Animal Protection > Activist Index

back--Coleman - Fighting 4 Animals part 1

Vernon Coleman

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'Truth is on the march and nothing will stop it.'
Emile Zola

I want to help stop animal experiments. What can I do?

Here are five things you can do to help stop animal experiments:

1. Write regularly to your MP. Ask him what he is doing to stop animal experiments. Remind him that laboratory experiments endanger human lives - as well as needlessly destroying animals.

Send him or her leaflets to read. Explain that no laboratory experiment has ever saved a human patient. And point out that vivisectors torture and kill 1,000 cats, kittens, puppies, dogs, chimpanzees, monkeys, rabbits etc every 30 seconds. Write to your MEP too!

2. Try to buy personal and household products which have not been tested on animals. Many anti vivisection groups now produce lists of toiletries and chemicals which have not been tested on animals. Whenever you come across a product that you are not sure about write to the manufacturer and ask them whether or not they test on animals. Press for a direct answer. Try to buy products from shops and companies which never do any animal tests - and promise never to do any in the future. Never underestimate the power of your purse or wallet.

3. Send regular letters to newspapers, magazines and TV and radio stations. Ask producers and editors why they are not doing more to expose this twentieth century crime. Every time you see a pro vivisection argument broadcast or published write and put the anti vivisection arguments.

4. Join an anti vivisection group and do everything you can to distribute their leaflets. The group I founded is called Plan 2000. Plan 2000 produces many different leaflets. Help by distributing them to schools and colleges or to friends at work.

Buy T shirts, mugs and badges to help raise money for the production of yet more leaflets and posters. The vivisectors are supported by big business - and have billions of dollars behind them. The anti vivisection movement has to raise its funds in pennies. Despite that inequality we are winning!

5. Before you give money to any charity make sure that they don't spend money on animal experiments. Write and tell charities which perform animal experiments why you aren't going to support them.

If you find a charity which insists on continuing to pay for animal experiments organise protests to persuade other citizens not to contribute. Campaign and protest outside charity shops run by charities which give money to scientists who perform animal experiments.

I am very lonely. I don't have any real friends and there is no one I can really trust.

Try talking - and listening - to animals. You should be able to obtain peace, comfort and good advice. Animals are honest, straightforward and, if unthreatened, generally full of love. These are not qualities which are widely available among members of the biped master species.

How safe are genetically altered vegetables? My uncle says that gardeners have been genetically manipulating plants for centuries and that there is nothing to worry about.

Only a moron with an IQ smaller than his shoe size would eat genetically altered food. Today's scientists aren't just gently assisting nature to produce better and stronger plants. They want to create cubic potatoes (they slice up more neatly for chips) and mouth sized cauliflower for convenience. They'll use animal genes (including human genes) to do this. Buy a bagful of genetically altered fruit'n'veg and you'll have to lock your fridge at night to make sure that the carrots don't creep upstairs and eat you. If you're fool enough to eat a genetically altered tomato don't write to me in six months time to complain that you have suddenly turned bright red, become rather corpulent and got a funny green bit growing out of the top of your head. The goofy idiots in white coats say genetically altered food is safe. But that's what they said about thalidomide and Chernobyl.

Why do you care so much about animals? Animals don't have feelings like us. My mate and I go out shooting cats in the evenings because there are so many of them that they're like vermin around where we live. Animal experiments are good because they keep animals under control. Humans are entitled to do what they like with animals because humans are the most important species on earth. And if all the animals in the world had to be wiped out by experimenters so that I could live one day longer I'd think that was great. Animals are like coal and oil; they were put on this earth for us to use.

Like all those who support animal experiments you are clearly a being unencumbered by intellect, compassion or integrity. Your conceit and arrogance and your assumption that as a member of the human race you are inevitably superior to all other creatures reminds me of the abhorrent qualities exhibited by the Nazis. If I had to press a button to decide whether you or a mouse should live the mouse would get my vote. In a decade or so our descendants will look back upon those who now support animal experimentation with revulsion. Morally and ethically animal experimentation is repugnant. Scientifically and medically animal experimentation is indefensible. Please don't read my column any more. I don't like to think of you reading what I've written.

Will you please ask your readers to help us stop the live exporting of calves and lambs?

I have long opposed the transportation of live animals and would urge all readers to urge their Members of Parliament to stand up in the House of Commons and publicly oppose this cruel and barbaric trade. Those who are involved in the transport of live animals do not have enough brainpower to respond to logic or good sense and so, until the law catches up with public opinion, their evil trade must be prevented by peaceful public protest. If you live anywhere near a port or airport where animals are shipped abroad then join in local protests to help stop this barbaric activity. But I want to go further than this. I would like to see people stop eating animals altogether. I like animals. They make good friends. And I may be odd but I don't like people eating my friends.

At your suggestion I've attended quite a lot of protests about the exporting of calves. I've also protested about hunting. The police are invariably present at all these protests in quite large numbers. I always get the feeling that they are on the side of the people abusing animals.

Now that the politicians believe they're on a way to sorting out the problems in Ireland the police seem to regard animal rights protestors as their biggest target. Since the vast majority of animal rights protestors are peaceful, sensitive, kindly folk who are no threat to the security of the nation some may feel that the police could be under orders from the politicians and are opposing those who campaign on behalf of animals because they are a threat to many large and powerful businesses. When �10,000 worth of damage was done to my motor car no policeman turned up to inspect the damage. And when windows in my office were smashed no policeman came to take a look. I wonder if the police would have reacted in the same way if animal rights protestors had done �10,000 worth of damage to a lorry transporting animals or a butcher's shop.

I was glad to see that farmers are once again going to be allowed to export animals. It was wrong to bow down to mob rule and ban the transportation of animals to the continent. Farmers and hauliers would have suffered terrible financial losses if the ban had been allowed to continue. Animal exports are legal and unless the law changes anyone who tries to stop them should be put in prison.

The gas chambers which the Germans used to get rid of millions of Jews were legal too. But there is a lot of difference between something that is 'legal' and something that is 'right'. There are times when the law is wrong and when protesting is right - and this is one of those times. Breeding and exporting animals is, quite simply, wrong and must be stopped. The sound a cow or ewe makes when her calf or lamb has been taken away from her is heartbreaking and I believe that the trade in animals is unforgivably barbaric. In my honest opinion saying that people will suffer financially if the trade in calves, sheep and other creatures is stopped is akin to arguing that closing down gas chambers was wrong because it was bad for the gas chamber manufacturers.

I have an air-gun and like shooting. I shoot birds but because I don't want to risk hitting another person or breaking a window. I never aim at birds when they are on the ground only when they are in trees. My girlfriend has broken up with me. She says that what I am doing is cruel but she has a cat that kills birds and she still loves the cat so why doesn't she love me?

The fact that the cat is obeying a simple, primitive hunting instinct - designed to keep it alive - whereas you are a sadistic, psychopathic cretin getting your pleasure out of killing defenseless creatures purely for fun may have something to do with it. Your girlfriend is obviously sensible and sensitive whereas you are simply an insensitive and intellectually deprived thug suited only to a career in politics or the pharmaceutical industry. I trust that your bank balance will always be small, that you will be for ever besieged by worries, uncertainties and guilt and that you marry an ambitious, pushy, razor tongued, ball busting, shopaholic feminist with halitosis, herpes and a moustache.

I hate shopping at the local supermarkets because I invariably end up surrounded by shoppers whose trolleys are full of bits of dead animal.

Speak to the manager of the store you use and ask him to introduce a 'vegetarian only' check-out. Supermarkets know that they have to respond to their customers' demands if they are going to stay in business. If enough people request vegetarian check-outs then the shops will introduce them.

A friend of mine who is very conscious of environmental matters says that he only eats 'green' meat. He seems to think that this means that he is an animal lover. What is 'green' meat?

People who think that they ought to stop eating bits of dead animals, but whose primitive, physical yearnings for the taste of blood and flesh is stronger than their wafer thin consciences, often claim to eat 'green' meat. This does not mean that they eat rancid meat, retrieved from broken down freezers, but that they eat meat torn from the bodies of animals allegedly better looked after than most animals before being slaughtered. Since most animals are treated cruelly and barbarically by those who market their corpses simply giving 1,000 sheep a cheery wave at Christmas probably entitles the meat producer to describe the resultant meat as 'green'. The whole concept of 'green meat' is a marketing confidence trick of breathtaking audacity. Those who fall for the con and claim to eat 'green meat' are naive, insensitive, stupid and self deluding. People who eat meat are eating bits of dead body. No meat eater should ever be allowed to forget the source of the food on his place.

My boyfriend really annoys me. He is only ever concerned with himself. I am very concerned about a wide variety of political issues. I campaign about cruelty to animals and about environmental abuses. But he won't get interested in anything. He says it's all a waste of time. He says that THEY won't ever take any notice of people like me so I'm wasting my time writing letters and going on marches. All he is interested in is his career, his car and having a good time. He works as a television presenter and when I try to get him to use his position to help my campaigns he refuses, saying it would damage his career to get too involved. I'm beginning to think that we might not be very well suited.

The world is divided into two groups of people: those who are selfish, narcissistic and self obsessed and those whose concern for themselves is tempered or even overwhelmed by their genuine concern for some other aspect of life.

Individuals in the first group tend to become politicians or TV presenters and acquire far more power, money and fame than is good for them or anyone else. They find it difficult to understand why people like you get so upset about things that don't directly concern them.

People in the second group, like you, suffer endless agonies of guilt, frustration and anger because they know what is wrong with the world, they want to put it right and yet they find that those in power won't listen to their screams of outrage.

You, I'm afraid, are one of the unlucky ones. You are in the second group. You CARE. And you won't ever be able to escape from that burden.

Say goodbye to your shallow boyfriend. Your relationship has no future. He won't change and you can't. He will become increasingly irritated by your seemingly illogical commitment to change the world and you will find his conceit, self satisfaction, arrogance and aloofness increasingly insufferable.

When we got married we had a vegetarian meal at the reception. Several relatives are now complaining that we should not have imposed our beliefs on other people. What do you think? We paid for the food and didn't want to spend our money paying for bits of dead animal.

Tell anyone narrow minded enough to complain to piss off out of your lives. If you don't take a firm stance now you'll face more harassment if you ever make a contraceptive blunder and start a family. Moronic relatives will warn you that you must not 'impose your beliefs' on your unborn child. They would not, of course, expect you to bring your child up in the Jewish faith if you are Christian so why the hell they should expect you to give the kid meat if you are vegetarian I cannot imagine. But they will.

I find your lack of respect for the police quite disgusting. My husband is a policeman. He often has to do things which he is unhappy about but he has no choice in the matter. He has to do what he is told to do.

It is no excuse at all for your husband to say that he is simply doing his job. That is exactly the same excuse that is always used by mindless, insensitive thugs - from German gas chamber attendants to government ministers. Your husband can no more disclaim responsibility for what he does than the thugs who worked as guards in Dachau, Austwitz and Belsen could disclaim responsibility for their actions. If your husband is ever asked to do something of which he disapproves then he should resign.

If he doesn't resign then he has sold his soul for money and is morally responsible for whatever he does.

Today's police do not protect ordinary members of the public (the job they are officially hired to do) but are now just a tool of an increasingly oppressive state. Most people no longer bother reporting crimes to the police - either because they know damned well that nothing will be done or because they are afraid even to go near a policeman in case they get beaten up and then arrested on some trumped up charges.

The police are used by the government and big business as their own private 'bully boy' security guards; overpaid to protect the status quo and suppress commercially or politically inconvenient uprisings. The role of the police in supporting the abuse and wicked exploitation of animals (completely against public opinion) is merely another example of the way the police force has totally lost touch with the community it is supposed to be serving.

I am incensed at the way the government and the police are allowing - and even supporting - the export of live animals to the continent. What are your views?

Sheep, lambs, cows and calves and other 'farm' animals are treated like cars, cans of paint or bottles of jam.

But animals have feelings just like you do. Sheep and cows are sensitive, intelligent creatures. (Far more sensitive and intelligent than most politicians and most policemen).

Cramming anxious, nervous, live animals into lorries until they cannot move is barbaric beyond belief. Depriving them of food and water for hour after hour is vicious, inexcusable cruelty.

I recently heard about research on cats which might produce a cure for obesity. When do you think this cure will become available?

I missed reading about that research but it is wonderful to hear about scientists spending so much money looking for a way to help obese cats. Personally, I don't think it will be of any value to human beings since the eating habits and behavioural patterns of cats are rather different to those of human beings. Why anyone should want to use animals for research into slimming I simply cannot imagine. There are several million fat people in the UK alone who would be happy to help with any research programme. Not that we need any more research. Losing weight is easy: eat only when you are hungry. And stop eating when you aren't hungry.

My family has had two butchers shops for three generations. We have recently had to close, putting seven people out of work. We blame you and your articles about meat.

Thank you. I was feeling a little low until I opened your letter. I had just been told about a cow which had got its leg trapped. The farmer had sawn off the cow's leg (without an anaesthetic) so that he could sell the rest of the animal to the butchers. But your letter made me feel better. People who put meat on their shopping lists are writing themselves suicide notes. People who sell meat are in the double ended mass murder business: animals are killed to provide the meat and the meat then kills those who eat it. I hope that you will find something more useful to do with the rest of your life.

I am a hospital nurse. You are wrong to condemn vivisection. Animal experiments are essential if scientists are to find cures for cancer, AIDS and other diseases.

According to a piece of unpublished, illiterate research done by the heavily sedated 97 year old Professor Josef Weissmantle of the Mengele Memorial Social Engineering Department at the downtown University of Barnstaple you are right. According to 3,847,184,027,185,290 highly qualified doctors and scientists you are a dangerous, out of date lunatic. I commonly favour a contrarian view on social and scientific matters (on the grounds that the majority is usually misinformed, prejudiced and incapable of coherent thought) but in this instance I'll happy to be going with the flow. I suggest that you ask your colleagues to give you a brain scan. I suspect that you may be a Friday person - produced by God when he was looking forward to the weekend. The chances are that the scan will reveal that you have got your brain in upside down and need urgent remedial surgery. Meanwhile, I have arranged for the hospital where you work to keep you on permanent bed pan duty on the diarrhea ward.

What do you think of the five year rule used by some companies which claim not to test their products on animals.

I'm not at all impressed by it. The five year rule means that a company can't sell a product that has been tested on animals, or which contains ingredients which have been tested on animals, until five years later. This means that companies which follow the five year rule, will be able to sell animal blood stained products as long as the blood stains are five years old. Ingredients tested in 1990 can be used this year and ingredients tested today can be sold on October 15th in the year 2000.

Personally, I think the five year rule is pretty useless. How can animal tests on cosmetics ever be stopped as long as the five year rule exists? I do not buy cosmetics from shops or companies which operate a five year rule.

