captured and sold
with no restrictions.
Mice needed for experiments are often specially bred.
But finding enough dogs and cats can be difficult.
In America where there isn't quite as much secrecy about these things
it is now known that vivisectors regularly torture and kill former family
Amazingly, around two million pets are stolen every year in the U.S.
In one part of New York over 10,000 dogs were reported missing in a
single nine month period. One bereaved pet owner searched for his missing
dog and found him inside a research laboratory.
Animal theft is really big business there. Vivisectors prefer working
with pet dogs and cats because they are tame and trusting - and less
likely to bite or scratch.
I firmly believe that pet-napping goes on in other countries too.
Tragically, I believe if your dog or cat goes out at night there is a
real risk that he or she could be captured and sold to a laboratory. If a
family pet has ever mysteriously disappeared it could have found its way
into a vivisector's laboratory.
The vivisectors are truly evil and will stop at nothing to obtain the
animals they need. They don't care about the law. They don't care about
the fact that families may mourn the loss of their loved pet. All they
care about is getting another fat grant and performing yet more useless
and cruel experiments. Vivisection is a big, rich business which needs an
endless supply of raw material.
And the raw material they need could be your much loved family pet.
Scientists working in horror laboratories should have to prove the origins
of every animal on their premises - to anyone who asks.
Why should vivisectors be entitled to do their evil work in secret -
behind locked gates? It is, after all, often public money which they are
using to pay for these pointless and cruel experiments in torture.
Animal lovers who have lost pets should have the right to enter all
laboratories at any time to search for missing animals.
Vivisectors are today's concentration camp guards. Remember: Mengele,
the concentration camp doctor, the Angel of Death feared by millions, was
You cannot be neutral about vivisection. If you aren't against it then
you are for it. Anyone who doesn't fight in the anti vivisection war is
just as responsible for what is done as are the men and women in blood
stained white coats who torture and murder in the name of science.
I watched a documentary film about Anne Frank and I cried as I watched
how the Germans treated their concentration camp victims during the Second
World War. I cried not just because of the way the jews were treated by
the vile barbarians of Nazi Germany but because the pain, the sorrow, the
indignity and the cruelty suffered by Anne Frank and millions of others
has changed nothing.
I believe there are plenty of people alive today who would happily
operate concentration camps and gas chambers if the government told them
There are 20,000 vivisectors in this country. Evil men and women who
will do anything for money. Evil beings for whom cruelty is a way of life
and compassion just a meaningless ten letter word. The evil being who can
ignore the pitiful screams of a kitten or a puppy can just as easily
ignore the pitiful screams of a child.
I had a conversation with a newspaper editor. It went like this.
Editor: 'Why do you spend so much writing about animals?'
VC: 'Because I like animals. I care about them. And I think they are
Editor: 'But you're wrecking your career. People think you're just a
VC: 'I don't care. Isn't there anything you feel passionate about?
Isn't there anything in your life which you think is worth fighting for?'
Editor (after thinking for some time, and clearly puzzled): 'What do
There are, it cannot be denied, more things to worry about today than
there have ever been before.
When we and our descendants look back on this period in our history
there will be little for us to be proud of. Superficially the last few
years have been a period of growth for a civilised, developed society.
There are motorways everywhere. Most people own micro wave ovens, video
recorders and television sets. The Channel Tunnel is open.
But the soul of our time has been sour and will leave a bitter taste.
The second half of the twentieth century will be remembered with shame and
embarrassment. Our time in history will be remembered as the decade when
people stopped caring, stopped trusting one another and started thinking
only of themselves. The second half of the twentieth century will be
remembered for poverty and extravagance; for violence, hatred and
The incidence of violence in our society is increasing faster than at
any previous time. The incidence of child abuse is on the increase. Every
winter thousands of old people die because they cannot afford to feed
themselves or keep themselves warm. The number of people committing
suicide is rising faster than ever. The number of people who have no jobs,
and no hope of employment, has never been higher. The incidence of baby
battering is on the increase. The fact that the number of people needing
psychiatric help is increasing annually. A baby born today is more likely
to be admitted to a mental hospital than win a place at university.
Thousands of people are homeless and have no hope of finding homes.
Millions of hard working people are technically bankrupt because they
bought their own homes. There are now more alcoholics around than ever
before - and that the incidence is increasing every year. The fact that
the nation's politicians are a dishonest, untrustworthy bunch. We have
polluted our environment, fouled our seas and filled our world with
indestructible rubbish. We have more laws than ever before, and civil
liberty is now merely a phrase from the past, but crime rises constantly.
