Philosophy - Index
Testing - Index
The following book text is provided for free
browsing or downloading. It is for your personal use only and may not be used
for any commercial purpose whatsoever. This material is protected by copyright.
EXPERIMENTS MUST STOP
I have been opposed to vivisection for many years; not just because it is
unbelievably barbaric and unforgivably cruel but also because it is worthless,
wasteful, inaccurate, uninformative and dangerously misleading.
The cruelty is
indefensible and an affront to human dignity, but in a desperate attempt to
justify their evil practices many vivisectors still claim that what they do
helps save human lives. They are lying. The truth is that animal experiments
kill people and animal researchers are responsible for the deaths of
thousands of men, women and children every year; they are also directly
responsible for a massive amount of human suffering.
The callous self-interest
of vivisectors leads directly to the development and marketing of unsafe drugs
and medical practices; there is without a shadow of doubt a conspiracy between
the medical profession and the drugs industry to defend and protect a practice
which has as much relevance to science as alchemy.
A future, more enlightened
world will see vivisection as one of the more obscene and inexplicable practices
of our age; it is our equivalent of slavery and cruel colonialism and those who
fail to condemn it loudly will be branded as being as guilty as the vivisectors
themselves by tomorrow's generations.
Animal experiments are
done for personal and commercial gain by people who are driven by greed and
vanity. But although the vivisectors may be cruel, unthinking and unimaginative
they are not entirely
without cunning. They realize that their best chance of continuing with their
work is to persuade the public that the work they do does have a value. And so
they lie. And because they are backed by huge international corporations which
are as frightened as they are wealthy, the lies are presented in a convincing
and polished way. They terrorize and blackmail ordinary citizens by warning them
that if animal experiments are stopped their children will die. It is crude and
dishonest but it is often effective.
The only way to defeat
these lies is to tell the truth in simple but convincing detail. And that is why
I have written this book.
Together we can stop
vivisection. And we will.
Vemon Coleman Devon,1991
THE BASIC FACTS
LET US FIRST LOOK AT what
goes on in the world's laboratories the number of animals involved where the
animals come from where the money comes from and examples of the sort of
experiments performed in modern laboratories.
How many animals are
It is impossible to say
precisely how many animals are abused, tortured, maimed and killed every year in
the name of science. It is impossible because many scientists, well aware of the
fact that what they do is worthless and unpopular, are secretive and refuse to
disclose details of the animals they have used.
But, using the figures
that are available, it is possible to make fairly accurate estimates. In America
academic researchers use between 17 and 22 million animals a year, while the
cosmetics industry there uses another million or so. In Britain experimental
scientists use between 3
and 4 million animals a year. Altogether the total number of animals used around
the world is probably somewhere in the region of 250 million.
Or, to put the figures in
a slightly more manageable way, animal experimenters use around 100,000125,000
animals an hour.
Where do the animals
The demand for animals to
cut up and kill is massive and so there are, inevitably, a number of people who
earn their living by providing laboratories with the livestock they need.
Supplying live animals is big business these days.
But where do the
suppliers get the animals from?
Many of the animals are
specially bred on animal farms where sophisticated techniques may be used to
ensure that researchers get what they want. Some animals come from zoos (when
they have a surplus of some species available), some are retired from other
activities (exracing greyhounds are popular with researchers) and some are
captured in the wild.
It is this last method
that arouses most indignation among environmental pressure groups, for some
animals are captured in such vast quantities that whole species are threatened
Way back in 1972 E. G.
Hartley of the National Institute for Medical Research in London warned that 'in
certain areas of India
in which the rhesus (monkey) population was high some years ago few are now to
be found'. Hartley went on to say that 'No one can deny that some effect on the
conservation of certain primate species has been caused by the large number of
primates captured annually for biochemical research purposes'.
Things have not changed
much if at all since then. One Britishbased animal supplier recently imported
10,000 monkeys into Britain over a four year period. The animals had been
trapped, in the wild, in Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines. After enduring
journeys which can be long, difficult and desperately uncomfortable such animals
must then exchange their freedom for laboratory cages and their natural
lifestyle for boredom and pain.
The constant fear of many
animal lovers is that their family pet may one day end up in a laboratory and
there is evidence to show that such fears are wellfounded. According to Dr James
B. Wyngaarden of America's National Institutes of Health, writing in the
Journal of the American Medical Association recently, around 200,000 cats
and dogs are picked up off the streets in America every year and then handed
over to vivisectors to be used in experiments.
Where does the money
It is impossible to
estimate accurately how much money is spent on animal experiments, partly
because there is so much secrecy surrounding everything these researchers do and
partly because the money comes from so many different directions.
But the total sum involved
is huge and despite occasional public pleas of poverty from individual
researchers there is little doubt that the vivisection business is financially
strong and unlikely to wither for lack of funds.
Most of the cash comes
from three major sources: government, industry and charitable organizations.