The family who live next door to me are all christians. They go to church several times a week and always have posters containing sayings from the bible in their front window. They do not like animals and the week before last I saw them throw a bucket of water over one of my cats just because he was sleeping in their garden. He was weak and old and could not move very fast. He contracted an infection and yesterday I had to have him put down by the vet. When I confronted my neighbours they told me that God doesn't mind what people do to animals because they have no souls. Is this true?

Animals have souls. So called Christians who claim otherwise will fry. When I mentioned the fact that some allegedly religious people say that it's OK to eat animals or use them in experiments because only humans have souls two of God's assistants had to hold Him down. He was so furious that He wanted to flood America, send a plague of insurance salesman knocking on doors across Europe and press a button that would have ignited every volcano south of Aberdeen. Every thunderbolt he sends to earth has carved upon it the words: 'Animals have souls'. But only true believers can see the message. The children of the Devil see only a big flash and hear a lot of noise.

I was interested to read your recent article about tamoxifen. I was asked to take part in the experiment you described but I refused because I had heard that tamoxifen could cause cancer of the liver. I did not realise that it also could cause cancer of the uterus.

The experiments which showed that tamoxifen caused cancer of the liver were conducted on animals. Experiments also showed that tamoxifen causes gonadal tumours in mice. This evidence was, quite rightly ignored by the organisers of the trial and the government - presumably because they recognised that animals are so different to people that animal experiments cannot be replied upon. This is not unusual. In my book 'Betrayal of Trust' I named scores of drugs which cause cancer and other serious diseases in animals but which the government has licensed to be prescribed for human patients.

I work in an abattoir. I object very strongly to your attacks on meat. Experts say that meat is an essential part of a healthy diet.

Which experts are you referring to? Traffic wardens? Accountants? Butchers? Meat is no more an essential part of a healthy diet than is coal, blancmange or stewed concrete.

Incidentally, have you seen the paper published by the 'Journal of Occupational Medicine' and entitled 'Cancer Mortality Among White Males in the Meat Industry'? The authors studied 13,844 members of a meat cutter's union and reported that a 'statistically significant proportional mortality ratio of 2.9 was obtained for Hodgkin's disease among abattoir workers' and that: 'The results suggest that the excess risk of death from Hodgkin's disease in abattoir workers may be associated with the slaughtering activity'. They also found that meat packing plant workers were more likely to develop bone cancer, cancer of the buccal cavity and pharynx and lung cancer than workers in other industries. I mention this paper because it poses an important question: if human beings can get cancer merely by handling meat why on earth should there be any surprise that human beings can get cancer from eating meat? The authors of this paper also named viruses which naturally cause cancer in cattle and chickens and pointed out that these viruses are present not only in diseased but also in healthy cattle and chickens destined for human consumption. 'Evidence suggests that consumers of meat and unpasteurized milk may be exposed to these viruses. It would appear, therefore, that these viruses present a potentially serious public health problem.' Other researchers have made similar discoveries about a link between the meat industry and the development of cancer. A study of 300,000 adult white males in Washington State in the United States of America showed a 'statistically significant elevated risk of death from cancer of the buccal cavity and pharynx among butchers and meatcutters'. If bits of dead animal give cancer to the people who handle them what the hell do you think they do to people who are daft enough to actually eat the stuff?

My colleagues and I have complained to the publisher of your newspaper, the Press Complaints Commission, the General Medical Council, and the British Medical Association about your outrageous attacks on vivisectors.

Piss off. I don't give a stuff about you but I care passionately about animals. I believe that all vivisectionists are intellectually retarded, emotionally empty, spiritually dead psychopathic dickheads with the combined brains of a pustule. Now you can complain again, can't you? Maybe you should add the Royal Automobile Club and the Automobile Association to your list.

I like animals but a friend of mine insists that animal experiments are essential and that those who oppose animal experimentation are dangerous lunatics.

Your friend is wrong; it is the vivisectionists who are dangerous lunatics.

My campaigns on behalf of patients have made me many enemies. During the last two decades I have been threatened in many ways.

But my attempt to stop pointless, cruel and barbaric experiments on animals has made me more enemies than any of my other campaigns.

I have received a number of death threats from supporters of vivisection. Those threats were clearly intended to be intimidating and to stop me campaigning to stop this evil practice.

The lives of the animals who live with me have been threatened too.

These very real physical threats show several things.

First, they show that my campaign to stop animal experiments is taken seriously by the mindless, cruel barbarians who perform and support animal experiments.

Animal experiments are valuable because they enable huge international drug companies to put new drugs on the market without testing them adequately on human tissues and human volunteers.

Why are animal experiments so valuable? Simple. If tests show that a drug doesn't damage a particular animal the company making the drug gets a license on the grounds that the drug is safe. If tests show that a drug makes an animal ill the company making the drug still gets a license on the grounds that animal experiments cannot be relied upon.

I know it sounds crazy but that is just what happens. And I can prove it. Your life and the lives of your children are endangered by this profitable policy.

When we succeed in stopping animal experiments drug company profits will collapse because drugs will have to be tested properly.

None of those who support animal experiments will debate with me on scientific or medical grounds on TV or radio. They know that they cannot win the intellectual argument.

My challenge to vivisectors worldwide to dare debate this issue with me in public remains. I am prepared to take on up to 1,000 vivisectors at a time in debate.

But I doubt if the challenge will be taken up.

My researches have produced evidence enabling me to prove that animal tests are useless and misleading.

(The research is detailed in my book 'Betrayal of Trust', published by the European Medical Journal and available through all libraries).

Please help me stop animal experiments.

And if I suddenly disappear please don't give up the fight.

The forces of evil are powerful.

But we will win. We will win because we are morally right, ethically right, scientifically right and medically right.

Every 30 seconds 1,000 cats, kittens, dogs, puppies and other animals die in pain and in terror. Every night, when you go to bed, ask yourself what you have done to stop this carnage.

You haven't written about hunting recently. Does this mean that you have given up your attempt to get it banned?

I regard hunting as an obscene activity, practiced and enjoyed by the dregs of the middle classes - socially ambitious solicitors, car dealers and insurance salesmen who think that they are achieving gentility by clambering up onto horses, joining the hideous armies of the apocalypse and galloping around killing animals. Unreliable research conducted by SMEGMA has shown that male hunters are invariably impotent while all women who hunt are boring old sex starved slags who climb on horses purely for the clitoral stimulation. Here is my cheery Christmas message to all hunters: 'May the ground be uneven and slippery, your horse's footing uncertain and your bones fragile and slow to mend.'

I want a new year's resolution. Can you recommend something that will improve my health. I don't smoke and I exercise regularly.

Give up eating meat. There is nothing you can do that will improve your health more effectively than giving up meat. Numerous researchers have linked protein with cancers of the breast, prostate, endometrium (lining of the uterus), colon and rectum, pancreas and kidney. And the type of protein which is most likely to cause cancer is protein obtained from meat. The United States Surgeon General's Report 'Nutrition and Health' said: 'In one international correlational study... a positive association was observed between total protein and animal protein and breast, colon, prostate, renal and endometrial cancers'. The Surgeon General also reported that: 'Studies have also found an association between breast cancer and meat intake (Lubin et al 1981) and an association of meat, especially beef, with large bowel cancer among Japanese (Haenszel et al 1973)...'. One possible reason for the meat-cancer link may be the fact that chemicals such as DDT tend to accumulate in animal tissues - and may be found in animal tissues years after their usage has been controlled or stopped. Whether it is the chemicals in animal protein which cause cancer is, however, a question of rather theoretical interest: the important point is that meat causes cancer. Japanese women who eat meat daily have more than eight times the risk of breast cancer compared of women who rarely consume meat. There have also been several reports showing a high correlation between meat and colon cancer. Beef has been specifically named as one type of meat associated with colon cancer. Several studies have shown a relationship between the incidence of prostate cancer and the consumption of animal protein. Because most people who eat a lot of meat usually also eat a great deal of fat (because meat often contains a lot of fat) it is difficult to know whether these links between meat and cancer are a result of the protein in the meat or the fat in the meat. It is also possible that the link between meat and cancer is a result of mutagens being formed during the cooking of meat. And some experts have pointed out that carcinogenic fat soluble contaminants such as drugs and pesticides may be the reason why meat causes cancer. However, I regard the question of how meat causes cancer as being of largely theoretical interest. The fact is that meat causes cancer so if you care about your health you should stop eating it.

I am 16. I do not like the idea of eating dead animals but I want to be a body builder and I have been told that without eating meat I will not get big. Indeed, I have been warned that it is not safe for me to train in the gym if I eat a vegetarian diet. Is this true?

No. It is not true. It is bullshit. Talking of bulls, bulls don't eat meat. Elephants don't eat meat. Baboons don't eat meat. They all get much bigger than you'll ever want to be. Many successful triathlon winners and bodybuilders are vegetarians. I am 6 foot 3 inches tall, weigh over 14 stone and can hold a pencil unaided. I don't eat meat.

My two teenage daughters say that eating meat is cruel. They have both become vegetarians. They say that when animals are taken into an abattoir they must be frightened and that this means that the levels of adrenalin in their blood must increase. They've read somewhere that this increase in adrenalin levels could lead to illnesses such as high blood pressure and heart disease. Do you think that eating meat taken from dead animals could be dangerous? If not how do I persuade my daughters to start eating meat again. I am worried that they will become ill if they stick to a vegetarian diet.

It isn't just the amount of adrenalin in dead animals which worries me (though I do agree that this could cause problems). But what if a cow had a small cancer developing? I know animals are inspected but the inspections can't possibly be close enough to pick up small, developing cancers. This means that next time you sit down to tuck into a steak you might end up chewing a lump of cancer. Can you get cancer by eating it? I don't know. Nor, I suspect, does anyone else. There is no reason why your daughters should suffer ill health if they stick to a vegetarian diet. On the other hand, I believe that you are exposing yourself to a wide range of disorders by eating bits of dead animals.

I am a 28 year old man. I am losing my hair. Is there anything I can do about it? A friend of mine says that you can make hair grow back by rubbing animal fat on your head. Is this true.

Rubbing animal fat on your scalp may do some things for you (like increase your personal space on public transport in hot weather) but I'm afraid I don't think it will make your hair grow.

Since I read your recent comments about vivisection I have not been able to sleep.

Good. That was the idea. Man's abuse of and cruelty to animals is the most wicked crime of modern times. And vivisection is the most evil abuse of animals. If you want to know how to help fight vivisection contact Plan 2000 - the group I founded (but no longer run because it has grown too big!).

I strongly object to your articles attacking scientists who perform animal experiments. Animals were put on earth by God so that man could use them.

I can sum up everything I wish to say to you in just two words. The second word is 'off'. I doubt if you are intelligent enough to guess the other word without any help so here is a clue: it is a four letter word which rhymes with 'luck' and starts with the sixth letter in the alphabet. You should get the answer by teatime on Wednesday.

Is it true that a woman's chances of making a good recovery from breast surgery for cancer depend upon the time of the month that she has the operation? My doctor says he hasn't heard of this and thinks it is probably 'twaddle' (his word).

Published evidence suggests that far more pre menopausal women survive breast surgery if they have an operation which is done during the second half of their menstrual cycle than if they have an operation in the first two weeks of their cycle. This difference can probably be explained by the change in hormone levels which occurs during a period. If researchers put more effort into studies of this sort and wasted less time and money on pointless research such as animal experiments far more lives would be saved. The link between breast cancer and the menstrual cycle was first observed in 1836 (yes, 1836 - over 150 years ago) so I really don't understand why more research hasn't been done to find out the precise link between hormone levels and cancer. I honestly don't think anyone knows for certain whether or not the time of your operation will really affect your survival chances. But if I was a woman having breast surgery for cancer I would want to have the operation done in the second half of my menstrual cycle.

Why do you care so much about animals? Animals don't have feelings like us. My mate and I go out shooting cats in the evenings because there are so many of them that they're like vermin around where we live. Animal experiments are good because they keep animals under control. Humans are entitled to do what they like with animals because humans are the most important species on earth. And if all the animals in the world had to be wiped out by experimenters so that I could live one day longer I'd think that was great. Animals are like coal and oil; they were put on this earth for us to use.

Like all those who support animal experiments you are clearly a being unencumbered by intellect, compassion or integrity. Your conceit and arrogance and your assumption that as a member of the human race you are inevitably superior to all other creatures reminds me of the abhorrent qualities exhibited by the Nazis. If I had to press a button to decide whether you or a mouse should live the mouse would get my vote. In a decade or so our descendants will look back upon those who now support animal experimentation with revulsion. Morally and ethically animal experimentation is repugnant. Scientifically and medically animal experimentation is indefensible. Please don't read my column any more. I don't like to think of you reading what I've written.

My doctor and family want me to go into sheltered accommodation. I am 72 years old and quite fit but they're worried that if something happens to me I won't be able to call for help. However, the place they have recommended won't allow me to take Henry, my cat, with me. Henry and I have been together for nine years and I can't bear the thought of us being parted. My doctor even suggested that I should have Henry put down if I couldn't find someone else to look after him.

I suggest that you stand your ground and refuse to move until your doctor or your relatives have found a place where you and Henry can live together. You'll probably need to rely on your relatives since your doctor sounds as though he has the brains of a hubcap and as much talent for empathizing as mud.

Despite the existence of an enormous amount of evidence showing that pets are just as important to health as human relationships some so called health care professionals still seem to treat cats, dogs and other animals as of no more consequence than cheap furniture. The result of this ignorance can be devastating. Old people who have been made to abandon their pets often become severely depressed and may die of guilt, anguish and a broken heart.

It is not uncommon for elderly or disabled individuals to refuse to move when they are told that they can't take their pets with them. And many old people refuse to go into hospital at all because they fear that while they are away their pets will be removed.

Not all nursing homes and sheltered accommodation cater for pets and that's fine because not all old people want to live surrounded by animals.

But there are places which cater for old people who want to keep their pets with them. And I strongly recommend that you insist on being found space in such a centre.

A lot of people near where I live have animals but don't look after them properly. I know one house where 20 rabbits are kept in two small cages. And I know people who have dogs but never take them for walks or look after them. People who acquire animals as pets should realise that there is a lot of responsibility involved.

Looking after animals properly takes time and money - and is a long term commitment. If you know someone who doesn't look after an animal properly you have a moral responsibility to report them to the police - once you've done this make sure that the police take action to stop the cruelty. (If they hesitate point out that mistreating an animal is behaviour likely to cause a breach of the peace).

I support your views about animals.

Every week I receive huge armfuls of letters on animal issues.

Men, women and children from all around the world write in to tell me that they share my desire to see animal experiments stopped.

Thousands say that they support my campaigns to get this cruelty ended.

But writing to me and telling me that you support my campaigning isn't enough. The evil bastards who perform animal experiments are supported by the worldwide billion pound drugs industry.