The greatest threat to personal liberty now comes not from crooks or
bandits but from the courts and the police. Although we now have more
social workers than ever before in our history, social problems are
endemic in many areas of our nation. We spend more on health care than
ever before but people are sicker than ever and thousands of people die
because they cannot get the treatment they need.
Most citizens have forgotten how to care and have become gutless
zombies; more concerned about their chances of winning the Lottery than
their responsibilities for the world.
Big companies that sell food, lend money or manufacture goods care
nothing about their customers. They sell them food that will kill them.
They lend them money they can't afford to borrow. And they sell them goods
that are shoddy and poorly built. They lie and they cheat to maintain
The second half of the twentieth century will be best remembered for a
meanness of spirit, a lack of generosity and an absence of honesty. But
most of all our time will be remembered as the years when hardly anyone
Revolutionaries who dreamt of freedom, peace and compassion when they
were twenty dream today of new triple tufted carpets, double glazing and
ABS brakes. (Today's twenty year olds have missed out the dreams of
freedom, peace and compassion and gone straight to the dreams of triple
tufted carpets, double glazing and ABS brakes).
How many people have retained their teenage dreams? How many people can
say that they are living the lives they dreamt of living when they were
Nero was accused of fiddling while Rome burned. At least he did
something creative. Today's free citizen spends around five hours a day
watching television and no longer believes that he can make a difference.
I hate television. Over my shoulder I see the forces of darkness
arraigned in suits of every shade of grey. And yet while these evil forces
crowd daily closer the over-promoted talents of the television age
dedicate their lives to endorsing violence and sucking people dry for
cheap programming. The magic box is dominated by self important,
intellectually deprived presenters with expensive haircuts and cheap
brains. Salacious and hypocritical but rarely courageous or original they
have turned a potentially powerful medium into a tool of the state. The
government is safe as long as the voters are more concerned with soap-land
than with reality.
The electors sit slumped in front of their nightly five hours of
watered down, two dimensional entertainment because they are too
frightened to speak up; they are convinced that they cannot make a
difference. They may occasionally still feel anger, frustration,
alienation and bewilderment. But they dare not speak out for they fear for
their own safety. They know that unemployment - and worse - beckons for
those who stand up and speak.
(My syndicated column has been 'fired' by around 40 newspaper editors.
I remember I was once fired by a newspaper for the heinous crime of making
readers think. The editor felt that this was not the sort of thing his
Please do not let your life drift by. You really can make a difference.
So dust off your principles, drag your dreams back out of the attic and
scream and shout and let the evil ones know that you care and that you
will not let them win. The abuse of animals is the greatest abuse of the
twentieth century and the abuse of animals in laboratories is the greatest
abuse of animals. It is done in the names of science, mankind, medicine,
morality and the relief of suffering but it is an abomination, an insult
and a insult to our past our present and our future.
The vivisectors torture and kill 1,000 cats, dogs, kittens, puppies,
monkeys, rabbits and other animals every thirty seconds. How much longer
will they be allowed to do this?
A medical journal invited me to write a short article explaining why I
believed that animal experiments were of no value to doctors treating
patients suffering from heart disease. The journal told me that they would
also be publishing an article from a doctor who would argue that animal
experiments were necessary. When the journal eventually published my
article it chose to do so in what I thought was a rather unusual way. In
addition to our two articles the journal published page after page of
letters from doctors around the world - doctors who had been given the
chance to look at my article before it was published and write their
comments about what I had written for inclusion in the same issue of the
I received a letter the other day from a reader who wanted to know why
I am so outspoken.
'I agree with much of what you say,' he wrote. 'But you would make far
fewer enemies if you were more tactful. You make people feel
I am sure that reader is right.
I've been a newspaper and magazine columnist for thirty years and in
that time I've been fired well over forty times. (I've also resigned quite
a few times too - having a tendency to resign if anyone so much as moves a
comma in my copy). One editor once told me that he was getting rid of my
column because I made people think.
I am old enough to know that I have two main problems.
The first is that I am honest. I say what I believe. And I don't care
whether it is politically incorrect or culturally insensitive.
And my second big problem is that I care.
Neither of these are, I realise, fashionable virtues.
