Philosophy > Animal Testing > Anti-Viv Index
Alternative Methods - To What?

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As previously announced, CIVIS is currently also preparing the English edition of Prof. Pietro Croce's VIVISECTION OR SCIENCE, without doubt the most important book ever written about vivisection by a long-time animal experimenter and medical researcher of international renown. Below, an excerpt from the initial chapter of VIVISECTION OR SCIENCE.)


by Prof Pietro Croce

Are there methods that offer an alternative to vivisection or animal experimentation? Certainly not! Then why this book? And why the public outcry against the vivisectors? And the refusal, by a growing number of students and researchers, to carry out animal experiments? And the indictments and court sentences against the researchers?*

This argument, like all intellectual forms of expression, requires a semantic premise. The precise reason why we say that there is no 'alternative' to vivisection is that a method which aims at replacing another should have the same characteristics. But it would be difficult to find, in the field of biomedical research, anything equally bogus, deceitful and misleading as vivisection has been in the past and continues to be in the present. That's why the methods proposed to biomedical research should be called 'scientific methods' and not 'alternative methods'.

The vivisectors ask us: 'What do you offer to Science in the place of vivisection?' - 'In the place of vivisection, nothing: for vivisection is a festering sore which makes Science sick and gives it a bad name, even among the general public'. Actually, the vivisectors should not ask us, 'What are you offering to Science?', but, more honestly, 'What are you offering to us?'

'To be sure, without animal experimentation the vivisectors would lose the opportunity of reaping, with no talent and little effort, academic titles and honors, of publishing papers, making money and pursuing a glittering career. They would also have to waive the chance to curry the favors of the Powers-that-be by supporting one thesis one day and the opposite thesis the next, with the same persuasiveness - all this on the strength of allegedly 'irrefutable' animal experiments, and according to what result has been requested by whoever foots the bill.

There are endless possibilities for producing irrefutable evidence in support of any theory, through the use of various animal species; all one has to do is to select the appropriate species.

Do you want to prove that the amanita is by no means a deadly mushroom by much rather a delicay fit for humans? Just feed it to a rabbit, morning, noon and night. He will thrive on it.  Do you want to ruin the citrus fruit growers? Then feed their lemons to cats, who will die from them.

Do we wish to prove that prussic acid, the mere smell of which can kill a human being, makes a fine aperitif? Then let's feed it to toads and sheep.

Do we want to stop cooks from using parsley? Let's give it to the parrot, and you will find him stone dead the next morning.

Or do we want penicillin to disappear from all drugstore counters? Let's give guinea-pigs a taste of it, and they will promptly die from it.

The amount of opium a porcupine can actually swallow in one lump with no trouble at all would keep a human addict groggy for two weeks if he just smoked it, let alone what it would do to him if he swallowed it.

To convince the consumers that botulin is harmless, just add a bit of this poison to some cat food; the cat will happily lick its lips. But the cat's traditional game, the mouse, will die from it as if struck by lightning.

Moonshiners are responsible for blinding thousands of people, owing to the methyl alcohol in their booze. But this same methyl alcohol doesn't affect the eyes of most laboratory animals.

Arsenic is supposed to be poisonous? That is a pure invention of the crime writers. The proof? Sheep can tolerate a considerable quantity of arsenic.

Does your pussycat have the sniffles? Be sure not to give her any aspirin - unless, of course, you want to kill her.

Are you asked to demonstrate the uselessness of vitamin C? Then remove it entirely from the diet of some animal that's close at hand - a dog, cat, rat, mouse, hamster. They will nevertheless stay healthy, because their organisms produce their own vitamin C. But we may not withold it from ginea-pigs, primates, or humans. Deprived of all vitamin C they would eventually all die from scurvy.

One hundred milligrams of scopolamine leave dogs and cats unaffected; but five milligrams are sufficient to kill a human being.

Strychnine, as popular among the murderers in detective stories as arsenic, has no effect at all on guinea pigs, chickens or monkeys, not even in a dosage which would be enough to put a whole human family into convulsions.