The vivisectors are backed by all the money they could possibly need.

We will win our campaigns to stop these evils for three reasons.

1. They are richer and more powerful than us but there are more of us than there of them.

2. We are driven by passion. They are driven by money. In the end passion always wins over money.

3. We are right and they are wrong.

We will win our campaign when the politicians realise that they HAVE to listen to us.

Buying an occasional tee shirt or declaring your convictions by wearing a badge isn't enough.

If you care about animals then you must do more to stop the cruelty which is done - in your name and with your money.

Every night, when you go to bed, ask yourself what you have done to help stop cruelty to animals. Write letters to politicians, newspapers, TV stations and those who support the academic institutions where animal experiments are performed. If you are fit enough to hold a placard then demonstrate. If you do not do something EVERY DAY to help to stop this cruelty then you are a part of it. And your silence is helping the vivisectors.

Is it true that capsules are made of gelatin - an animal compound? I am a vegetarian and worried by this.

Yes. Most capsules are currently made from gelatin. But it is perfectly possible to make capsules from vegetable cellulose. Drug companies will only do this when they get enough letters from patients protesting about their continued use of gelatin capsules. It is up to you to help change things.

My husband and I have just got back from a holiday in Spain. It was a nightmare. There were cats all over the place - all hungry and thirsty, some dying. We went out morning and night taking food and water to them but couldn't carry enough food to feed them all. It broke my heart and I cried every day. I will never go back to Spain ever again. What can I do to help these poor creatures? I feel so helpless.

One can change some things with logical arguments and reasoned debates. Other things have to be changed by the judicious application of suffering. Naughty children sometimes only learn by being deprived of regular doses of television and I suspect that the Spanish will only start treating animals kindly when forced to do so through economic sanctions. Write to the Ambassador at the Spanish Embassy and tell him that you will never go back to his blood soaked country until his fellow countrymen start treating animals with respect. Spaniards are primitive, rather simple minded people who have few natural skills and rely entirely on their climate to make a living. But they have some native cunning and will start treating animals decently if they understand that the alternative is a boycott by holidaymakers. Economic boycotts helped win freedom for blacks in South Africa and will help win freedom for animals around the world.

I am very lonely. I don't have any real friends and there is no one I can really trust.

Try talking - and listening - to animals. You should be able to obtain peace, comfort and good advice. Animals are honest, straightforward and, if unthreatened, generally full of love. These are not qualities which are widely available among members of the biped master species.

When a neighbour of mine dressed up as a woman and walked along the street outside our home he was arrested by the police. What offence was he committing? I am a woman and I often wear slacks or trousers. I am slightly alarmed by the thought that I might be arrested for wearing the wrong sort of clothes.

There are no laws forbidding the wearing of clothes originally designed for members of the opposite sex. But the existence of laws has little relevance to whether or not you are likely to get arrested. And the laws which do exist are often interpreted in bizarre ways. What logic is there in a legal system which results in the arrests of men and women who try to disrupt the hunting of perfectly innocent wild animals while allowing politicians to walk around our streets unhindered?

I am fed up with your drivel about animals. I am a diabetic and without experiments on animals I would be dead. God put animals on this earth for us to use.

I am afraid you have been conned (probably not a difficult task) by the evil money grubbing vivisectionists who want animal experiments to continue. Diabetics with brains campaign strongly for the abolition of vivisection. The first link between the pancreas gland and diabetes was established in 1788 without any animal experiments. And it was 22 years before that - in 1766 - that another doctor showed that the urine of diabetics was loaded with sugar (again, without animal experiments). Throughout the 19th century scientists wasted time performing useless animal experiments. If vivisection had been banned two centuries ago diabetics would have benefited enormously. History shows that progress in medicine is usually made by observant clinicians and never by white coated sadists torturing animals in laboratories.

The vivisectionists are responsible for almost as much human misery and almost as many human deaths as animal misery and animal deaths. Incidentally, are you sure that your diabetes is controlled properly? The last sentence in your letter rather suggests that you might be suffering from brain damage.

How do vivisectors sleep at night? I don't think I could live with myself if I spent my days torturing animals for a living.

I am convinced that all vivisectors - and vivisectionists - are complete psychopaths. They do not have any of the normal feelings or emotions exhibited by healthy, individuals. Indeed, I believe that many of them obtain great pleasure from plunging a knife into a tethered, live animal and watching it squeal and scream in agony. These are people who are so oily, so low down, that they do not have to open doors to go through them - they simply ooze underneath them. Can you imagine the conversation when a vivisector gets home. 'Did you have a good day, dear?' 'Wonderful! I tortured another 43 cats - and some of them are still alive so they'll suffer all night and then I can have another go at them tomorrow.' Here is my list of ten individuals who would have made great vivisectors if they had not been busy doing something else: 1. Jack the Ripper, 2. Attila the Hun, 3. Dr Crippen, 4. Idi Amin, 5. Satan, 6. Adolf Hitler, 7. Tomas de Torquemada, 8. Cesare Borgia, 9. Joseph Stalin, 10. Benito Mussolini

We wrote to our local university to ask them to debate with you about vivisection. They refused, saying that the last time anyone from the university spoke up in support of animal experiments a window was broken.

Gosh. A whole window? Did lots of policemen rush around to look at the damage? I've lost count of the number of windows I've had smashed. When �10,000 worth of damage was done to my car the police didn't even come and look at what had been done. As far as I am aware no one was arrested. Since I started my campaigns on behalf of animals and people papers have been stolen, I have repeatedly been threatened, my phone has been tapped and private detectives have been hired to investigate me. I now live behind locked gates to protect my animals. I know a lot of readers wrote to their local universities challenging vivisectors to debate with me. Not one had the guts to take me on. No vivisector in Britain will debate with me because they know that they will lose.

I believe you are Britain's most outspoken supporter of a ban on vivisection but why do you not support the Green Party - the only political party which has an anti-vivisection policy.

I didn't know that Britain still had a Green Party. How nice to know that it is still there, providing a resting place for the spiritually incontinent and the intellectually disadvantaged. I can see no point at all in supporting a party which has about as much chance of ever acquiring any real power as Winnie the Pooh has of winning a place in the England cricket team. The last time I looked the Green Party was full of patronising, self satisfied, out of touch, poikilothermic, politically correct wimps who thought that by wearing bleached cotton clothes labelled 'Made in Guatemala' they were striking a blow for freedom. I doubt if anything has changed. I want to change things - not just huff and puff. This column is where the revolution is being held - not wherever the Green Party is hiding out these days.

I do not approve of animals being used in horrific scientific experiments. I have told my doctor that I will not take any medicine which has been tested on animals. Do you have a list of drugs which I can take?

I believe that murdering, cowardly vivisectors torture and kill around 1,000 cats, kittens, puppies, monkeys, dogs, rabbits and other animals every thirty seconds and that some of those animals are pets which have been stolen; I also believe that animal experiments are of absolutely no scientific value and are performed for purely commercial and personal reasons. There is, therefore, clearly no need for you to avoid essential drug therapy.

Why is that you are the only national newspaper writer I know of who regularly attacks vivisection? In particular the posh papers never seem to carry anything attacking animal experimentation.

I cannot remember ever reading an article in any broadsheet newspaper attacking vivisection. Come to think of it I can't remember ever reading an article in a broadsheet newspaper discussing the issue of animal experimentation fairly. If broadsheet newspapers don't contain much anti vivisection material then maybe this could be because although most of them have about as much functioning brain tissue as a brick many broadsheet newspaper employees like to think of themselves as 'intellectual' and are, therefore, easily misled by the pseudo intellectual arguments of the vivisectors.

As a regular reader of your column I gave up meat last year. I now feel ashamed of myself for ever eating meat. I can't understand how I ever managed to eat bits and pieces of dead animals. But even more I cannot understand how seemingly normal men and women can murder and then sell bits of animals. I used to have several friends who were farmers but I no longer see them.

Meat and tobacco and the twin killers of our age. Anyone who sells or deals in these products is, quite simply, a mass murderer. But the seller of meat is a mass murderer twice: he is responsible for killing the beings he sells. And he is responsible for killing the beings to whom he sells those corpses. I confess that I do not understand how those who are involved in this, brutal, evil activity can sleep at night. These are people who are strangers to their own consciences. Within a decade, as the full horrors of Mad Cow Disease become apparent and as more doctors accept that I am right and that meat does cause cancer, the government will have to start stamping health warnings on hamburgers, sausages and steaks. By then it will be far, far too late. Hundreds of thousands of people - possibly millions - will have died simply so that farmers, slaughterhouse men, butchers and others involved in this bloody, unwholesome and unforgivably wicked trade can continue to make pots of money.

I have a close relative who is chronically ill. I object strongly to your campaign against animal experiments. In fact I think you are disgusting and should be taken out and shot. People like you are like vermin. I would exterminate you all like the Germans tried to do to the Jews. If scientists are not allowed to continue to experiment on animals they will never find a cure for the disease which affects my relative. It is a pity that you don't like human beings as much as you like animals.

I fear that you have been misled by those malevolent, oleaginous legions who, for their own crude and personal commercial reasons, want animal experiments to continue. The truth is that animal experiments have never been of any help to doctors - and never will be. Indeed, animal experiments are so misleading that they endanger human life and are responsible for almost as much pain and suffering among human beings as among animals. My passionate campaign to stop animal experiments is driven by my love for people as well as animals. If you genuinely care about your relative you will join my campaign to halt the waste of time, money on resources on the hideous and barbaric practice of animal experimentation. When ordinary people see animals they tend to find them rather attractive and likeable. When vivisectors see animals they drool at the mouth and think: 'I'd like to torture that animal. I'd like to inject it with toxic chemicals and then kill it.'

It is not true that laboratory animals are kept in poor conditions. Animals in laboratories are extremely well looked after.

Every 30 seconds evil laboratory scientists kill another 1,000 animals.

A huge international industry keeps wicked, heartless vivisectors supplied with a wide variety of animals.

Some of the animals in the vivisectors' cages are specially bred. Some are captured in the wild and transported around the world. Others are family pets which have been captured and then sold into slavery.

Vivisectors claim that the animals they torture and kill are well looked after before and during experiments.

This is a lie.

Animals are often kept in tiny cages for years - alone, terrified and able to hear the screams and cries of those creatures ahead of them on the death list.

I've unearthed the official figures for the amount of floor space animals are allowed in laboratories - and the length of time they could spend in those cages.

You might like to measure out the size of these cages on your living room carpet. And then imagine the horror of your family pet living in a cage like that for years - without love or companionship, in constant fear and probably in severe pain too.

1. Dog

Possible life expectancy: 35 years

Size of cage: 8 square feet

2. Cat

Possible life expectancy: 20 years

Size of cage: 3 square feet

3. Rabbit

Possible life expectancy: 15 years

Size of cage: 3 square feet

4. Monkey

Possible life expectancy: 30 years

Size of cage: 6 square feet

5. Rat

Possible life expectancy: 4 years

Size of cage: 0.4 square feet

6. Mouse

Possible life expectancy: 3 years

Size of cage: 0.4 square feet

7. Guinea pig

Possible life expectancy: 7 years

Size of cage: 0.7 square feet

8. Hamster

Possible life expectancy: 2 years

Size of cage: 0.34 square feet

I am worried that the company I work for may be supplying equipment to a laboratory where experiments are performed on animals. Would you please find out for me whether or not my fears are justified? If they are then I will do my best to get my company to stop. I am opposed to animal experiments.

I am afraid that my day, like yours, has just 24 hours in it. I have applied for an exemption from this unfair restriction but unless my application is treated favourably by the authorities I simply cannot check out every company in the world to find out which ones are performing animal experiments. However, you can check the company out yourself quite easily - and I believe it is your responsibility and duty to do so. If the company you work for is supplying vivisectors and will not stop I sincerely hope you will resign immediately. In my opinion people who knowingly supply and support vivisectors are just as responsible for the horrible and pointless things done in the laboratories as are the vivisectors themselves.

I don't know why you make so much fuss about people eating animals. I love a bit of fresh lamb.

The word 'fresh' attached to 'lamb' means that just a few days before you started to eat its corpse the lamb was running around in a field, playing with other lambs. The lamb's mother will not understand why her baby has disappeared and will probably still be searching desperately for it. Ewes love their lambs just as much as mothers love their babies. If this does not put you off eating 'fresh lamb' then you have deep rooted psychopathic tendencies and I am glad that you are there and I am here.

You are stupid not to eat meat. Farm animals are not like pets. Cows, pigs and sheep are bred to be eaten.

You are quite wrong and may well be already suffering from Jacob-Creutzfeldt disease - the human equivalent of Mad Cow Disease. Do not make any long term holiday plans. Cows, pigs and sheep are just as affectionate, caring, loving and sensitive as cats and dogs. It is only our culture which has decreed that dogs and cats get well looked after while cows, pig and sheep get eaten. In other parts of the world the rules are very different. There is, for example, an old Korean saying that goes: 'A dog is not for Christmas - it will last well into the New Year'. Nice, eh?

I hunt regularly. I object very strongly to your recent diatribe against hunting. If you repeat your attacks on hunting I intend to take legal action against you and your newspaper. You will find that this time you have bitten off more than you can chew.

I realise that people who hunt, like vivisectors and butchers, are not bright. Most, indeed, are so thick that they have to go to special evening classes to learn how to shout 'Tally ho!'. Here are two little word puzzles to keep you busy all week. First, the letters F.O. sometimes, but not always, stand for Foreign Office. What else do you think they might stand for? Second, I feel that people who hunt are best described with a word which rhymes with hunt but begins with another letter of the alphabet. The third letter of the alphabet. So, what is the word? Once you've worked out the answers write them on a postcard, together with your name and address, and send them to the person in charge of your local hunt.

If you are right and vivisection is useless can you explain why scientists do experiments which are of no possible value?

The answer can be summarised in one word: money.

Animal experiments are cheap, fast and easy to perform. You do not have to worry about satisfying ethical committees. You do not have to be very bright to perform an experiment on animals. You do not have to wait a long time for the results. And drug companies love animal experiments and will pay vast quantities of money for them because they know that if an experiment shows that a drug causes cancer or some other serious problem the results can be dismissed as irrelevant - on the grounds that animals are different to people - whereas if a drug does not produce any obvious signs of disease when given to an animal the results can be used to launch the drug for human use. The wonder is not so many animal experiments are performed but that the evil psychopaths do not do even more.

I support your views on animals but I dare not make my views known in public. My mates would think I was soft.