Indeed, I am sure that some people would regard honesty and passion as
vices. We live in strange and rather awful times. Most people don't seems
to give a stuff about anything any more. The world is full of people who
don't care, won't take responsibility and are frightened to say what they
Unlike their predecessors modern politicians no longer resign.
And they get away with it because not enough people care.
Our streets are full of people who are homeless and impoverished. No
one cares. Our hospitals are decaying. Patients are treated without
compassion or respect. The educational system is a sick joke. Illiteracy
is commonplace. Huge swathes of our population are unemployable because
they can neither write a letter nor add up a column of figures. Go into a
shop to buy something and the chances are that you will be served by a
surly, ignorant assistant who doesn't care a jot whether you buy something
or not. If you do buy and it goes wrong they won't care about that either.
We live in a world controlled by bureaucrats and faceless morons who
neither think or care about what they do.
Have you tried telephoning a large company to complain? It's like
talking to cotton wool. Bored complacency is endemic.
A friend of mine has just received a cheque from his insurance company.
The accident which resulted in this modest payment occurred years ago.
Over the months he has spoken and written to an endless series of grey
faced bureaucrats. None of them seemed to care two hoots about the delay.
Another friend is waiting to go into hospital for an operation on her
hip. She has been on the waiting list for over a year. No one gives a
damn. When she rings up to try and find out what is going on the hospital
staff are rude and offhand. They clearly regard all patients as a bloody
We live in a world which is run by the incompetent and the uncaring,
the unthinking and the unfeeling.
No one cares.
Well I refuse to apologise for the fact that I care.
I have nothing but contempt for people who sit on the fence and won't
say what they think.
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
Never apologize for showing feeling, my friend. Remember that when you
do, you apologise for truth.
-- Benjamin Disraeli
Why do you hate vivisectors so much?
Because they are all nasty little psychopaths who deserve to
be buried up to their necks in the fast lane of the nearest motorway.
I am 25 and I work in a large office. Even though I now
live in a town I still ride regularly with a local hunt. Some of the
people I work with don't understand why hunting is necessary to keep foxes
and stags under control. Recently, they have started to make my life
miserable. A few even refuse to speak to me. I have tried explaining to
them that hunting is more than just a sport but they don't seem to
understand. I would appreciate your advice.
Stop hunting. It is a barbaric and inhuman activity
patronised and supported by lying psychopathic lunatics. I am not
surprised that your colleagues refuse to have anything to do with you. Why
don't you take up bungee rope jumping instead? Try it with a 100 ft rope
and a 60 ft jump.
I have written to the authorities to complain about your
column. You should not be allowed to get away with your campaign to stop
animal experiments. I am sure that most readers probably feel the same way
that I do. You are an anarchist and if I had my way there would be no room
for you or people like you in this world. It is disgraceful that you put
the interests of animals before the interests of people who have to earn a
living in order to support their families. I work in a laboratory where we
experiment on animals in order to do essential tests.
I receive between five and ten thousand letters and calls a
week. About a dozen object to something I have written. I usually just
toss them into the waste bin after reading the first two or three lines
and forget about them. But yours was the most unpleasant letter I have
received for weeks and after reading it I had to wash my hands in
antiseptic in order to bathe away the thought that I had touched something
that you had touched. I have spoken to one of God's personal assistant and
been assured that the day you go to hell a couple of tons of petrol will
be thrown on the flames. Your evil sins will ensure that you, like all
other vivisectors, will fry for eternity. The sound of your sizzling fat
legs will be drowned only by the sound of your screams of agony. But none
of that diminishes the sorrow and sadness in my heart when I think of the
innocent creatures who will suffer and die in your blood soaked hands in
the days which precede your appointment with the golden flames of hell.
I belong to a local group which is trying to stop a road
being built through a beautiful stretch of countryside. The trouble is
that there are several other local groups. In theory we all share the same
aim but in practice we spend most of our time fighting one another.
People who care are, by definition, passionate. And because
passion sometimes burns with blindingly bright light they often forget the
fundamental driving force which inspired their fervor in the first place.
Many pressure groups end up by doing more harm than good. They forget the
fact that the house is on fire and spend their lives squabbling over which
colour lavatory paper is most politically acceptable. I have little doubt
that the antivivisection movement would have achieved its objective of
stopping animal experiments decades ago if it hadn't been for thousands of
petty jealousies, harmful in-fighting and overgrown egos. All you can do
is to remind yourself each day WHY you are fighting and WHAT you are
fighting for. Try to stand aside from the petty arguments about what
colour ink to use on the protest placards and just get on with the main
Your recent reply to a letter from a hunt supporter was
quite outrageous. If you repeat your libellous comments about people who
hunt we will take action against you.
