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WHY ANIMAL EXPERIMENTS MUST STOP

I have been opposed to vivisection for many years; not just because it is unbelievably barbaric and unforgivably cruel but also because it is worthless, wasteful, inaccurate, uninformative and dangerously misleading.

The cruelty is indefensible and an affront to human dignity, but in a desperate attempt to justify their evil practices many vivisectors still claim that what they do helps save human lives. They are lying. The truth is that animal experiments kill people and animal researchers are responsible for the deaths of thousands of men, women and children every year; they are also directly responsible for a massive amount of human suffering.

The callous self-interest of vivisectors leads directly to the development and marketing of unsafe drugs and medical practices; there is without a shadow of doubt a conspiracy between the medical profession and the drugs industry to defend and protect a practice which has as much relevance to science as alchemy.

A future, more enlightened world will see vivisection as one of the more obscene and inexplicable practices of our age; it is our equivalent of slavery and cruel colonialism and those who fail to condemn it loudly will be branded as being as guilty as the vivisectors themselves by tomorrow's generations.

Animal experiments are done for personal and commercial gain by people who are driven by greed and vanity. But although the vivisectors may be cruel, unthinking and unimaginative

they are not entirely without cunning. They realize that their best chance of continuing with their work is to persuade the public that the work they do does have a value. And so they lie. And because they are backed by huge international corporations which are as frightened as they are wealthy, the lies are presented in a convincing and polished way. They terrorize and blackmail ordinary citizens by warning them that if animal experiments are stopped their children will die. It is crude and dishonest but it is often effective.

The only way to defeat these lies is to tell the truth in simple but convincing detail. And that is why I have written this book.

Together we can stop vivisection. And we will.

Vemon Coleman Devon,1991

THE BASIC FACTS

LET US FIRST LOOK AT what goes on in the world's laboratories the number of animals involved where the animals come from where the money comes from and examples of the sort of experiments performed in modern laboratories.

How many animals are involved?

It is impossible to say precisely how many animals are abused, tortured, maimed and killed every year in the name of science. It is impossible because many scientists, well aware of the fact that what they do is worthless and unpopular, are secretive and refuse to disclose details of the animals they have used.

But, using the figures that are available, it is possible to make fairly accurate estimates. In America academic researchers use between 17 and 22 million animals a year, while the cosmetics industry there uses another million or so. In Britain experimental

scientists use between 3 and 4 million animals a year. Altogether the total number of animals used around the world is probably somewhere in the region of 250 million.

Or, to put the figures in a slightly more manageable way, animal experimenters use around 100,000125,000 animals an hour.

Where do the animals come from?

The demand for animals to cut up and kill is massive and so there are, inevitably, a number of people who earn their living by providing laboratories with the livestock they need. Supplying live animals is big business these days.

But where do the suppliers get the animals from?

Many of the animals are specially bred on animal farms where sophisticated techniques may be used to ensure that researchers get what they want. Some animals come from zoos (when they have a surplus of some species available), some are retired from other activities (exracing greyhounds are popular with researchers) and some are captured in the wild.

It is this last method that arouses most indignation among environmental pressure groups, for some animals are captured in such vast quantities that whole species are threatened with extinction.

Way back in 1972 E. G. Hartley of the National Institute for Medical Research in London warned that 'in certain areas of India in which the rhesus (monkey) population was high some years ago few are now to be found'. Hartley went on to say that 'No one can deny that some effect on the conservation of certain primate species has been caused by the large number of primates captured annually for biochemical research purposes'.

Things have not changed much if at all since then. One Britishbased animal supplier recently imported 10,000 monkeys into Britain over a four year period. The animals had been trapped, in the wild, in Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines. After enduring journeys which can be long, difficult and desperately uncomfortable such animals must then exchange their freedom for laboratory cages and their natural lifestyle for boredom and pain.

The constant fear of many animal lovers is that their family pet may one day end up in a laboratory and there is evidence to show that such fears are wellfounded. According to Dr James B. Wyngaarden of America's National Institutes of Health, writing in the Journal of the American Medical Association recently, around 200,000 cats and dogs are picked up off the streets in America every year and then handed over to vivisectors to be used in experiments.

Where does the money come from?

It is impossible to estimate accurately how much money is spent on animal experiments, partly because there is so much secrecy surrounding everything these researchers do and partly because the money comes from so many different directions.

But the total sum involved is huge and despite occasional public pleas of poverty from individual researchers there is little doubt that the vivisection business is financially strong and unlikely to wither for lack of funds.

Most of the cash comes from three major sources: government, industry and charitable organizations. Between them the money men dish out vast quantities of money contributed by taxpayers, shareholders and people who have put money into collecting tins in the belief that they are helping to fight cancer, heart disease or some other disabling disease.

Most of the money contributed through governments is channeled into animal research via three specific departments.