I sometimes wear two small, silver ear rings in the shape of tiny rabbits. They were very cheap (less than �2 for the pair) but I rather like them. I was sitting on a train when it stopped at a platform. Two punk girls walked by the train window. One of them noticed one of my ear rings. She stopped to stare. She shouted to her friend and pointed at my ear ring. The friend stared. They giggled and laughed and put their tongues out at me. Then they called to a boy who was standing a few yards down the platform. He, like them, was dressed entirely in heavily studded black leather. He, like them, had huge silver ear rings hanging from both ear lobes. His nose, like theirs, was pierced. All three of them had tattoos on their hands and cheeks. The boy looked at my tiny ear ring and glowered at me. He made a rude gesture with his hands and sneered. All three shouted something I couldn't hear. (I doubt if I would have been able to understand what they were saying even if I had heard them since the whole incident took place in a country where the populace speak a language of which I do not know one word). And then my train slowly pulled out of the station, leaving the three punks standing on the platform gesticulating, shouting and sneering at my tiny ear ring. (They could only see one).

I wondered why the three punks had objected. They were presumably dressed the way they were because they wanted to make a statement that they were different to the rest of society (even though they were dressed identically to one another and were, therefore, fashion slaves just as much as the company employee who wears a dark suit, a white shirt and a sombre tie). So I found it difficult to believe that they objected to my rabbit ear rings solely because they were 'different'.

The only other conclusion I could reach was that they objected because they regarded the rabbit ear rings as strangely 'soft', 'effeminate' and unsuitable for a man to wear.

Caring for and about animals is regarded as rather effeminate. It is not something which a 'real man' does. A real man drinks beer, eats lots of steak, smokes untipped cigarettes and has a heart attack in his forties.

I became a vegetarian two years ago. I am still ashamed of the fact that I used to eat meat.

You do not be ashamed of anything you have done in the past if you were genuinely unaware of the fact that what you were doing was wrong. You should only be ashamed if you are doing something now which you know is wrong. So, for example, you should not be ashamed of the fact that you ate meat in the past if you genuinely believed that you needed to eat meat in order to survive and stay healthy and if you believed that the animals who were killed for you were kept and killed humanely.

How can I find out whether or not the pills my doctor gives me have been tested on animals. I will not take anything - even if it means putting my life at risk - if it has involved the suffering or death of an animal.

All drugs are tested on animals. But the tests that are done are pointless, entirely irrelevant and thus without consequence. There is no need to avoid drugs because of animal tests.



All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.
     -- Edmund Burke


Although I am vehemently opposed to all aspects of animal cruelty this section of 'Fighting for Animals' is, for reasons which I explained at the start of this book, devoted to the subject of vivisection.

Morally there is no question that experimenting on animals is a vile business. Ethically, the vivisectors are in the position of slave traders, arms dealers and concentration camp guards. There is no possible excuse for what they do. So why do we allow these scientists to perform these foul experiments? 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. And yet the experiments continue. It is time to change our strategy and our tactics.

Sadly, we won't defeat the vivisectors simply by stating the facts. Most people simply don't want to know what goes on in the vivisectors' laboratories.

And I don't believe that violence is the answer. I can understand the feeling of frustration shown by those who argue that the vivisectors are cruel and inhuman. I realise that social and political change has often been forced through by those using violence. And I recognise that attacks on buildings have attracted attention to the whole question of vivisection. But I do not believe that bombing laboratories or shooting vivisectors will stop animal experiments. Indeed, I fear that such violence may lose us public support. And although I realise that most attacks are aimed at buildings and property I am worried that someone might be injured.

I believe that the battle to end vivisection will be won entirely through public opinion - and that means through the media. And I believe that we can - and will - win.

The vivisectors - who have huge financial resources behind them - have persuaded millions that animal experiments are essential, that people who want animal experiments stopped are simply animal loving nutters. A false perception - devised by the pro vivisection movement - has won over reality. We have to fight a propaganda war. And we have to recruit more supporters each day. Above all we have to remember that this is a war about perception not reality.

Those of us who care must tell everyone we talk to that if they do nothing then they are just as responsible for what goes on in the vivisection laboratories as the vivisectors themselves. We must explain to the unconverted that animal experiments are done in their name and with their money and that anyone who does and says nothing is supporting the status quo - and that means supporting the vivisectors.

In order to win the war against vivisection we have to prepare a battleplan: we need to decide upon the strategy we will use. For decades the war against vivisection has been a disparate, disorganised affair; controlled emotionally rather than intellectually.

We have failed to win (or even make any noticeable progress) in this war against vivisection for two reasons.

First, the vivisectors and their supporters are in the strong position of being in control of the status quo. Politicians and public both resist change. Those who are in control of the status quo are always in a position of strength.

And second, we care too much. I don't suggest for a second that anyone opposed to vivisection should try to care any less. But because all anti vivisectionists are emotionally involved - and desperately want to see this barbaric practice stopped - we have failed to analyse the problem properly.

We should have won by now. We have many advantages. For a start we try harder. Most anti vivisectionists don't get paid but they don't go home at the end of the working day and forget about the battle. Many anti vivisectionist have devoted their lives to this cause - and seen no real progress.

Our other big weakness is that because anti vivisectionists as a group are caring, fair and reasonable people we have tried to fight a fair and reasoned war. But the vivisectionists lie and use every dirty trick they can find. We have to be a little more imaginative and creative if we are to defeat them.

The battle against vivisection has to be won and it has to be won sooner rather than later. I don't want to die knowing that the battle against vivisection still hasn't been won. We are the only hope the animals have. Millions of animals in cages have no hope except for us.

The supporters of vivisection are not emotionally involved in what they do and so vivisection is defended coldly and coolly and without concern for what is right or what is wrong. Our opponents are defending a wealthy and powerful group: they use any methods available to them. They have, over the years, clearly decided that the most powerful weapon in their armoury is to claim that vivisection is essential to human health. With this as a weapon they rely on the selfishness and self interest of the average citizen to enable them to maintain the status quo. They dishonestly and ruthlessly claim that without animal experiments human lives will be at risk. This is the basis of the well known 'do you want your child to live or are you prepared to perform a trivial experiment on this anonymous laboratory rat?' argument which has proved so effective over the years. It is, of course, an entirely spurious and dishonest argument but that doesn't worry the vivisectors and their supporters; they will happily rewrite history and use any arguments available to them in order to protect the vivisection industry. The opposition knows only too well that perception is more important than truth.

In order to counter this sort of crude intellectual terrorism we must develop a policy of counter intellectual terrorism.

Since our opponents lie and play fast and loose with the truth we must be willing to counter their arguments in any necessary way. This is not a game. It isn't the taking part that matters. Winning the small arguments doesn't matter in the slightest. The only thing that matters is winning the war. If you believe that the principles of anti vivisectionism are worth fighting for then you must be prepared to do whatever is legally, morally and ethically necessary to win.

The vivisectors have influence over those in power at the moment and we are the ones who have to create change. The system doesn't want change. We have to force change upon the system. We don't have to influence parliament (there are no laws to be repealed). We simply have to convince the public to put pressure on the companies who pay for animal experiments. This war is all about money. When drug and cosmetic companies (who are between them responsible for most animal experiments) realise that vivisection is costing them money they will test their products in other ways.

And there is one thought that should give us all extra hope and joy: once we stop animal experiments we know that no one will ever again be able to find a reason to reintroduce them.

Remember: we only have to win this war once.



Some anti-vivisectionists believe that we can't stop all animal experiments and that we should, therefore, aim to make progress against vivisection in small steps - campaigning for smaller cages, better conditions, fewer animals being used and so on. I think that this is a dangerous philosophy. If you start by asking for bigger cages there is a danger that in five years time you will regard it as an achievement when the vivisectors promise to make sure that all animal cages are painted in pleasant pastel colours. If we campaign for bigger cages, or the banning of the importation of animals from one or two specific countries, then there is a real danger that the public will feel that things can't be all that bad - and that vivisection must be necessary.

We will never get anywhere by being prepared to compromise and move forward in tiny steps - begging and pleading for improved facilities for animals. I believe that those who try to push for abolition the slow route are playing into the hands of the opposition. It is dangerous to compromise. The big hazard is that the steps forward will get smaller and smaller and the goal - abolition - will for ever remain out of reach. The vivisectors and their supporters will give in here a little and there a little but they will retain complete control of the situation. The prospect of vivisection stopping completely becomes a complete non starter if we take this attitude.

We should state our single aim simply and starkly: we want all animal experiments stopped: this is not a dream, it is a goal. If we don't actively campaign for abolition then we'll never get it. Have you ever heard of any campaigning group getting more than they campaign for?

In order to reach our goal we should be blunt, bold and dogmatic. We must insist that all animal experiments are useless, that no animal experiment has ever been of any value and that all animal experiments must be stopped.

We must not be afraid to be tough. We won't win this war (and it is a war - a propaganda war) without some degree of confrontation and without making enemies. Some anti vivisectionists worry about upsetting the opposition. They believe that we should be conciliatory and try to win through negotiation. Well, stuff that. We will never, ever win through negotiation for the simple reason that the other side has too much to lose. Women didn't get the vote and slaves didn't win their freedom by negotiating behind closed doors. They made many enemies and fought long and hard for their rights. Laboratory animals can't fight for themselves so we have to fight for them. Remember what Lewis Carroll once wrote: 'If you limit your actions in life to the things that nobody can possibly find fault with you will not do much.' We will win more speedily if we aggravate the vivisectors and their supporters as much as we can.

The vivisectionists seem to regard those organisations who campaign for improvements in animal welfare as sensible, well mannered and worldly and this is surely warning enough. I would regard it as an insult if a vivisector thought I was reasonable. If the vivisectors don't hate and fear me then I can't possibly be doing any good.

We will achieve nothing without certainty and belief, conviction and commitment. This isn't a question of being over optimistic or unrealistic (as some anti vivisectionists will argue) but of summoning up inner strength. We have to win because vivisection is wrong. And we need to be bold.

Some anti vivisectionists fear that it is difficult to sustain the argument that no animal experiments are or ever have been of value. But it isn't. I have for years followed this simple 'black and white' theory; arguing that animal experiments are worthless, always have been worthless and always will be worthless. (I have never lost a debate with a vivisector and for some time now vivisectors have refused to debate with me. I mention this because I think it proves the point most effectively: a dogmatic dismissal of animal experimentation can be sustained. The evidence needed to sustain this simple argument is available in my books 'Why Animal Experiments Must Stop' and 'Betrayal of Trust' - both published by the European Medical Journal.)

The truth is that if we let the vivisectors claim that progress has been made in any area of medicine then we will never win the war. The public will remain confused and we will never gain the public support we need. If we allow the vivisectors to argue that some experiments are of value (however slight) then we make it easier for the vivisectors. After all, how is anyone to know which experiments to abandon and which are worth doing? The vivisectors would argue that even if only one experiment in a million produces results of value then animal experiments must continue. But this a completely hollow argument. We have to argue that the very unpredictability of the value of animal experimentation makes every experiment useless. The logical of our argument is unassailable. What is the point of doing any animal experiments if you never know whether the results are of value or not?

We can support our argument by using the evidence which shows that drug companies use this unpredictability to their advantage and happily ignore animal experiments which produce 'inconvenient' results. If animal tests show that a drug is safe the drug company concerned will use the tests to enable them to launch their new drug. But if the animal tests which are done show that a drug is unsafe the drug company will dismiss the tests as irrelevant - since they were done on animals!




There are some anti vivisectionists who insist on trying to fight the vivisection supporters simply with entirely accurate, scientifically valid statements. That is just not enough. It is like using bows and arrows to fight an opposition armed with nerve gas. The opposition fights dirty. The vivisectionists have distorted the evidence so much that the truth is no longer sufficient and it is naive to imagine that it is.

This is a war not about reality but about perception. Our opponents have managed to convince large numbers of the population that animal experiments are essential for medical progress. There are millions of people who believe that if animal experiments stop then their children will be at risk.

'I like animals,' they say, 'and I dislike the idea of vivisection - I wouldn't like my daughter to marry a vivisector - but when it comes down to it I love my family more than I love animals.'

That belief is not inspired by reality but by their perception of reality; a perception that has been devised by the vivisectors and their supporters.

When we try to combat that belief by simply arguing that animal experiments are not relevant to human beings then the opposition merely repeat their claims that they are.

They deliberately highlight specific, small items out of the scientific literature since it is in their interest to bog the whole argument down in minutiae. They know that once we start arguing about scientific minutiae then we are lost: the public will get bored and stop listening.

We must be careful not to get dragged into lengthy public debates dealing with scientific minutiae since the result, in addition to boredom, will be confusion. When scientists start disputing history and nit-picking over scientific trivia the ordinary man in the street doesn't know who to believe. But on balance he worries more about his child and his family than he does about a bunch of anonymous animals so he remains a silent supporter of the status quo.

In order to combat the exaggerated nonsenses put forward by the vivisectors and their supporters we must aggressively trump their arguments in very public, unequivocal and dramatic ways.

Understand how the media work

Many anti vivisectionists are extremely naive about the media. The vivisectionists use professionals who know how these things work. On the other hand most of the people who are fighting for animals are caring and sweet but sadly unsuspicious.

It is fairly widely understood that crowds tend either to destroy or to worship the object of their attention. And they can turn on a whim. The individual who is, at one moment, a hero can easily become a villain. It is less well understood that newspapers are much like crowds. They can turn a villain into a hero or a hero into a villain in the printing of a page.

A friend, a former editor of a newspaper, once told me a story which illustrated this fact well. Late one day the newspaper which he helped to edit received a story about a man. The details of the story are irrelevant. The newspaper's first inclination was to turn the man into a hero. They planned to publish a photograph and a story drawing the attention of their readers to the wonderful things this man had done. But as they planned their story another, even better story came into the newsroom. And the individual who was at the centre of this story was even more of a hero than the first person. And so, because the newspaper did not want to have two heroes on its pages, the editors turned the first man into a villain. A man who had, a moment or two earlier, been a hero in waiting now became a villain in waiting. He was attacked and vilified for doing the very same things for which, a moment or two earlier, they had been planning to praise him. And a man's life was ruined simply so that the newspaper editors could 'balance' the stories on their pages. Depending upon the way in which it is written virtually any individual can be described as both a hero and a villain.

The vivisectionists know this and they gladly feed newspapers and broadcasters with all the villains they could possibly want. They will gladly lie and distort the evidence in order to win another point or two.

I have considerable first hand experience of this since the dishonest rumours about me never seem to end. They started some time ago, when I first started to campaign against the over prescribing of tranquillisers. A man whose name I cannot remember telephoned and wrote to numerous newspapers and television stations claiming that he was a tranquilliser addict and that I had been responsible for his predicament. I had, he claimed, been the doctor who had over prescribed pills for him. Quite a few journalists told me that they had heard this story. Since I had for many years campaigned against the over prescribing of tranquillisers the rumour did my reputation a considerable amount of harm. At one stage a newspaper for which I wrote decided to investigate the man's claims (at my suggestion). They asked him for more details. He named the town where I was supposed to have treated him and the year when I was supposed to have got him hooked on pills. It wasn't difficult to disprove his claim. I had never practised in the town he named. And in the year when he claimed that I had been over prescribing pills I had still been at school (ordinary school not medical school).