In my view all hunters are cowardly, parentally challenged,
intellectually deprived, sadistic, blood thirsty psychopaths and all hunt
supporters are evil, odious little vandals with the presence and
personality of snailshit. May your balls rot and drop off, may your TV set
receive only Welsh channels and may your car never start. You are a
pathetic, whingeing, snivelling, cryptorchid dickhead with the brains of a
TV game show host and the wisdom of a highway bollard. How's that?
Animal experimenters say that their work is vital. Don't
you agree with them? If not why don't you ever appear on TV debating with
I have repeatedly stated that I believe that all vivisectors
are evil. They claim that animal experiments are essential - and that
without animal experiments human beings will die.
But I believe the scientific evidence clearly shows that animal
experiments help no one. I don't think any patient has ever been saved by
animal experiments. But I do believe that thousands have been killed
because of animal experiments. I honestly believe that anyone who claims
that animal experiments are essential or even useful is either an ignorant
fool or a lying, scheming, bastard.
In my view vivisectors are as weak as they are ignorant, as gutless as
they are pitiless.
I repeat the public challenge I have made scores of times before to ALL
Meet me in a full debate on live TV. (My only stipulation is that it
must be LIVE.)
Tragically, I fear that the vivisectors will not respond.
For I suspect that in addition to being evil vivisectors are all
I wish I could smoke one or two of the mean spirited low life bastards
out of the woodwork and into the bright lights of public debate. But I
doubt if it will be possible. These toxic monsters won't debate with me -
and won't defend what they do - because deep down in their shrivelled,
malignant little hearts they know that they are wrong. And they know that
they will lose.
I haven't debated with a vivisector for a long time. At the end of my
last televised debate members of the studio audience were invited to vote
by telephone. The question was simply whether or not all vivisection
should be stopped. The two vivisectionists who wanted animal experiments
to continue obtained 16% of the total vote. I (who argued alone) received
84% of the total vote.
Since then no vivisector has been willing to appear in the same studio
Is it true that vivisectors use animals which were
Yes. The vivisectors deny that pet cats and dogs ever end up
in laboratories but in America it has been established that up to two
million family pets are stolen every year. Only an innocent fool would
imagine that things could be any different here. Laboratory scientists
performing animal experiments prefer using family pets for their foul
research because pets are tame and trusting - and less likely to scratch
or bite. If your pet cat or dog roams and doesn't come home I believe the
chances are high that it has been kidnapped and sold into one of the
world's many torture centres where it will be confined, alone and
terrified, in a tiny cage. Vivisectors have no morals or scruples and will
take animals from any source. It is difficult to find out what is going on
in laboratories because vivisectors are, not surprisingly, reluctant to
let anyone see what they do but I have absolutely no doubt that many
thousands of the animals poisoned, cut, drugged and slowly tortured to
death in laboratories were originally family pets. You are responsible for
what goes on in those laboratories because it is your money which pays the
vivisectors fat salaries.
Did you receive any response to your challenge to
No. My challenge to vivisectors to meet me in a live TV
debate has appeared in tens of millions of newspapers and magazines.
Thousands of readers have sent copies of my challenge to universities,
TV producers and individual vivisectionists.
There cannot be a single vivisectionist anywhere who does not know of
my challenge. But not one of them has the guts (or the courage of his
convictions) to take me on in open debate.
And, remember, I am prepared to argue not only that animal experiments
are entirely worthless and scientifically unsound but also that they have
never been of any use at all to doctors.
More than that - I believe that animal experiments are responsible for
thousands of premature human deaths.
The vivisectionists will happily take on animal rights campaigners who
are not medically qualified. But they all refuse to debate with me. Could
it be because they know that if they dare to take me on in public debate
the world will see the worthlessness of the evil practice of vivisection?
In the long gone days when vivisectionists would debate with me I never
lost a single debate - always winning by a huge majority. I'm a useless
public speaker but I won simply because the facts are on my side.
The medical and scientific evidence proves that I am right.
I believe that the thousands who perform and support animal experiments
are fifth rate pseudo-intellectuals without the wit or wisdom of a pea
between them. I believe they are cruel and self serving. I believe they
are hypo-gonadal, emotionally stunted, spiritually deprived, amoral
What a pity they won't debate with me.
continued--Fighting 4 Animals2