Hemlock, well-known through the death of Socrates, is dangerous because of its similarity to parsley, but it is eaten with great relish by goats, sheep and horses.

Amyl nitrate dangerously raises the internal pressure of the eyes of a dog, but lowers the pressure within the human eye.

The foxglove (digitalis) was formerly considered to be dangerous for the heart because, when tested on dogs, it raised their blood-pressure. For this reason the use of this medicament, which is of undisputed value for the human heart, was delayed by many years.

Novalgin is an anaesthetic for humans, but in cats it causes excitement and salivation, similarly to what occurs in an animal suffering from rabies.

Cycloserin is used for tuberculous patients, but has no effect on guinea pigs and rats which have been made tuberculous artificially.

The anti-inflammatory Phenylbutazone can be administered to dogs and other animals in high doses, for it quickly loses its effect in their bodies. But if similar doses were given to humans, poisoning would soon set in, because this medicament needs 100 to 150 times longer to become inactive and checked in its effects.

Chloramphenicol often seriously damages the blood-producing bone marrow of humans, but not the marrow of animals.

Acidum oroticum has a healing influence on the human liver, but causes fattiness in the liver of rats.

Chlorpromazine damages the human liver, but not the livers of laboratory animals. Methyl fluoracetate has a toxic effect on mammals, but the rat can tolerate a dosage forty times higher than the dose that kills a dog. And man? Will he react like a rat, or like a dog?

In a nutshell, one only needs to find the appropriate animal species to obtain the desired answer: black or white, positive or negative. You name it, they will get it. That is a kind of elastic, malleable Science, like the dough we mould in the kitchen. But it is tragic that some want to have us believe that they can manufacture human health in this way.

Even if you are no expert, no specialist, it should not be difficult for you to draw a conclusion of fundamental importance from the examples we just quoted. If animals react in such a different way from human beings, how can one test on them medications that are intended for us?

This leaflet is part of ClVIS INTERNATIONAL FOUNDATION REPORT NR 2, distributed in the Summer of 1988.

* The author refers to events in Italy, where in recent years several vivisectors have been heavily fined by the courts and upheld to public contempt by the press for transgressing even the few regulations existing in defence of laboratory animals.

And in the same vein:

Alternative Research by Dr Christopher Anderegg MD PhD

"Are there alternatives to vivisection?  Of course not.?...There are no alternatives to vivisection because  any method intended to replace it should have the same qualities, but it is hard to find anything in biomedical research that is, and always was, more deceptive and misleading than vivisection. So the methods we propose for medical research should be called "scientific methods" rather than "alternative methods." - Prof Pietro Croce MD

Anti-vivisectionists must, therefore, reject alternative methods... Most alternative methods are based not on truly scientific methods like human cell and tissue cultures and clinical investigations of human patients, but rather on animal cell and tissue cultures and computer models, which are of (more or less) equal value to the worthless and fraudulent animal experiments they are supposed to replace.

For the so-called validation of alternative methods - a process which takes years, if ever, to complete - the researchers compare not only the data from their alternative methods with the data from animal experiments, but they also repeat the very animal experiments their alternative methods are supposed to replace in order to obtain additional data for the purpose of further comparisons!

This endless and absolutely senseless repetition of animal experiments over a period of years - despite masses of data from decades of previous animal experimentation -  leads to neither the reduction nor the replacement  but rather the perpetuation of animal experiments.

The authorities responsible for the validation and assessment of alternative methods will acknowledge and officially accept an alternative method only if it produces the same results as the animal experiment it is supposed to replace! Although such methods are clearly detrimental both to the abolition of animal experiments on medical and scientific grounds  and to animal protection in general ,  it is astounding that an ever-increasing number of  animal rights, animal protection and even antivivisection organisations are not only endorsing the three 'Rs' but also promoting and financing the research and development of alternative methods."

"Alternative research" and the "3 Rs" "Reduction, refinement, replacement " are scams dreamed up by, financed by and fully supported by the petro-pharmaceutical mafia and its political and media agents , with the view to keeping vivisection going indefinitely.

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