Between them the money men dish out vast quantities of money contributed by
taxpayers, shareholders and people who have put money into collecting tins in
the belief that they are helping to fight cancer, heart disease or some other
Most of the money
contributed through governments is channeled into animal research via three
First, and most obviously,
a lot of money comes from departments or officially funded organizations which
exist to help scientists.
Much of this money is
available for 'pure' research which does not have to have any obvious, immediate,
practical uses. Lots of it goes into institutions where it helps to pay for some
of the world's most entirely useless research. It is fairly well accepted these
days that scientists working in animal research can be pretty second rate, but
many of these scientists have got very good at filling in grant application
The next route that
government money takes is usually through the world of education. Fairly huge
quantities of cash are made available so that students can experiment on live
frogs, rabbits and cats invariably repeating experiments which have been
performed a thousand times before. But the really big money goes to postgraduate
departments in universities where vast armies of white-coated pseudo-scientists
are constantly searching for new ways to extract scientific papers from rats,
cats, dogs and monkeys.
Finally, a considerable
amount of money arrives in the hands of animal experimenters via defence and war
When money come from this
direction the amount of secrecy involved always vast becomes even greater. The
fears and guilt-driven paranoia of ordinary animal experimenters are compounded
by the deep-rooted fears and very special paranoias of the military
The largest portion of the
money that is spent by industry on animal experiments comes from drug companies
(making products for doctors to prescribe and for customers to buy over the
chemist's counter) and cosmetic companies; together they spend a fortune on
testing and investigating new ingredients and potential new products. But the
involvement of industry is not limited to these two areas; companies which make
products as varied as food additives, industrial and agricultural chemicals and
household cleansers all do an enormous amount of testing on animals too.
Charities are the third
major source of money for animal experiments. Funded by millions of small,
individual donations from people who are attracted by the brash promises to
conquer disease and find 'wonder cures', medical charities rely heavily on the
fact that although most of us realize that it is our bad habits which make us W
we still like the idea of someone finding a magical cure that will absolve us
from taking any real, practical responsibility for our health.
In the end the route the
money takes on its way to the animal experimenters is almost irrelevant. Whether
the cash is paid over by a government department, a medical charity or a major
intemational company, the real source of the money is not some anonymous
accountant or bureaucrat: the money that pays for animal experiments comes from
your wallet or purse.
You are paying for animal
experiments when you pay your taxes, when you give money to a big medical
charity or when you buy any product made by a company which has animal
experimenters on its payroll.
You are entitled to know
what animal experimenters are doing with the money they get and you are entitled
to have a say in stopping them doing it, for the very good but simple reason
that you are helping to pay the bills.
As you read on, just
remember that you have helped to pay for virtually every experiment described in
this book; you have helped buy the animals, you have helped equip the
laboratories and you have paid the fat salaries of the white-coated men and women
who have dreamt up and then performed the experiments.
I hope that fact makes you
as angry as it makes me.
A catalogue of misery
It is difficult to know
where to start or stop when describing the sort of experiments conducted by
vivisectionists. I have a filing cabinet filled with research papers from
universities and institutions all over the world and there seems no end to the
variety of indignities that researchers can think up for the animals in their
In the end I decided
merely to list very brief summaries of a handful of experiments that have been
done in recent years. These are fairly typical examples neither more nor less
horrifying than thousands of other experiments conducted daily around the world.
I have deliberately chosen not to comment too much on any of these experiments,
since my comments and criticisms appear later in the book. I will add, however,
that I have had to bowdlerize some of the experiments I have described; just
reading the original, unexpurgated papers describing some of these experiments
made me feel so ill and so angry that I repeatedly had to stop work while
preparing this section.
Three final points are
First, while you read
about these experiments try to remember that every hour of every day between
100,000 and 125,000 similar experiments are going on in laboratories around the
Second, if you want to
know what experiments are being conducted at universities or other institutions
near to where you live just get in touch with your nearest antivivisection
Third, do not forget that
most (if not all) of these experiments were conducted on your behalf and with
1. British researchers
blinded two domestic tabby kittens by sewing up their conjunctivae and eyelids.
The kittens were then placed in a special holder and horseradish peroxidase was
injected into their brains. The kittens were then killed.
2. Three researchers
conducted an experiment in which female hamsters were distracted with sunflower
seeds so that their babies could be removed from the nest a few hours after
anaesthesia' the baby hamsters had their left eyes removed. They were then
returned to their mothers. The scientists used fiftynine golden hamsters in this
experiment and removed the left eyes from 'about half'.
3. At the United States
Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute in Bethesda, Maryland, a researcher
spent nine weeks forcing thirtynine monkeys to run on a cylindrical treadmill
known as an 'activity wheel'. If the monkeys failed to run for long enough they
got an electric shock.
4. Researchers funded by
the UK Medical Research Council gave ferrets a drug that made them vomit at
between half minute and five minute intervals. The researchers gave the ferrets
another drug and concluded that under some circumstances the ferrets did not
stand up to vomit and that under the influence of the second drug their vomiting
was less forceful.