First, and most obviously, a lot of money comes from departments or officially funded organizations which exist to help scientists.

Much of this money is available for 'pure' research which does not have to have any obvious, immediate, practical uses. Lots of it goes into institutions where it helps to pay for some of the world's most entirely useless research. It is fairly well accepted these days that scientists working in animal research can be pretty second rate, but many of these scientists have got very good at filling in grant application forms.

The next route that government money takes is usually through the world of education. Fairly huge quantities of cash are made available so that students can experiment on live frogs, rabbits and cats invariably repeating experiments which have been performed a thousand times before. But the really big money goes to postgraduate departments in universities where vast armies of white-coated pseudo-scientists are constantly searching for new ways to extract scientific papers from rats, cats, dogs and monkeys.

Finally, a considerable amount of money arrives in the hands of animal experimenters via defence and war ministries.

When money come from this direction the amount of secrecy involved always vast becomes even greater. The fears and guilt-driven paranoia of ordinary animal experimenters are compounded by the deep-rooted fears and very special paranoias of the military establishment.

The largest portion of the money that is spent by industry on animal experiments comes from drug companies (making products for doctors to prescribe and for customers to buy over the chemist's counter) and cosmetic companies; together they spend a fortune on testing and investigating new ingredients and potential new products. But the involvement of industry is not limited to these two areas; companies which make products as varied as food additives, industrial and agricultural chemicals and household cleansers all do an enormous amount of testing on animals too.

Charities are the third major source of money for animal experiments. Funded by millions of small, individual donations from people who are attracted by the brash promises to conquer disease and find 'wonder cures', medical charities rely heavily on the fact that although most of us realize that it is our bad habits which make us W we still like the idea of someone finding a magical cure that will absolve us from taking any real, practical responsibility for our health.

In the end the route the money takes on its way to the animal experimenters is almost irrelevant. Whether the cash is paid over by a government department, a medical charity or a major intemational company, the real source of the money is not some anonymous accountant or bureaucrat: the money that pays for animal experiments comes from your wallet or purse.

You are paying for animal experiments when you pay your taxes, when you give money to a big medical charity or when you buy any product made by a company which has animal experimenters on its payroll.

You are entitled to know what animal experimenters are doing with the money they get and you are entitled to have a say in stopping them doing it, for the very good but simple reason that you are helping to pay the bills.

As you read on, just remember that you have helped to pay for virtually every experiment described in this book; you have helped buy the animals, you have helped equip the laboratories and you have paid the fat salaries of the white-coated men and women who have dreamt up and then performed the experiments.

I hope that fact makes you as angry as it makes me.

A catalogue of misery

It is difficult to know where to start or stop when describing the sort of experiments conducted by vivisectionists. I have a filing cabinet filled with research papers from universities and institutions all over the world and there seems no end to the variety of indignities that researchers can think up for the animals in their power.

In the end I decided merely to list very brief summaries of a handful of experiments that have been done in recent years. These are fairly typical examples neither more nor less horrifying than thousands of other experiments conducted daily around the world. I have deliberately chosen not to comment too much on any of these experiments, since my comments and criticisms appear later in the book. I will add, however, that I have had to bowdlerize some of the experiments I have described; just reading the original, unexpurgated papers describing some of these experiments made me feel so ill and so angry that I repeatedly had to stop work while preparing this section.

Three final points are worth making.

First, while you read about these experiments try to remember that every hour of every day between 100,000 and 125,000 similar experiments are going on in laboratories around the world.

Second, if you want to know what experiments are being conducted at universities or other institutions near to where you live just get in touch with your nearest antivivisection society.

Third, do not forget that most (if not all) of these experiments were conducted on your behalf and with your money.

1. British researchers blinded two domestic tabby kittens by sewing up their conjunctivae and eyelids. The kittens were then placed in a special holder and horseradish peroxidase was injected into their brains. The kittens were then killed.

2. Three researchers conducted an experiment in which female hamsters were distracted with sunflower seeds so that their babies could be removed from the nest a few hours after birth.

Under 'hypothermic anaesthesia' the baby hamsters had their left eyes removed. They were then returned to their mothers. The scientists used fiftynine golden hamsters in this experiment and removed the left eyes from 'about half'.

3. At the United States Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute in Bethesda, Maryland, a researcher spent nine weeks forcing thirtynine monkeys to run on a cylindrical treadmill known as an 'activity wheel'. If the monkeys failed to run for long enough they got an electric shock.

4. Researchers funded by the UK Medical Research Council gave ferrets a drug that made them vomit at between half minute and five minute intervals. The researchers gave the ferrets another drug and concluded that under some circumstances the ferrets did not stand up to vomit and that under the influence of the second drug their vomiting was less forceful.