Since those early days the lies have become commonplace and ever more imaginative. I have, for example, lost count of the number of times that I have been told by journalists that they have been told that since I do not have a medical degree I am not entitled to call myself 'Dr'. (In fact, I have a medical degree and a science doctorate and I practised as a GP in the British National Health Service for a decade.) The vivisectionists work on the same philosophy as Adolf Hitler and his accomplices. If you tell a lie often enough and loudly enough it will become the truth.

Be Especially Wary Of Television

The vast majority of the stuff now made for television is superficial, trivialising crap put together by untalented dickheads with an average IQ lower than the daily temperature in Reykjavik.

I find it frightening to think that there are people who think the stuff they see on television is a true account of the state of the world.

To get a job as a television presenter these days you need a �30 haircut and a 50 pence brain. Anything that comes out of a TV presenter's mouth, looks like an ad lib and sounds vaguely witty will be the result of the efforts of a team of script writers.

When I was young and innocent I used to do a lot of television.

But no more.

I lost most of my remaining faith in television when a producer once told me that she wasn't going to broadcast an interview in which I had revealed the truth about a laboratory experiment for which a number of dogs had died because she had been reliably informed by the researchers that they hadn't used any animals at all.

'But I've got the evidence!' I protested. 'They published a research paper describing what they'd done.'

'But they didn't use any animals,' argued the producer. 'They only used animal tissue.'

What could I say to that? I'm proud of the fact that I managed to put the telephone receiver down without breaking it.

I was banned by one programme after I swore at someone on a late night chat show.

Genuinely (and I still think quite reasonably) angered by the other guests I used a word rhyming with 'duck' but beginning with a letter coming a little later in the alphabet.

The word is heard constantly in films shown much earlier in the evening and it first appeared in The Times over a century ago, but the television company concerned was dismayed because I'd used it in anger.

I got stacks of mail and all the letters except one were congratulatory and supportive (the exception came from my mother) and as far as I know the TV company didn't receive any complaints, but the producer demanded a public apology which I refused to give.

I rather think that what upset them was not the use of the word itself (it is, as I've explained used regularly in movies and the programme was transmitted very late at night), but that I'd used it in anger. I'd meant it. I'd spoken with passion and feeling.

After years of appearing on TV programmes I honestly feel that television producers don't feel entirely comfortable with passion. They don't really know how to deal with it. And it frightens them.

Television is a medium that has lost its way; it's half show business, half advertising billboard and half propaganda vehicle for politicians. Television promised much but has failed to deliver.

My advice is that you be extremely careful when dealing with television journalists. Most of them are not very bright. (The best journalists work for newspapers and the best of the best work for tabloid newspapers). People who work in television are easily influenced by the establishment and they are often unwilling to risk broadcasting anything which might prove to be controversial or troublesome.

In particular, I suggest that you should try to avoid having anything to do with pre recorded programmes. Just remember that anything you can say be turned against you and however sensible, and logical you may sound television journalists can make you look like a blithering idiot (at best) or a dangerous, homicidal maniac (at worst).

Learn To Influence Editors

In a column written for the Glasgow Evening Times in Scotland I wrote about the way animals are abused.

I pointed out that animals are treated abominably by the people who breed and kill them for a living and I warned readers that meat can cause cancer. The article was headlined: 'Death threats will not stop me speaking out'.

I wasn't surprised when the Meat and Livestock Commission (MLC) complained to the Press Complaints Commission (PCC). In asking the PCC for a ruling on my article the MLC said: 'The claims made in the article are both damaging to the industry and could be greatly disturbing to the public if given further publication.'

The PCC asked for evidence supporting my statement that 'young people who eat meat are far more likely to get cancer and die young.' I supplied them with several pages of scientific references.

A study of the literature suggests that at least one third of the 140,000 cancer deaths in Britain every year are caused by food (the BMA has quoted a figure of 35%) and that meat is one of the few foods to have been isolated as a cause of cancer.

It seemed to me that it was important that as a columnist I should have the freedom to warn my readers of this evidence. However, the Press Complaints Commission found in favour of the Meat and Livestock Commission.

The PCC reported that the MLC 'denied that there was any evidence to link the consumption of meat with the cause of cancer...' and in its judgement the PCC complained that my article contained 'no acknowledgement of any opposing view'.

The PCC was right. My original column about meat did not contain any 'acknowledgement of any opposing view'. For one thing it didn't seem to me to be necessary - the meat industry is perfectly capable of looking after itself and for another thing I was writing an opinion piece - it was pretty clear that in my column I was expressing my opinion.

* * *

A short while later the Press Complaints Commission received a complaint from the Research Defence Society about one of my columns in The People newspaper.

The RDS made several specific complaints about a column I had written attacking vivisectors and the practise of vivisection.

In the column I had published evidence from America showing that pets may be stolen for use in laboratories, I had pointed out that I was convinced that animal experiments are of no value at all to human beings and I had estimated that vivisectors torture and kill 1,000 animals every 30 seconds. I had also stated that I believe that vivisectors torture animals for their own amusement and for professional gain.

The editor of The People, Bridget Rowe, made her position clear in a letter to the Press Complaints Commission. She wrote: 'Dr Vernon Coleman is well known as someone who feels very strongly about this issue. It is clear, by the very nature and layout of the column, that the column reflects his personal views and are not necessarily those of the newspaper. I therefore think that the Commission will be treading a very dangerous path should it uphold a complaint on the basis that it feels an opinion should not be held (no matter how unreasonable either the Commission or the complainant may feel that opinion is).'

Ms Rowe pointed out that 'It would be, I fear, inappropriate for the Press Complaints Commission to enter into a debate as to who is right and who is wrong and to do so would stifle the very purpose of columns such as Vernon Coleman.'

The Press Complaints Commission duly decided against the Research Defence Society's complaint - concluding that my attack on vivisection was not a breach of its Code.

The PCC decided that: 'readers would have been aware that in general the columnist was expressing his own strongly held views' and that 'any overstatement, whether in statistics or otherwise, would have been understood as opinion or thought provoking exaggeration.'

(You may be amused to hear that I subsequently managed to include all the points about which the RDS had complained in a single sentence in my column. I thought this might make it easier for them to complain.)

* * *

I mention these two incidents not because I was surprised that the Press Complaints Commission received these complaints but because of the unpredictability of the results. When I wrote a strongly opinionated column in the Evening Times I was found guilty by the PCC because I didn't put both points of view. But when I wrote a strongly opinionated column in The People I was found not guilty by the PCC because I was expressing my own strongly held views.

For reasons which I confess I do not understand editors tend to regard the Press Complaints Commission very seriously. Lobby groups working for those who abuse animals know this. And so, as a fervent campaigner against animal cruelty, I attract a vast number of complaints. (My articles probably attract more complaints than any other journalists in the country. But very few of the complaints come from ordinary readers. Most come from lobby groups and public relations specialists operating on behalf of farmers, drug companies, vivisectors and others.)

Of course, editors often receive angry letters too. And the lobbyists know that a sternly worded 'letter to the editor' can be a powerful tool. I have so far been fired as a columnist by over forty local newspapers in the UK alone. Letters of complaint are written by eminent academics, representatives of national organisations, local doctors and spokesmen for local industries who disapprove of my articles because they are not good for business. In addition there are also frequently attacks from big lobbying groups working on behalf of vested interests. A letter of complaint does not have to prove an error or even a misinterpretation - it merely has to suggest that the author of the original article is a controversial figure and not someone well thought of by the establishment. The word 'controversial' seems to frighten many editors. I am often described as a controversial writer but all I ever do is tell the truth and the list of accurate predictions I have made is many pages long. I cannot recall any inaccurate predictions. It is a strange comment on our times that 'controversy' is too often regarded as a synonym for 'honesty' and that honesty is regarded a an unwelcome visitor on the pages of our newspapers; too rich a fare for the appetites of ordinary readers.

Sadly, it is not uncommon for papers which have dropped my column to replace me with articles written by local doctors or public health officials or with press releases produced by companies with a particular product to sell.

I am not in the slightest bit bothered by the Press Complaints Commission. They can huff and they can puff all they likes - I refuse to take any notice of them. If this results in my being fired then so be it. I would rather be fired than silenced. And I now regard being fired as merely a sign that I am being effective.

But many journalists dare not risk being fired. And young journalists are likely to steer away from writing articles attacking vivisection when their newspapers receive nothing but complaints.

You can help in two ways.

First, if you ever see an article in a newspaper or magazine attacking vivisection do please send a letter of praise to the editor. Try to say something new and constructive. The editor and the journalist will be encouraged. Don't nit pick and don't whinge. If you can't find something really encouraging to say don't say anything at all. (It is common for my articles attacking vivisection to inspire numerous letters of complaint from people who describe themselves as anti vivisectors. A common complaint is that their particular group or organisation has not been mentioned.)

Second, if you see an article praising vivisection in any way send a letter to the editor putting the other point of view. And send a letter of complaint to the Press Complaints Commission too. (If the editor of the newspaper or magazine doesn't print your letter you may be able to complain about that to the Press Complaints Commission too).

Take Action Yourself

I regularly open envelopes from which fall small, undated newspaper cutting and a short typed note. The is invariably nothing to show the name or the address of the newspaper from which the cutting has been taken. The notes are from readers instructing me to reply to letters supporting vivisection which have appeared in their local newspapers. The readers usually apologise for not giving their names or their addresses. The cutting consists of a letter from a representative of an organisation which supports and promotes vivisection and contained the usual arguments in favour of animal experimentation.

I receive letters and cuttings like this virtually every day of the week. In each case the reader, the person who has sent me the cutting, wants me to write a reply. They usually give two reasons for wanting me to reply. They argue that because my name is better known than theirs then if I send a letter there is a greater chance that the editor of the local newspaper will print it. And they say that I will be better able to prepare a reply than they are. The first of these two assumptions is entirely false. The truth is that local newspaper editors are much more likely to publish letters which come from local readers than they are to publish a letter from someone, however well known, who writes from afar and is unlikely to be a reader, subscriber or advertiser. The second assumption is also untrue. Anyone who consults my book 'Why Animal Experiments Must Stop' or the booklet I prepared entitled 'How To Win Debates With Vivisectors' will be able to refute all the hoary old arguments put forward by the vivisectionists. And, of course, the more letters a campaigner writes the better the letters will become.

You may write five, ten, twenty, even fifty letters before you get one published or before you get a response. But you must not give up. As you put yet another stamp on yet another envelope you will suffer agonies of self doubt and you will wonder whether all the effort is worthwhile. It is. Remember that you are not the only person writing letters. Newspapers, magazines and TV and radio programmes all rely upon public support. No editor or producer can afford to ignore public demands. The constant barrage of mail will eventually persuade editors and producers to run features and programmes describing or at least outlining the horrors and uselessness of vivisection.

Remember that when writing to newspapers it is important not to get bogged down in detail. Keep your letters short - covering one or, at most, two sides of notepaper. Remember that Voltaire once wrote 'To hold a pen is to be at war' but don't be abusive, don't waffle and before you write try to find out the full name (and qualifications and title) of the person you're writing to. Give your name and address and sign your letter. Simply state the facts - and your opinions. When a magazine or newspaper publishes an anti vivisection piece write a letter of praise and support to the editor. And keep stating the facts and your opinions. Use the information in this book (and in my books 'Why Animal Experiments Must Stop' and 'Betrayal of Trust' to help you write convincing letters.)

And if your letter is published and a pro vivisectionist sends in a reply make sure that you reply to their letter and don't take it too much to heart if they tell lies about the campaign. They tell lies about me all the time and it is a good sign. The German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer stated that all truths go through three phases:

1. Ridicule

2. Violent opposition

3. Acceptance as being self evident.

We have recently moved into stage two - proof that we are having an impact.

Remember: when writing to newspapers etc always try to have the last word. And remember that there are far fewer vivisectionists than there are anti vivisectionists. Let's keep them really busy - and stretched in every way.

It is undoubtedly much easier to stuff a cutting into an envelope and send it to me than it is to sit down and prepare a well thought and neatly argued 'Letter to the Editor' but if I replied to all the letters which are sent to me I would have no time for any other writing and at the end of it all my life would have been completely wasted for very few of my letters would have ever been published. I did once try to send letters in reply to all such cuttings - I sent off hundreds of letters a year - but I no longer send off any at all.

I am constantly saddened and depressed by the fact that so many people who claim to be interested in the welfare of animals think that they can satisfy their consciences and their obligations in such a slight and superficial manner. If all the people who claim to care about animals spent ten minutes a day writing just one letter against animal experiments, hunting or some other barbarism then all these evils would be stopped within a year.

(This seems a good point to apologize to all those readers who write in asking me to answer complex questions about animal experimentation. I used to try to answer all such queries. But I can no longer do so. I regularly receive a variety of letters about animal rights issues. Many raise questions which I have dealt with at length in various books but demand lengthy, personal answers. When I do not provide the required answers some of the writers take offence. Some write indignantly and tell me that they do not intend to do anything to else to help animals. But if I replied to all these letters I would never be able to do anything to help the animals.)

Write A Book

If you have something to say then write a book. If you can't find a publisher then publish it yourself. It was the Central Intelligence Agency which stated: 'One single book can significantly change the reader's attitude and action to an extent unmatched by the effect of any other single medium.'

Make Sure Anti Vivisection Books & Leaflets Are In Public Libraries

Regularly visit your local public library and check that the library has got copies of all the best anti vivisection books and animal rights books. Take a list with you, tick off the ones that aren't on the shelves and hand the list to the librarian. This helps in several ways. First, and most important, it ensures that good anti vivisection reading material is available for anyone who wants it. Second, it reminds the librarian that the animal issue is an important one. Third, it encourages publishers and authors to produce more pro animal books. I don't know of anyone who has ever got rich writing animal rights books so don't worry that you'll simply be making other people rich. I know that I have to subsidise my animal rights books by writing other books. No commercial publisher would produce 'Betrayal of Trust' for example and although it has reprinted several times and sold around 5,000 copies the advertising costs have meant that the book still hasn't covered its basic costs (and nor is it likely to since every time I sell another copy I put the money towards more advertisements). And although I have distributed around 8,000 copies of the English edition of 'Why Animal Experiments Must Stop' I've lost a lot of money on the book (partly because I have bought advertisements which haven't covered the costs and partly because I have given away many of the books). If this book ever makes a profit (a possibility I consider extremely unlikely) I will use the money to print, promote and distribute more copies.