5. Three adult female cats
were selected for a Welsh laboratory experiment because they were very docile.
Wires from the cats' eyes were connected to a device held in place on the cats'
skulls with self-tapping stainless steel screws. The cats were kept awake and
their eye movements measured while their bodies were rotated and tilted and
stimulated in other ways.
6. American researchers
separated young kittens from their mothers to see what effect this had. At the
end of the experiment the scientists concluded that separated kittens cried more
than those who remained in close contact with their mothers. The scientists
added that the crying seemed to denote stress.
7. Two eminent researchers
working in America conducted a series of experiments designed to make baby
monkeys depressed. To begin with they created a cloth, surrogate mother which
could be triggered to blow out high pressure compressed air. When the baby
monkey went to give its fake mum a hug the researcher would press a button and
try to blast the baby monkey away. However, this did not work and the baby
monkey merely clung on tighter. The researchers then built a surrogate monster
mother that was designed to rock so violently that the baby's 'head and teeth
would rattle'. Again, the baby monkey just clung on tightly. The third monster
had a wire frame built into its body. The frame was designed to throw the baby
away from it. This worked to a certain extent in that it did successfully
separate the baby from its fake mother but the baby monkey just picked itself up
and went back to its fake mother immediately afterwards. In a final attempt to
alienate, terrify and thus depress the baby monkey the researchers built a
'porcupine' mother from which, at the press of a remote switch, sharp brass
spikes would leap out. Once again the experiment was a failure for although the
baby monkey was upset by the spikes it simply waited until the spikes had been
withdrawn before returning to its mother.
8. The same researchers
also created a 'well of despair' for monkeys. They built a vertical chamber with
stainless steel sides and a rounded bottom and put young monkeys in it for weeks
at a time. On this occasion the two researchers were successful. The monkeys
eventually sat huddled at the bottom of the chamber looking depressed.
9. Scottish scientists
pushed fine polythene tubes into rats' brains. They then put balloons into the
rats' brains and blew them up. They found that all the rats suffered brain
damage but that the smaller balloons did not produce as much damage as the big
10. Four British research
scientists surgically joined together 224 individual rats to make 112 sets of
'fake' Siamese twins.
11. Rats' tails were
immersed in hot water so that the experimenters could study pain in rats.
12. Ten beagle dogs were
deliberately given stomach ulcers.
13. Balloons made from
condoms were pushed into dogs' stomachs through metal tubes and then filled with
water. During the experiment the dogs, which were hung in slings, were kept
14. The livers, kidneys
and lungs of Guernsey calves were deliberately damaged to see how this
affected the way the animals responded to drugs. The researchers concluded that
animals with damaged organs sometimes get more unpleasant side effects when they
15. Six monkeys were given
a drug so that they would develop Parkinson's disease. They were then given the
drug which is commonly used to treat Parkinson's disease in humans. When the
monkeys' symptoms improved they were killed.
16. Cuts were made in the
bodies of pregnant rats and metal screws cooled in liquid nitrogen were held
against the developing heads of the baby rats. The baby rats were later killed
and their brains removed so that the amount of damage could be assessed.
17. Two researchers in
London found that if they breathed heavily on ants as they came out of their
nest early in the morning the ants panicked.
l8 Three research workers
shot around twenty monkeys just above the eye and then watched to see how long
it took them to die. One monkey survived for over two and a half hours.
19. A psychologist removed
a monkey's visual cortex and then kept the blinded monkey for six years so that
he could study her behaviour.
20. Researchers have kept
the brains of animals alive outside their bodies and have transplanted the heads
of monkeys onto the bodies of other animals. Such experiments have taken place
in a number of laboratories.
21. An American researcher
gave a pair of rats a total of 15,000 electric shocks in seven and a half hours.
Later the researcher heated the cage floor so that the rats inside jumped about,
licking their feet, as the floor got hotter and hotter.
22. Researchers clipped
the hair from forty beagle puppies. They then put kerosene soaked gauze onto the
beagles' naked bodies and set fire to the gauze.
23. In a series of
experiments conducted in France, over thirty baboons were killed in forty miles
an hour fake car crashes. A number of monkeys were killed when their skulls were
hit with a hammering device. The experiments showed that animals would be
endangered if they drove cars into walls at forty miles an hour.
24. In a Canadian
experiment three polar bears were made to swim through a tank filled with crude
oil and water. When the oil coated their fur the bears tried to lick themselves
clean. They swallowed so much oil that they developed kidney failure and died.
The conclusion was that polar bears should be kept away from oil slicks.
25. Two experimental
scientists designed a drum rather like a tumbledrier for traumatizing alert,
awake animals. The drum was made so that it turned over forty times a minute
with the animal inside falling from one side to the other twice during each
rotation. During a five minute experiment an animal inside the drum fell four
hundred times. The animal's paws were taped together so that it could not break
its own fall and interfere with the traumatizing process. Animals traumatized in
the drum suffered broken teeth, concussion, bleeding and bruising of the liver.
Why Experiments Must Stop --