5. Three adult female cats were selected for a Welsh laboratory experiment because they were very docile. Wires from the cats' eyes were connected to a device held in place on the cats' skulls with self-tapping stainless steel screws. The cats were kept awake and their eye movements measured while their bodies were rotated and tilted and stimulated in other ways.

6. American researchers separated young kittens from their mothers to see what effect this had. At the end of the experiment the scientists concluded that separated kittens cried more than those who remained in close contact with their mothers. The scientists added that the crying seemed to denote stress.

7. Two eminent researchers working in America conducted a series of experiments designed to make baby monkeys depressed. To begin with they created a cloth, surrogate mother which could be triggered to blow out high pressure compressed air. When the baby monkey went to give its fake mum a hug the researcher would press a button and try to blast the baby monkey away. However, this did not work and the baby monkey merely clung on tighter. The researchers then built a surrogate monster mother that was designed to rock so violently that the baby's 'head and teeth would rattle'. Again, the baby monkey just clung on tightly. The third monster had a wire frame built into its body. The frame was designed to throw the baby away from it. This worked to a certain extent in that it did successfully separate the baby from its fake mother but the baby monkey just picked itself up and went back to its fake mother immediately afterwards. In a final attempt to alienate, terrify and thus depress the baby monkey the researchers built a 'porcupine' mother from which, at the press of a remote switch, sharp brass spikes would leap out. Once again the experiment was a failure for although the baby monkey was upset by the spikes it simply waited until the spikes had been withdrawn before returning to its mother.

8. The same researchers also created a 'well of despair' for monkeys. They built a vertical chamber with stainless steel sides and a rounded bottom and put young monkeys in it for weeks at a time. On this occasion the two researchers were successful. The monkeys eventually sat huddled at the bottom of the chamber looking depressed.

9. Scottish scientists pushed fine polythene tubes into rats' brains. They then put balloons into the rats' brains and blew them up. They found that all the rats suffered brain damage but that the smaller balloons did not produce as much damage as the big balloons.

10. Four British research scientists surgically joined together 224 individual rats to make 112 sets of 'fake' Siamese twins.

11. Rats' tails were immersed in hot water so that the experimenters could study pain in rats.

12. Ten beagle dogs were deliberately given stomach ulcers.

13. Balloons made from condoms were pushed into dogs' stomachs through metal tubes and then filled with water. During the experiment the dogs, which were hung in slings, were kept awake.

14. The livers, kidneys and lungs of Guernsey calves were deliberately damaged to see how this affected the way the animals responded to drugs. The researchers concluded that animals with damaged organs sometimes get more unpleasant side effects when they take drugs.

15. Six monkeys were given a drug so that they would develop Parkinson's disease. They were then given the drug which is commonly used to treat Parkinson's disease in humans. When the monkeys' symptoms improved they were killed.

16. Cuts were made in the bodies of pregnant rats and metal screws cooled in liquid nitrogen were held against the developing heads of the baby rats. The baby rats were later killed and their brains removed so that the amount of damage could be assessed.

17. Two researchers in London found that if they breathed heavily on ants as they came out of their nest early in the morning the ants panicked.

l8 Three research workers shot around twenty monkeys just above the eye and then watched to see how long it took them to die. One monkey survived for over two and a half hours.

19. A psychologist removed a monkey's visual cortex and then kept the blinded monkey for six years so that he could study her behaviour.

20. Researchers have kept the brains of animals alive outside their bodies and have transplanted the heads of monkeys onto the bodies of other animals. Such experiments have taken place in a number of laboratories.

21. An American researcher gave a pair of rats a total of 15,000 electric shocks in seven and a half hours. Later the researcher heated the cage floor so that the rats inside jumped about, licking their feet, as the floor got hotter and hotter.

22. Researchers clipped the hair from forty beagle puppies. They then put kerosene soaked gauze onto the beagles' naked bodies and set fire to the gauze.

23. In a series of experiments conducted in France, over thirty baboons were killed in forty miles an hour fake car crashes. A number of monkeys were killed when their skulls were hit with a hammering device. The experiments showed that animals would be endangered if they drove cars into walls at forty miles an hour.

24. In a Canadian experiment three polar bears were made to swim through a tank filled with crude oil and water. When the oil coated their fur the bears tried to lick themselves clean. They swallowed so much oil that they developed kidney failure and died. The conclusion was that polar bears should be kept away from oil slicks.

25. Two experimental scientists designed a drum rather like a tumbledrier for traumatizing alert, awake animals. The drum was made so that it turned over forty times a minute with the animal inside falling from one side to the other twice during each rotation. During a five minute experiment an animal inside the drum fell four hundred times. The animal's paws were taped together so that it could not break its own fall and interfere with the traumatizing process. Animals traumatized in the drum suffered broken teeth, concussion, bleeding and bruising of the liver.

Why Experiments Must Stop -- Stop- continued


 

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