By helping to boost the sales of existing animal rights books you will help to ensure that new books get published. (Look at the imprints on most animal rights books and you'll find that they have been published by the authors. Big publishing houses aren't much interested in publishing animal rights books for the simple but unarguable commercial reason that people aren't much interested in reading or buying them.)

Just as importantly, ask the librarian if you can leave some animal rights literature on display. The vivisectionists, who get funding from the mega rich international drug companies, flood schools, colleges and libraries with their literature. We have to do the same.

Publish Your Own Leaflets

If you can't find any anti vivisection leaflets (or other animal rights leaflets) which you are happy about distributing why not try writing, editing and printing your own. Leaflets are relatively cheap to print these days.

Don't include horrible pictures of tortured or dying cats or dogs on your literature. People won't look at the leaflets.

Instead, take a look at Plan 2000's leaflets. Most have a photograph of a beautiful kitten or puppy on the front. Look at the photographs in this book to see just how dramatic the juxtaposition of the right caption and the right photograph can be.

Encourage Others To Write

Recruit new soldiers for the animal rights army every day. The anti vivisectionist movement needs a constant supply of new soldiers to help fight the propaganda war.

Tell everyone you talk to that if they do nothing then they are just as responsible for what goes on in the vivisection laboratories as the vivisectors themselves. Animal experiments are done in our name and with our money. Anyone who does and says nothing is supporting the status quo - and that means supporting the vivisectors. The vivisectors have influence over those in power at the moment and we are the ones who have to create change. The system doesn't want change. We have to force change upon the system.

Use The Advertising Standards Authority

In theory the Advertising Standards Authority sounds like a good idea. The public is exposed to a seemingly endless variety of commercial propaganda and if the susceptible and the naive are to be protected from exploitation the country needs a strong, independent watch-dog capable of providing protection for innocent consumers from the most misleading and manipulative advertisers.

But is the Advertising Standards Authority the watch-dog the country wants and needs?

The ASA is a private body, funded by a voluntary levy on display advertising and direct mail. In 1994 the ASA had an annual budget of around �2.5 million. The money is collected by a separate body, the Advertising Standards Board of Finance, which calls the 0.1% levy a 'surcharge'. Although there seems to be some confusion about this within the industry advertisers don't have to contribute if they don't want to. (When I told one media consultant that the levy was entirely voluntary he was surprised.)

Although it claims to safeguard the public I wonder how many complaints really come from ordinary people without an axe to grind or a vested interest to protect.

It is certain that quite a few of the complaints the ASA receives come from industry and pressure groups. One advertiser told me that he routinely complains about all his rivals to the ASA 'just to tie them up in bureaucracy'.

In 1994 the Research Defense Society (an organization which defends the use of animals in experiments) made a number of complaints to the ASA about two leaflets produced by Plan 2000 - an anti-vivisection group which I founded. The ASA upheld most of the complaints.

I believe that when an organization like the ASA makes judgments on controversial issues like animal experimentation it must be clearly and publicly seen to be totally and unquestionably impartial.

One of the ASA's Council members is Richard Bradley. Mr Bradley is vice chairman of L'Oreal (UK) Ltd, and vice chairman of the Cosmetics, Toiletry and Perfumery Association. The cosmetics industry does a lot of animal experiments.

I asked the ASA whether Mr Bradley or the ASA felt that there was any conflict between his presence on the ASA Council and ASA adjudication following complaints relating to the use of animals in experiments.

The Director General of the ASA refused to answer my question.

She said: 'We do not disclose the position taken by individual members of Council during meetings. You can be assured, however, that members of Council declare any interest that they have before an adjudication is made, and where necessary they withdraw from the discussion.'

When Paul Flynn MP, a member of Plan 2000, wrote about this issue to the ASA he received a reply from the chairman, the Rt Hon Lord Rodgers of Quarrybank.

Lord Rogers said: 'The decisions of Council are, of course, collegiate. I mean by this that they are decisions of Council as a whole. For this reason it would be quite wrong to refer to the views of any individual member. The principle, as you will appreciate, is exactly the same as applies to the Cabinet.'

Using the Cabinet as a comparison, although impressively grandiose, does not seem to me to be a particularly suitable analogy. Surely the ASA Council would be better compared to a jury?

Moreover, I found it odd that the ASA, a private body which claims to safeguard the public and which insists that advertisers prove their claims, should fail to give a more specific answer to such an important question.

I felt that if Richard Bradley had declared an interest and withdrew when the complaint against the anti-vivisection leaflets was being heard then I believe the ASA should have said so straight away - and provided supporting evidence.

If Mr. Bradley did not withdraw some might feel that the ASA has been compromised.

In the end the ASA gave The People this statement:

'There are only two reasons why a council member would withdraw. Firstly, if the decision would affect his own company, and secondly, if the decision would affect a direct competitor.' Neither circumstance applied in this instance, so Mr. Bradley sat on the panel as normal.'

My feeling is that because Mr Bradley did not withdraw, some of those who passionately oppose the use of animals in experiments may feel that they - and the animals whose interests they represent have not received a 'fair deal'.

* * *

In June 1995 the small publishing house I run received a letter telling us that someone had complained about an advertisement for two of my books. By the time the ASA wrote to us the advertisement had already been withdrawn for commercial reasons (it hadn't sold enough books and we replaced it with another advertisement which has proved much more successful).

The complainant challenged the advertisement in three ways.

First they challenged whether or not I was medically qualified, as the advertisement implied. This challenge was easily met with a photocopy of my medical degree diploma. It was the other two complaints which proved more puzzling.

They challenged us to substantiate an advertising claim that my book 'How to Conquer Pain' 'is packed with practical information designed to help you control or banish pain for good'. And they also challenged us to substantiate this claim: 'Between a third and a half of all cancers may be caused by eating the wrong foods. In his best selling book 'Food for Thought' Dr Vernon explains which foods to avoid - and which to eat to reduce your risk of developing cancer.'

As evidence in our defiance for 'How to Conquer Pain' we offered the views of two entirely independent critics.

'The Guardian' reviewer had said: 'A clear and helpful handbook for pain sufferers. Perhaps most important of all is the way in which it brings pain down to a manageable level and gives self help ideas for sufferers.'

'The Good Book Guide' reviewer had said: '...this is a brilliant guide to understand and dealing with it (pain). It's written in plain language and well laid out to explain pain in general, different treatment approaches and an excellent personal pain management plan which covers both physical techniques (everything from drugs to rocking chairs) and mental attitudes'.

But we were told that the ASA will not accept what it calls testimonials. The ASA says: 'Book reviews do not constitute the kind of substantiation that is required.'

The ASA also says that the book itself 'is unlikely to constitute acceptable evidence to the advertising claims as, we assume, it contains Dr Coleman's views, which are unlikely to constitute independent substantiation.'

So, in what seems to me to be a rather Kafkaesque situation, we found ourselves faced with trying to prove that the book is packed with information, with the rather large handicap of apparently not being able to use independent critics or the book itself.

We have asked the ASA what they will consider to be acceptable evidence. Indeed, we asked them how they would set about proving that the Encyclopedia Britannica was 'packed with information' under their own conditions. They did not reply.

The ASA has upheld the complaint.

The other complaint, which referred to my book 'Food for Thought', seemed easier to deal with. After all, books, official reports and scientific papers have all linked food and cancer. The United States Surgeon General has published a report suggesting that diet could be responsible for up to 70% of all cancers.

In order to support our claim that it is possible to reduce the risk of developing cancer by avoiding some foods and eating others we submitted a short but impressive list of basic references - referring to both books and scientific papers - and offered to provide a longer list if this was considered necessary.

But this time we hit another snag.

The ASA will not accept references.

They had, they said, read the list of references. 'But', they added, 'this list in itself does not constitute evidence.'

We could not send original documents because much of the material had been obtained on loan from libraries and a telephone call to the Department of Trade and Industry confirmed our suspicion that it would be illegal (a breach of The Copyright, Designs and Patent Act of 1988) for us to provide the ASA with photocopies of all the books and scientific papers involved.

The ASA remained unmoved, simply insisting that: 'it is an advertiser's responsibility to submit all such evidence as is necessary to support their claims'.

We have pointed out that back in 1990 the Health Education Authority reported that: 'diets containing plenty of fresh vegetables and fruit appear to have a protective effect in cancer of the stomach, oesophagus, large bowel and lung. Vegetable and fruit consumption should therefore be increased, especially fresh green and lightly cooked vegetables or salad'.

(We risked the copyright law and sent a photocopy of the relevant page of this report).

The National Research Council in the United States of America published a technical report entitled 'Diet, Nutrition and Cancer' which showed that diet was probably the single most important factor in the development of cancer, and that there was evidence linking cancers of the breast, colon and prostate to particular foods or types of food. This publication reported that there were at least six international studies which showed a direct association between the amount of fat eaten and breast cancer incidence or mortality.

The American National Academy of Sciences has concluded that there is sufficient epidemiological evidence to suggest that consumption of certain vegetables is associated with a reduction in the incidence of cancer at several sites in humans.

It is estimated that one in three individuals already have or will develop cancer. But many experts around the world agree that the war against cancer could be won for the evidence shows that if people avoided those foods which cause cancer - and ate the foods which help to protect against cancer - then the incidence of this disease would drop dramatically.

As a health writer who has spent 25 years fighting to reveal the truth about medicine and health matters I believe that it is vitally important to teach the public about the links between food and cancer.

But in February 1996 the ASA confirmed that they have recommended to their Council that the complaint about 'Food for Thought' be upheld. (The original complaint was reported in June 1995 so it has taken the ASA over half a year to get this far).

They say that they: 'saw no convincing evidence that eating certain foods could prevent cancer, as implied by the advertisement.'

When I heard their conclusions I was sad, frustrated and angry. But not surprised.

After the Advertising Standards Authority ruled that the advert for my book 'Food for Thought' was not allowable I wrote to the Minister at the Department of Health. I subsequently received a reply quoting the Health of the Nation White Paper from 1992. This stated:

'There is mounting, though inconclusive, evidence that diets low in meat and fat, and high in vegetables, starchy staple foods, cereals and fruits may be associated with a lower occurrence of cancers of the stomach and large bowel, breast, ovary and prostate. Obesity is also associated with an increased incidence of cancers of the gall bladder and uterus, and increased fatality from breast cancer in later life.'

There is more than a little irony in the fact that I get into trouble with the Advertising Standards Authority. I constantly refuse to have anything at all to do with any commercial products. I will not use whatever reputation I may have to sell any product (apart from the books which I write) . And I have, for far more years than the Advertising Standards Authority has been in business, fought hard against advertisers whose messages I have found unfair, misleading or potentially dangerous!

Still, the message here for animal rights campaigners is clear: use the ASA!

Every time you see an advertisement supporting or defending vivisection make a complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority - and ask all your friends to complain too.




Tell People That Vivisection Is Worthless - But Don't Frighten Them

Many enthusiastic anti-vivisectionists put a lot of effort and time and money into finding yet more evidence showing that animal experiments are barbaric. Courageous anti vivisectionists frequently work 'undercover' in laboratories and emerge with yet more horrifying evidence. Sadly, I do not think that these efforts are worthwhile. I honestly do not feel that the anti vivisection cause needs any more evidence showing that animal experiments are barbaric. If that sort of evidence was going to help us win the war against vivisection we would have won long ago - there is ample evidence to prove this points.

We have failed to win solely because the vivisectors are very good at persuading the public that what they do is essential and worthwhile. They have become adept at trumping our moral arguments with their pseudo-scientific arguments.

Their dishonest propaganda works solely because if you keep repeating something often enough it will eventually be perceived as the truth. The nazis used a similar propaganda technique.

Vivisection is big business (it is the foundation of the world's largest and most profitable industry) and vivisectionists will lie and cheat to win. A vivisectionist once confessed to me that although they know that vivisection has absolutely no medical value they have to claim that it has in order to persuade the public to continue to support them. He admitted that the public view is that vivisection is such a vile business that unless there is some sound justification for it then it would soon be stopped. 'Only by convincing people that what we do saves human lives can we persuade them to support us with money,' he admitted.

If we want to stop animal experiments then we must make sure that the public know the truth: that animal experiments are dangerously misleading and entirely unnecessary. Explain that drug side effects are a consequence of animal experiments - and point out to a potential recruit that they and their family and friends will be safer if all animal experiments can be stopped. Vivisectors and their supporters (who never let the truth interfere with their claims) often argue that animal experiments help save human lives. That isn't true. Animal experiments are of absolutely no value to human beings. No one would dream of trying out drugs intended for sheep by giving them to cats or goldfish or horses and expecting to get sensible results so why on earth do scientists expect to get any sensible results by trying out treatments intended for humans on rats, dogs, mice and other animals? The whole business of animal experimentation isn't just morally and ethically indefensible: it is also scientific and medical lunacy.

The vivisection supporters will often claim that if animal experiments are stopped then medicine will stop making progress. They make all sorts of absurd claims for the work the vivisectors do. They threaten and frighten ordinary people. They claim that people must choose between animals and their child. They win the support of some members of the public by telling them that animal experiments will help find a cure for the disease which they or a member of their family is suffering from. This is intellectual terrorism of the very worst sort; it is cold, calculated cruelty. The harsh and undeniable truth is there are scores of drugs on the market which are known to cause cancer or other serious problems when given to animals (there is a list of such drugs in my book 'Betrayal of Trust'). If you ask those drug companies why they sell medicines which are known to cause serious problems when given to animals they will tell you that animals are different to people - and that it is impossible to use animal experiments to predict exactly what will happen when a drug is given to a human patient!

Drug companies know very well that if they tested their products properly most of their new drugs would never get onto the market. They would lose billions of pounds. And so they use animal experiments to get their new drugs on the market.

What the vivisectors do not tell people is that virtually all the drugs which have been taken off the market because they cause serious problems when given to human beings were tested on animals!

Because the ordinary man, woman and child in the street are important it is vital that we do not alienate them.

We must be careful not to show people anything which is too shocking or too frightening. If we publish pictures of animals in a laboratory we will put people off. They will turn over the page or throw the leaflet away in horror and disgust.

Publishing too many gory details about experiments has the same result. Everyone knows that horrible things go in laboratories. It is enough to hint at the horrors, rather than to provide really sickening pictures or stories. A picture of a fluffy bunny or cuddly kitten, allied to a brief description of what a vivisector might do to the animal is far more likely to be effective than a picture of a cat with electrodes sticking out of its head or a picture of a rabbit with red, inflamed and obviously sore eyes. Those photographs obtained by undercover agents are, I fear, unlikely to be of any real value in the fight against vivisection. I believe that the effort, energy and money currently being spent on finding yet more evidence of the barbaric nature of vivisection would be far better spent on spreading the word about the evidence which is already available. We have more than enough evidence available to show that what the vivisectors do is barbaric, senseless and entirely without value (apart from to the pharmaceutical industry). Besides, the reality is of little or no consequence. As the vivisectionists know only too well the only thing that matters is perception.

We must also be careful not to make people feel guilty. People don't like being made to feel guilty and uncomfortable. We must not blame people for not helping us in the past. We must court the man, woman and child in the street. It is with their help that we will win. Guilt is a powerful weapon but we have to be careful how we use it.

Most people will, if given the facts, come down firmly on our side. Given the fact that there are not all that many psychopaths around this is, perhaps, not all that surprising. Most people love animals. A survey in America showed that 28% of pet owners would ignore orders to evacuate their homes in the event of nuclear war if they were told that they had to leave their animals behind. In order to recruit more supporters we need only to give the bare facts - and to be dogmatic.

If the person you are talking to says that they don't have the time or the money to do anything tell them that you would prefer them to be honest to you and to themselves and admit that they don't care enough to do anything. You may lose a former friend. But you may gain a new supporter for the anti vivisection movement. And do you really want to be friends with someone who cares so little about something that is so important? Think of yourself as a pebble thrown into a pond. The ripples you can produce will start more people thinking and talking about animal experimentation. If you can convert one new person a month to our campaign and they, in turn, then recruit one new person a month to the campaign, you will, in a very short space of time, have created your own army of supporters.

Remember: we must never be afraid to tell the truth and to announce with confidence and certainty that all animal experiments are worthless. The general public will only join us in large numbers when they realise that animal experiments are entirely without value.

Use This Simple Quiz To Help Recruit More Supporters

Ask the uncommitted to try this simple quiz - answering YES or NO to each question.

1. Do you like animals?

2. Do you agree animals suffer pain and distress if they are hurt or frightened?

3. Do you agree that if a kitten was ill it would be more sensible to treat it with a medicine which had been tested on other kittens than with a medicine which had been tested on cows?

4. Do you agree that medical treatments should be as free as possible from side effects?

5. Have you - or anyone you know - ever suffered an unpleasant side effect as a result of taking a drug?

6. Do you agree that the number of side effects associated with modern drugs are a worry?

7. If you needed an operation would you rather the surgeon had experience of operating on other human beings rather than on cats, dogs or mice?

8. Do you agree that needless cruelty to animals should be stopped?

9. Would you be prepared to pay an extra few pence for drugs which you knew were less likely to cause serious side effects (or even kill you) because they had been properly tested rather than being tested on animals?

10. Did you know that there are no laws requiring drug or cosmetic companies to test their products on animals?

11. Would you be shocked to know that the animals used in laboratories include pets?

12. Do you agree that when people do things in your name - and with your money - you have a responsibility for what they do?

13. Did you realise that if new drugs were extensively and properly tested before being put onto the market many products would never be sold because they would be shown to be unsafe at an early stage?

14. Do you agree that if animals are like people they should be treated with the same respect as people?

15. Do you agree that if animals are unlike people there is little point in using them to test drugs and procedures intended for people?

Score one point for every YES answer and no points for every NO answer.

Tell the person doing the quiz that if they scored 1 or more points they are clearly a caring, sensitive, intelligent human being. You should then be able to recruit them to the anti vivisection movement.

Always Refer To Animals As He Or She

When people talk about other people they usually refer to them as 'he' or 'she'. The use of the sexually defining pronoun helps to identify, and give some personality, to the individual. But when vivisectionists talk about animals they usually refer to them as 'it' or 'them'. This de-individualization is encouraged by the meat industry, the vivisectors and the hunters who are all intelligent enough to realize that their actions will be less defensible if animals are regarded as individuals.

Involve Organizations Of Which You Are A Member

If you are a member of any organization which could conceivably have any interest in animal experimentation make your voice heard and get your organisation to commit itself. Remember: you do not have to recruit every member of your organisation in order to influence 'official policy'. Most major decisions are made by a tiny minority of organisation members - the rest will usually go along with whatever has been decided.

You may be unlikely to be able to get your local football, cricket or golf club committee to get involved in opposing animal experiments but if you are a member of a Women's Institute or religious group then there is an excellent chance that you will be able to convince other members that the organisation ought to make a public stance on the issue. You will probably need to influence only between 5% and 10% of the organisation's membership in order to get a resolution heard and passed.

Boycotts Work

Go into your local pharmacist or supermarket and ask to speak to the manager. Tell him that you do not intend to patronise his store until he stops selling products which have been tested on animals. If there is a local charity shop find out if the charity does or supports animal experiments. If it does then tell the manager that you intend to call for a boycott of the shop. Try to get friends to call in or telephone with the same message. If you can get a few friends to make placards you could stand outside the shop and try to persuade others not to use it. Write to your local newspaper and tell them what you are doing. You may find that they will be interested in the story (especially if you can find some local celebrity or someone photogenic - e.g. a child, a local beauty queen or someone old - to join you). If you can't get your local newspaper to run a news story about what you are doing write them a letter. If you cannot afford a stamp take the letter into the local newspaper office yourself.

Recruit Celebrities

Write to your favourite celebrities. Celebrity supporters are important because they help to attract public attention - and more support from fans - as well as media interest. Write to your favourite TV, film or pop star and ask them if they'll support the campaign to abolish animal experiments.

Speak Out In Public

Contact local schools, colleges, clubs etc and ask them if you can go along and talk about the campaign to stop animal experiments. Explain that stopping vivisection is important to people as well as animals. If the organiser wants to invite someone from the 'other side' welcome the opportunity for a debate.

Here are some tips for speaking in public (including radio and television):


    Do not be afraid to be passionate - genuine passion (and it must be genuine) is exciting eye-catching and seductive. Most professional television presenters are trained to hide their emotions and feelings. It is often argued that hot passion can look forbidding and even alarming on television - which is after all watched in the living room, kitchen and bedroom. The result is that real passion is rare these days.


    The experts will tell you that you must dress conservatively if you are appearing in public (whether on the stage or on television). The theory is that if you look as if you are part of the establishment then the people watching you will have faith in what you have to say. I think this was probably true ten years ago. But I don't believe it is true today. Most people have grown cynical about 'the men in suits'. They distrust politicians, official spokesmen and (by extension) any public speaker wearing a smart, dark suit, white shirt and expensive tie. As long as it is clean you can wear anything that you feel comfortable in. In fact there is an unexpected advantage to be gained from wearing clothes in which you feel comfortable. If you wear a suit which you associate with stressful situations (job interviews, important social occasions etc) then you will feel stressed and uptight the moment you put it on. But if you wear casual, comfortable clothes you'll feel relaxed and casual. Looking relaxed and casual will help make you look honest and trustworthy.


    Find out beforehand exactly what is going to happen. How long are you likely to be expected to speak for. What sort of audience is likely to be listening to you (this is just as important for television as it is for live events). Who else is likely to be speaking with you. Who is likely to ask you questions. What questions are they likely to ask you.


    Whenever you speak in public always assume that everyone there is out to 'get you'. Don't trust interviewers, researchers or producers who are charming and apparently on your side beforehand. They are deliberately trying to relax you. The nicer they are the more likely they are to go for the jugular.


    If an interviewer is very aggressive and you feel cornered turn the tables on him by asking him (or her) why he (or she) feels the need to be so aggressive. If you can remain calm then do so. If your interviewer is cross and aggressive and you are calm, polite and gentle - and you constantly try to help him understand what you have to say - then you will almost certainly win the hearts of the audience. On rare occasions - for example, if other people on the programme will not answer your questions or if the interviewer is consistently rude and hectoring - you can get cross and show your anger. A display of passionate anger can be a good way of letting the audience know how you feel.


    Prepare what you are going to say - but if you are speaking or lecturing to a live audience try not to rely too heavily on a script and if you are appearing on television don't take a sheaf of notes in with you and expect to be able to have time to refer to them. If you must take in documents to which you intend to refer make sure that they are clearly labelled and that any passages you intend to quote are clearly marked with a highlighter.


    If you are being interviewed for television, radio or a newspaper you must be prepared for the fact that most journalists will think you are a complete nutter. The vivisectors (or, more accurately, those who support them and stand to benefit financially from the work they do) have successfully managed to portray anyone who opposes the use of animals in experiments as someone who loves animals more than human beings. Over the years drug company sponsored organisations and establishment groups have successfully managed to acquire a reputation for providing information and advice. Journalists, who are usually in a hurry and often keen to obtain information without having to do much thinking find these sources too useful to ignore. Publishers prefer journalists to follow the party line whenever possible because they know that too much controversy will worry the advertisers and may, indeed, lose valuable advertising contracts. The supporters of vivisection have become extremely good at using the complaints systems. If anyone writes a piece of which they disapprove they will slam in a complaint that will tie up journalists for weeks. It is easier and much less expensive to follow the official, party, establishment, pro vivisection line. To all this must be added the fact that some journalists freelance in their off duty hours for drug companies and drug company sponsored journals and magazines. Journalists tend (as a rule) to be rather cynical, establishment orientated and right wing (even the ones working for apparently left wing, liberal and even apparently eccentric publications). They consistently show a natural tendency to believe what they are told by the establishment spokesmen and to distrust anything they are told by people who want to change the status quo.


    Do not agree to take part in debates in which the ground is uneven. The vivisectors will want to make up their own rules, controlling the nature and constitution of the audience and who will be chairman. There have even been occasions when the vivisectors have tried to choose the chairman and which members of the audience would be allowed to vote at the end of the debate!

    Demonstrate Against Celebrities Who Support Vivisection

    If you find that a celebrity or member of the royal family is a patron or member of a charity which performs or supports animal experimentation campaign against them when they are making a public appearance.

    Draw Attention To The Medical Dangers Of Animal Experimentation

    Point out that by allowing drug companies and other scientists to perform animal experiments the public are endangering human lives. Doctor induced disease is a common and major problem. We can blame this epidemic of doctor induced disease on the use of animal experiments. (You will find more evidence for this argument in my book 'Betrayal of Trust').

    Remind People That Animal Experiments Kill People Too

    Four out of ten patients who are given pills will suffer noticeable, painful or even life threatening side effects. But few of the patients who suffer side effects realise that they are suffering because drug companies and doctors are allowed to test drugs on animals!

    Pharmaceutical companies love to test drugs on animals because they can't lose. If the animal tests show that the drug doesn't produce side effects in animals the company will proclaim the drug 'safe' and put it on the market. But if the animal tests show that the drug causes side effects the company will dismiss the results as irrelevant - and put the drug on the market anyway - because animals are different to people!

    When discussing animal experiments with friends point out that if they have ever suffered unpleasant side effects the chances are high that the drug you were given was tested on animals. And tell them that they are lucky to be still alive

    for the evidence shows that animal experiments are so misleading and inaccurate that they result in many human deaths.

    Here are three case histories (taken from my book 'How To Stop Your Doctor Killing You') which show that animal experiments kill people:

    1. Eight year old Samantha loved ballet dancing passionately. She wanted to be a ballet dancer when she grew up. But she never did grow up. Ten days before her ninth birthday she fell ill. Her ballet class was holding a public performance on the following Saturday and she desperately wanted to be well enough to appear so her mother took her along to see their family GP. Within 48 hours Samantha was dead: killed not by the illness but by the drug she'd been given. The drug had been tested but most of the early tests had been done on animals. These had not shown the side effect which killed Samantha.

    2. Forty four year old Robert failed a routine life assurance examination, carried out so that he could take out a new and larger mortgage on a house he and his wife had bought. He felt well but his doctor insisted on treating him. The drug he was given had been extensively tested on mice and rats. Unexpected side effects produced by the drug resulted in his death three weeks later.

    3. Bill was in pain. Doctors recommended surgery. The surgeon he saw wanted to try out a new technique that had been tested on animals. Bill died three days after the operation. He developed problems and complications which had not occurred when the operation had been performed on animals.

    All these human tragedies occurred as a direct result of animal experiments. In all these case histories the identifying facts have been changed to protect the privacy of the families concerned. It isn't only animals who suffer from 'animal testing'. People suffer too.

    Remember: no animal experiment has ever saved a human life, but animal experiments have resulted in many deaths.

    Point Out That Doctors Agree With Us

    A year or two ago I conducted what was, I believe, the largest survey of doctors ever published on the subject of vivisection. It may still be the largest such survey. I questioned five hundred British doctors to find their attitudes towards vivisection. The doctors were invited to agree or disagree with four statements and the following results were obtained. The survey was reported in the European Medical Journal and the British Medical Journal.

    1. Laboratory experiments performed on animals can be misleading because of anatomical and physiological differences between animals and humans. 88% agreed.

    2. I would like to see scientists trying harder to find alternatives to animals for testing drugs and cosmetics. 81% agreed.

    3. Patients would suffer fewer side effects if new drugs were tested more extensively on human cell and tissue cultures. 51% agreed.

    4. Too many experiments on animals are performed. 69% agreed.

    The vivisectionists do not like this survey but, to my surprise, very few anti vivisectionists ever seem keen to quote it.

    Publicise The Horrors About The Way Animals Are Kept

    Too much publicity - and too many photographs - portraying the horrors of animal experimentation undoubtedly turn people off. It is much more effective to publish a photograph of a cuddly bunny, puppy or kitten together with an account of what goes on in a laboratory than it is to publish gory photographs showing pictures of bloody, burnt, bruised animals.

    But publicising the horrendous conditions under which animals are kept can be helpful. Again, photographs of the animals in cages are not necessary and may, indeed, be counterproductive since they are likely to distress members of the public.

    The table below shows the official figures for the amount of floor space animals are allowed in laboratories - and the maximum expected length of time they can spend in their cages. (So, a monkey in a laboratory may spend 30 years in a cage with a floor space of six square feet.)

    Encourage People To Write To Politicians

    Some anti vivisection organisations put an enormous amount of effort into trying to persuade their political representatives to support their aims. A good deal of lobbying goes on and there are many anti vivisectors who spend their days dressed in suits attending and preparing for committee meetings. I spoke at the House of Commons in London in December 1993. My speech didn't go down too well for I produced a lot of embarrassing evidence (which the vivisection supporters studiously ignored) which proved quite conclusively that animal experiments are of absolutely no scientific or medical value. When I'd finished someone stood up and said that they wished that a representative from one of the more reputable anti vivisection groups had given the address. I got the uncomfortable impression that I had made people feel uncomfortable by boldly breaking the negotiating rules by arguing for abolition.

    Negotiating with the enemy is, in my view, an entire waste of time. We will never ever win this battle behind closed doors. There is no room for negotiation. The bald truth is that no one has ever changed the status quo - and defeated huge vested interests - by negotiating behind closed doors. Our opponents love these meetings, of course. They can enter into long, drawn out negotiations over cage size and so on in an attempt to convince us that they share our general aims, knowing full well that they will never have to do anything very dramatic at all. In my view there is no point at all in wasting time and energy being nice to or negotiating with the men in suits. Slavery wasn't abolished through gentle lobbying. Women didn't get the vote through sensible, reasoned discussions. South African blacks didn't win freedom by politely sitting down around a table with their oppressors.

    Even if one believed that it would be possible to achieve abolition through negotiation there would still be no excuse for wasting time and energy negotiating with politicians.

    The activity is entirely pointless and unnecessary for there are no laws requiring drug or cosmetic companies (or anyone else for that matter) to do animal experiments.

    Many of those who advocate or defend animal experimentation claim that animals must be used before drugs or cosmetics can be put onto the market. Vivisectors - many of whom work for drug and cosmetic companies - often claim that they only do experiments because they are forced to do so by law. Many independent commentators and anti vivisection supporters have been taken in by these claims but these claims simply are not true. The Home Office in the United Kingdom has confirmed to me that there are no laws - in Britain or the European Economic Community - which require drug or cosmetic companies to perform animal experiments.

    'There is no European Community or United Kingdom law which states that drug and cosmetic companies have to test their products on animals.'

    Baroness Denton of Wakefield CBE, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Consumer Affairs and Small Firms

    'There is no European Community or United Kingdom law which states that drug companies have to test their products on animals.'

    Charles Wardle MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Home Office

    The absence of any law requiring drug or cosmetic companies to perform animal tests means:

    a) No law will have to be repealed before animal experiments can be stopped.

    b) Since it has now been proved that animal experiments are useless they can easily be stopped without parliamentary intervention.

    c) Since drugs and cosmetics must obviously be tested before being sold the onus is now on drug and cosmetic companies to find effective ways of testing their products.

    Since there are no laws requiring animal experimentation then there are no laws to repeal. Ergo the behind closed doors discussions are a complete waste of time.

    However, I do believe that it is well worthwhile individuals writing to their political representatives in order to make sure that they are aware of the views of the voters.

    Remember: politicians only ever respond to public opinion. They react rather than act. And they are also likely to respond well if they receive a letter from a constituent - a potential voter - telling them that a pledge to campaign for animals will gain a vote.

    It is better to keep letters short since politicians won't read lengthy, boring, ranting letters. Don't get bogged down with minutiae. Just state the facts: baldly and with confidence. If you get an unsatisfactory reply then write again explaining why you consider the answer unsatisfactory. You should send letters not only to your own political representative but also to leading politicians in all political parties. You can obtain an up to date list of suitable recipients for your mail from your local public library. Letter writing can be extremely fruitful. In the summer of 1994 I wrote to all Members of Parliament in the British House of Commons. Within ten days I had received over 100 replies - with more than 60 MPs agreeing to supporting a campaign for complete abolition of animal experiments by the year 2000.



    Attack Doctors

    The quickest way to attract the attention of the medical profession is to go on the offensive - and to tie doctors in with the horrors of animal experimentation.

    The role of the medical profession in the vivisection war has been vital but largely passive. The vast majority of doctors have nothing whatsoever to do with animal experiments. They have no idea what goes on. They are told (occasionally) that animal experiments are an essential part of the process by which new drugs are developed - and they believe that.

    Those who support animal experimentation claim that they have the support of the medical profession (and will from time to time wheel out the odd medical supporter) but the truth is that most doctors are uninterested in what goes on.

    I suspect that one way to attract the support of the medical profession for the anti vivisection campaign may be to emphasise the danger done by doctors to patients (four out of ten patients who take a drug suffer an uncomfortable and in some cases potentially lethal side effect and one in six patients in hospital are there because they have been injured by a doctor) and to then (fairly) blame those problems on the use of animal experiments. This will give doctors an explanation and an excuse for doctor induced illness. Eventually doctors will leap on this excuse with enthusiasm and will become strongly antagonistic towards animal experimentation.

    There is a strong argument for highlighting the problems caused by doctors and then carefully making sure that those problems are linked, in the public eye, with the use of animals in experiments. (Once again, there is more information supporting this argument in my book 'Betrayal of Trust'.)




    Every cause must use its strengths if it is to win. Our strength lies in the number of people who are opposed to animal experimentation. Our problem is that the vast majority of those who want animal experiments to stop do not do enough. And the reason for this is that most people just don't care enough to make the effort. They will sign a petition or make a telephone call to a phone vote line because it costs virtually nothing and takes hardly any time. They may even buy a T shirt, wear a badge or join an organisation to convince themselves and others that they are caring, compassionate beings.

    But although they may be disgusted and horrified by what goes on in laboratories up and down the country they will not put themselves out. And that is why we live in a society which is controlled by a seemingly endless procession of corrupt and incompetent governments.

    We can all make a difference. If we make the effort. If you choose not to then you must bear the responsibility. If you don't fight for the things you believe in then what is the point of living? Unless you have something for which you would die where is the joy in being alive?

    If 30, 20 or 10 million people did something every day to help the animals then the animals would soon all be saved.

    We Must Unite

    History is written by winners. We will win our battle against the vivisectionists. We are morally right. We are ethically right. We are medically right. We are scientifically right. But we will not win until we are even more coordinated or determined than our opponents.

    The vivisectionists lie, cheat and threaten as one. It is a tragedy that the anti vivisectionists spend much of their energy fighting one another.

    The disagreements between antivivisection groups are not usually about policy so much as about personality. It seems to me that some of those who become actively involved in the campaign to stop animal experiments need to feel important. It is their own vanity which drives them to sit on committees (a peculiar activity at the best of times and something which I have managed to avoid since I was about nineteen). Vanity is a perfectly sound reason for doing things as long as you recognise that you are doing things because you are vain and you don't allow the reason to influence your actions.

    The damaging dissent and internal strife which is such a feature of the antivivisection movement is not peculiar to those who oppose animal experimentation. It is common among all groups who are driven by passion and a sense of righteousness. People who work within any movement always seem to be exceedingly critical of others within the same movement. When I was battling to stop doctors over-prescribing tranquillizers I was constantly stabbed in the back by people who claimed to want doctors to stop over-prescribing tranquillizers. It is, however, within the anti vivisection movement that the pointless but damaging in fighting reaches the most spectacular levels.

    Fired by a mixture of emotions individuals and groups who claim to be opposed to the use of animals in experiments spend most of them time fighting other anti vivisectionists, rather than the vivisectionists.

    I have always said that although I want all animal experiments to be stopped I would not attack or argue with anyone who was at least moving in the same direction. I have, for example, illustrated the point by saying that I would not campaign against or criticise someone who only wanted to stop animal experiments on Wednesdays - even though I would obviously prefer everyone to campaign for a complete ban on all animal experiments (and, indeed, all abuse of animals).

    Like most committed anti vivisectionists I receive a constant barrage of mail from individuals who claim to be anti vivisectionists but who seem to spend most of them time criticising other anti vivisectionists, often putting forward points of view which one might expect to come from vivisectionists and their supporters.

    In my view some of these back-shooting individuals, self centered megalomaniacs who are full of malice and spite and seem to have a greater love for themselves and their own reputations than for the animal kingdom, do more harm than the vivisectors. Their criticisms are never important or really relevant but the amount of time and effort they waste is colossal. They find something to moan about in everything that is written or said about vivisection. These individuals never do anything practical to help. They never seem to be around when a thousand envelopes have to be sealed, addressed and stamped or when a fund raising stall has to be manned. They don't spend time exposing vivisectors, risking legal action or taking on the establishment; instead they back-shoot other anti vivisectors and spend time and money on empire building and self glorification. I very much doubt if they have any idea how difficult it is to fight the medical establishment, the drug industry, the politicians, the media (which is, by and large, disinterested in animal rights and opposed to the anti vivisection movement). The worst thing these people do is to cause many would be supporters to abandon the anti vivisection movement in despair. I am sad to have to say that I have been lied about and slandered as much by other alleged anti vivisectionists as by vivisectors and their supporters. I have suffered a torrent of inaccurate, vicious personal abuse from a small number of vocal back-shooters who claim to represent the animal rights movement. Many bizarre accusations have been made - and I have lost count of the number of lies told about me - by alleged anti vivisectionists. Most simply repeat and help to perpetuate the lies told by the vivisectionists. It is sometimes difficult to tell who is on whose side.

    For a long time I have been convinced that if the anti vivisection movement had worked together then vivisection would have been stopped years ago.

    At one point I made a real effort to bring together all the different anti vivisection groups in the world, pointing out that the vivisectors work together to protect one another and that we would stand a much greater chance of winning our battle if we stood together too. Sadly, the attempt was a failure.

    Make Sure That You Do Something Every Day

    Every night, when you go to bed, ask yourself what you have done that day to help stop animal experiments. The animals are still there. They need you and they are relying on you.




    Scientists are widely revered. But they do not deserve it. Most of them are blinkered, ignorant and not very bright. Many people assume that scientists are clever because they talk of incomprehensible things in an incomprehensible way. This is a big mistake. Plumbing gurgles loudly but there isn't necessarily any sense behind the gurgling. I always take every opportunity to belittle scientists and I always try to use the word scientist in a derogatory way. Our society needs like scientists like it needs dry rot. We already have plenty of information. What we need are ways to use the information we already have. (And, of course, we should never forget that the people who perform animal experiments are scientists).

    Incidentally, make sure that you always refer to vivisectors as scientists (and never as doctors - which the vast majority of them are not anyway).

    Vivisection is a much hated business (even within the scientific community) and scientists in general (who are always searching for extra funding - and that means political and public support) are very conscious of the fact that they will only win the support they need (and money they want) if they are seen to have nothing to do with animal experimentation.

    A growing number of scientists make sure that members of the public know that they do not use animals in their research when talking about their work. By using the word scientists when talking about vivisectors you will be helping to give scientists in general a bad name. They will then fight even harder to disassociate themselves from the vivisectors. This, in turn, will mean that the vivisectors will gradually become isolated in a scientific, cultural and financial ghetto.

    Attack Their Intelligence

    One big advantage of using animals for experiments (instead of people) is that you don't need to get anyone's consent. To do experiments on human beings you need to be (or have the support of) someone who is medically qualified and the vast majority of vivisectors are not medically qualified. Experiments on animals are quicker and easier to organise and plan, much quicker and easier to do and these are important factors since vivisectors are usually not very bright. Drug companies like animal experiments because they are far less likely to produce results which devalue the product they are trying to sell (if you get the wrong results they can easily be ignored on the grounds that animals are different to people).

    Attack Their Status

    Despite the fact that they are psychopaths the vast majority of vivisectors do have one human failing: they are vain and ambitious. We should continually throw serious and lasting doubt on their professional value and on their role in history. This will damage their confidence.

    Do Not Treat Them With Respect

    If (at a debate or in a radio or television studio) you find yourself face to face with a vivisection do not treat him with respect. I have frequently come face to face with vivisectors and been expected to shake hands with them. I always refuse. For example, on one occasion a television producer introduced me to a vivisector before a programme started and invited us to shake hands. I refused. Why would I want to shake hands with a vivisector? After the programme ended the producer wanted me to have a drink with the vivisector (and the other guests). Again, I refused. I tried to explain that I had not been arguing against vivisection to help make an interesting programme but because I fervently believe that vivisection must be stopped.

    Ridicule Them

    Here is a short piece which I included in my newspaper column. It may give you some ideas:

    'My articles about animal experimentation have been officially condemned by men in white coats for being too one sided. The Bureaucratic Society For Protecting Evil Bastards In White Coats Against Dangerous Columnists (BSFPEBIWCADC) has formally instructed me to put the other point of view. So here are ten great discoveries made by scientists experimenting on animals. After details of each experiment I have included a short note explaining how the research may help you and your family.

    1. Baby monkeys get terribly upset when they are parted from their mothers and kept in solitary confinement in steel containers for long periods. (Shows that school children should not be kept in solitary confinement in steel containers).

    2. Putting balloons inside animals' brains and blowing up the balloons causes brain damage. The bigger the balloon the greater the brain damage. (Clearly shows that children should not be allowed to blow up balloons inside each other's brains. And that if they must do this they should use small balloons.)

    3. Rabbits' eyes go red and become sore and irritated when they are deliberately filled with toxic chemicals. (Suggests that you should not be surprised if your eyes hurt if you drop toxic chemicals into them).

    4. Dogs die if they are forced to eat large quantities of soap. (Clear evidence that eating large quantities of soap is unwise).

    5. Live pigs suffer severe burns when they are exposed to naked flames. (Shows that if you want to avoid severe burning you should keep your distance from naked flames).

    6. If you shoot cats in the head they cry and scream a great deal, bleed a lot and then eventually die. (Suggests that shooting people in the head may be very noisy and messy.)

    7. If you deprive guinea pigs of water for long periods they become very dehydrated and eventually die. (Clear support for the belief that humans who don't drink fluids will die.)

    8. Puppies and other animals die when you remove essential organs such as kidneys. (Suggests that it is unwise to allow anyone to remove your kidneys).

    9. Cats get very upset if you drill holes in their brains and then squirt chemicals into the holes. (Shows that drilling holes in peoples brains and then filling the holes with chemicals is anti-social).

    10. Monkeys die when deliberately infected with bugs which cause fatal diseases in monkeys. (Shows that scientists who perform experiments on animals are all psychopathic dickheads).'

    Create Vivisector Jokes

    How many vivisectors does it take to experiment on a mouse?

    Thirty seven. One to hold the knife and thirty six to carry the drug company money to the bank.

    Remind The Public That Vivisectors Are The Violent Ones

    Vivisectors have worked hard to convince members of the public that all antivivisectionists are dangerous revolutionaries. The truth is, of course, that is they who are the violent ones. It is vivisectors who torture and kill the innocent.

    Vivisectors Should Be Named

    Animal rights organisations which fight against vivisection sometimes refuse to name the vivisectors who perform experiments which they describe - and they often refuse to name the laboratories where those experiments are carried out. The secrecy is inspired by a fear that naming individuals and identifying laboratories might expose those individuals and those laboratories to some sort of physical danger.

    I am opposed to any use of violence but I not convinced that this should be our concern.

    If we knew that Dr Mengele was at work in a community hospital in our midst would journalists and campaigners refuse to name him - or the hospital where he was working - in order to protect his reputation and his well being?

    I hope not.

    The truth is the truth is the truth is the truth.

    And if the truth causes grief or embarrassment for the vivisectors that is their problem. And if it means that they have to live and work behind bars that too is their problem.

    It is the duty of those who want these evil practises stopped to expose what is done in the name of the public and, very often, with the public's money.


    Vivisection is done in your name with your money. You have a right and a responsibility to speak out against it.

    Every night, before you go to bed, ask yourself this simple question: 'What have I done today to help the animals and to help stop the evil practice of vivisection?'

    Remember: once stopped vivisection will never start again (it is so obviously unjustifiable on any terms). Our descendants will regard it as an evil practice and will be astonished that we allowed it to continue for as long as we did.

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